Voltage regulator for DC alternators; This is about an alternator regulator you can build yourself for a few dollars

, suitable for charging deep cycle wet, gel, or nickel cadmium batteries for boat, camper, or whatever.
Schematic and photo at the bottom of the page. There are several reasons why you might want to make your own regulator as opposed to buying one. There are some good regulators on the market, but they are expensive. None of them do all the things I wanted, or I would have bought one instead of doing all the work of developing my own until it actually worked. With a manually adjusted regulator, you can tailor the load to the engine, for instance if you have a small engine driving several large loads, you might want to reduce the charging load while other users are on the engine. For instance a generator engine that may or may not be carrying a large A.C. load. With this set up, you can regulate two or more alternators at one time, on the same engine or on different engines. Three-step charging has to be done manually by adjusting the knob a couple of times during the charging process, which the expensive regulators will do for you automatically. And of course you can charge ni-cad banks with this easily, and run compensation charges on lead acid batteries. Mainly, my design incorporates temperature protection of the alternator[s], which is unavailable on any off-the-shelf three stage regulator that I've seen. They tell you to install an alternator so that it can't be overloaded. However, if your alternator will develop full power at low engine RPM [desirable if it's on your propulsion engine], then it will be capable of melting itself at higher RPM. To stop it from doing this, original in built regulators limit the current when they heat up. The very best external regulators have current sensing, which you adjust to the maximum rated output of your alternator. However, in higher ambient temperatures, or if belt slippage is causing extra heat to be conducted down the shaft into the alternator, you'll be able to stir it with a stick. Some authorities say to install an alternator that is so big, it will never be overloaded. But if you have a large battery bank, and a large load possibility [inverter, say], you'll

I have fitted it to several different alternators. It is important that each alternator should have two belts! Single belts are for charging starting batteries in cars. I'm interested in anyone's further development of this design. I also have the knowledge to repair it easily. A manually adjusted regulator gives you all kinds of control. Sharma. So far.5K resistor then in series added a small 1K pot and then the 1K NTC giving a total of 3. a couple of 12 volt Bosch 80s. If you're having any kind of mechanical trouble. You may want to run your engine without any load at all. Benzine. and a 24 volt LeeceNeville 60A. Please let me know if you use it and what you think about it. a 12 volt 80 amp Deco Remy. I'm not an electrical engineer. I got the basic idea from a book by M. or whenever it may be called where you live] require special spark proof electrical equipment in the engine room! I speak here for diesels. and greater cooling area . with less load to the mechanical system. By using two 80 amp alternators. Graeme Polley in New Zealand has added battery temperature compensation to the circuit. this was inserted instead of the pot sense to battery voltage. since they are so affordable. Marine applications running gasoline [Petrol. I haven't needed one. I give it to anyone who wants it. here's what he says. instead of a single large one. Now that I've done the development work.C. By building my own regulator. I added a battery sense NTC Thermistor of 1k value. My intention is to have a robust electrical system on a moderate budget.3K resistor with a 1.need an alternator that is much bigger than you may want to install if you follow that logic.5K and I set the pot to allow a maximum of 15V at the main pot. I think one of those should have no trouble at all. I use secondhand alternators. and nothing about this design is unique. but if you're a control freak like me then you'll love it. there is inbuilt redundancy. but made a lot of changes. I keep a spare or two. you may want to be able to charge a large battery bank slowly. . I replaced the 3. It's not for everyone. I haven't had the pleasure of working with those new wide multigrooved belts.

