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Old 09-17-2018, 07:45 AM   #141
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I grew up (and still live) within sight of Victoria, BC.
Iíve always found Canadians (in general) very friendly and polite. It still seems that way to me. Of course, spending with Canadian money helps- and I already use quite a bit of BC pronunciation, since growing up we got mostly Canadian Radio and TV.

I canít really say how friendly people are here, since I know so many people in town.

Just my experience.

Mark
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:18 AM   #142
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LB_3 took our 200 A Bosch alternator to get diagnosed this morning.

It has a bad clutch, likely worn out due to the stresses imposed by the particular operational scenario of lithium charging.

Under light loads, it would do just fine, but under heavy loads (i.e., lithium charging), it would start slipping.

It's in the shop for repair.
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:16 AM   #143
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For thems who are interested in learning more about how a lithium system can kill an engine alternator and take a native Sprinter electrical system down with it, I've put more detail in this blog post than is in this here multi-issue thread:

PSA: ALTERNATOR CLUTCH PULLEY FAILURES ON LITHIUM SYSTEMS
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:22 AM   #144
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Hi

Just in case anybody else is trying to follow along with this .... no, lithium batteries don't kill alternators ....

Bob
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:48 AM   #145
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That is a worthy clarification. Lithium batteries don't AUTOMATICALLY kill alternators. There are other factors which play a supporting role in this failure chain, and I am omitting that info for brevity (it would likely overwhelm less technically-inclined readers).

But lithium batteries CAN kill alternators by a couple of different mechanisms, one of which I described in that blog post. It's not the only mechanism, but it IS a lesser-known mechanism for which explicit workarounds have not yet been well-defined.

Edit: The 3-minute vid I pasted at the end of my blog post describes a NON-lithium scenario in which multiple 200 A alternator clutch pulleys failed on multiple vehicles. WHY in that scenario did that happen? Because it was law enforcement vehicles that were involved. There are tremendous functional demands placed on police equipment, far more than what would characterize average consumer equipment. Their alternators apparently failed not because they had lithium, but because they were demanding so much in the way of performance, analogous to what a lithium system also does. It's the intense demand scenario that causes the failures, not the battery type or electrical system type.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:13 AM   #146
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We did a couple of partial tests this morning to see if there was anything obvious going wrong with the alternator upon the addition of the lithium charging load. Re: my alternator failure discussed earlier in this thread.

Part of this inquiry was stimulated by a thread on Sprinter Forum starting with this permalink here. A few users are NOT convinced that lithium charge loading should cause premature clutch pulley wear. Maybe the failure is unrelated, one user speculated. Who the heck knows?? To my knowledge, we don't have a good practical data set yet upon which to base predictions of future performance.

My husband and I still have to decide what to DO about this - we can't go around blowing 200 A alternators no matter what the reason for the failure. Our solution will probably take the same form as every other response we have undertaken to date - invest a boat-load more money, probably much more than we need to, but then the thing is solved once and for all.

These were very unscientific tests because they did not take place under actual vehicle operating conditions of high engine load (e.g., with the cab a/c cranking, pounding over a rough road, high rpms, etc.). I just did these filmings at idle in our driveway.

The results were resoundingly inconclusive. You can hear slight changes in engine pitch in these two vids, but there's no obvious belt thrashing or vibration or anything like that, the kinds of physical manifestations that we would typically associate with premature wearing of some mechanical part.

Here they are, for what they are worth. Sigh.



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Old 10-26-2018, 09:43 AM   #147
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For thems who are interested in learning more about how a lithium system can kill an engine alternator and take a native Sprinter electrical system down with it, I've put more detail in this blog post than is in this here multi-issue thread:

PSA: ALTERNATOR CLUTCH PULLEY FAILURES ON LITHIUM SYSTEMS
What if you used a less powerful DC-DC charger, say one with 20 amps or 40 amps like these? Would that reduce the load on the alternator enough to resolve this issue? Battleborn is suggesting this to reduce the wear on the alternator, but I can't see that being much help with the clutch. It seems to me that the same problem will happen with a dedicated alternator, although it wouldn't effect the electrical system.

I'm in the process of a DIY lithium upgrade. This has me thinking whether I now even want to go down that road. For me, it may not be worth the trouble if I have to either expend the $3000+ for a second alternator, or deal with problems with keeping the one I have and using it to recharge while driving.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:01 AM   #148
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My husband suspects that it's the frequency of load switching that may be causing the issue. If that's the case, the size of the B2B should not be an overriding factor.

Our interim workaround is to minimize alternator charging to the extent achievable, which is very easy given that we have 4-way charging. Yesterday after days and days of the CEASELESS RAIN that we have been having (this time courtesy of Hurricane Willa's remnants), I experienced the ignominy of shore charging (it's a low moment when the van was specifically designed to be electrically independent). Interestingly, a stupid 110 V extension cord with a shore power cord adapter puts more amps into that lithium battery than the 200 A alternator. Speaking from a strictly qualitative perspective, why should that amount of load (which is fairly small) damage an alternator?

I've given LB_3 spousal approval to put in the second alternator, which is going to cause a domino effect of $$$$ expenses. The "go big or go home" principle applies for reasons I'll explain later.

