Make sure your pulley ratios are correct for your cruising rpm, i.e. the alternator needs to be turning at least 3000 rpm, and preferably 5000 rpm and up to 8000 rpm for a decent charge to be outputting from your alternator.
Ensure your earth leads from the engine block to the alternator and starter are not used via the block. If there is any high resistance the earth trace will find itself tracking through your engine bearings and could cause arcing. Get peace of mind and run separate earth leads.
|Try to use the same type of batteries i.e. Lead acid /Gel / AGM .Don’t mix them up.
Your installation should have two battery banks, one for starting and one for house loads.
Charge batteries in parallel, using a voltage sensitive relay.
Make sure your engine has enough “belt” to drive the alternator you select.
Do not leave batteries discharged for extended periods of time.
Plan your battery capacity to ensure your house batteries are run no less than 50% of capacity.
Provide a means to cross-connect battery banks for emergency starting.
Protect circuits with fuses or circuit breakers.
Voltage drop is the enemy, look to find the offending connections and fix them.
Connecting batteries in series, the amp hour capacity remains the same as a single battery however the voltage is doubled.
Connecting batteries in parallel, the amp hour capacity is doubled and the voltage remains the same as a single battery.If you have a solar panel connected make sure it has a blocking diode to prevent a reverse charge or to upset the sense side of the ZM4.
If you have a solar panel connected make sure it has a blocking diode to prevent a reverse charge or to upset the sense side of the ZM4.
An alternator has a huge fan that draws air from the back to the front of the alternator for cooling; imagine if this air has salt laden air in it, this will cause corrosion in non marinised alternators. Consider getting the internals painted in good quality paint to get a longer life out of your alternator.
Automotive ‘in line’ ammeters are a huge voltage drop in your charging system. If you system charges at a low current charge and quickly drops down to 10 amps it is most probably the ‘in line’ ammeter at fault. The best option is a ‘shunt’ type ammeter.
NEVER turn OFF the battery switch with the engine running, it can blow up the alternator and or the smart regulator.
We strongly suggest that for alternators over 80 amp rating that you consider using a screw tensioned system rather than the traditional slide bracket tension system for belt tension. These were designed for smaller output alternators.