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Adverc

I've just bought a boat and am replacing th engine and adding an additional 3 leisure batteries to the existing bank of 2 (plus a starter). The old engine had a single small altenator. The new engine (Beta 38) has twin 40 and 100. They will now run the starter from the 40a and 5 * 110a leisure batteries from the 100a. The boat has an adverc fitted but not connected (I don't know why). The elictrician I have coming in to fit the new batteries tells me that he does not like Advercs and that I would get no advantage from using it. Also, he says that the altenator would have to be adapted for it, so more trouble than it's worth.
I'm going to be a liveaboard, moored up most of the time but with no hook up. I'll need to run the engine to top up the batteries pretty much every day. Should I connect the Adverc?
Advercs seem to be a bit like Marmite with half the people I talk to loving and the other half hating them.

Asked by: Carl Young  | 6.20am, Thursday 26 July


WW says:

If you are buying a brand new engine, it might be wise to leave the Adverc off. If there are any problems with the alternator necessitating a warranty claim, any deviation from the standard setup could affect a claim.
Fitting a battery monitor will mean that you can monitor the charging and the state of the batteries.

Rupert Smedley  | 12.44PM, Thursday 26 July

The Adverc is a battery management system which takes the place of the regulator within the engine alternator. A standard alternator regulator is designed to deal with vehicle batteries which are discharged for a short period when the engine is started but then remain fairly well charged up. When faced with five deeply discharged domestic batteries on a boat, the regulator can be fooled into thinking that they are fully charged when they are, in fact, only half charged. The result is that you get less power from the batteries.
The Adverc ensures that the alternator keeps charging the batteries until they are fully charged. In order to do this, the wiring inside the alternator has to be modified and this can invalidate the warranty of the alternator. Some owners get round this by waiting until the engine is out of warranty before fitting a battery management system. Others opt for one of the Sterling range of systems which does not need to be wired into the alternator in this way.
Assuming that the engine does not have some sort of built-in battery management system, and that the Adverc does not have a fault, my advice would be to connect it either straight away or at the end of the warranty period. Given the sort of use you describe, it should mean that you do not need to run the engine for such a long time to charge the batteries. Running an engine 'off load' can cause glazing of the bores which makes the engine smoke, although Beta has always been more relaxed about this than other manufacturers.
I should also mention that there is a school of thought that says that it is not advisable to add new batteries to a bank of old ones. This is probably good advice if the old ones are nearing the end of their useful life but I have seen new batteries added to a bank of fairly healthy batteries with good results.

Graham Booth  | 1.02PM, Thursday 26 July

Also, just to add- modern alternators tend to charge at a higher voltage as well, so may make a voltage regulator redundant- though for best advice you need to consult Beta as to the actual alternators fitted and the voltages they are set at for charging/float. I agree with Rupert that you run the risk of invalidating the engine warranty by fitting an external voltage regulator and perhaps should err on the safe side.
I should also add that running the engine purely to charge the batteries and not putting the engine under load (as in cruising) is not good for longlevity of the engine and can lead to oil smudging, carbonisation of the cylinder head and poor performance- though the results might not be apparent for some time.

Mark Langley  | 9.50PM, Thursday 26 July

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