6v and as the charge increases and the temperature of the battery rises the battery voltage bleeds back to 13. The sender is epoxied to a ring that is bolted to the battery terminal. is a digital thermometer. this makes a surprising difference to the current flow.2]. . which are relevant. two of these are installed in my India camper motorhome The regulator is quite simple.03 volts per degree Celsius. It's important to have a digital volt meter installed. The formula is 0. this generally occurs after an hour of motoring. the opamp turns positive. the ammeter is showing 20 amps and the volt meter is still at 14.2 V until the ampage drops to 5 percent of battery capacity [so for a 400 amp hour bank. double these numbers for a 24 volt system. So as the temperature rises five or ten degrees. Make a graph and keep it near the control. When the split battery voltage is higher than the reference voltage. There are two voltages. The correct charging regime for wet lead-acid batteries is to let the batteries charge at 14.2 volt reference voltage created by a zener diode and a resistor. If your batteries are exposed to big differences in climate [if you sail or drive from the poles to the tropics] temperature compensation is vital. and feeds transistor 1.8. These are supplied to a 741 opamp. Those voltages are for 20 degrees Celsius [68F]. you'll need to turn the voltage up.8 obviously. then drop the voltage to 13.3 V. And the battery temperature does rise ten degrees! Next to my digital ammeter and voltmeter. with its own wires [which can be shared for the reference circuit of the regulator] directly to the battery or the user side of the battery switch. In very cold climates.With this set up. the opamp switches the power off.2. I have the unit set to 14. it is important to adjust for temperature. and a similar voltage split by resistors from the battery voltage. The batteries will heat up significantly if charging with a large alternator! You have to adjust the voltage downward for this.1 or 0. Even small users of a few amps can strip off some tenths of volts. a 6. you'll need to turn the charge voltage down 0. When the split battery voltage is lower than 6.

I use an electronic thermometer with a sender bolted to one of the battery posts. A 140V transistor [2n3773] is working well.The output of T1 goes to a ptc screwed to the alternator case. efficiency and belt life up [double belts are needed on alternators over 60A if they¶ll be working hard for more than a few minutes at a time]. the ptc¶s resistance will rise. Also. I¶ve had some trouble finding a power transistor for a 24V application. the big capacitor takes care of that problem nicely. the charge voltage is then adjusted for the battery temperature and state of charge. I'll have to check the current between the transistors. The main advantage of this regulator is that it can be adjusted at will. and possibly make the ptc unable to taper the current at high temperature. Testing. This method of over current protection is the best. I've now added the recommended bleed diode to the diagram that should solve the problem. gradually lowering the field voltage and therefore the alternator output. A bosch 80A sistered with an 80A delco [on the same engine] put out equal currents. alternator not turning but ³ignition´ on. If someone tries it and it works. it seems there is a voltage surge when the field gets switched off. As the alternator heats up. The alternator output should fall. I¶ve installed several of these. even if they¶re on different engines. 2 60V transistors burned out on their first tries. battery reasonably charged . and they work well. The ideal would be about 100:1. 2 alternators can be run from 1 regulator. but I¶ve only tested it on a single alternator. and then to the power transistor that drains the field coil of the alternator. let me know [you can heat up the ptc by putting it on a light bulb. I found there was some resonance in the circuit at some loads when the wires were long. as it will protect the alternator in any climatic conditions. and the thermal protection afforded to the machine. keeping temperature down. I'm not sure if this transistor will be suitable to drive 2 alternators from the regulator [which I've done on another application using transistors I can't get any more]. A Darlington [750:1 or more] would be too reactive. it will need some load for this test].

Payne. the load [charging amps] should drop to zero as the charge voltage drops below the battery voltage. The PTC is usually a tiny little delicate thing. Pin 7 should have battery voltage. The marine electrical and electronics Bible. Pin 6 is output. and near battery voltage if pin 2 is less than 6. Boat owner¶s mechanical and electrical manual. I learned a lot from this man. Connection to the alternator. You should hear the load as you pass the static battery voltage. and the system starts working. there should be 0 volts if pin 2 is more than 6. I epoxy it to a ring terminal and bolt it to the alternator case. by John C.2.2 [say between 5 and 7 volts] that should move up and down as the potmeter is turned. Recommended reading. Covers more than electrical systems. an excellent book.On the ic 741. and watch the volts and amps as you slowly turn the adjustment up. by David Smead and Ruth Ishahara provided some additional information.2 The amplight should switch on and off as the volt adjustment knob [the potmeter] is turned back and forth. but it is clear and fair. Wiring 12 volts for ample power. Pin 3 should have 6. Pin 4 should be earthed. pin 2 should have a voltage not far from 6. Turn it down again. Start the motor with the adjustment all the way down. by Nigel Calder. This book likes to sell you expensive components. .2 volts.

