High output alternator designs for extreme audio applications!

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Choosing a high amp alternator 

  • In the realm of hi performance "factory" is not enough. Consider the fact that any accessory to a vehicles electrical system creates an imbalance.  These accessories include: hi quality, hi sensitivity monitoring devices, radios, lite bars,  neon lights, and alarms, televisions, surround sound and mini-bars for limousines; wenches, strobe lights, CBs and computers for police fleets and other municipalities.     

    Most factory alternators have an output of 80 to 130 amperes.  Amperes are the strength behind electrical systems..  Some signs of an unbalanced electrical system are dimming lights, changes in engine revolutions when an accessory is turned on, and the accessory not working to its fullest potential.  Having a long term imbalance can create problems that can not be repaired, ranging from replacing your battery to replacing your accessories. 

    There are different ways to solve this problem....the most common mistake is to add a larger, or in some cases an additional, battery.  A battery in laymen's terms is a storage unit. The engine, factory electronics and accessories take away from the "storage unit" and the alternator replenishes the "storage unit" per amount of time. The alternator must be able to replenish the battery as fast and as much as the electrical system takes away. If this "give and take" isn't balanced, then the battery slowly gets weaker until it's dead. A larger battery solves the problem short term and will eventually result in a dead battery.  

    The best way to solve this problem is by replacing the factory alternator. Here at H.O. Alternators, our manufactured alternators are designed to fit the same as the original.  In most cases, no adapters, brackets or other modifications are needed for installation.  Most of our police alternators start at 220 ampere range, and depending on the vehicle, can exceed 300 amperes

The  HO high output alternator design is a new technology, self-contained, ultra-compact, commercial duty, engine-driven alternator which can be attached to any engine. This system uses a unique, electrically isolated hi amp alternator, which is built by HO, in the USA, to withstand the extraordinary stresses of hi amp extreme audio.

Design Features Provide Performance Benefits                                        550 amp Brute Series Alternator

The typical alternator is just not built like a HO high amp alternator (a key reason why we make this distinction rather than referring to them simply as alternators). Therefore, if quickly charging batteries is important, a HO high amp alternator is an ideal solution.

Unlike standard high-amp alternators most of which are designed to produce hi amps for a relatively brief period,  like welding, a HO high amp alternator/alternator has been built to produce higher amps continuously --- an absolute necessity for extreme audio.

High-end audio draws many OEM charging systems to the limit.... massive aftermarket audio systems with megawatt subwoofers and enough amplifier  power to shake houses for a mile radius.

Most enthusiasts now are taking audio to the extreme.  If loud is good, louder is even better.  Some of the audio systems can literally blow the windows out of a vehicle if they're cranked all the way up!  At a recent "db racing" event (db stands for decibels), the HO sponsored "winner"  recorded a sound level of 180 decibels............... louder than a 747 at takeoff.

How do these extreme audio enthusiasts power their systems?    Special hi-output alternators are available for such applications, but most are reman units that require modifications before they can be installed.  

HO has a better solution:  high output NITRO Series alternators that are 100% new and are engineered to produce maximum amperage at lower rpms.  This allows the charging system to keep up with the amplifiers and eliminates battery rundown.

Some of the units in HO's new NITRO Series alternator line can produce up to 300 amps, which is nearly triple the output of some stock units they replace.  HO is able to accomplish this by computer analysis of the magnetics and windings for the stator and rotors.  The air gap between the stator and rotor has also been minimized to ensure the highest operating efficiency.  

To handle the heat, HO high output alternators have housings that are not plated with any coatings.   Stators are wound with Nomex insulation, the same kind of heat shielding used in the NASA space program.  Welded connections, which do not require coating  with silicone (silicone hold sin heat),  prevent corrosion and protect against heat and vibration.  Also  HO certified hi-efficiency diodes are used for maximum durability.

HO high output alternators also have smaller diameter computer modeled steel  pulleys.  This allows the unit to spin faster at low rpm and gives the unit a custom appearance.  Best of all, these units fit the same as the original.  No adapters, brackets or other modifications are needed for installation.  

