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Regulator won't go to float

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:08 pm
by Independence
I have a Next Step Regulator that has always been reliable. I have 6v batteries in series, and the absorption setting is and has been 14.35 for years, recently I was running the engines for 24 hours (no wind) and realized the regulator wasn't going into the float mode it seemed the voltage had decreased to 13.85 but was still delivering 50 amps and the batteries began gassing. I disconnected the alternator and finished the trip. Now with everything reconnected the regulator goes through all the steps properly and timely except for transitioning form absortion (steady green light) to float. Any ideas? My batteries hold 12.8 overnight with no load on them. Please advise.

Best,

Otis

Re: Regulator won't go to float

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:29 am
by Coulomb
It should go through the "step to float" sequence. It doesn't go immediately from absorption to float.

Where were the 50 Amps going? That is, what kind of load was on the alternator?

What is the alternator?

Re: Regulator won't go to float

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:30 pm
by Independence
The load was going into the batteries I think....as they were gassing pretty heavily at one point. It is a balmar externally regulated 120 Amp alternator.

Re: Regulator won't go to float

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:54 pm
by Coulomb
The charge voltage was not high enough to cause a great deal of gassing, unless there was a shorted cell in one of the batteries.

Thermal runaway is another possibility.

Do the overnight test on the batteries individually to see if one of them is abnormal.

Re: Regulator won't go to float

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:19 pm
by Independence
I have tested the batteries and they are in fair condition. I found a loose temp sensor wire on the next step and recrimped it and all seems to be well with that regulator it goes to float now. However on my other engine I have the NS2 regulator and it shut down during the same trip.I have since found out it blew the 8 amp fuse in T1 line. What would cause this? I replaced it and green lights are indicating proper bulk charge to absorption etc but I have the orange light on that indicates I am in parallel??? I have no wires going into the TB2 terminals and only have one alternator on that regulator and I am only running one engine at the moment. Is this OK? Also with 2 separate regulators, an NS2 and a Next Step (Both Ample Power) wired to separate alternators on separate engines but charging same battery bank, will they work together to charge my batteries? Do I need to wire them in a particular way or specially adjust them? Sorry for the largess of this email but I am stuck in Tonga and electricity is not my forte!

Many thanks,

Otis

Re: Regulator won't go to float

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:19 pm
by Coulomb
The manual covers the operation of the parallel indicator, although it appears you're not using it.

See this URL for a discussion of two alternators/regulator charging a single bank:
http://www.amplepower.com/primer/twoeng/index.html