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-   -   Alternative for alternator. (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/alternative-alternator-4538.html)

Roman 08-14-2008 06:29 AM

Alternative for alternator.
 
First of all: What will removing the alternater doing for FE?

I was thinking of removing the alternator and install something else. I've seen someone with 2 accu's and a solar pannel. But i think that's not efficient enough. Also got an garage so... no sun there :rolleyes:

Than i thought. What's in the car that's useless... heat :D Now we get rid of the heat whit the radiator in front. But we also could use that heat. Heat equals energie. So i thought again (not getting an headake) about somethink like a sterling engine. I know sterling engine will only get 50% of the Carnot-Faktor but could it be enough for an alternator.

Also the heat from the exhaust could be used .

Good thing is that is don't have an A/C. :cool: Bad thing is that i always hear music :D

But were to find a small sterling engine?

For testing i thougt about to let the radio run fisrt on the stering and when that's doing good i will use it for the whole car.

Someone did this before? Or someone have an other idea how to use the heat for making power?

/edit somebody tried something whit a Thermogenerator? Just peltier-elements the other way. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermogenerator It's called Seebeck-Effect. Transforming heat to energie. But don't know if i simple can use Peltier-elements.

MetroMPG 08-14-2008 03:16 PM

The alternator is a significant load on a small engine. Removing it can be very good for fuel economy (~10% improvement isn't uncommon).

Have a look through these search results: lots of discussion of alternatives to using an alternator, including solar, peletier, etc...

alternator - EcoModder Google Search

Roman 08-15-2008 09:25 AM

I did my homework :D and found this topic.

I think the Tiger option should be the best, but i think it wil be expensife. But number 2 is like a good idea. Just use a bigger diameter to reduce rotations and by this better FE. But how much % wil it give? And how to make it?

Roman 08-25-2008 08:26 AM

I just came on a site called heat2power.net and found that there are some manufactures (like BMW) are making (testing) some kind of heat 2 power stuff. Like from the exhaust.

Now i was thinking about this:

http://www.heat2power.net/images/com...iprocating.png

So a smal pump is puming some liquid around. This liquid getting heated by the exaust pipe til reached boilpoint. Than it's going to a trubine and finally in a condenser to get liquid again. And the turbine just feeds the alternator.

This should be makeble. I only need some parts like a turbine and a condenser. A condenser is not hard to get, but where can i find a turbine?

starquestPilot 08-25-2008 08:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roman (Post 55873)
...but where can i find a turbine?

Use the exhaust-side of a small turbo?

Roman 08-25-2008 08:59 AM

Hmmmm where to find one for cheap. The most turbo's i see are 200-400 euro and that's a little too much for this experiment. I don't want to spent a lot of money in something what maybe not working.

COMP 08-25-2008 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roman (Post 55875)
Hmmmm where to find one for cheap. The most turbo's i see are 200-400 euro and that's a little too much for this experiment. I don't want to spent a lot of money in something what maybe not working.

find one that needs rebuilt

MazdaMatt 08-25-2008 03:06 PM

junkyard a small stock turbo. No need to buy new.

stevey_frac 05-25-2009 11:07 AM

I've often thought of replacing the alternator with a deep cycle battery, and a large series of peltier modules that run off of the exhuast. The exhuast gets really toasty (especially if you wrap it upstream) and there is this beutiful supply of cold air running along most of it for the cold side heatsink.

Problems i can see with this?

1) You'd have to run two modules in series, possibly three to get to 15V which is about where you'd have to be to completely replace the alternator
2) You'd have to integrate your own smart charging circuitry. Charging at 15V at all times would place an undue strain on your battery, and you'd be chewing through batteries every few years (which i guess isn't terrible)
3) If you were doing a lot of short trips, you'd run into issues.
4) I have no idea how much power would be required. Most i could see you generating in this fashion would be 500w (ish) and that would be a LOT of modules
5) You would have to engineer the thermal coupling to the exhuast to ensure that the peltiers didn't approach the melting temperature of the solder used to create the junctions


If anyone knows what kind of load it takes to run a car, i'd be curious.

JacobAziza 05-25-2009 12:35 PM

I've been running sans alternator for about 2 months.
Its easier for me, since I have a diesel truck
(no ignition system to power, large dual batteries came stock; step 3 in the instructable Vehicle efficiency upgrades (Go 50-100% farther on a tank of fuel)),
but I suspect if you found a place to install a large deepcycle (RV style) battery you could get away with it too. Put in a battery switch so you can keep the old starting battery from discharging (so you don't accidentally get stranded) and then just run off the deepcycle.

At the end of the day recharge with outlet power.