HO high output alternators are custom built products and are priced accordingly.  But they offer significant savings over the long run when you consider the cost of replacing stock or remanufactured by "alternator-starter remanufacturers",  units that fail repeatedly because they can't take the heat.  Audio extremists  who spend thousands of dollars on sound systems know the power of any system is the alternator and are happy to make a one-time investment in a high output alternator that can keep up with their amplifiers.

Other features of HO alternators:                 

  • HO hi amp alternators are designed so that they can be controlled with an internal  voltage regulator.
  • Ultra heavy duty output terminals are fabricated from bronze (almost pure copper, but more durable) to insure minimal corrosion in marine environments as well as minimal electrical resistance to the huge charging amps that HO hi amp alternators can produce (many alternators use hi resistance, easily corroded, mild steel terminals on their alternators). AND, these oversize bronze terminals are no less than 5/16" in diameter at any point -- capable of easily handling much larger charging amps -- unlike many so-called high-amp/heavy-duty alternators which only appear to have heavy duty output terminals while internal amp handling components are actually far smaller.
  • Alternator output is completely isolated electrically from the generator/alternator case (and, therefore, from the vessel's ground plane). When connected to take advantage of this feature, hi amp alternator charging amps can flow directly to the batteries WITHOUT having to also pass through hull or fittings. This feature also makes connection of generators in series parallel combinations possible.
  • Alternator field circuits are also completely isolated electrically from the generator/alternator case (and, therefore, from the vessel's ground plane) enabling special regulation systems to be implemented without modification.
  • Rectifiers in all HO high amp alternators/alternators are more than double the size required to handle rated output amps, and are also capable of handling exceptionally hi voltage spikes. Rectifier heat sinks are equally robust allowing reliable hi amp operation in exceptionally hot operating environments.
  • Bearings are oversize, and much higher quality than found in a typical alternator -- equally capable of handling high side loads and hi temperature operating environments.
  • To further reduce bearing wear, and increase service life, rotors are spin balanced and machined to ultra close internal tolerances.
  • Internal wiring, including stator and rotor windings,  is extra heavy duty and designed with an insulating system capable of withstanding temperatures of more than 298 degrees Fahrenheit without failure.
  • All magnetic materials (stator laminations and rotor poles) are built from alloys specially selected for superior magnetic properties.

HO 300 amp. hi amp alternator

But, that's not all! While it's definitely NOT a standard alternator, the HO high amp alternator can be used for:

  • standard, low-output automotive alternator in work, service, emergency, or off road vehicles, or
  • an service vehicle as an ultra hi amp, heavy duty, hi amp battery charger, or
  • part of an onboard DC secondary power source for hi amp demand accessories such as exotic automotive sound systems, marine electrical systems, mobile communication systems, hi power radio transmitters, and/or emergency/medical equipment.

HO makes the best high output DC power generating units in the world. In addition to producing large extreme audio amps, He's  high amp alternators can also be used  to efficiently produce very high, well regulated battery charging amps -- from 150 to over 800 amps in 12 volt systems, and up to 400 amps in 24 volt applications -- serving as high amp alternators or ultra high amp alternator systems.

Need very high charging amp?

These design features do not, however, repeal any laws of physics, nor do they eliminate the necessity to follow good charging system design parameters. For example, you should not scrimp on the selection of proper voltage regulation and/or system protection components for a given application. Nor should you ignore over temperature protection, manufacturer's recommendations for charging amp/voltage, proper fusing, charge amp limiting/monitoring during bulk charge, etc. 

These considerations are especially important if your are planning to charge a large battery bank (particularly a large AGM battery bank -- or battery banks made up of a more than three individual batteries wired in parallel) with a relatively small generating system. Such a system would be defined as one where battery capacity in amp-hours (AH) is more than twice the continuous charging capacity of a given alternator in amps. An example of this would be a 200A alternator being used to charge an 800 AH battery bank.

Customer service is key. Not only do we make the finest alternators of their kind, we also provide world class service.

 One Year Limited Warranty

HO hi amp alternators are sold with a one year limited warranty which does not exclude commercial use. And our guaranteed overhaul / rebuilding cost policy further protects your investment in our equipment.

Buy risk free using our Online Store -- or call us today to order a unit (866-446-8878).

Choosing a high amp alternator

HO™ is a trademark owned by HO Power Systems, Inc. for its extreme audio system alternators and related products.

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