A typical engine alternator 12 volt may not be able to meet these requirements

A typical engine alternator 12 volt may not be able

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A typical engine alternator (12 volt) may not be able to meet these requirements if large capacity batteries are used. Alternators are typically rated for the current they can deliver when they are cold. In actual use, alternators heat up and their output current capability drops by as much as 25%. Thus standard alternators with ratings of 40 amperes to 105 amperes will only deliver a maximum of 30 to 80 amperes in actual use and will deliver even less as battery voltage rises. Many alternators cannot produce more than 13.6 volts when they are hot. As a result, a standard alternator may not be able to charge a large battery quickly and completely. One solution is to install an alternator controller that will bypass the voltage regulator and boost the alternator’s output voltage during charging. This will increase the alternator's charging rate at higher battery voltages and en- sure more rapid and complete charging. Alternator controllers are available from marine product dealers. Another solution is to install a high-output alternator. Heavy-duty alternators rated from 100 amperes to 140 am- peres are available from RV and marine dealers, and auto parts suppliers. These alternators are designed to di- rectly replace standard alternators but produce the higher current and higher voltage required to charge multiple battery systems. When recharging from AC power, use a good quality marine battery charger or RV converter, such as the Stat- power TRUEcharge series,that meets the requirements specified above. Do not use chargers intended for occa- sional recharging of automotive starting batteries; these chargers are not intended for continuous use.
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12 Your batteries may also be recharged from alternative energy sources such as solar panels, wind, or hydro sys- tems. Make sure that you use the appropriate battery charge controller for your energy source. Do not operate the PROwatt 800 directly from a charging source such as an alternator or solar panel. The PROwatt must be connected to a battery or a well-regulated, high-current DC power supply to work properly. 4.3 Cables Proper wire and wiring is very important to the proper operation of the PROwatt 800. Because the PROwatt 800 has a low voltage, high current input, low resistance wiring between the battery and the PROwatt 800 is essential to deliver the maximum amount of usable energy to your load. Don't waste the investment you have made in batteries and a highly efficient inverter by using undersized wires. Use only copper wire. Aluminum wire has about 1/3 more resistance than copper wire of the same size and it is more difficult to make good, low-resistance connections to aluminum wire. We recommend #4 AWG copper cable (90 ºC insulation rating) as the minimum size for connections between the battery and the PROwatt 800 (#6 AWG for PW800/24). Keep the cable length as short as possible, ideally no longer than 4 ft (1.2 meters). This will keep the voltage drop between the battery and the PROwatt to a mini- mum. If the cables introduce an excessive voltage drop, the inverter may shut down when drawing higher cur- rents because the voltage at the inverter drops below 10 volts (20 volts for PW800/24).
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