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The benefits to smart external regulators in your marine vessel are plentiful. OEM marine alternators don’t have a lot of the features that make these regulators “smart”, and a smart choice for boaters. Smart exterior regulators modify the charging voltage in order to meet the condition, the technology, and the ambient temperature of big marine battery bank. This makes sure that the batteries charge safely and quickly.
Smart external regulators are a smart choice because they begin the starting process with a user-adjustable start delay. Why is this smart? It is smart because it allows the belts and engine to warm up before the alternator employs the horsepower to the system. Gently, the regulator then picks up to bulk charging voltage. The largest portion of the aggressive charging output happens in this bulk charging mode. If the requirements of the batteries are being met and are being charged, this smart regulator in response, reduces charging voltage to the absorption voltage. Then it will lead to the float voltage stage. At this point the charging system supplies enough charging current so that it can replace any electrical load that the boat demands.
This is called a three-stage regulator, and it is what makes the regulator so smart. In the first stage the normal three-stage regulator begins limiting the maximum current earlier than what is ideal because this extends the time that it can reach the second stage by 10% to 20%. Once it is in the second stage, it holds the voltage at a constant 14.4 volts while the current begins slowly declining. This second stage is that absorption stage. Some regulators base this stage on time versus the charging current. And in the third stage, the float stage, the electrolyte will start to boil away, and in turn the positive plates that are inside the cells begin to corrode, or oxidize. At the end of this stage, the typical three-stage regulator reduces the voltage to about 13.2 volts, which allows the alternator to stay at a full charge on the battery with no chance of overcharging.