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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:44 pm 
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Location: Enhaut PA (usa)
what do you guys think of the idea, using the optima yellow top battery, this battery is designed to be used in race cars with no alternators, do you think it would be worth it to run this battery which weighs 50 pounds and not run the alternator on the engine to have one less belt driven item on the engine?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:50 pm 
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LOL! :o

You'd need the blue top....deep cycle....cause it will need recharged every 100 miles or so.

SIX hour coffee break every 100 miles! LOL! :-P


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:13 am 
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tominator's right: you'd need to use a deep-cycle battery. and - just checked their site - it looks like the yellow top has deep cycle capability. you'd toast a starting battery of course if you discharged it regularly/deeply.

why not try it out for around-town driving. probably worth a few percent in savings. i doubt it would work well with headlights at night though - they'll be pretty yellow - like the battery.

i'm going to try this when the weather warms up. (switch from plugging in the block heater, to plugging in the solar panel or trickle charger). i'll do a test to compare the mpg difference with/without the alternator.

btw, there's a pretty long and nutty thread on this topic already:

http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?t=20248

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:00 am 
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Bad things happen when you don't run an alternator such as you can only make short trips and running lean. The car won't drive long on just a battery, run the alternator.

My friend runs no alternator in his Dwarf car but he only has to run 35 laps for the main race. In between each race he charges it.

To save weight why don't you buy a small gel cell and mount it in the rear. My new battery has 275 cold cranking amps and weigh's less then half what the under hood one does. Its mounted behind the passenger seat where the rear seat was. The great thing with those battaries is you can mount in the cabine and they don't leak/vent or spin (unless smashed).

Dan


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:02 am 
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I use an odessey pc680mj battery in my sprint, and have been putting the regular pc680's in the porsche's at our shop for road/track use .. very small, lightweight, inexpensive, and plenty of cranking power, far more then you need to take care of a little suzuki motor :lol:
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no alternator means lower voltage for everything, poorer spark, etc, your ecu will likely try to compensate by dumping more fuel and possibly leave you in limp mode... plus if you get stuck in traffic or forget to keep your battery charged, you're left on the side of the road.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:45 am 
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thanks for the info, i didnt really think of all the things that could go wrong w/o running an alternator

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:01 pm 
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n1tr0 wrote:
I use an odessey pc680mj battery in my sprint, and have been putting the regular pc680's in the porsche's at our shop for road/track use .. very small, lightweight, inexpensive, and plenty of cranking power, far more then you need to take care of a little suzuki motor :lol:
I use this one in my V8 truck. When new, it held enough charge to start after 6weeks. Two years (now) its just starting peter out at 4weeks. But for most applications that's perfectly acceptable.

The minimal alternator and small battery combo is better.

Anyone have any idea what the ignition system amp draw is? I have absolutely no accesories. So unless its dark or raining all the juice is going into keeping the motor running (includes fuel pump, injector, pcm, etc.)

AND, BTW, despite what Optima says, no serious racers use their product. Its nice and reliable and long lasting, but there's lighter cheaper less reliable stuff out there for racers.

Jay W
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:11 pm 
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since the system is really designed to run near 13-15 volts, i wonder if there's another battery or battery combination that would support alternator-optional running...

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:16 pm 
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what about two batterys with an isolator?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:22 pm 
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i may be wrong, but doesn't an isolator just prevent current flow from one battery to the other when they're connected in parallel? (i think the isolator is designed so a weak batt won't pull down a good one.)

my 12volt boat batteries are connected in parallel thru an isolator. but my total "pack" voltage is still 12.6.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:54 pm 
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hey n1tro i noticed the battery you are using is 95.00 dollars, is it really worth it for economic purposes?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:19 am 
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I intend to use a 300 CCA lawnmower battery. I think they're about $20.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:55 pm 
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Would it be practical to make an under drive crank pulley smaller or an aluminum alternator pulley bigger? That should reduce the drag more.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:11 pm 
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from what i've read, reducing the speed of the alternator won't significantly reduce the energy needed to run it because its resistance is controlled by the voltage regulator, which will correct for rotor speed.

the voltage regulator wants to see a certain output from the alt., and if the speed of the alt drops, the voltage regulator strengthens the field current to maintain consistent output. increasing the field current increases the alternator's resistance to rotation. so there's a net zero gain by slowing it down.

