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Old 01-04-2016, 01:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Alternator delete, solar panel bed cover



I just wanted to post this in case anyone was considering doing something similar.

My sister had this Ford ranger that was continuously burning through alternators. Lots of parts replaced, no change. Couldn't figure it out.

So I installed a "solar alternator". Two 230 watt poly panels over the bed, an outback FM80 charge controller, and some extra AGM batteries to keep the voltage up during the night.

MPG seemed to improve by around 10%. The majority was probably from the lack of alt drag, but I'm sure the smooth bed cover improved the aerodynamics some too.

If I was doing it again I might consider a 24v system in the bed with a DC-DC converter to keep the main battery at 14.5v or so for a hotter spark and brighter lights. But it worked great as it was.

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Old 01-04-2016, 02:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That is very cool.

Are they together on a subframe, so you can raise them like a big solid tonneau?
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Not sure if I would feel so comfortable with a full alternator delete (probably I'd rather work around a stator like the ones used in motorcycles and mount it in the place of the crankshaft pulley), but it's an interesting project. And yes, apart from eliminating the alternator drag, a tonneau can do miracles in a truck...
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
That is very cool.

Are they together on a subframe, so you can raise them like a big solid tonneau?
Yeah, they are bolted to two pieces of aluminum angle that sit inside the bed rails and bolt in behind the cab. They could easily swivel at that point if needed.


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Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
Not sure if I would feel so comfortable with a full alternator delete (probably I'd rather work around a stator like the ones used in motorcycles and mount it in the place of the crankshaft pulley), but it's an interesting project. And yes, apart from eliminating the alternator drag, a tonneau can do miracles in a truck...
You can't give up the idea of burning fuel to make electricity, huh?

It doesn't matter how you configure the magnetics, it's still a conversion of fuel energy.
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmpEater View Post
You can't give up the idea of burning fuel to make electricity, huh?
In a gasser, since it requires electricity for the ignition, I'd rather still have some on-board electricity source, but it could eventually have a smaller capacity just to keep the engine still running after the battery gets fully drained. However, in a mechanically-governed Diesel, I wouldn't be so worried about an alternator delete.
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Old 01-07-2016, 02:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Have you changed your light bulbs out to LED? As we know, that would save would save a bit on electrical load. In general incandescent tails, turns and brakes pull about 24 Watts each. 12 volts at 2 amps. I haven't checked close enough yet to know what power usage LED headlights are rated at. All I remember is the old incandescents were 50W low beam and 60W hi beam.
Anyway. Cool project. It could also double as an extra battery charger when the truck is not in use. 400+ watts is a lot of supply. Many household items can be ran off dc. Laptops, lamps etc. Guess it just depends how much work you'd like to put in a project.
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Forget about directly powering stuff off DC.
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...rid-33015.html

Going LED.
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...led-32821.html

http://ecomodder.com/wiki/index.php/Solar_12v_assist

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