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Old 07-13-2017, 02:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Reducing alternator drag- Would this work?

I was thinking of ways to drive my 2005 Civic without an alternator. Then I came up with the idea of installing a switch inside the car to shut the alternator off when not using accessories or when accelerating, and turn the alternator back on when coasting in gear, when slowing down, when using accessories or if voltage gets way low, like on a long road trip. Would that work? I have an Optima Yellow Top deep cycle battery with a 3 year warranty, so I am not worried about damage to the battery. I also have a new alternator, and I have a grounding kit and I upgraded the alternator positive wire. I have an idea for an automatic version of this that I will explain if this is a valid concept. Thanks, I am looking forward to reading your responses to this.

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Old 07-13-2017, 03:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yep, its quite possible. Several OEMs are doing that, but to a lesser extent since they don't use deep cycle batteries. A good practice would also be to throw a battery charger onboard and plug in when you're home.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would plug in to charge when I get home, but my garage at the apartment I live in does not have electricity.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You'll have to make sure that you keep it adequately charged so your lead acid battery doesn't get sulfation problems. This means the resting voltage needs to stay above 12.5V or 12.6V, I forget, but you'll want to look that up. Lead acid batteries are best stored at 100% charge to avoid these issues. Ideally, this means at the end of each trip your battery is fully charged (as it would be with an active alternator). However, the guys running without an alternator usually plug in daily.

Here is some additional info on sulfation:
Sulfation and How to Prevent it - Battery University
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Or use solar panels.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Or use solar panels.
I don't think that solar panels would provide enough electricity to run the electrical system, even with no accessories on. I do not know how much power the ignition coils, fuel pump, ECU, sensors, and all the other things necessary to run the car draws, but probably a lot more than solar panels can provide.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EcoCivic View Post
I don't think that solar panels would provide enough electricity to run the electrical system, even with no accessories on. I do not know how much power the ignition coils, fuel pump, ECU, sensors, and all the other things necessary to run the car draws, but probably a lot more than solar panels can provide.
He means in lieu of plugging in to charge.

You might be able to get away with keeping the alternator switched off if you don't drain your battery much during daily driving, and charge it back up with a solar panel during the day.

You'll want to keep an eye on voltage levels as you drive, perhaps with a cigarette lighter voltmeter, or from other gauges you might have.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Definitely install some kind of voltmeter and see if the alternator isn't already doing some sort of 'smart' charging behaviour.
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My 1998 Civic HX already does that.

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