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off topic anyone with Balmar or Sterling muiti stage regulator experiance?

Posted By Geoff Weeks Last Year
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off topic anyone with Balmar or Sterling muiti stage regulator...

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Geoff Weeks
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Well according to theory it doesn't. This is the method used by large stationary "forklift chargers". It just raises the charge voltage less than a volt to overcome the internal resistance to get the plates to charge at the fastest rate possible. I think it has the benefit of retarding the formation of sulfate crystal on the plates.  Once it has charged to a pre-set charge it reduces the rate to a finish or float setting, which is a little below what "common" automotive voltage regulators at set to. 13.7-13.8 vs. 14.1-14.4. 
 The slightly higher Bulk charge voltage (14.8-14.9) is thermally regulated by a temp sensor so if the battery is heating up it dials back the charge rate
 My guess is the higher voltage/current  is on the limit of where the electrolyte starts to disassociate into O2 and H2 and that is why it uses more water than the conventional automotive reg. 
 The time set for high charge is determined by how long the alternator takes to raise the charge voltage to   0.3 volts below regulator setting. The minimum time is 1 hr, and that is if the voltage rises to that 0.3 below on start-up. If it takes longer to reach that, it hold the reg on bulk charge longer, up to 9 hr according to the manual. In my case I've never discharged the battery bank to where it took more than 4-5 hrs at bulk charge rate.
 The relatively small (low current output) of my chosen alternator for the size battery pack is also a factor. These regulators are designed for marine use, where someone might run a aux generator or main engine but want to run it for a shortest period to recharge a bank after running hotel loads off it all night. I am using it slightly differently as my "run time" is almost always more the 10 hr  so I can afford a slower rate, just not as slow as the conventional automotive alternator reg setting, which would not fully re charge in a days running (as shown on the ammeter). 
 Automotive regs do a good job on  batteries that have been subject to only quick discharges like cranking an engine then they quickly bring the battery back to full charge and hold it at a point where water use is at a minimum. They don't do a good job of recharging a deeply cycled battery, the charge voltage is too low and unless the time is increased to a much longer time, they never fully re charge the bank.  
Tony Bullard
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Does cooking the hydrogen and oxygen out of the  water through electrolysis degrade the battery or plates in any way? You are doing it at a very slow rate so I wouldn't think there is mush heat generated. ???


Tony
Geoff Weeks
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Time to update this topic.
 I had a problem with the regulator. After switching from high (bulk charge) to low, it would completely shut down after a few hrs on "low". 
 Factory thinks the unit is overheating but I don't know why. The field current on a 25SI is less than 4 amps, well below the capacity of the regulator and one would think if it overheated, it would do so under max field current not reduced current. 
Anyway, the solution was to parallel it with the internal reg, with the internal reg set to float voltage. Once I did that, I have had no problems in several months. 
 It recharges in a few hrs and does a good job. They caution that the rapid recharge is done at the expense of water consumption. I have not found that to be a problem. After 5 months of use the four group 31 DC's took 2 qts of water in total for all 4! Part of the reason for that is I limit the current to 75 amps max (50 amps max if the headlights are needed). With the truck running for at least 10hrs at a time, there is no need for a bigger alternator, and 75 amps os more than enough to do the job. I suspect if I had 160 amps or more available, the water usage would be higher. 
Geoff Weeks
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Took it for a run today, takes some getting used to. It has ""soft start"  takes about 15-25 sec to "turn on" and it ramps up slowly. Once it has been on  high charge for its proscribed time period it goes to float voltage, when that happens you'll think you lost the belt cause it will go to discharge side of the ammeter until you pull the "surface charge" down to float level. Like I said, takes some getting used to. 
Geoff Weeks
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Yes the back cover is rubber gasketed to the main case. The rear cover is fin'd to help remove heat, air flows over the fins and thru the two stationary coils (field and stator) and out the front.
Tony Bullard
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Nice job with the field terminal. What do they use a rubber gasket to seal it?


Tony
Geoff Weeks
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Got it installed today. I had to modify my Delco 25SI, but didn't what to "gut it" in case I have a problem with it. It needs to connect to the + and - of the field. The 25SI has one thru case stud for an idiot light, I re-purposed that for one of the field connections and added another thru stud for the other connection using nylon spacer and fiber washer to insolate it from the case. 
 Got it all wired in and test run. So far so good.http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/74e58ac7-07df-4b02-adbc-30ed.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/5714e526-978c-4e5c-8dcd-53d7.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/b993b7e0-cdc5-4f77-937a-0904.jpghttp://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/4cf5da40-b78b-4bf6-a5c3-6861.jpg 
Geoff Weeks
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Ordered a Sterling reg today. I'll report back when it is installed.
Eddy Lucast
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Geoff Weeks (4/17/2018)
Looking for someone with Balmar or Sterling marine voltage regulator experience. Or even any other muilti stage (fork lift, manlift) charger experience.
 I have some but don't know the answer to my own question, although I can take a guess.
 What happen if you use one while still having DC loads on the battery bank? My guess is it stays in "bulk" charging mode and cooks the batteries, the same as setting a single stage regulator to "bulk" charging voltage.  I'm guessing that it never sense the battery is charged. 
 Called Sterling USA and they didn't know, Suggested I call the UK to their tech dept. Not ready for that phone bill..
http://www.sterling-power-usa.com/ProReg-BW-waterproofalternatorregulator.aspx
http://www.sterling-power-usa.com/SterlingPower12volt130ampalternatortobatterycharger.aspx
http://www.balmar.net/multi-stage-regulators/













Geoff,
You can beat the overseas phone rates. I do this if I need to talk to the programmer who writes the forums software. Put a couple bucks in a Skype account and use Skype to call England. Just remember the time change.

http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/
Eddy.Lucast@remotedata.com
203-228-1961

Geoff Weeks
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Nothing new, just trying to get the most out of my deep cycles in the trucks. The std automotive regs don't do a good job of recharging the batteries when deep dis charged. They really need 14.6- 14.8 for most of the charging but it needs to taper to 13.8-14.2 when charged or even less. 
 I am beginning to think I am going to have to resort to manual control, with two reg's set at different points.


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