Not enough amperage

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Not enough amperage

Postby jfoy on Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:21 am

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by jfoy on Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:15 pm

I have an Ample Power Genie with a 150 amp alternator and an SARV3-12P regulator. Both were installed in 2007 by LTD Marine in Alameda, CA. The boat is now in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and will stay in these waters for the foreseeable future. I also have an Aqua Marine 24gph watermaker which draws 100 amps when making water. When making water the Ample Power energy monitor shows a discharge of 50-60 amps. The 500 amp hour battery bank full or nearly fully charged showing over 14 volts before commencing making water. I have tried adjusting the top current limit adjustment (R12) but this seems to have no affect on the amperage produced. Appreciate your comments on what might be going on
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Re: Not enough amperage

Postby Coulomb on Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:02 pm

The most likely cause is the way the water maker is wired. I'm guessing that you connected the negative wire on the water maker to battery negative instead of the negative distribution end of the shunt.
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Re: Not enough amperage

Postby jfoy on Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:47 pm

Everything worked fine for at least a year or more as this is not a brand new installation. When the watermaker was running the generator would cover the 100 amp requirement from the watermaker and also charge the batteries. Not unusual to see the 25 amps going into the batteries while the watermaker was running. Something has since happened to cause the generator to not be able to cover the watermaker's power requirement so that the batteries are discharging about 50 amps when the watermaker is running.
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Re: Not enough amperage

Postby Coulomb on Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:11 am

What does it charge at without the water maker running?

You may have lost part of the diodes in the alternator.

There may be something wrong with the regulator, but generally they work or not.

You need to dig a little deeper into the problem using the Troubleshooting Guides for the alternator and regulator.
http://www.amplepower.com/trouble/index.html
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Re: Not enough amperage

Postby jfoy on Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:50 pm

Without the watermaker or any other heavy load running the generator works just fine. It puts in higher amperage when the batteries are low which gradually goes down as the batteries become more charged as the voltage increases. It just cannot handle the higher power requirements which it did in the past without any problem.
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Re: Not enough amperage

Postby Coulomb on Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:24 pm

Without the Genie running, what do you read for water maker load current?

What are you using to measure current?
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Re: Not enough amperage

Postby jfoy on Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:10 pm

Without the Genie running the watermaker draws approximately 100 amps as measure by an Ample Power Energy Monitor
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Re: Not enough amperage

Postby Coulomb on Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:17 am

If the engine is running at a lower RPM than when R12 was adjusted, you may need to re-adjust it. The manual indicates it is a 20 turn pot, so it may take a couple of turns. Turn it CW to increase output. Adjust with the watermaker running.
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Re: Not enough amperage

Postby jfoy on Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:15 am

The engine was running at normal RPM when adusting the R12 CW with the watermaker on. I turned it twice and it had no affect on the amperage output. Should I keep on turning it until I see something start to happen?
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Re: Not enough amperage

Postby Coulomb on Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:20 pm

Sorry, you're not using an engine drive water maker, so R12 won't have an effect. You might try R11, but that's the overall current limit and shouldn't be different with the water maker on or off. If you crank that up too high, the the engine will stall.

Since things were working, and for some time, indications that either the engine RPM is different from when it was working OK, or some connection has gone south.
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