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Old 12-14-2015, 08:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
oil pan 4
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More power: Schottky diode alternator and solar panels

Looks like I am not the only one who thinks the old chevy electrical system sucks if you want to do more than power a mechanical diesel engine with it.


The 3 front approach I use is saving power, having the ability to create power with the engine off and a better alternator.


As far as saving power I have no choice, I have electric fuel pump, electric fans, electric coolant pump, washer fluid heater power inverter, rear glass defroster, air compressor and adding additional lights. So I have to save power where I can, mainly with LED lights for night time driving and gear reduction starter. Just switching to mostly LED saves 12 amps with all the lights on. My washer fluid heater is like the back window defroster, its on a switch, only turn it on when I actually need it.
I found that hot summer nights with the electric coolant pump, electric fans, all the lights on driving in the city would drain the battery.
Then in the winter short trips would drain the battery, discovered this the hard way first winter I had my suburban, before I added electric anything to it.


Then if the alternator does not fully charge the battery for what ever reason, such as a short trip to the store, a dark icy drive home or using the power inverter, no problem as long as the sun is out the next day. The solar panels and charge controller will take care of the battery.


Some 10 watt solar panels I installed.



The genasun 10 amp Maximum Power Point Tracking charge controller and ARB air compressor in the spare tire space. And yes the spare tire will still fit, I use it as a cover to hide my goods.



Last I have the more efficient alternator that I am working on. Not a bigger alternator, not 2 alternators just a standard 70 amp alt. Its pretty much the standard alternator with much faster acting, more efficient bridge rectifier diodes. A typical silicon diode drops 0.7 volts in a best case scenario and they become more inefficient at higher frequencies. So if each phase of the alternator is making 10 amps, each of the 6 diodes is making 7 watts of heat. That's 4 amps being wasted at a pretty normal load. These more advanced diodes drop .026 volts at full load. Each diode will produce less than a watt of heat at rated load.
This will do 3 things:
Lower the cut in speed of the alternator, it will start producing rated volts at lower RPM.
Produce more amps at idle and fast idle.
Produce more peak amps.
Be almost immune to heat soak.
Just have to hack up an alternator as if I were doing a welder alternator conversion and make the bridge rectifier external.
This is what a typical alt schematic looks like.



This is converting the windings to 4 wire wye. Adding a voltage boosting potentiometer, putting the voltage sense on the relocated battery for heavy inverter use, add a exciter field to cut power if needed.
4 wire wye will allow the winding to handle producing around 75% more power, the 4th rectifier will allow for better power production at high speed and high load. Having a neutral rectifier will also spread the load, these diodes are intended for solar panels so their amp rating and temperature ratings are a little low.
The bridge rectifier will be relocated to the bumper, because the diodes are only rated for 125'C, where typical silicon alternator diodes are rated for 200'C.

I hope to get up to 1.21 kilowatts out of it.


What normal alternator looks like:



Alternator with delta 4 wire conversion, new voltage regulator and remote voltage regulator power source.





This was the alt I pulled out of my Camaro, it wasn't coming up on voltage like it should, I believe the voltage reg was going bad because I tested the bridge and trio rectifier and they were all good every which way the power flows.
The white wire ties in where all 3 lines come together for the current carrier neutral.

Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_0795.JPG (125.2 KB, 202 views)
File Type: gif GM-10si.gif (28.1 KB, 201 views)
File Type: jpg GMalt.jpg (90.3 KB, 204 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0800.JPG (105.8 KB, 201 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0801.JPG (124.7 KB, 202 views)
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Compound Turbocharged with HE351VE and T76, Intercooled, P&P GM#162 heads, 506 block, C-code injector pump, J-code intake manifold, Pennsular diesel upper plenum.
Banksturbo and HMMWV manifolds, custom cross over, 3'' stainless down pipe and 4'' straight pipe exhaust. TH700x, 10.5FF, w/disc brake, 3.21 gears, ARB air locker.
Aluminum 2 core radiator, Electric radiator fans (16''+16''), Meziere electric water pump (55gpm), HD '92+ 6.5L water crossover, grill shutters, Air2oil cooler, 16 core trans cooler, 2 block heaters, two G183 intake heaters, 60G plugs, 3500w coolant heater. ISSPRO tach.
On top of 32'' Load range E mich highway tires.

Last edited by oil pan 4; 12-14-2015 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 12-14-2015, 08:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
heymccall
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Caught it third time through. The output wattage target. Although, it should be gigawatts.
I've gotta ask, why not a larger alternator to start with? And, how much actual juice is produced, after circuit losses, by those 10watt solar panels?

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Last edited by heymccall; 12-14-2015 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 12-14-2015, 08:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
oil pan 4
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During winter, those 10 watt panels laying flat on the roof produce about 45% of their rated power.
Since this is an MPPT charge controller its advertised to be 97% efficient, I have measure it at more like 97.5% efficient. Older cheaper pulse width modulating charge controllers are only 60% to 70% efficient. That is why I didn't use a PWM charger.
I knew these panels were only going to put out about half their rated power laying flat and figured a PWM charge controller would be a waste of time.
Plus I don't care how big an alternator is, if the engine is not turning, the alt is not producing power.
Now I have extra power anytime the sun is up, in winter I get at least some usable solar power production between 10am and 4pm and it will even produce some power while cloudy.

