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AUT 242 – Automotive Electricity II

AUT 242 – Automotive Electricity II. Chapter 21 – Charging Systems. OBJECTIVES. After studying Chapter 21, the reader will be able to: Prepare for ASE Electrical/Electronic Systems (A6) certification test content area “D” (Charging System Diagnosis and Repair).

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AUT 242 – Automotive Electricity II

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  1. AUT 242 – Automotive Electricity II Chapter 21 – Charging Systems

  2. OBJECTIVES After studying Chapter 21, the reader will be able to: • Prepare for ASE Electrical/Electronic Systems (A6) certification test content area “D” (Charging System Diagnosis and Repair). • List the parts of a typical alternator. • Describe how an alternator works. • Explain how the powertrain control module (PCM) controls the charging circuit.

  3. Alternator Claw poles Delta winding Diodes Drive-end (DE) housing Duty cycle EPM IDP OAD OAP Rectifier Rotor Slip-ring-end (SRE) housing Stator Thermistor KEY TERMS

  4. PRINCIPLES OF ALTERNATOR OPERATION • TERMINOLOGY • It is the purpose and function of the charging system to keep the battery fully charged. • PRINCIPLES • All electrical alternators use the principle of electromagnetic induction to generate electrical power from mechanical power. • Electromagnetic induction involves the generation of an electrical current in a conductor when the conductor is moved through a magnetic field. • CHANGING AC TO DC

  5. ALTERNATOR CONSTRUCTIONHOUSING • An alternator is constructed using a two-piece cast aluminum housing. • A front ball bearing is pressed into the front housing, called the drive-end (DE) housing , to provide the support and friction reduction necessary for the belt-driven rotor assembly. • The rear housing, or the slip-ring-end (SRE) housing , usually contains either a roller bearing or ball bearing support for the rotor and mounting for the brushes, diodes, and internal voltage regulator (if so equipped).

  6. ALTERNATOR CONSTRUCTIONHOUSING • A typical alternator on a Chevrolet V-8 engine.

  7. ALTERNATOR CONSTRUCTIONHOUSING • The end frame toward the drive belt is called the drive-end housing and the rear section is called the slip-ring-end housing.

  8. ALTERNATOR OVERRUNNING PULLEYSPURPOSE AND FUNCTION • Many alternators are equipped with an overrunning alternator pulley (OAP) , also called an overrunning clutch pulley or an alternator clutch pulley . • The purpose of this pulley is to help eliminate noise and vibration in the accessory drive belt system, especially when the engine is at idle speed.


  10. ALTERNATOR OVERRUNNING PULLEYSPURPOSE AND FUNCTION • An exploded view of an overrunning alternator dampener showing all of the internal parts.

  11. Alternator Horsepower and Engine Operation • Many technicians are asked how much power certain accessories require. • A 100 ampere alternator requires about 2 horsepower from the engine. • One horsepower is equal to 746 watts. • Watts are calculated by multiplying amperes times volts. • Power in watts =100 A x14.5 V =1,450 W • 1 hp =746 W • Therefore, 1,450 watts is about 2 horsepower.

  12. Can I Install an OAP or an OAD to My Alternator? • Usually, no. • An alternator needs to be equipped with the proper shaft to allow the installation of an OAP or OAD. • This also means that a conventional pulley often cannot be used to replace a defective overrunning alternator pulley or dampener with a conventional pulley. • Check service information for the exact procedure to follow.

  13. Always Check the OAP or OAD First • Overrunning alternator pulleys and overrunning alternator dampeners can fail. • The most common factor is the one-way clutch. • If it fails, it can freewheel and not power the alternator or it can lock up and not provide the dampening as designed. • If the charging system is not working, the OAP or OAD could be the cause, rather than a fault in the alternator itself. • In most cases, the entire alternator assembly will be replaced because each OAP or OAD is unique for each application and both require special tools to remove and replace.

  14. Always Check the OAP or OAD First • A special tool is needed to remove and install overrunning alternator pulleys or dampeners.


  16. ALTERNATOR COMPONENTS AND OPERATION • A cutaway of an alternator, showing the rotor and cooling fan that is used to force air through the unit to remove the heat created when it is charging the battery and supplying electrical power for the vehicle.

  17. ALTERNATOR COMPONENTS AND OPERATION • Rotor assembly of a typical alternator. • Current through the slip rings causes the “fingers” of the rotor to become alternating north and south magnetic poles. • As the rotor revolves, these magnetic lines of force induce a current in the stator windings.

  18. ALTERNATOR COMPONENTS AND OPERATION • An exploded view of a typical alternator showing all of its internal parts including the stator windings.

  19. ALTERNATOR COMPONENTS AND OPERATION • A rectifier usually includes six diodes in one assembly and is used to rectify AC voltage from the stator windings into DC voltage suitable for use by the battery and electrical devices in the vehicle.

  20. FIGURE 21–10 Magnetic lines of force cutting across a conductor induce a voltage and current in the conductor. HOW AN ALTERNATOR WORKS • HOW AN ALTERNATOR WORKS • CURRENT IS INDUCED IN THE STATOR • WYE-CONNECTED STATORS • DELTA-CONNECTED STATORS

  21. HOW AN ALTERNATOR WORKS • A sine wave (shaped like the letter S on its side) voltage curve is created by one revolution of a winding as it rotates in a magnetic field.

