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Thread: The Eternal Alternator Choice Topic

  1. #1
    Yellow Baron's Avatar
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    Lightbulb The Eternal Alternator Choice Topic

    After ten years of ownership and about 32+ STCs later (www.dukeairborninvestments.com) it is time for me to consider the 'generator upgrade to alternator' question.

    After scanning all the SWPC and other websites and web-discussions my list of favourites looks like this:
    1) PlanePower SAL 12-70 (70 amps capable)
    2) B&C 60 amps with LR3C-14 regulator (nice battery temp probe)
    3) InterAv (more expensive, more complicated wiring and external components required)
    4) Denso (as per Andy's site and Homer Landreth)

    I wanted to know:
    - Has anybody got experience with the usefullness of the B&C temperature probe in the batterybox to prevent battery over-cooking? How bad can over-cooking be with an alternator, coming from an old Delco generator set up?

    - Secondly, how simple can one keep the wiring diagram?
    I was hoping to get away with a rocker-type circuit breaker next to my battery master (to switch on the field/alternator after
    engine start-up) add the little voltage light on the panel. I was going to keep my old +/- 40 amps ammeter (never seen it go beyond 20 amps anyway flying >600 hours on it).
    My current max load is probably still <35 amps (EVERYTHING ON...), later in life I could upgrade the cabling and CB to 60 amps to feed the main bus...
    I also would like to avoid a battery master contactor (just another failure point and dead weight)

    - Has anybody been through all this recently?

    or maybe I should just a new solid state regulator and get on with my generator...

  2. #2

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    If you have a 20 amp generator the most you will ever see will be 20 amps. (unless the regulator is bad). The current can go up to the limit of the alternator since the regulator controls voltage and not current. If the battery is discarged the current can go pretty high until the battery is recharged.
    Any of the regulators will contro any of the alternators as long as they are compatable. The regulator supplies current to the field to satisfy the voltage setup for the system. Ideally the battery and the ship DC buss are very close to the same with low resistance between them so regulated voltage is OK for both.
    There are two basic types of alternators differ in the setup of the field circuits and for the life of me I can't remember which is which.
    One reason for not using the built in regulators in the alternators is that the sensing voltage is at the alternator and needs to be at the controlled buss. (oops I meant single wire alternators). The line labled IGN supplies the current to the regulator and the Batt terminal reads the buss voltage.
    Oh yea. The two types are regulating from 12 v batt to the field and then to grouns and the others have the field connected to 12 v and the regulator controls the current to ground. Or something like that.
    Your system needs to have the ampacity to carry the full rated current of the altenator (+) and be current protected be at that level.
    The regulator has no idea of what the output current is (unlike the generator regulator) and the alternator will put out current until it's magnetic field is saturated. Ideally exactly at rated current to prevent damage to the unit. Otherwise a circuit brealer is nice.

    JDB.

  3. #3
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I've installed several Denso alternators and they were simple and worked great. I've also installed several Inter Av alternators. A little more stuff to install but the paperwork was way easier. Have also installed the B&C and it is very nice stuff just a lot more money. Cathy and I both have generators on our Tri-Pacer and Pacer, I am going to pursue a field approval on the Denso alternator on both. They are inexpensive and work well.

  4. #4
    Rick-CAS's Avatar
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    I am installing a B&C alternator on a Pitts S-2A right now. The price is a little more than others along with having to field approve but, Bill at B&C is very helpful and support is first class. To date all of my B&C installations (6+) have never given any operational trouble. I had a shaft shear on a Sukhoi installation during the first run. Called Bill and he already knew the vendor was not making to specs and thought he purged the inventory. He sent me overnight a new to spec shaft free. You can't beat his service even if you can the price.

    Rick

  5. #5
    Yellow Baron's Avatar
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    On the Denso - Did you change the whole wiring, amp meter, 50 amps CB etc or just an extra CB for the field?
    Where does one best buy the Denso and how much cheaper than the others is it?

  6. #6
    Yellow Baron's Avatar
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    Have you got Bill's email?

  7. #7
    Rick-CAS's Avatar
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    You can e-mail Bill Bainbridge (B&C) at: sales@BandC.biz

  8. #8
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    You can get one (60A) from Dick Waters here http://www.airtecinc.us/ ($260, includes mounting hardware). I will use a 50A breaker and install a master solenoid to handle the increased amperage load capacity. I also wil install a 60A ammeter from ACS and 8-ga cable for the alternator circuit. From what I can determine via AC 43.13, a 60A circuit would require a #6 wire cable. I believe this will give this installation the best chance for Field Approval.

    Lou S.

  9. #9
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I was buying the alternators from a distributor in Dallas for $100 and I manufactured all the brackets. Stoddard's in Anchorage has a kit also. I left the original wiring in some and rewired others.

  10. #10

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    Steve - Do you have a model number or some other means of identifying which Denso alternator to use?

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