I also added a 5w solar panel which helps, but not very much.

I don't think you can get much useable energy from waste heat with current technology without spending a whole lot of money, but I did just see a write up on a DIY project on that very topic: Charge Your Cellphone Using Wasted Heat (and Build a Steampunk Wall-E)

stevey_frac 05-25-2009 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JacobAziza (Post 106162)
I've been running sans alternator for about 2 months.
Its easier for me, since I have a diesel truck
(no ignition system to power, large dual batteries came stock; step 3 in the instructable Vehicle efficiency upgrades (Go 50-100% farther on a tank of fuel)),
but I suspect if you found a place to install a large deepcycle (RV style) battery you could get away with it too. Put in a battery switch so you can keep the old starting battery from discharging (so you don't accidentally get stranded) and then just run off the deepcycle.

At the end of the day recharge with outlet power.

I also added a 5w solar panel which helps, but not very much.

I don't think you can get much useable energy from waste heat with current technology without spending a whole lot of money, but I did just see a write up on a DIY project on that very topic: Charge Your Cellphone Using Wasted Heat (and Build a Steampunk Wall-E)



I looked into this and i've revised my energy availability projections. I also have a bit of a cost estimate. For every watt of power produced, expect to pay around $5 for JUST the peltier devices. After that you still have to mount the things to the exhuast, and find GOOD heat sinks. I'm doing this calcuation based on an average exhuast-side junction temperature of 150C, and cold side temp of 50C. I think solar power would be cheaper.

I doubt I could run on a deep cycle, as i'd have to go 2-3 hours of driving between charges. If it get a stormy day, or get stuck in traffic for an extra two hours, i'd need a LOT of juice.

JacobAziza 05-25-2009 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevey_frac (Post 106191)
I doubt I could run on a deep cycle, as i'd have to go 2-3 hours of driving between charges. If it get a stormy day, or get stuck in traffic for an extra two hours, i'd need a LOT of juice.

I have no idea the watt draw of the ignition system, but for me 2-3 hours of driving is no problem, as long as I don't need the headlights and leave my (excessive, 360w) stereo system off.
Also, I have the alternator on a switch. If battery voltage does drop below 11v I just turn the alternator on for a few minutes, (the field switch lead between alternator and regulator, when it's disconnected the alternator freewheels)

stevey_frac 05-25-2009 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JacobAziza (Post 106194)
I have no idea the watt draw of the ignition system, but for me 2-3 hours of driving is no problem, as long as I don't need the headlights and leave my (excessive, 360w) stereo system off.
Also, I have the alternator on a switch. If battery voltage does drop below 11v I just turn the alternator on for a few minutes, (the field switch lead between alternator and regulator, when it's disconnected the alternator freewheels)

By law, all cars in Canada are required to have running lights on at all times (you know it's dark 11 months of the year here?). That's gonna be a significant draw. I'm sure the computers don't use to much juice. The ignition system.. i have no idea. It's high voltage, and no amperage. I don't normally run the stero... Bah, i don't know. If we could quantify that the juice required to run the car normally with accessories off was low enough...

JacobAziza 05-25-2009 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevey_frac (Post 106197)
By law, all cars in Canada are required to have running lights on at all times...

If we could quantify that the juice required to run the car normally with accessories off was low enough...

1 Watt DLRs for $10(US): Product Listing - CAR

Come to think of it, it would be easy to measure:
Start the engine, disconnect battery positive and put an ampmeter inline between the battery post and the cable, then disconnect the alternator, and read the meter.
It should tell you exactly how much power is being drawn.
Check it at idle and at highway speed RPMs, with what ever acc. you commonly use on. Use whichever reading is the highest, multiply by number of hours you drive a day and you know the size in amp/hours of the battery you would need. (or multiply again by 12volts to get watt-hours for solar recharge need)

stevey_frac 05-25-2009 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JacobAziza (Post 106203)
1 Watt DLRs for $10(US): Product Listing - CAR

Come to think of it, it would be easy to measure:
Start the engine, disconnect battery positive and put an ampmeter inline between the battery post and the cable, then disconnect the alternator, and read the meter.
It should tell you exactly how much power is being drawn.
Check it at idle and at highway speed RPMs, with what ever acc. you commonly use on. Use whichever reading is the highest, multiply by number of hours you drive a day and you know the size in amp/hours of the battery you would need. (or multiply again by 12volts to get watt-hours for solar recharge need)

Are all DRL's made equal? like.. i could definitely put them into my car and they'd fit?? (if so.. i may be placing an order)

I don't have an ammeter rated for higher then 10 amp. And at 10 amp, you only allowed to have it connected for 10 seconds... I'm almost certain that 10 AMP wouldn't cut it.

