A brushless generator has many benefits. Experts say it is better than its counterparts that come with brushed motors in the market. It can last long, and it requires minimal maintenance.
With time and more usage, it gets to a point where it needs maintenance. If you neglect to give it regular care and maintenance, it can die on you when you need it most.
An alternator creates electrical energy. You can use the energy to power your electrical appliances. Today, many people use these components to generate power in many applications. These include vehicles, the marine industry, rail, and many more.
If you try to crank up the alternator and find that it is not working, do not panic. Before you can even call a technician, you need to know what could be wrong. You can perform a few checks on your own.
A brushless generator could stop working for various reasons. Here, we’ll show you a few tips to help you troubleshoot your brushless alternator if it stops working. Follow the steps below. It’s best to start with the easiest things, and once they check out, you can move on to complex checks.
If your alternator is failing to work too often, the most possible causes are the following:
The alternator is too old.
Age happens to everything, including electric motors and alternators. If yours has gone through its lifespan, you will know how it behaves. It starts failing when you need it most.
When did you buy your alternator? If it is older than 8 years, it will probably start giving you trouble. Most of the small to medium-size ones come with a lifespan of 5 to 8 years. If you are in doubt, you can always check with the manufacturer. Ask them what the lifespan of the alternator is.
The load that the alternator carries can shorten its lifespan. This means that running your generator on a full load will cause the alternator to fail sooner. To make it last longer, try running your generator at half load or three-quarter load most of the time.
The alternator is the leading electrical component. If it has too many things to power, it will start failing sooner than it should.
If your alternator is failing because of age, you can repair it and try to milk it for a few more years. The best thing to do is replace it with a new one. You can email the manufacturer to see whether you can buy a replacement alternator from them.
The alternator charges the batteries. When you start the car, it takes quite an amount of voltage from the storm. The alternator tops up the battery.
But if the batteries are dying, they can cause the alternator a lot of stress. A faulty alternator can also kill your batteries. Is your generator is hard to start? You should check both the batteries and the alternator.
It is good to measure the battery voltage when the alternator is running. Find out whether the voltage is the highest form by which the manufacturer rates the battery. It is also good to measure the battery’s voltage when it is at rest.
The alternator cannot charge a dead battery. If it is not charging a working battery, it means there is something wrong with it. Both of these components depend on each other. They work together to produce electricity.
When some of the moving parts wear out
The alternator has so many moving parts. These parts generate heat. If there is no proper cooling effect, these parts can break down. These parts can also accumulate dust and grease over time. If you do not clean them properly, they will experience serious issues.
The alternator has parts that we call poles. Some come with two, but the largest come with more than two. The poles are the moving parts of an alternator. The speed at which they move determines the frequency that they produce. Higher rates create a higher frequency.
The generator can run slowly and produce low noise when the load is light. The opposite is also true. Most of the diesel generators in the market have four poles. These ones run at 3000 revolutions per minute, and they have an output of 50Hz.
The more poles an alternator or a generator comes with, the lower the RPM to produce a given output. The smaller generators that use gasoline have two bars. They still run at 3000 to 3600 revolutions per minute.
Some applications need a higher frequency output, such as an automotive alternator. These come with up to 12 poles.
Brushless alternators have fewer moving parts than brushed ones. They can still break down.
Alternator bearings fail
A brushless alternator has two rotors. They rotate together to create and transfer the electrical current. These rotors have bearings, which can break down with time.
The bearings are always in the whole movement whenever the alternator is running. Most alternators come with needle bearings.
Experts say they are better than ball bearings. Even a good thing must end. The needle bearings can also start failing. They do this if the alternator runs on full or close to full load all the time. If you expose the bearings to too much strain, they start failing!
The rotors stay in their own housing as they rotate on the bearings. With more time, the bearings face exposure to more heat, and they break down as a result.
If the bearings collect dirt, they can start failing. The alternator will not work if they eventually fail until you replace them.
Sometimes, the rotors can continue spinning even if the bearings are faulty. It will not turn as fast as it should, so the best thing is to replace the bearings.
In vehicles, the alternator bearings sometimes fail. If that happens, there are grinding noises in the rotor housing. The noise is a sign of how close to failing the alternator is.
It is best to replace the bearings. If you feel that the alternator is not giving the 100% output, just know something is wrong.
Overloading the alternator
Even the large, three-phase brushless alternators have their capacity. You can check with the manufacturer of your generator to know its 100% load capacity.
When you exceed this capacity, first, the voltage will drop. The frequency will reduce with the reduction of the speed (RPM).
If you continue running the alternator at a load higher than its capacity, it can sustain damage. While it will not suffer damage immediately, it will first maintain the load. It will run for some moments as the damage increases. It will shut down altogether.
How many loads can an alternator carry? It depends on the rating from the manufacturer. You should never run the alternator at the most enormous load, leave alone overloading it.
If you have to run it at the most significant load, do not do it for more than 30 minutes. It is best to run the alternator on half or two-thirds of the manufacturer rating load.
It is overheating
When you run this component for a long time, it can overheat. If you neglect to take care of the cooling system of the alternator, it can overheat quickly.
The alternator could be at a position where it does not get enough airflow. It can overheat fast, and such would affect its operation. This can happen to alternators that we use in the marine industry, cars, and elsewhere.
When you overload the alternator, it can overheat. Overloading means there is too much currency flowing through the alternator. If you do not stop it from cooling down, it can sustain damage.
Poor maintenance of the alternator can cause it to break down. If you fail to service your alternator, clean it and keep it free of dust, it can start falling.
Brushless alternators do not have many moving parts. The few pieces that they have still need maintenance and care.
Some of the things you need to check include belts, needles, or ball bearings. Check the cooling system to prevent the alternator from overheating.
A brushless alternator is not very sensitive. But it requires good care and maintenance. To prevent it from falling, make sure you do not overload it. Also, make sure the cooling system is working all the time.
Do you hear any strange noises such as grinding coming from the component? It is better to stop running it if possible. You need someone to check the health of the part straight away.
Some of the most vulnerable components include bearings, belts, the rotor, and a few more. If your alternator is too old, it requires more care and maintenance than a new one. Replace the worn-out parts asap to avoid downtimes.
Check the lifespan of the alternator so that you can replace it as soon as it starts showing signs of wear and tear. This’s one of the ways to reduce downtimes of your car, ship, or any other installation.