question

electrichi01 avatar image

Alternator charging of your battery storage

Today, we see many vehicles with second alternators that can be used to charge your coach/rv batteries while driving. This is great to augment what solar can provide to keep the LiFePo4 batteries topped off.

The vehicle I have is 120 amps on the alternator.

Is there a way to limit the current from the alternator going into the inverter?

Is this a software setting?

Seems like you wouldn't want to push the alternator too hard to charge the batteries.

Thanks, everyone!

Keith

dc dc convertersalternator
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2 Answers
shea avatar image
shea answered ·

That is a feature of the Orion DC DC converter commonly put between an alternator and charge bus.


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scubadoo avatar image
scubadoo answered ·

Keith

I posted this in a post here a day or two back.

"We have been travelling fulltime for 7 years in our Mitsubishi Canter based motorhome here in NZ.

Our 100A rated alternator has been direct charging our 4 cell 300Ah Sinopoly LiFePO4 battery at 80-90A continuous until full. No smoke yet.The alternator spins over 3000 rpm at fast idle.

We have only a single battery that powers the RV and starts the truck."

Final battery voltage - 14.3V and with headlights on - 14.0V. I have no concerns for our typical less than 2 or 3 hour drive.

I have little interest in increasing charge times unnecessarily by severely limiting charge current via any DC-DC circuitry. Many others apparently do.

The typical YouTube warning video shows an alternator spinning at low rpm with little or no air flow with the resulting smoke. Does that actually occur in real life?

My RV alternator appears to self voltage/current regulate when pushed hard.

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Appreciate the perspective scubadoo.

It is helpful to read that someone is doing it in real life with positive results!

Thank you!