Has anybody any experience, or advice, for using 'smart' (Adverc etc) regulators with a outboard alternator ?. With a measly output of 6 amps I'm looking to get the best charge possible from it and a solar panel.
I have a recent 9.9hp outboard with regulated 80 watt charger (hand start only) for my 24' saling cruiser - probably the same charging capability as yourself.
I'd seriously doubt whether an Adverc is going to be an economic proposition - you've already got all the charge you can get. My 50 AH leisure battery is required to supply nav lights, VHF, tiller pilot, GPS, depth and cabin lighting. As backup there's a 10 watt solarex solar panel mounted at an efficient tilt and this arrangement provides more than adequate power for my needs - mainly day sailing with week-end coastal trips in the summer. The solar panel is surprisingly efficient, but should your power requirements be greater, your best bet might be to add a small Aerogen if you have room - if not, consider a 20 watt solar panel with regulator?
Steve, the first thing to check is whether your outboard has a rectifier - in other words is it giving ac or dc. dc is needed for battery charging. The manual should tell you, but if not trace the wiring back in the engine. If it goes straight to the magneto, chances are its ac. If it goes through a unit about the size of small matchbox, sometimes with cooling fins, then its dc, and can go straight to the battery.
How much difference it will make depends on how much electrical power your boat needs. If you have much i the way of electronics aboard, then even at full output, unless you are running the engine a greta deal, its just not worth bothering with the ob's charging circuits.
Add up the wattage of the relularly used items, plus an allowance for ligthing etc, divinde by 12, and you will get an idea of the amps per hour consumption, against the 6 amps, which relaistically is only 3 or 4 amps actually available. Advercs will not much difference and the money would be better spent on an alternative charging system.
But why not ask them their opinion anyway? They are a most helpful company.
I have a 10hp electric start Mariner, with a charge output of 96 watts. It recharges the battery for starting, but anything else I take out for lights, radio and GPS has to come from somewhere else! This usually means carrying a mains charger, and spending the odd night every 4 - 5 days in a marina with a power supply available.
You need to be carful not to burn out the charging coils buy pushing the charging system beyond its rating. Since you are never going to get more than about 8A from the outboard have you thought of a wind/water charger which, for about the same price will give 5-8A under sail plus trickle chaging on the berth.