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kiwisailor

New Balmar 70A Alternator

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Back in late 2016 when I purchased my boat I never thought she would be a full blown project boat. So here we are during the 2nd winter on the hard doing more projects. After upgrading the solar PV to 350W and a new MPPT solar charger for the 400Ah AGM house batteries last year and with us moving out onto a mooring this season I decided it was time to upgrade the original alternator, install a 3 stage smart regulator and make the necessary wiring changes to address the trailer plug wiring issue of all alternator output going to the engine control panel and then back to the batteries. I also installed a new DC grounding bus bar as well in the engine compartment and everything is now appropriately fused as well. I decided to keep my engine panel amp-meter wired such that it only shows the load coming off the engine control panel, glow plugs, starter solenoid, blower, and panel lights, this could be useful for trouble shooting.

I decided on a Balmar 70A alternator as I could retrofit the OEM alternator without to much difficultly and without needing to go to a serpentine belt system etc. Technically for a 400Ah battery bank I should be using the 25% rule and really should go with a 100A alternator. But, seeing as I already have 350W of PV and don't plan to run the alternator hard out at 70A it will be OK for my needs. I was also very fortunate to locate a brand new 70A Balmar off eBay for way below the normal retail price. Finally, I rebuilt my AC panel....before you ask I'm an electrician by trade....I installed a new double pole breaker (replaced the old single pole) per the new ABYC standards, new indicator lights, and correctly wired to and from the inverter. I just have to finish off applying the inverter warning label on the panel when the temperatures warm up (labels won't stick when it's freezing).

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Updated 02-21-2018 at 10:32 AM by kiwisailor

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  1. Christian Williams's Avatar
    Sounds great, you should be all set now. Nice score on the Balmar.

    Do please consider a blog on your solar array size and locaton, controller, wiring and all the choices you had to make to set it up. I don't think we have a recent report on that with current prices and gear choices. As an electrician and IT guy you're carrying us on your shoulders....and much appreciated.
  2. Kenneth K's Avatar
    I second Christians comment. A blog on solar charging systems would be helpful--not something I've seen on this sight.

    On my last trip to the auto-parts store, they had half a wall dedicated to solar panels and charge controllers (for the RV crowd, I suppose). It's pretty difficult for us neophytes to tell what's good from what's pure crap.

    My E32 is on a buoy year round so I need to get smart on solar. Nudge, nudge....
  3. kiwisailor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth K
    I second Christians comment. A blog on solar charging systems would be helpful--not something I've seen on this sight.

    On my last trip to the auto-parts store, they had half a wall dedicated to solar panels and charge controllers (for the RV crowd, I suppose). It's pretty difficult for us neophytes to tell what's good from what's pure crap.

    My E32 is on a buoy year round so I need to get smart on solar. Nudge, nudge....
    Happy to do that. Give me a week or so I can take some photos and write up a blog.