(unless you make it so slow that the field winding is maxed out and it can't pump out enough juice ... but then you'd be discharging the battery..)

there would be a small reduction in aerodynamic drag from the alt pulley fan going slower, but i doubt that would show up in your MPG.

i'm no expert - these are just things i've read on the topic of underdriving an alternator.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 12:03 am 
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My friend did that with his Taurus SHO for awhile, the Optima would last him about 30 miles round trip for work every day then charge it all night. He did that a few months before deciding the inconvenience was worse than spending the $ on a new alternator.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 12:52 am 
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Vtek wrote:
hey n1tro i noticed the battery you are using is 95.00 dollars, is it really worth it for economic purposes?

it's a sweet battery, I believe retail on it is actually more like $135 or so, I think it's worth it just as a replacement, and you shed a few pounds :dunno:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:47 pm 
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why would you want to remove the ALT?
the HUGE parasitic load on the engine?
from what i have read it uses about.....1 HP to produce 40 amp charge

well, besides the every little bit helps mentality.


my quick search ...source is below

http://performanceunlimited.com/cobrava ... hinfo.html


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:15 am 
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werase643 wrote:
well, besides the every little bit helps mentality.


that pretty much sums up my mentality.

i look at it this way: lets' go even more conservative and say by cutting out the alternator you only save 1/3 hp, instead of .9 hp. after all, who's running 40 amps on a regular basis? that's a worst case electrical load: recent start, wipers, full lights, defrost, heater blower, stereo, etc.

so 1/3 hp savings doesn't sound like a big deal on a 55 hp 1.0 L motor.

except I'm rarely ever running at 55 hp output. (in fact i don't think i've ever asked for all 55 hp from my motor...)

at 35-40 mph, it's probably more like 5-10 hp (on level ground). let's say 7hp.

so remove the 1/3 hp alternator load at that speed and you've reduced demand on the engine by 4.8% (.33333 * 7). that works out to 2-3 mpg from a conservative 55 mpg at that speed (cruising, top gear).

(i'm guilty of back-of-the napkin assumptions here. i don't know the actual road hp required for a 1.0 metro at 35-40 mph. just a guess based on a couple of references i've seen to road hp at highway speeds. in various places i've seen 15hp @ 55 mph; and 27 hp @ 75 mph for a "typical" car.)

btw - good page. thanks for the link.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:39 am 
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the whole thing is going to be down to the fact that 12.5 Volts is needed to start the car(starter) and after that the system has been designed to opperate at 12-15 volt...but really close to 14 volts
the electrics are going to have a fit if the batt voltage goes below 12V

i understand that race cars(bikes) use batt only...total loss system
but they don't run this way except in a short sprint race... else the bat dies and the car/bike starts to have problems
also i don't know anybody who does this with a FI system
only carbs therefore the only elec load is the sparky


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:57 am 
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true - as was mentioned above, if the car runs like crap because the system doesn't have enough voltage, then the "savings" are moot.

a fully charged battery sits approximately at 12.6v (slightly higher actually). a fully depleted battery is 10.5 v. so let's say you've got 1/4 of the battery's capacity to use (to about 12.0v) before the ECU and ignition system is unhappy about it.

my boat's deep-cycle battery for example is a 75 amp hour unit. so if i used 1/4 of that capacity (to get down to 12v), that's 18.75 ah (75/4).

assuming i use power at the rate that would require the 1/3 hp from the above example, then i'm drawing 13.3 amps. that gives me an hour of running, with 5.42 amps left over before i reach 1/4 depletion. the left over 5.42 amps represent 29% of an hour (5.42/18.75) or 17.34 minutes.

so i could theoretically run my car off a fully charged 75 ah battery for an hour and 17 minutes before i used a quarter of its capacity.

i live in a small town - that's more than a couple of days worth of around town driving for me.

(again, making some simplistic assumptions: that the relationship between amp draw and battery voltage is totally linear. and i couldn't find a source in a quick search, but i'm pretty sure that a starter will work below 12.6v)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:17 pm 
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well why don't you experiment with 2 batteries
run one til the car dies then swap and drive home

or

to use about 1/10 of a hp....run the ALT with just bearing load
install a swith in the field wire on the ALT...the big one
run til it starts to crap out....then switch the ALT back on and charge your batt
see if you notice a diff


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:30 pm 
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Why not figure out a way to only let the alternator charge during trailing throttle? :D


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:58 pm 
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Tominator wrote:
Why not figure out a way to only let the alternator charge during trailing throttle? :D

:shock: thats actually not half bad! hook the field wire to a normaly closed switch that is only closed while the throttle in the idle position, or slightly off idle.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:19 pm 
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hook it to an accelerometer switch, so it charges only when the car experiences negative g's regardless of throttle position.

now we're getting nutty again.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:49 am 
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i think if you have the mentality that "every little bit helps', and i know you do :wink: why not a throttle switch set up?adjust it just above your normal cruise position? lighter and cheaper than another battery. or solar panels.

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