One of my motivations for doing so is that it will EVEN FURTHER reduce our need to retain the propane generator under the chassis. If we could remove that generator, I could vastly expand our propane capacity and extend our cold-weather traveling options. A Sprinter Forum user (OrioN) posted a pic of his twin 10-gallon propane tanks, which I've reproduced below (sometimes I want to call that site "Sprinter Porn" instead of "Sprinter Forum"). THAT is a beautiful sight and it puts our 5.8-gallon working propane capacity to shame. What's interesting is that they are not in an unacceptable hang-down configuration because of his use of space. Anyway, that's something we may want to think about in the future. If we eventually dump the generator by virtue of having two alternators, it becomes more do-able.

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Old 10-27-2018, 07:40 AM   #149
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..... Interestingly, a stupid 110 V extension cord with a shore power cord adapter puts more amps into that lithium battery than the 200 A alternator. Speaking from a strictly qualitative perspective, why should that amount of load (which is fairly small) damage an alternator? ....
Hi

Well let's see, 200A at the 14.5V level is 2,900W. At 120V it would take just over 24A to deliver that power. At 13.6V, 200A is just over 22A at 120V. All of this *assumes* 100% conversion efficiency. In reality, the 120V currents will be at least 10% higher. In all cases your 15A extension cord would be toast.

So, 200A is a *lot* of power. Yes your alternator looks big and rugged. Compared to a 3 KW generator, not so big. If you look at a generator that says "3KW" in the big bold letters, it likely says something like "2.4KW continuous" in the fine print. Even it isn't quite as big and rugged as you might think.

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Old 10-27-2018, 08:17 AM   #150
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I agree that the videos do not show much. It would be interesting to see a video of the same electrical system being run with a simple pulley (not a clutch pulley) to see if vibration increases when the electrical load changes.

The video on the Crown Vic fixed pulley seems to assume that there is no downside to eliminating it. I can't believe the automakers would spend money on it unless there was a reason to do so.
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:16 PM   #151
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Anyway, that's something we may want to think about in the future. If we eventually dump the generator by virtue of having two alternators, it becomes more do-able.
INTERBLOG - I am not questioning the practicality of dumping the gen. On the contrary, I want to know & understand more. I don't have lithium, so that will be a given for me long term. But I always wondered if I really needed the gen since we are primarily full hookups crowd 99% of the time. The gen only gets used when we need rear a/c in 115į temps and we are on the road. What else do I need to consider when gen is not in play? Propane a/c, fridge, and microwave? That would be too expensive of a conversion for me. May as well go ARV Custom. Especially since you would be losing a major power source. If only my gen could be detached as easily as the spare tire Leaving it home when destination is known and weather is nice. Reattaching during summer.
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:01 AM   #152
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...If only my gen could be detached as easily as the spare tire Leaving it home when destination is known and weather is nice. Reattaching during summer.
Protag had what I consider to be the best suggestion: Ditch the Onan and buy a portable generator and then take it with you only during those trips when the travel parameters are such that you know you'll need it. Otherwise, you are mostly hauling around a rather heavy ball and chain.

I like the little Hondas (about $1,000). Plus I've visited enough tailgating sites (typically when LB_3 was attending the corresponding football game) to know what they are surprisingly quiet.

Furthermore, if you need to use one to (for instance) run your roof a/c, in some circumstances you can position it AWAY from the Interstate and thus have things be much more quiet. Of course, that only works while you are parked, and parked in a place that will allow overnight usage (which many won't).

The only reason why we have NOT gotten a portable previously is as follows: It ain't broke so we haven't fixed it. Our onboard Onan works like a freakin' charm, no effort needed on our parts (other than one oil change).

The day may come when we need that space for something more important, though. In a Perfect World, Airstream would already be using generators that can be easily removed and stowed. These rigs should really be more configurable on a trip-by-trip basis. That would represent the best value for owners.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:32 AM   #153
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Protag had what I consider to be the best suggestion: Ditch the Onan and buy a portable generator and then take it with you only during those trips when the travel parameters are such that you know you'll need it. Otherwise, you are mostly hauling around a rather heavy ball and chain.

I like the little Hondas (about $1,000). Plus I've visited enough tailgating sites (typically when LB_3 was attending the corresponding football game) to know what they are surprisingly quiet.

Furthermore, if you need to use one to (for instance) run your roof a/c, in some circumstances you can position it AWAY from the Interstate and thus have things be much more quiet. Of course, that only works while you are parked, and parked in a place that will allow overnight usage (which many won't).

The only reason why we have NOT gotten a portable previously is as follows: It ain't broke so we haven't fixed it. Our onboard Onan works like a freakin' charm, no effort needed on our parts (other than one oil change).

The day may come when we need that space for something more important, though. In a Perfect World, Airstream would already be using generators that can be easily removed and stowed. These rigs should really be more configurable on a trip-by-trip basis. That would represent the best value for owners.
INTERBLOG - See, this is what I was thinking myself, BUT I never really looked into it because I thought there was no way a portable unit could power my A/C and YES, a removable option would've been best of both. Aghhh, we could dream, for now
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:59 PM   #154
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I am with Interblog in the 'ain't broke, don't fix it' camp. And even if/when the Onan breaks I am not sure that the portable generator is the solution. The Honda 2200 would likely not run AC, since many on this forum report being unable to run it with the Onan 2500 W. The Honda weighs about 50# and you'd need to haul several gallons of gasoline to power it -about 1/4 gallon per hour at full load.
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