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2021 Promaster 136 HR (if I can actually buy one)
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What experience are you having with getting significant amperage to your lithium house system using a battery to battery charger such as made by Victron, Renogy, and Sterling? I'd like to hook up two Victron Orion 12/24-15 chargers to the 220 amp alternator, which would have a peak draw (together) of 80 amps at 12v and a rated output (together) of 30 amps at 24V. My concerns are both getting the actual amperage out of the alternator and the potential to overheat the alternator.
 

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2019 159 High Top - White, of course!
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I have a Sterling 1260 (60 amp) battery to battery charger. It works well. But I rarely see more than min 40 amp charge rates on my 180 amp alternator. And it quickly drops to mid 20 amp rates during charge, at least at idle. I have never walked back to my ammeter to see if it is higher while driving.

After a typical night with fan, fridge and lights, along with cell charging and running my CPAP machine, my 100ah Battleborn is down to about 50%. This charges to full with about a half hour (maybe a bit more) driving, or an hour or two of idling, so maybe the charge rate does rise when driving.

I do have 4AWG pure copper stranded cable running from the van battery back to the charger and house battery.
 

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2018 3500 EXT Camper Conversion in CT (TX for now due to Covid)
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I had a bad experience with sterling, but the alternator has no problem with 60 amps to the Sterling for at least 4 hours (I don't think more would be a problem, but my sterling terminals melted down after 4 hours). In my opinion the terminals of the sterling are not large enough for 60 amps (I know they are rated as such, and 4 gauge is enough for 60 amps by the book, but in a van I would go with larger wire for 60 amps, but the terminals of the sterling will not really fit more than 4 guage wire)

I am now running a 30 amp Victron and if I need more I will run another 30 amp victron in parallel.
 

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2021 Promaster 136 HR (if I can actually buy one)
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Discussion Starter #5
I had a bad experience with sterling, but the alternator has no problem with 60 amps to the Sterling for at least 4 hours (I don't think more would be a problem, but my sterling terminals melted down after 4 hours). In my opinion the terminals of the sterling are not large enough for 60 amps (I know they are rated as such, and 4 gauge is enough for 60 amps by the book, but in a van I would go with larger wire for 60 amps, but the terminals of the sterling will not really fit more than 4 guage wire)

I am now running a 30 amp Victron and if I need more I will run another 30 amp victron in parallel.
Just to circle back on the alternator size. Do you have a 180 (standard) or the 220? Or something else.
 

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2018 3500 EXT Camper Conversion in CT (TX for now due to Covid)
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Just to circle back on the alternator size. Do you have a 180 (standard) or the 220? Or something else.
180 amp and I think it is sufficient for 60 amp at least, I have had no issues even while pulling 60 amps for 4 hours.
 

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I have been charging lithiums directly from the alternator (FET isolator in between, but no B2B) for 5 years now. I regularly see 100-120A charging current at the battery. Probably not the best for the alternator, but no problems yet.
 

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2021 Promaster 136 HR (if I can actually buy one)
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Discussion Starter #8
I have been charging lithiums directly from the alternator (FET isolator in between, but no B2B) for 5 years now. I regularly see 100-120A charging current at the battery. Probably not the best for the alternator, but no problems yet.
That's encouraging! Do you have a 180 amp or 220 amp alternator? Or something else?
 

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Also worth noting that I have disconnected my lithium pack while alternator charging at 100A and nothing exploded. The stock alternator seems to be built to handle some pretty solid abuse.
 

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I would love to know if its really possible to harm the alternator from drawing too much current? This has come up before in different threads but noone has reported damage to an alternator as far as I know. It seems like it would be fairly simple for the alternator to protect itself from self-destruction. It would be nice to know if its just something we dont have to worry about.

I have the 220a alternator and a single 100ah AGM and routinely see more than 50 amps going into the camper battery for short periods, occasionally my 100a circuit breaker will pop.
 

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2021 Promaster 136 HR (if I can actually buy one)
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Discussion Starter #12
I would love to know if its really possible to harm the alternator from drawing too much current? This has come up before in different threads but noone has reported damage to an alternator as far as I know. It seems like it would be fairly simple for the alternator to protect itself from self-destruction. It would be nice to know if its just something we dont have to worry about.

I have the 220a alternator and a single 100ah AGM and routinely see more than 50 amps going into the camper battery for short periods, occasionally my 100a circuit breaker will pop.
I'm not sure what Dodge has provided in terms of alternator protection. There is a pretty interesting post form Victron on overloading your alternator at the link that I've provided and they include a video of a test where they burned up an alternator for our enjoyment. So, that's part of what got me questioning whether there is a line not to cross.
Victron on smoking your alternator
 

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I have subjected my alternator to exactly the conditions in that test (full charging current 100+ amps, but engine idle) for at least an hour at a time if not more on occasion. Nothing has failed. So either the built-in cooling is sufficient or the alternator has some kind of current limiting to prevent itself from overheating.
 

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2018 2500 159"
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I have been charging lithiums directly from the alternator (FET isolator in between, but no B2B) for 5 years now. I regularly see 100-120A charging current at the battery. Probably not the best for the alternator, but no problems yet.
Is it always charging or do you have some sort of disconnect?
 

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I have been charging lithiums directly from the alternator (FET isolator in between, but no B2B) for 5 years now. I regularly see 100-120A charging current at the battery. Probably not the best for the alternator, but no problems yet.
Really? That's all? What type of house batteries are you charging?
 

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2019, 159", High Roof, 2500
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hi MikeMarMar
I have been charging lithiums directly from the alternator (FET isolator in between, but no B2B) for 5 years now. I regularly see 100-120A charging current at the battery. Probably not the best for the alternator, but no problems yet.
Wondering where you have your FET (Victron Argo Fet? 100 or 200?) mounted ? I see it looks to go 'in line' between alternator and starting battery so I assume folks mount them somewhere up front in cab or engine bay (can they get wet??) as you would not want to run alt line to rear of van and back for starting battery. Agree with others that it is encouraging to hear factory alternator stands up well.


PS. to see your factory options / window sticker : take this link, change the end to be your VIN, and put it in browser.
The 220AMP alternator will list as an option if you have it.
https://www.chrysler.com/hostd/windowsticker/getWindowStickerPdf.do?vin=3C6TRVDG9KE557644

thx
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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Interesting video about loading up an alternator.
So the some of the alternators being tested are so poorly designed that they can burn themselves out under heavy load.

It would seem if they were engineered/designed to cool better they wouldn't burn out. I know it might cost more but...
 

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I'm not sure what Dodge has provided in terms of alternator protection. There is a pretty interesting post form Victron on overloading your alternator at the link that I've provided and they include a video of a test where they burned up an alternator for our enjoyment. So, that's part of what got me questioning whether there is a line not to cross.
Victron on smoking your alternator
Hi @jkmann

This was the big question for me before I installed my PM alternator charging system to my house bank.

For reference I have the 180amp alternator

I have been seeking, but never have found the computer parameters of how it controls the alternator regulator. I see “spikes” when my system is 1st turned on towards 100amps, but it reduces to just over 60amps after about 30 seconds to a minute. Depending upon the SOC it will drop further as the battery tops up. I look my positive from the 70amp upfitters fuse.

If you ever find you the PM control info please post it on here.

Screenshot of engine start & charge system turned on;

70489
 
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