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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Broads Boat Owners Q & A / Charging System
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Charging System

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davidstamford
Oct-23-2010 @ 12:29 PM                           Permalink
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Question Hope I might benefit from the mass of experience out there.
The charging system on my Colvic Northener has being playing up.
I managed to blow the charging warning lamp and was finding difficulty replacing it as the bulb holder as well as the bulb came apart when I tried to remove the bulb.
I was running without the lamp but not certain that the CAV AC5 type 12v alternator  was charging.
Of course this was the time for the fan belt to wear out and it went unnoticed for a short time.
The spare belt was fitted but the Tacho (run from the alternator windings) and the amp meter did not spark up so I am thinking I am not charging my batteries from the alternator.
Time has come I think to upgrade my l969 charging system to something more up to date.
I must replace the warning lamp.
Will a 12v led panel lamp work?
It is supposed to go out when the output charge goes up from 0 to 12v.
Or do I need a filament bulb which will gradually dim as the voltages equalise?
I also intend to fit a sterling power DAR12v digital regulator to replace the old external CAV type 440 regulator.
Does this have a warning lamp terminal?
Any advice on this would be gratefully received.
Finally I think I might rip out the old voltmeters and ammeter and put a NASA style battery monitor to enable me to check the charging circuit.
Can one of these be used with some switching to monitor both battery banks?
More chance to make suggestions.
Don’t be too technical. I do have a general idea of how things work but by no means an expert. I can’t solder to save my life but have a good quality crimping tool.

Smile

David

Strowager
Oct-23-2010 @ 1:24 PM                           Permalink
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"Will a 12v led panel lamp work?"

Probably not.  Most car-derived alternators use the lamp connection to "excite" the alternator and start it to charge, which then extinguishes the lamp, so you then know it's ok.

If an LED is substituted, a resistor must also be fitted.

There's a  very good non-technical explanation about
boat alternators here: http://www.tb-training.co.uk/MarineE08.html#CHARGING SYSTEM – ALTERNATOR

(I keep a paper copy in case it ever disappears !) Smile  

colin7777
Oct-23-2010 @ 2:10 PM                           Permalink
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I think the bulb I have is 6 volts, I got new panel lamp unit with the bulb from Boulters. I got matched units for Oil warning and Alternator.
The Alternotor light as explained is in series with the excite lead.

You normally have to rev the engine to get the light to go out as the alternator doesn't usually kick in on idle.

Once the alternator is charging the alternator keeps itself awake and that is when the alternator light go out as the voltage on both sids of the bulb is 12 volts.

It will also then give a charge when in idle mode.

Regards

Colin

This message was edited by colin7777 on Oct-23-10 @ 2:12 PM

davidstamford
Oct-23-2010 @ 5:34 PM                           Permalink
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Thanks both.
Well I think I have sourced a suitable panel light with bulb that will fit my dash and hopefully exite my alternator and get the charging from the engine started again.
The wind generator is trickling a charge into the batteries at the moment.
However no electric at the moorings so I can't top up batteries via the 240v charger.
Fingers crossed for engine charging.
I am going to have a crack at upgrading the curcuit with the Stirling DAR12 and a battery monitor. Any thoughts on that would be helpful

David


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