An alternator converts the engine's mechanical energy into the electrical energy needed to recharge the car's battery. It also supplies voltage to various electrical parts of the vehicle. A voltage regulator maintains a uniform flow of current from the alternator to the vehicle's various electrical parts. While standard alternators are used in mainstream automobiles, high-caliber vehicles require extra power to deliver an efficient performance. Just as performance versions exist for exhaust systems and air intake systems, alternators also come in high-output versions.
High-output alternators are useful for producing a high charging power in a vehicle. Generally, high-output alternators are used in motor-sport vehicles, but they can also be used in off-road automobiles and light trucks. Here are some benefits of installing a high-output alternator.
Prolonged Battery Life: Every device that runs in your car pulls ampage from the alternator. If you are running many devices, or if your vehicle is running in a high performance environment, it will sap the power in your car. If the alternator undercharges the car, you are more than likely to end up with a dead battery. For example, off-road vehicles need high-voltage headlights and other accessory lights which increase the power load on the alternator.
Overloading an alternator is common in high performance vehicles, or when people just forget to shut off their accessories when the engine is idling. A high-output alternator is designed to deal with these scenarios. Most high-output alternators provide an output of about 200 amps. Excessive alternator output will kill the battery, but 200 amps is the optimum amount to handle the higher energy demand without killing the battery.
Audio Systems: If you want to run a custom audio system in your car, you can consider purchasing a high-output alternator. Large amplifiers and subwoofers require more power. In fact, every 100 watts of audio needs about 16 amps of power. Therefore, a custom audio system can quickly drain your battery. High-output alternators can provide as much as 300 amps'these are used for the most demanding of audio and other high performance systems.
Efficiency: High-output alternators are more efficient than regular alternators. If you keep having problems with your alternator, it might make sense to get a high-output alternator. If you are pushing a regular alternator to its limits, it is not going to last long. Some people go through multiple alternators before they consider switching to a high-output model. Because high-output alternators can better deal with higher power demand, they tend to last longer. While a high-output alternator may cost more in the short run, it can save you lots of money in the long run by avoiding multiple alternator replacements.
Before installing a high-output alternator, ensure that your vehicle can withstand such a high-power output from the alternator. In addition, check the following constraints before replacing your standard alternator with a high-output one:
- Compare the dimensions of your stock alternator and high-output alternator. Oftentimes, the high-output alternator will require a larger space than your stock alternator. Make sure you have ample space to install the new alternator.
- A standard alternator can either be a single post or double post type. Check this specification and get a suitable conversion bracket for the new alternator.
- Check the capacity of the battery and stock alternator's belt size and choose the right replacement.
- Some high-output alternators come with a wiring harness while some require you to buy it separately.
- High-output alternators are available in brand-new and re-manufactured versions. Choose the best part for yourself, keeping your vehicle's requirements in mind.
- Above all, consult with a certified mechanic to get a better idea of the correct replacement alternator for your vehicle.