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Old 03-13-2008, 05:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I still think you are better off just running a deep cycle battery charged at home every night and completely eliminate the alternator. 100 miles range is good enough for me 99% of the time.

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Old 03-13-2008, 08:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've posted this in another thread, but it's the same idea. If you MUST recharge the battery on the go instead of like tjts1 suggests doing, belt the alternator to a driveshaft and only energize the coils with the brake lights. That's REAL regen braking. You'd only be charging when you're trying to stop when you're trying to bleed off energy anyway and you could still put in a switch to kick it in full time if the battery got too low. The only problem I see is possiby the speed the driveshafts turning could be a lot different than the engine, but that just requires a different sized pulley on the alternator.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'd love a write up if anyone has success.

I figure the easiest way would be to switch the alternator fuse on/off with a microswitch attached to the brake. Every time the brake is depressed, the fuse contact is closed and the alternator starts functioning again.

Low battery voltage can be solved by monitoring and using a switch to permanently engage the fuse.

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Old 03-15-2008, 07:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extragoode View Post
I've posted this in another thread, but it's the same idea. If you MUST recharge the battery on the go instead of like tjts1 suggests doing, belt the alternator to a driveshaft and only energize the coils with the brake lights. That's REAL regen braking. You'd only be charging when you're trying to stop when you're trying to bleed off energy anyway and you could still put in a switch to kick it in full time if the battery got too low. The only problem I see is possiby the speed the driveshafts turning could be a lot different than the engine, but that just requires a different sized pulley on the alternator.
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Originally Posted by LostCause View Post
I'd love a write up if anyone has success.

I figure the easiest way would be to switch the alternator fuse on/off with a microswitch attached to the brake. Every time the brake is depressed, the fuse contact is closed and the alternator starts functioning again.

Low battery voltage can be solved by monitoring and using a switch to permanently engage the fuse.

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Some good ideas, but I want a system that I DON'T have to plug into the domestic power supply after each journey. If I had that then I may as well have an EV I don't think there would be enough braking time during a normal drive cycle to keep the battery fully charged..... unless each wheel had an alternator that was energised during the first stage of braking, and a second stage actuated the hydraulic brakes (two stage brake pedal)?

And why only regen when braking? I tend to use over-run deceleration more than braking. As the engine is already slowing the vehicle then why not regen during this phase? Of course this will also work when braking
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Old 03-15-2008, 04:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AXMonster View Post
And why only regen when braking? I tend to use over-run deceleration more than braking. As the engine is already slowing the vehicle then why not regen during this phase? Of course this will also work when braking
My thinking too. I'd put the microswitch on the throttle. 0 throttle = charge. Besides charging while decelerating, that would also charge during my neutral coasts on the hills where the stupid a/t is pushing the rpm's up around 1100. I'd also add a parallel switch so you can energize at will (eg the battery is low, headlights or fan on, etc)

I've bought the parts for a manual version (wires, switch and ammeter). I'll have to remember to switch it on when I'm coasting. I've already tested to verify the engine runs ok on 12V (some ECU's prefer the 14.5V from the alternator). I intended to do a highway test to verify it also likes 12V when under load. But my daughter (she used to own the car) said she drove it 60 miles at night without the alternator, and she had no issues with the engine running poorly.
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Old 03-15-2008, 06:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Sounds like a plan S2man

I've ordered the parts I need for my automatic system. I'm too lazy to flick switches

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I love the idea of being able to "turn off" the alternator.

Simple question - how does one do that?

When I took the Metro engine out, it looks like it's just one big power cable that goes from the battery to the alternator.

Are we talking about disconnecting that cable, or something internal to the alternator?

If I just wanted to test the effect of the alternator on fuel economy, could I just disconnect that big alternator cable?
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2man View Post
My thinking too. I'd put the microswitch on the throttle. 0 throttle = charge. Besides charging while decelerating, that would also charge during my neutral coasts on the hills where the stupid a/t is pushing the rpm's up around 1100. I'd also add a parallel switch so you can energize at will (eg the battery is low, headlights or fan on, etc)

I've bought the parts for a manual version (wires, switch and ammeter). I'll have to remember to switch it on when I'm coasting. I've already tested to verify the engine runs ok on 12V (some ECU's prefer the 14.5V from the alternator). I intended to do a highway test to verify it also likes 12V when under load. But my daughter (she used to own the car) said she drove it 60 miles at night without the alternator, and she had no issues with the engine running poorly.
I really like this idea -- I'm looking forward to see if it yields some positive results (may try it myself). I have an ancient batt, though... It just may do it in (it's overdue, best I can tell is 6-years).

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Old 03-21-2008, 10:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
Simple question - how does one do that?

When I took the Metro engine out, it looks like it's just one big power cable that goes from the battery to the alternator.

Are we talking about disconnecting that cable, or something internal to the alternator?

If I just wanted to test the effect of the alternator on fuel economy, could I just disconnect that big alternator cable?
you're alternator should have some smaller wires plugged into it somewhere. Those wires comprise the field circuit. The field circuit is what "powers up" the alternator. If you break the field circuit, you turn the alternator off. When you complete the circuit, the alternator resumes its normal functioning.
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:42 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Would simply interupting this field coil wire actually turn alt off and on. I think one of the small wires is for the dash light correct? How much juice goes through this field wire? My thought is to just interupt during acceleration like some do with a/c. I know it would only save a little, but would like to use this switch for both if current not too high.

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