Mastervolt Alpha High-Output Alternator Temperature when charging LiFePO4


Dominique Sery
 

Hello, Mastervolt indicates in the documentation that the power must be reduced from 100 ° and the alternator stopped at 125 °.  The problem with the temperature sensor is that it cannot be attached to the hottest part of the alternator.  With an Alpha Pro 2 or 3 regulator with masterbus socket, it is possible to modify certain parameters such as the temperature not to be exceeded, by adjusting it to 55 ° (at the location of the probe) the internal temperature of the  alternator will not be too high (I set to 60 °, I will do other tests and measurements) as well as choose the lithium profile.  The software also reduces the output power, but the latest version (web software) requires the intervention of an online Mastervolt technician.  It is not possible to modify the proposed lithium profile yourself (28.5 bulk / absorption, absorption time 4 h, floating 27 v).  On the Alpha pro 1, it is possible to adjust the bulk, absorption and float voltages as well as the absorption time to best approximate the recommended settings for lithium batteries, with a screwdriver.
Dominique
Irko A54#16


Billy Newport
 

120C seems unsafely hot. If you look at most 0000 wiring, it's only rated to 105C (usually written on the insulation). Something to think about.

Billy


Scott SV Tengah
 

I attached the Mastervolt BATTERY temperature sensor to the outer casing of the MV110 amp alternator and wired it to the Alpha Pro II alternator temperature sensor input. Mastervolt techs said this is ok. While this may not be inside, I also seem to remember that the MV software sets the cutoff temperature for the alternator MUCH higher than 115C. 

I have had this setup for over 2 years with my lifepo4 setup and have definitely run it for 2-3+ hours at max output with no problems. Of course by saying that, my alternator will fail tomorrow. :)

On Thu, Jul 15, 2021 at 2:24 AM Dominique Sery via groups.io <dominiquesery=me.com@groups.io> wrote:

Hello Dean, the Mastervolt alternator temperature is 115° C after one one hour at 95 A and stay at 115°.

I put an alternator temperature sensor but it does not work very well because i put it 
on B+ output where the temperature rise 60° C. I can’t put the sensor at the warmest point. I mesured the inside temperature at 115.

All mesures with a Fluke infrared thermometer.
Dominique


--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Dominique Sery
 

Hello Dean, the Mastervolt alternator temperature is 115° C after one one hour at 95 A and stay at 115°.

I put an alternator temperature sensor but it does not work very well because i put it 
on B+ output where the temperature rise 60° C. I can’t put the sensor at the warmest point. I mesured the inside temperature at 115.

All mesures with a Fluke infrared thermometer.
Dominique


Dean Gillies
 

On Wed, Apr 28, 2021 at 11:15 PM, Arno Luijten wrote:
you could just stick a Amazon remote thermometer on the alternator
Hi Arno,
That's a great idea!  Even better, the Multiplus device in the test system I have built here at home was supplied with a temperature sensor which is not needed for the Lithium cells, but can be connected to the Cerbo GX. I have now done that, and it works perfectly, providing a dashboard readout as well as a permanent log of temperature through VRM. 

I just need to bolt the sensor to the alternator B- terminal and hook it up to the Cerbo GX. The permanent logging will show me the temperature profile as the alternator runs in practice.  

Thanks Arno, a very simple solution!

Dean SV Stella
A54-154



Arno Luijten
 

Hi Dean,

You are right, we do have a different alternator. But this makes me wonder even more as the compact alternators have much more airgaps to let the heat out then the high output ones. The fans on these alternators are mounted internally.
I guess the build of the high output ones is more heat resistant. What I don't like about this is that most high-current devices use temperature sensors (shore chargers, solar chargers, etc). What if the airflow gets restricted (for example engine room ventilation breaks down) or a bearing runs hot?
For me it was easy as I did no have to buy any additional things to achieve temperature control on the alternator. But I still find it strange that Mastervolt claims you don't need it. In luxury cars nowadays the alternator is even water-cooled and I'm pretty sure those have less work to do then a lithium charging alternator.

But you could just stick a Amazon remote thermometer on the alternator to see what it's doing and build confidence that way.

Cheers,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Dean Gillies
 

On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 08:33 PM, Scott SV Tengah wrote:
I've had it run at full output from 30% SOC, so that's around 4 hours at full "realistic" output.
Hi Scott,
That's about the highest load scenario I'm contemplating. That gives me confidence.

I hear you re managing the charging sources. My system design includes a "charge enable" signal from the BMS which is only active when the BMS is completely happy for the batteries to be charged. BMS fault conditions requiring charging to cease, including an "almost-full" battery, disable the alternator as well as managing the Smart Solar MPPT, Multi-Plus 3000 and Mastervolt 100/40 chargers. The wonders of Multi-Plus, CAN-Bus and the Victron Cerbo GX!

Best regards
Dean
SV Stella A54-154

 
    
 


Dean Gillies
 

Hi Arno,
I don't believe that is my alternator that your manual is referencing. My alternator is not the "Compact" version, its the "High Output" version. 
I have attached the manual, and I have the 110A variant.

Section 4.3 discusses the temperature issue, and recommends a temperature sensor for "Non-Mastervolt Alternators", and specifically says this:  "The Mastervolt high power output alternators do not need this alternator temperature sensor since they are designed to charge cyclic used batteries".

Mastervolt seem to have confidence in these High Output Alternators... maybe I should too ??

