What is Direct Charging?

It is a sad fact that most stand alone remote power systems only work as planned most of the time. There comes a time in every solar system when the sun doesn't shine and the electrical load needs supplementation with something other than solar panels.

Normally this is done by a generator running battery charger or by an inverter-charger. Both have advantages and disadvantage.

What we advocate as a cost effective alternative to the above is building your own high performance battery charger using readily available items like stationary engines and car or truck alternators. You can configure car or truck alternators to charge battery banks of 12, 24 and 48 volts with relative ease.

Strath Steam engine driving an alternator

Pictured above a a direct charging plant utilising a steam engine to drive two Fysher and Paykel washing machine motors. This example produced up to 30 amps at 48 volts.

Examples of Direct Charging Plants

Depicted below is an example of a simple direct charging plant built 15 odd years ago and still performing faultlessly. This particular example is a Honda 6.5 HP engine driving a 55 amp 24 volt truck alternator.

Direct charging plant made from Honda engine and 55 amp truck alternator

Below is a vintage Lister stationary engine driving a three phase electric motor converted to produce 50 amps at 48 volts.

Direct charging plant made with vintage Lister diesel engin

Buy the book as an instant download PDF

Cover of book: Bui;ld Your Own Direct Charging Plant

Direct Charging PDF

In This Book Learn About:-

  • Lead Acid Storage Batteries
  • Battery Charging, basic and advanced
  • Diesel and patrol stationary engines, horsepower, torque and efficiency
  • Alternators, permanent magnet generators and converted electric motors for use in battery charging
  • Step by step construction of a direct charging plant including electronic regulation
  • Build Your Own Direct Charging Plant, ISBN: 978-0-9581100-5-1

    120 pages with color and black and white images and drawings, this book details making a battery charging plant using stationary engines and an alternators or converted electric motors.

    Watch our videos

    Installing a battery bank

    Video of fitting a battery bank for a remote power system.

    Installing solar panels

    Video of installing solar panels on a remote power system

    Completing the system

    Detailing how to connect your batteries panels and inverter together.

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