Since the standard 70 amp alt works real good and is usually almost always enough I am just trying to make it a little better.
The larger alternators also suffer the same heat soak problems.
The real good high end heavy duty alternators have remote rectifier assemblies that attach to the vehicle bumper, all I am doing is copping that idea but with better diodes.
I flog my alternator at low speeds, it produces good power then it drops off as it heats up.
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1986 GMC Suburban C2500
Compound Turbocharged with HE351VE and T76, Intercooled, P&P GM#162 heads, 506 block, C-code injector pump, J-code intake manifold, Pennsular diesel upper plenum.
Banksturbo and HMMWV manifolds, custom cross over, 3'' stainless down pipe and 4'' straight pipe exhaust. TH700x, 10.5FF, w/disc brake, 3.21 gears, ARB air locker.
Aluminum 2 core radiator, Electric radiator fans (16''+16''), Meziere electric water pump (55gpm), HD '92+ 6.5L water crossover, grill shutters, Air2oil cooler, 16 core trans cooler, 2 block heaters, two G183 intake heaters, 60G plugs, 3500w coolant heater. ISSPRO tach.
On top of 32'' Load range E mich highway tires.

Last edited by oil pan 4; 12-14-2015 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 12-15-2015, 07:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
smackzed
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No ide what i just read, but I think it;s sounds great!...same alt(kinda) less power wasted as heat. the other thing with a bigger alt is it would use more HP (I believe) something a 6.2 isn;t particularly able to give up much of
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Alot about diodes which is cool. Have you tested your batteries oilpan? Whats the air for you got horns?
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my guess would be shocks
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
oil pan 4
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My batteries are LiFePO4. I built them almost 3 years ago.
I guess I could take them in for a test.
Last time I tested it about 2 years ago it maxed out the 1,100 amp tester.


I have not gotten any air horns yet. I need to stuff an air tank up under the suburban some where before I do that. And install by big Gast air compressor, its basically a starter motor attached to 2 air compressor pistons. It draws 50 amps with the air discharge end open to the atmosphere.
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1986 GMC Suburban C2500
Compound Turbocharged with HE351VE and T76, Intercooled, P&P GM#162 heads, 506 block, C-code injector pump, J-code intake manifold, Pennsular diesel upper plenum.
Banksturbo and HMMWV manifolds, custom cross over, 3'' stainless down pipe and 4'' straight pipe exhaust. TH700x, 10.5FF, w/disc brake, 3.21 gears, ARB air locker.
Aluminum 2 core radiator, Electric radiator fans (16''+16''), Meziere electric water pump (55gpm), HD '92+ 6.5L water crossover, grill shutters, Air2oil cooler, 16 core trans cooler, 2 block heaters, two G183 intake heaters, 60G plugs, 3500w coolant heater. ISSPRO tach.
On top of 32'' Load range E mich highway tires.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
paleyjim
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What schottky diodes did you use for this? Have a number and/or ratings and/or link?


Do you have any photos of how you assembled the diodes? What did you do for a heat sink?


What voltage are you charging at? It looks like you can adjust your output to whatever you want, just curious what you settled on.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
oil pan 4
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I went with the read deal.
SM74611KTTR
I have not had time to assemble the rectifier.
My plan is to just solder them up place the assembly in a small radio shack project box then fill the box with epoxy and place the box in the bumper. The forward voltage drop on these diodes should only put off a few watts of heat at full power and not come any where near needing a traditional heat sink.
__________________
1986 GMC Suburban C2500
Compound Turbocharged with HE351VE and T76, Intercooled, P&P GM#162 heads, 506 block, C-code injector pump, J-code intake manifold, Pennsular diesel upper plenum.
Banksturbo and HMMWV manifolds, custom cross over, 3'' stainless down pipe and 4'' straight pipe exhaust. TH700x, 10.5FF, w/disc brake, 3.21 gears, ARB air locker.
Aluminum 2 core radiator, Electric radiator fans (16''+16''), Meziere electric water pump (55gpm), HD '92+ 6.5L water crossover, grill shutters, Air2oil cooler, 16 core trans cooler, 2 block heaters, two G183 intake heaters, 60G plugs, 3500w coolant heater. ISSPRO tach.
On top of 32'' Load range E mich highway tires.
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Old 04-10-2016, 03:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
paleyjim
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Very interesting. Sounds like this diode isn't exactly a schottky, but a "smart bypass" diode? I'd never heard of these before. You make a good point about the heat sink. The forward voltage at 26mV is incredible. Very little power loss.

I'm very interested to see how you put these together and how well they hold up. Surface mount can be fun to work with. 15A seems a little small. Keep us up to date with your progress.
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