  22. HOW AN ALTERNATOR WORKS • When three windings (A, B, and C) are present in a stator, the resulting current generation is represented by the three sine waves. • The voltages are 120 degrees out of phase. The connection of the individual phases produces a three-phase alternating voltage.

  23. HOW AN ALTERNATOR WORKS • Wye-connected stator winding.

  24. HOW AN ALTERNATOR WORKS • As the magnetic field, created in the rotor, cuts across the windings of the stator, a current is induced. • Notice that the current path includes passing through one positive (+) diode on the way to the battery and one negative (-) diode as a complete circuit is completed through the rectifier and stator.

  25. HOW AN ALTERNATOR WORKS • Delta-connected stator winding.

  26. FIGURE 21–16 A stator assembly with six, rather than the normal three, windings. ALTERNATOR OUTPUT FACTORS • The output voltage and current of an alternator depend on the following factors. • Speed of rotation • Number of conductors • Strength of the magnetic field


  28. ALTERNATOR VOLTAGE REGULATION • Typical voltage regulator range.

  29. ALTERNATOR VOLTAGE REGULATION • A typical electronic voltage regulator with the cover removed showing the circuits inside.

  30. ALTERNATOR VOLTAGE REGULATION • Typical General Motors SI-style alternator with an integral voltage regulator. • Voltage present at terminal 2 is used to reverse bias the zener diode (D2) that controls TR2. • The positive brush is fed by the ignition current (terminal I) plus current from the diode trio.

  31. ALTERNATOR COOLING • Alternators create heat during normal operation and this heat must be removed to protect the component inside, especially the diodes and voltage regulator. • The types of cooling include: • External fan • Internal fan(s) • Both an external fan and an internal fan • Coolant cooled

  32. ALTERNATOR COOLING • A coolant-cooled alternator showing the hose connections where coolant from the engine flows through the rear frame of the alternator.


  34. COMPUTER-CONTROLLED ALTERNATORS • A Hall-effect current sensor attached to the positive battery cable is used as part of the EPM system.

  35. COMPUTER-CONTROLLED ALTERNATORS • The amount of time current is flowing through the field (rotor) determines the alternator output.

  36. The output voltage is controlled by varying the duty cycle as controlled by the PCM. COMPUTER-CONTROLLED ALTERNATORS

  37. The Voltage Display Can Be a Customer Concern • A customer may complain that the voltmeter reading on the dash fluctuates up and down. • This may be normal as the computer-controlled charging system commands various modes of operation based on the operating conditions. • Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended procedures to verify proper operation.

  38. SUMMARY • Alternator output is increased if the speed of the alternator is increased. • The parts of a typical alternator include the drive-end (DE) housing, slip-ring-end (SRE) housing, rotor assembly, stator, rectifier bridge, brushes, and voltage regulator. • The magnetic field is created in the rotor. • The alternator output current is created in the stator windings. • The voltage regulator controls the current flow through the rotor winding.

  39. REVIEW QUESTIONS • How can a small electronic voltage regulator control the output of a typical 100 ampere alternator? • What are the component parts of a typical alternator? • How is the computer used to control an alternator? • Why do voltage regulators include temperature compensation? • How is AC voltage inside the alternator changed to DC voltage at the output terminal? • What is the purpose of an OAP or OAD?

  40. CHAPTER QUIZ 1. Technician A says that the diodes regulate the alternator output voltage. Technician B says that the field current can be computer controlled. Which technician is correct? • Technician A only • Technician B only • Both Technicians A and B • Neither Technician A nor B

  41. CHAPTER QUIZ 2. A magnetic field is created in the ________ in an alternator (AC alternator). • Stator • Diodes • Rotor • Drive-end frame

  42. CHAPTER QUIZ 3. The voltage regulator controls current through the ________ . • Alternator brushes • Rotor • Alternator field • All of the above

  43. CHAPTER QUIZ 4. Technician A says that two diodes are required for each stator winding lead. Technician B says that diodes change alternating current into direct current. Which technician is correct? • Technician A only • Technician B only • Both Technicians A and B • Neither Technician A nor B

  44. CHAPTER QUIZ 5. The alternator output current is produced in the ________ . • Stator • Rotor • Brushes • Diodes (rectifier bridge)

  45. CHAPTER QUIZ 6. Alternator brushes are constructed from ________. • Copper • Aluminum • Carbon • Silver-copper alloy

  46. CHAPTER QUIZ 7. How much current flows through the alternator brushes? • All of the alternator output flows through the brushes • 25 to 35 A, depending on the vehicle • 10 to 15 A • 2 to 5 A

  47. CHAPTER QUIZ 8. Technician A says that an alternator overrunning pulley is used to reduce vibration and noise. Technician B says that an overrunning alternator pulley or dampener uses a one-way clutch. Which technician is correct? • Technician A only • Technician B only • Both Technicians A and B • Neither Technician A nor B

  48. CHAPTER QUIZ 9. Operating an alternator in a vehicle with a defective battery can harm the ________. • Diodes (rectifier bridge) • Stator • Voltage regulator • Brushes

  49. CHAPTER QUIZ 10. Technician A says that a wye-wound stator produces more maximum output than the same alternator equipped with a delta-wound stator. Technician B says that an alternator equipped with a delta-wound stator produces more maximum output than a wye-wound stator. Which technician is correct? • Technician A only • Technician B only • Both Technicians A and B • Neither Technician A nor B

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