High Altitude Operation

For issue regarding Ample Power diesel/bio-diesel battery chargers.

High Altitude Operation

Postby Kristen on Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:34 pm

We have a G12-280 installed in a bus conversion Jan 2011. It has worked flawlessly until this point, but it has seen limited use this summer as we also have a solar system. With shorter days of fall and some cloudy weather this past week our battery bank has gotten to 50% and we have had to use the DBC. During the install and testing phase we charged the batteries from 50% twice and the unit functioned normally. Now, when the alternator goes to full power at 14.4 volts, the engine RPM drops precipitously and copious amounts of black smoke are produced. The only thing that has really changed is the location of the bus. Install and initial testing were done at 700 ft of elevation, we are now attempting to operate the unit at 7000 feet of elevation.

Is it possible that this being a non-turbo charged engine, it cannot produce enough power at altitude to keep up with the near sea level alternator current limit set point?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: High Altitude Operation

Postby Coulomb on Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:57 pm

Most definitely you'll have to set the power limit down as the elevation increases.

You can start by adjusting RPM to about 2750 with no alternator load. Then, with batteries deeply discharged, crank up the power limit until RPM drops about 200 RPM. There should be no excessive black smoke at this time. Slowly increase the power limit until black smoke begins to appear.

For the longest engine life, set the power limit to about 80% of the black smoke power setting.
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