December 7, Sunday
Yesterday I tried to use the engine to charge up the batteries. The voltage was low and the solar panels were not doing it. When I started the engine, the voltage regulator on the alternator brings up the voltage slowly and so the current follows the voltage slowly going up. I was watching the current into the batteries and when it got to 40 amps the alternator drive belt started to slip making a loud squeal. The alternator is a 120 amp unit and when the batteries, 4 Interstate golf cart 6 volt units for a total of 464 amp hours, are low the current has been 100 amps. The solution is more tension on the drive belt and sometimes a new belt. So this morning I got out a new belt and with a skinned arm, got the bolts loose and the old belt off and the new one on. Then I put a lot of tension on the belt and tightened all the bolts. After cleaning up and putting the tools away I started the engine. I watched the current go up and it went to 90 amps with no squeal from the belt. I let the engine run for 90 minutes at which time the current was down to 45 amps. More charging tomorrow.