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Old 08-01-2008, 10:59 PM   #1
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Thumbs up powering down the alternator

I have just finished putting all input and outputs on my alternator on switches.I see no charge on the battery now. I will try this out to see the diiffernce.It has been noted a 10% gain from unbelting the alternator but I have a huge problem with that, I cannot seem to find a belt to just run the water pump.I will also install a 15watt solar panel on the rear hatch tray cover to charge the battery while the car sits. Also, a soalr panel for the front window don't know which one yet probably the 5.5 watt one from ebay.

Striving to beat the oil barrens every MPG.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:28 AM   #2
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It's cool that you're trying this. It's a common idea but I and most others are easily talked out of it. I can't wait to hear the results.
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:48 AM   #3
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I too am anxious to see your results. It would be great to see a gas log.

I found a detailed repair manual for 1987 Civics and one of the differences between the HF and non-HF CRX schematics was an "alternator control module"
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:59 AM   #4
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another possibility is to just unhook the alternator. leave the belt and the alternator in place. this won't yield as high a gains as if you had a shorter belt but it will allow you to see the difference.

metroMPG did an experiment like this but without the solar panels and saw 10% increase but, he actually took off his alternator and fabricated a belt.
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Old 08-02-2008, 12:28 PM   #5
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im interested too. im in the process of getting everything together for the switch panel and battery monitor. plan is to switch it off after the inital start and turn it back on again once the battery reaches a certain level, probably be around 12v which is around 20 miles of controlled driving. i too am going to use solar as a secondary power source so maybe itll add a mile or 2 or coasting over the course of a few days.
im guessing ill gain around the standard 10% while the alt is off. so say 3mpg for 20 or so miles. i think my next step will be to increase that range by lighting changes or possibly solar panels. im gonna use the ones that came with vw's since they are good quality and i already have some.
please be sure to get back with the results and any notes you may have on it. pics of your interior set up would be nice too.
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Old 08-02-2008, 12:54 PM   #6
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If either of you have any problem, you might want to ask user rgathright for advice. He's running a Jeep with the alternator disconnected and using a deep cycle gel cell so he doesn't have to turn it back on; and he's using a power supply that makes sure there's always 14v, since some systems expect that much.
http://www.gassavers.org/garage/view/1440
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Old 08-02-2008, 03:46 PM   #7
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look into other ideas to drive your accessories such as turbo's or electric motors. I've wondered if I had a strong enough electric motor driving my water pump, air cond, power steering, alternator and what ever else would the alternator keep the battery charged enough
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
If either of you have any problem, you might want to ask user rgathright for advice. He's running a Jeep with the alternator disconnected and using a deep cycle gel cell so he doesn't have to turn it back on; and he's using a power supply that makes sure there's always 14v, since some systems expect that much.
http://www.gassavers.org/garage/view/1440
seems like his setup is the final solution for doing this. and it looks like he got decent gains, somewhere between 3-6mpg depending on his limited input which is about were i figured to be. only problem i see with his setup is he has an easy $300 into if not more which is fine after its been tested but i think it can be done for almost free. i should have it done in a few weeks, i just wanna datalog my removal of a/c and power steering for a bit longer before i make some more changes.
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:23 AM   #9
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I can't wait to see your results Kit352. I've always wondered how much gas accessories were robbing. I recently had an idea to have a turbo power all the accessories. I searched the net and found it's not a new idea but couldn't find any mileage gain numbers. More common is a turbo powered alternator for big rigs.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:37 AM   #10
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It does not seem plausible that the alt takes 10% of the energy the engine produces (assuming that that translates into a 10% MPG savings). I am definitely not scared to build an alt on/off switch for my car but I am waiting to see some real results first. I would think that I could build something to crank with my hand that would charge the battery but couldn't have 9 others cranking to propel my car 65 MPH. Something just doesn't add up.

FWIW, I am doing a Miata based MPG project right now. My last project was a high powered lightweight Miata and I considered using a Geo alt to save a pound or two of weight. A smaller alt would probably have an affect on the MPG of a car. Perhaps gear (pulley) it so it turns slower and just barely makes enough energy to power the batter during the total drive vs powering and shutting off (or whatever an alt does when it has charged the system completely).

Just my $0.02
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