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 > Alternators and Lithium Batteries

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Son of Norway

Denver, Colorado

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Posted: 01/30/21 10:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like to boondock. I currently have 4 AGM batteries for a total of about 480 amp-hours, of course only about 200 useable. I would like to purchase some lithium batteries and put together a system of 400-500 amp-hours, about the same capacity.

One thing that is holding me back is what will happen that morning when I drive away from camp with depleted batteries and all the charging load goes on my alternator. It is a Lestek dual-output rated at about 130 amps. It puts out a constant voltage around 14.1 volts.

I've seen videos of fried alternators. Can my alternator handle that load, or would I need to add some kind of temperature and voltage regulated system and/or a regulated DC-DC charger?

Thanks for your wisdom.

* This post was last edited 01/30/21 10:40pm by Son of Norway *   View edit history


Miles and Darcey
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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/31/21 01:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

A dc to DC charging device would protect the alternator. For a quality device, look at Victron or Outback.

I'm moving to SiO2 batteries myself. They can be used when there is snow on the ground, unlike most LI chemistries and are about 1/2 the price of LI.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 01/31/21 02:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From a U.S. hospital room...

Lestek, put out a good aftermarket product. One stator 2 complete rectifiers.

Enjoy it as is.

steveh27

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Posted: 01/31/21 04:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My alternator cable to the house batts has to go through a battery isolator and then two 40 amp breakers. That would seem to limit the risk.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 01/31/21 05:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

steveh27 wrote:

My alternator cable to the house batts has to go through a battery isolator and then two 40 amp breakers.

Most DC-DC chargers are also isolators.

MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 01/31/21 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Find LOAD DUMP on Google
Never ever put a circuit breaker between an alternator and battery.

This is a universal rule observed by SAE for sixty years running.

2oldman

NM

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Posted: 01/31/21 09:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You don't have solar?

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/31/21 09:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mex,

I believe the starter battery circuit will remain intact.

The OP has a circuit breaker in the house battery charging circuit. Why he would have two such breakers is a mystery.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 01/31/21 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DC-DC charger would provide two benefits. First in limiting your amps, secondly boosting the voltage to 14.5 or 14.6 to actually charge the battery to full. 14.1 is a bit low for most lithium.

Keep in mind the DC-DC charger can draw up to 50% more amps than rated output.

You could put your DC clamp-on ammeter on the charge wire or better the alternator output and see if you really get excessive amps. Test at home during the install. Then get the DC charger if needed.


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Son of Norway

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Posted: 01/31/21 11:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks to all. I have 300 watts of solar and I could always run the generator for awhile before I leave the campsite. The circuit between the alternator and the batteries stays closed. The videos I have seen indicate the problem occurs at low RPM. I can see the thing to do would be to run some tests when I install the batteries. I just wanted to have some idea of the other components that I will need in addition to the batteries and how much I will have to modify the system I have now.

Mexico, sorry to hear you are in the hospital. I hope you get well soon.

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