Q: Why are most alternators rated at full rather than idle output?
A: Eco-Tech alternators employ new, proprietary, permanent magnet technology to generate 80% of rated output at idle. Most conventional alternators generate only one third of rated output at idle. High idle systems that increase engine RPM solely to increase alternator output have been the common solution to claw pole alternators’ inability to generate needed electrical power at idle.
Q: How do the Eco-Tech Alternators compare in price and performance to other alternators usually sold for high ampere applications?
A: Comparing alternators of similar rated outputs at 5,000 RPM, the typical speed for rating of full output, Eco-Tech Alternators are significantly less expensive than a major competitor’s 290 amp alternators. Eco-Tech Alternators displace less space, are less than one half the weight, and have both output and efficiency advantages.
Compared to the alternators of another major manufacturer whose products are widely employed in fire trucks, Eco-Tech Alternators are competitively priced even though they provide 2.5 times more output at idle. This manufacturer’s 320 ampere rated alternators deliver 85 to 90 amperes at idle while 320 ampere rated Eco-Tech Alternators generate 260 amperes at idle.
Q: What is different about the Eco-Tech Alternators?
A: Eco-Tech Alternators utilize permanent magnet rotors, resulting in superior efficiency (80%) and improved power density. Three internal cooling fans allow for generous airflow and efficient cooling. The patented boost-buck regulator controls voltage.
Q: What are the operating cost savings due to using Eco-Tech Alternators?
A: Battery lives are greatly extended because of the reduction of deep discharge cycling that occurs during vehicle operation. Engine life is increased as a result of the elimination of high RPM operation that occurs when the high idle setting is engaged. The fuel penalty experienced during high idle operation (51 to 52% for the 7.3L Ford engine) is eliminated. Additional fuel economy benefits occur due to Eco-Tech Alternators’ efficiency improvement; that is, less engine drag for the same electrical output (see fuel savings calculator).