Alternator Installation Issues
1. While each alternator series may have some varied installation issues, the following guidelines should be considered when installing any Balmar alternator:
2. Ensure, prior to installation, that the Balmar replacement alternator features a compatible mounting configuration to the alternator being replaced. See information above.
3. Ensure that the replacement alternator is adequately sized to meet the demands of your battery banks. As a rule of thumb, the alternator should be rated at 25% of your house battery capacity.
4. Ensure that the belt or belts driving the alternator are capable of handling the alternator’s horsepower load. As a rule, a single 3/8" belt is capable of supporting up to 80 [email protected]
volts, and a single 1/2" belt can support [email protected]
Dual belts will typically support alternator outputs of up to 300+ amps/12 volts. Driving an alternator on an undersized belt will substantially increase the risk of belt slippage and premature belt failure. All 24-volt Balmar alternators require a minimum of dual 1/2” belts for optimal performance. Balmar offers a wide selection of AltMount serpentine pulley kits for marine diesel engines. Visit the Balmar website for more information and application charts.
5. Balmar alternators are designed to be used in conjunction with external P-type regulators. We recommend the Balmar multi-stage regulator for maximum charging performance. Certain Balmar alternators, designated as SR or Smart Ready®, feature a single-stage internal regulator. Those alternators can be controlled by either the internal, or an external voltage regulator. Please note that the internal regulator must be disabled when an external regulator is being used.
6. All Balmar alternators, unless otherwise noted, are equipped with isolated grounding terminals. Isolated ground alternator installations MUST include a dedicated cable connecting the alternator ground terminal to system ground. The ground cable must be equal in size to the alternator’s positive output cable, and must meet the cable gauge requirements outlined in the cable size chart shown on Page 3.
7. Belt tension is a critical aspect of alternator performance. Monitor belt tension after every charge cycle for the first several weeks of engine operation. We recommend a belt tensioning gauge for accurate deflection measurement. Make belt tension monitoring and adjustment a part of regular maintenance
Sizing Battery Cables
Battery cable size must meet the increased output capacity of your new alternator. The easiest method for determining the best cable size for your system is to compare your new alternator’s rated amperage output and the ROUND TRIP length of the cable running from the alternator to the battery being charged, and back to the alternator via ground to the chart at right. Cable length requirements may also be calculated with the formula CM=K x I x L/E (whereas CM represents the circular mil area of the conductor, K represents the mil-foot resistance of copper, I represents current, and L represents the length, in feet, of the round-trip cable run and E represents voltage drop in volts). When using this equation, a K constant of 10.75 indicates copper's mil-foot resistance and voltage drop should be calculated at 3% (0.36V for 12V, 0.72V for 24V). 95-Series Alternators
Large case 95-Series Alternators are designed to provide outputs of 165 or 210 amps at 12 volts, or 140 amps at 24 volts. Mounting is a 4”ID J-180 saddle-style mount. Alternators in the 95-Series feature isolated ground terminals, external regulation and 12-pole stator output.
1. Positive Output Terminal - Must be connected, via properly-sized cable to the battery or batteries being charged. Cable size is determined by alternator output and length of cable run. See Page 3 for wiring size chart.
2. Negative Terminal (Ground) - Must be connected to system ground via properly sized cable. Cable size is determined by alternator output and length of cable run. See Page 3 for wiring size chart.
3. Stator Output - Unrectified source of AC voltage which can be used as a signal for an electric tachometer. In 12-volt systems, stator terminal will connect to WHITE wire. In 24-volt systems, the Stator Wire will connect to the ORANGE wire in the regulator wiring harness.
4. External Field Terminal - Connects to external voltage regulator via wiring harness.
An unsupported cable may damage the positive or negative terminals, resulting in damage to alternator, regulator and wiring. Ensure that cables are adequately supported to supply strain relief.