-Steve

JacobAziza 05-25-2009 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevey_frac (Post 106204)
Are all DRL's made equal? like.. i could definitely put them into my car and they'd fit?? (if so.. i may be placing an order)

I don't have an ammeter rated for higher then 10 amp. And at 10 amp, you only allowed to have it connected for 10 seconds... I'm almost certain that 10 AMP wouldn't cut it.

-Steve

They are not all equal, but that site has 7 different designs, plus other auto style bulbs, so you could probably find something that fit (some cost a little more)

You're right, a standard multimeter probably couldn't handle it.
You could try using progressively smaller rated fuses, the first one that blows, the last one was about the current draw.

Here's a simpler idea from google: WikiAnswers - How do you test for current draw in a car using a volt meter

stevey_frac 06-26-2009 12:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevey_frac (Post 106191)
I looked into this and i've revised my energy availability projections. I also have a bit of a cost estimate. For every watt of power produced, expect to pay around $5 for JUST the peltier devices. After that you still have to mount the things to the exhuast, and find GOOD heat sinks. I'm doing this calcuation based on an average exhuast-side junction temperature of 150C, and cold side temp of 50C. I think solar power would be cheaper.

I doubt I could run on a deep cycle, as i'd have to go 2-3 hours of driving between charges. If it get a stormy day, or get stuck in traffic for an extra two hours, i'd need a LOT of juice.

Check this:

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehicles...eer_kushch.pdf

I think even if you only generated say, 50 watts on the highway, you'd extend the drive time of your deep cycle batteries by a large margin. This based on Daox and MetroMPG recent testing.

-Steve

EDIT: If i had a bit of extra cash.. i'd be building something fo sho. Perhaps after i move into my new house. I'm totally qualified to build something like this!

stevey_frac 06-26-2009 11:07 AM

Ok, so running 5 TEC's in series would give you 17.5 volts at no current. As you draw more current, the voltage drops. You have to be above the battery voltage to produce any current at all.

Most TECs are the type to used cool things. These don't allow very high operating temperatures, and their efficiency as power generators is very low. You would have to find a company that manufactured modules specifically for power generation. I think what i would do would be to put the hot side on the exhuast, and cool the cold side with engine coolant. You'd probably want to insulate the exhaust system ahead of the power generation pack to ensure temps were higher. It would also work well in combination with a warm air intake, as it would boost exhaust temperatures.

You wouldn't need much coolant to keep the cold side at more or less coolant temperature, as it take a phenomenal amount of heat to heat any significant flow of engine coolant.

I think 50w would be totally doable. That's just a little over 4 amp at 12v. :)

Daox 06-26-2009 11:22 AM

I have done some quick browsing on this a while back. I didn't find any TECs that could handle that kind of heat. Have you found some?

stevey_frac 06-26-2009 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daox (Post 112299)
I have done some quick browsing on this a while back. I didn't find any TECs that could handle that kind of heat. Have you found some?

POWER GENERATION TEG - HIGH TEMP THERMOELECTRIC PELTIER on eBay.ca (item 310135519982 end time 12-Jul-09 17:42:12 EDT)

Those claim they are power generation TECs but they are not. They're regular TEC's with higher temp solder. Even still they are good to operate up to 225 Degrees. What kind of exhuast temps does a car typically see? That's one i'm not sure of. I think true high temp TECs are good up to about 250 degrees. and you'd be able to keep the cold side down at 85-90 degrees with the cooling system.

Truthfully, you'd almost be better to make your own cooling system separately for it... It would add size, weight, cost and complexity, but imagine in the winter! Cold side... -10. Hot side... +200! I'd be able to run my heated seats!

stevey_frac 06-26-2009 12:12 PM

Just got an email back. A 10 watt module would cost $36. If you buy 1000. For 10 at a time it would be $70 ea. Ouch. I think solar remains cheaper? :P

nemesis 07-19-2009 09:33 AM

I've thought about this alternator issue for a while, did couple of tests at idle and with alternator shut off ( not charging), my load at idle went from 17% to 16%, not much, but it's something. The thing that I would do is I would not recomend taking the alternator off completely, but put a switch on the regulator so it would turn the alternator on when it gets bellow set voltage and whenever the brake pedal is on ( hook it up to stop light switch), another thing is why can't we take out the 12.5v battery and install 14v battery? you would keep 14v with alternator off.

JacobAziza 07-19-2009 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nemesis (Post 116490)
my load at idle went from 17% to 16%, not much, but it's something.

The alternator doesn't put out much current at idle RPMs.
Try the same test at normal driving RPMs.


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