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Unread 05-15-2015, 11:41 AM   #1
simpleton
Junior Member
2015 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 40
Charging system output. What's my power budget?

I've been looking and I have not been able to find how much of a load I can put on the charging system before I start to worry.

I plan on adding a lightbar and some spots to my '15 sahara, and I come up with a total of 620 watts. My math tells me that will be in the neighborhood of of 52 amps. (12V / 600W = 51.667I)

From what i've read the alternator is rated at 160 amp. What I have not been able to find, is how much of that 160 amps does it take to run the ignition, radio, ac, and everything else.

What do I have left to power lights, radios, and whatnot?


Thanks,

Simpleton

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Unread 05-15-2015, 11:50 AM   #2
rich6700
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 77
Put an amp meter on your positive cable with everything on and see what it's drawing.
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Unread 05-15-2015, 11:59 AM   #3
simpleton
Junior Member
2015 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by rich6700 View Post
Put an amp meter on your positive cable with everything on and see what it's drawing.
What, use real world numbers rather than going by advice from random strangers on the internet? Madness!
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Unread 05-15-2015, 05:23 PM   #4
JohnRodriguez
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Silver City, New Mexico
Posts: 480
you should really use 14.4v for your calculations on the alternator. a battery alone would be 12v. so, your calculations should be I=P/E, so 620/14.4 = 43.05 amps. I'm pretty sure that all you accessories are LED's and they have internal capacitors to help power them, so you should not be able to stress the alternator. if you are really worried about it then go to a auto stereo store and get a big holding capacitor and wire it into your electrical system, it will boost your system and not let the voltage drop when you put a sudden load on it. usually 80% of service factor is what you would want to run a alternator, ie generator, transformer or other electrical equipment.
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