Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: 3500 Watt Generator / Alternator ?
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 > 3500 Watt Generator / Alternator ?

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joe&julie81

Cleveland, TN

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Posted: 04/20/13 01:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In the Spring edition of "Highways" magazine, put out by Good Sam's, there's an article on the RoadTrek E-Trek model, a high-end Class B van type motorhome. The one thing that caught my eye, among many other "green" all electric coach features,is this powerhouse 3500 watt alternator. They claim it can charge 8 dead, 6-volt batteries just by idling the engine for 30-40 minutes. They also say that battery set(with a 5000 watt inverter)can run the a/c for 9+ hours and the convection microwave, as well as all the 12-volt stuff. I'm not interested in a 140K van, but it seems like this alternator should be able to be incorporated into a TC / truck application. For charging just 2 six volt batteries, I'm thinking would eliminate the need for solar panels (at least for my needs) if I could completely charge my batteries in 10-15 min idling the truck. So, does anybody know about these alternators? Moreover, does anyone have something like this in a TC application? If so, where can you get one, how much do they cost, and how would you wire it?


04 Dodge 3500 dually, HO CTD, 6 spd NV5600, 4.10 anti-spin rear axle; 2018 NorthStar 950sc with 320 solar, sub-zero package, compressor fridge, torklift tie downs

P3TC

Glendale Springs, NC

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Posted: 04/20/13 02:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are right...It cant.

Bill


">1998 Monaco Diplomat


HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 04/20/13 02:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While it produce enough power to recharge the batteries that fast, the batteries won't take the charge that fast unless we are talking about LiFe type batteries (very expensive!). The acceptance rate of lead acid batteries, even good AGM versions, will limit the rate of charge which falls off further as the batteries rise above 80% state of charge. I have 8 Lifeline AGM 6V batteries in my boat, and a 7000 watt alternator. It is a 24V system and will charge the bank at 250 Amps @24V when the state of charge is low, around 50%. But by 80% that has dropped off to 80 amps, and it ramps down from there rapidly.

Now Lithium Iron batteries are supposed to take a very high rate of charge right up to near 100% - but a battery bank of that size is going to be 10 or 15 Large, at least.


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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 04/20/13 03:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Sounds like salesman speak to me.

8 six volt = 928 amp-hours of storage. 50% usable gives us 464 to play with.

My rather unusually efficient air conditioner draws 960 watts--or about 96 amps.

464/96 = 4.8 hours, not accounting for voltage drop.
`
If the battery bank is down 464 amp-hours the first 232 amp-hours = 3000 watt/hours. After that charging rate will drop fairly quickly. You MIGHT get to 75% from 50% in an hour--but I think, at best, the reviewer doesn't know what the heck he is talking about.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

joe&julie81

Cleveland, TN

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Posted: 04/20/13 04:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, that does make sense. I wonder how Roadtrek has it set up. Alright, does anyone have a larger than stock / larger than standard alternator on their truck direct wired to the batteries? What are the considerations in doing so?

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 04/20/13 08:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi joe&julie81,

The problem with a larger alternator quickly becomes one of belt slippage. Going to a wider (non standard) serpentine belt may be not the cleverest idea.

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 04/21/13 06:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many trucks can be ordered from the factory with dual alternators. I would look into seeing if you can add a second alt. to your truck using factory parts. This would seem to be the simplest way to get added charging.
I would wire the output of the second alternator directly to your TC battery bank with big wires, #4 minimum.

joe&julie81

Cleveland, TN

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Posted: 04/21/13 10:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the advice; it's all helpful. I'd like to find out about the second alternator. I own and work an expediter truck (FedEx Custom Critical) that has a 120 inch (10 ft) sleeper set up similar to a class A motor home. In it I have two 6-volt 'house' batteries that supply the sleeper (in conjunction with inverters and a 8kw powertech generator). The truck, a 335 Peterbilt, completely recharges those batteries after a short time of driving, even after they've been depleted from a day or more of sitting and use. For a year or more after buying them new, the batteries will support several days of use without recharging, even running the satellite tv. So I feel sure the technology is available to be able to do the same thing with a truck camper.

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 04/21/13 10:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you google "alternator ambulance" you will see plenty of options for large alternators. The really big ones are hard to mount, and hard to drive. The one on my boat is an Electrodyne, weighs over 100 lbs, and is driven by a drive shaft from the engine to supply the 15 hp needed to run it loaded.

Realistically, if you have the typical 2 battery setup at around 200 AH, high quality batteries will only accept about 100 amps when completely flat, and then only for a short while. So the standard heavy duty alternator in a pickup ( generally 120 amps or more) will do most of what can be done. A bigger alternator will do no more. On most truck campers, the wiring to the camper is the weak link.

joe&julie81

Cleveland, TN

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Posted: 04/21/13 10:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK; good to know. Then I'm guessing a couple of you might be suggesting a separate wiring circuit directly from the alternator to the battery bank - probably not through the pigtail/harness plug?

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