How Efficient are Alternators?

coach bus on road

An efficient alternator installed on, say, a single travel coach, can save on fuel costs and reduce the risk of breakdowns. Equip them across an entire fleet and you’ll quickly see a noticeable change in your operations. High-efficient alternators not only reduce the stress on engine components, but also save money in the long-term.

Here you’ll learn what aspects of high performing alternator design contribute to their efficiency.

Most Efficient Alternators and Their Designs

The most efficient alternators are specifically designed with the following components that increase their effectiveness and maximize output to help you save in the long run.

Almott 25AT-450 Alternator

  1. Better Cooling. The Almott 25AT-450 is one of the most efficient alternators on the market. This alternator has a unidirectional efficient fan that allows for higher air passage through the alternator and has better air cooling at equal rpms. Lower rpms create less stress, and better cooling means lower temperatures for all the alternator’s elements. In the long run, an alternator with this feature will outlast other alternators. The belts will also run cooler, saving time and money lost in maintenance.
  2. Increased Air Flow. Redesigning alternator components to facilitate air flow is another way to lower temperatures and therefore extend the life of the alternator. For example, increased spaces in the housing design allow for passageways that cool the alternator, and internal parts like rectifiers have also been redesigned with this benefit in mind.
  3. More compact. Doing more with less is just about the definition of efficiency. Again, looking at the 25AT-450  as an example, its rotor is smaller in area and weight. This weight is better used in stationary parts of the alternator. This results in less rotor inertia and reduces stress on bearings and belts, prolonging their effectiveness. More generally, smaller components contribute to the overall efficiency of a vehicle by reducing weight. However, it must also be able to meet the heavy electricity demands of today’s vehicles.
  4. Changes to Copper Wiring. An increase in the copper wound around an alternator’s stator increases efficiency by better conduction electricity. Some alternators achieve this increase by switching from round wire to wire with a square cross section. A square cross section eliminates air gaps, allowing more wire to occupy the same amount of space.
  5. More Effective at Lower Speeds. An alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. High efficiency alternators are more effective at lower speeds because they convert a higher percentage of the mechanical energy produced into electricity. To accomplish its tasks, like charging the battery, a high efficiency alternator requires less energy (lower speed and less fuel).

If you would like to learn more about what makes an alternator’s design efficient, or learn which alternator is the most efficient for your needs, feel free to browse our selection and contact us with any questions.