Bypass the regulator. use a pin or a small nail through the hole in the back of the case to hold the brushes back while you reassemble the cases. That contact is connected directly to one of the brushes. I can't remember exactly what I had to do to bring a wire from other brush out of the case. Tie wrap them to the case for good measure. and stress the connection stud]. They should be capable of withstanding heat and vibration. and solder the tips of the wires to them [if any solder runs up the wire. Maximum field current is 5 Amps I love my deco alternator. Here's the big trick with Delco alternators. since there's a lot of space under the back cover. and I can't remember the details. Snip the contact with a pair of wire cutters. It takes practice to avoid letting the metal run up the cable. I just fill the open end of the connector with solder. but it's necessary to split the cases. so that the diodes feed the brush directly. Most authorities recommend fully tinned wires for boats intended for saltwater. It's easy to find the wires and connect them any way you like. Wires should be thick enough so they don't heat up appreciably [16mm square is nice]. I mounted the transistor on an insulator on the back cover. this alternator will produce its rated output at 3000 RPM. the ring area should be hot enough to melt the solder. and then I cover it all with 3M shrink tubing. field current is about 2.5 amps. and connect a wire to run to the transistor. It's very easy to work with. The other brush is connected to the regulator. it will become rigid in that area. This stuff has heat melt glue on the inside. pull the nail out. .Connecting to the Bosch is very easy. I crimp my connectors. From my own tests. When they are assembled. It's quite easy. The Leese-Neville 24V 60A unit I have is military spec. This alternator produces rated output at only 1200 RPM. and is the positive. and is wonderfully thick and tough. They should be supple enough so that they don't stress the connection studs. Personally. It's important that all connections should be robust. It's about heat control. if your budget can handle it. It can destroy itself easily at higher speeds if unregulated [not to mention what it might do to the rest of your electrical system!]. The brush holder takes up power from a contact that you can see through its hole. but it wasn't very hard. since the brush holder/regulator can be removed with the two screws on the back. It was a long time ago. but you can clearly see the little diode bridge that feeds the regulator. The shrink tubing then seals the cable against moisture. while the back of the crimp section should not be hot enough to melt the solder. instead of letting it earth to the case.

if the cable from the alternator to the battery becomes disconnected. please let me know. All information is that the users risk! The best of luck. Repair or replace the wire if it starts to fray or shows signs of overheating. but has no where to go except through the power transistor and field coil. bad things happen. and make sure nothing is getting too hot. short circuiting.Important. nor about what anyone's insurance company might think about self-made parts. After a few minutes. the connection is tight and free of corrosion. Check the cable and connections after the machine has been running at high output for a few minutes. First. Type Pol Pkg TO3 Vceo 140 Ic Hfe 60 fT(Hz) Pwr(W) 2n3773 NPN This information is correct to the best of my knowledge. The voltage at the alternator will go VERY high. so you may not notice. As I said. everyone. I had to learn this lesson the hard way! Here's a transistor I¶ve found that should work. The amp light [if fitted] burns out. and the cable is well sized. then the regulator goes to max output. then the power transistor will burn out or even melt through [a steel case!]. if anyone tries it before I do. but I can make no guarantee that what worked for me will work for you. the voltage to the battery drops back. So make sure you have a nice thick ring terminal. the gain may be too small for a double alternator installation. Mail to. Lithium grease will help prevent corrosion without impeding the connection. the field coil heats up and melts down. Markkate@hotmail. I know nothing about local rules or laws.com .