Best regards
Dean
SV Stella A54-154


Scott SV Tengah
 

Dean,

I've been running the MV 110 alternator with my 450AH Victron lifepo4 battery setup for over two years now, nearly full time live aboard. I've had it run at full output from 30% SOC, so that's around 4 hours at full "realistic" output.

I talked to a MV tech and they swore up and down that I didn't need to because their alternator can handle lithium just fine, but I still installed the included battery temp monitor onto the alternator and used the MV software to configure it to taper output if temp gets above a certain point. Can't recall that point and I'm not at the boat right now.

Note I switched out to the MV AP2 as the AP3 wasn't available in my area when I was installing.

Over the last 2+ years, the MV110 has not once suffered power taper due to overheating. It has, of course, tapered due to cell imbalance, which is why I keep harping that people need to understand how their system reacts when the inevitable high SOC, high charge rate induced cell imbalance occurs. On my system, as you know, the BMS just tells the chargers to stop charging, without any disconnect. 

Hope this gives you some comfort.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Dean,

See page six  of the added document and the notes on page 13

Regards,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Dean Gillies
 

On Mon, Apr 26, 2021 at 02:59 AM, Dominique Sery wrote:
I'm going to the boat in 3 weeks to install the lithium batteries.

Hi Dominique,
That's exciting! It would be very helpful information to know how your alternator temperature behaves when charging at full-load for an extended time. Thank you.
Best regards
Dean
SV Stella
A54-154



 


Dean Gillies
 

On Mon, Apr 26, 2021 at 12:36 AM, Arno Luijten wrote:
I've seen publications where they do advise to put a sensor on the alternator.

Arno, that's exactly what I'm looking for. Do you recall where you read such advice? I'd like to understand more.

I have an Alpha Pro regulator, and if I don't need to change it to a Pro II/III, then I won't. Tho Pro can be adjusted manually to provide a Lithium compatible charge profile, and I have no other need to set up any Masterbus infrastructure in my new system.

I'm going down the Victron path, and if I REALLY must change my regulator, then I am more interested in a CAN-Bus device like the WakeSpeed product ... but that's whole new can of worms 🤔
My hope is to stick with the original regulator and keep the lid firmly on the worm-can.  Potential for alternator overheating is the one issue I want to understand more about. 

Best regards
Dean
SV Stella A54-154





 


Dominique Sery
 

Dean,

I'm going to the boat in 3 weeks to install the lithium batteries.
Then I will check the functioning of the whole system (alternator, chargers, inverter ...) with temperature readings of the alternator, batteries and cables.
I will then be able to tell you more.

Dominique
Irko currently at Kilada in Greece
A54#16


Arno Luijten
 

When you change the alternator controller from the original AlphaPro to a AlphaPro II or AlphaPro III you will find an enclosed temp sensor in the package. You can configure the alternator controller to have the temp sensor monitor the alternator instead of the batteries.
In my case I also added a Mastershunt to the system. This shunt also comes with a sensor and broadcasts the battery temperature across the Masterbus network. This way you can feed both the battery and alternator temperature to the AlphaPro. It also enables some more control over the AphaPro.

I'm not at the point of installing Lithium given the charge/discharge/SOC complexity but I did prepare my electric system as far as I could to install Lithium at some point in the future. Mastervolt is very much double in it's advice to monitor the alternator temperature. I've seen publications where they do advise to put a sensor on the alternator. In my case it was simple as it did not require additional things to buy. Knowing the alternator temperature is also useful to anticipate on some of the problems that may develop (worn out bearings etc.)

Regards,

Arno Luijten,
SV Luna,
A54-121


Dean Gillies
 

Hi Dominique,
Thanks for that information. You're quite correct, that is the temp sensor which Mastervolt recommend for third-party (cheaper) alternators. It is indeed an extra protection as you suggest.

However, Mastervolt state very clearly in their documentation that this sensor is not needed with the Mastervolt alternator.  What I really want to know is whether their statement is true in practice when charging Lithium batteries.

Best regards
Dean
SV Stella
A54-154


Dominique Sery
 

Hello,
 
My batteries need to be changed and I'm switching to lithium.
I bought a Mastervolt alternator temperature sensor 41500400 (19.80 euros)
With the Masterbus to USB interface you can choose the alternator temperature  with the Master adjust software and the voltage charges, with your laptop.
It will be an additional security.
 
Dominique
 
Irko A54-16
 
 


Dean Gillies
 

Hi all,
This question is for owners with installed LiFePO4 batteries using the Mastervolt Alpha alternator (110A or 150A) as originally installed on many 54s. 

Mastervolt state that these alternators do not require a temperature sensor to monitor alternator temperature, the implication being that they will not overheat,  There is no graceful degradation built-in, and presumably if the alternator really does overheats then it will simply fail completely.

I wonder if this statement by MV holds true in practice with the large LiFePO4 banks now being installed, where the alternator could be asked to deliver maximum power continuously for a period of 4, 5 or more hours?


Has anyone experienced an alternator failure caused by overheating when charging for long periods?

Mastervolt offer a temperature sensor for third-party alternators which can be used via the Alpha Pro II/III regulators’ Masterbus interface. This allows the regulator to first derate, and then safely disable the third-party alternator if the temperature becomes too high. Has anyone felt the need to install this option with a Mastervolt alternator?

I will be changing to LiFePO4 when I return to Stella and I’m just planning my approach to managing the alternator interface.

Dean
SV Stella, A54-154