Depending on your preferred type of off-road recreational flavor, you may find yourself driving at a snail’s pace along the trail. That is OK with us. You get to soak in more of your surroundings, sightsee, and breathe. We cannot all be a Robby Gordon wannabe go-fast desert racer or a Walker Evans short-course racing fanatic. In fact, most folk’s rigs may likely spend more time at low idle than when the throttle is smashed to the floor. A high output alternator could be a solution.
That low engine idle is a vehicle charging system’s Achilles Heel, especially when that rig is loaded down with various equipment drawing mad amperage. Off-road enthusiasts often customize their vehicles with essential aftermarket accessories to enhance their driving experience. These accessories can range from powerful lights and recovery winches to electric fridges and advanced vehicle electronics. While these additions provide valuable functionality, they also draw significant power. The more accessories added, the demand for electrical power increases significantly.
The Problem: Inadequate Alternator Output
Off-road vehicles, by nature, spend a considerable amount of time at low RPMs and idle. Most stock alternators are designed to operate efficiently at higher RPMs, which is not applicable when off-road. This situation is similar to having a speedometer that goes up to 120 mph while you primarily average 45 mph.
When off-roading, where low-speed crawling and idle time are common, this limitation becomes apparent. Insufficient alternator output can result in drained batteries, reduced performance of accessories, and potentially stranded off-roaders in remote locations.
We found a viable solution to this challenge with Powermaster Performance’s HPR series alternators.
The Solution: Powermaster Performance HPR Series High Output Alternators
Recognizing the unique challenges faced by off-road enthusiasts, Powermaster Performance has developed a drop-in direct mounting solution—the HPR series alternators. They have applications specifically designed for Jeeps and other modern engine platforms. These alternators are engineered to deliver high amounts of current across a wide range of engine RPMs, including idle and low RPM scenarios. The critical innovation behind these alternators lies in their ability to provide higher output while still utilizing a stock diameter pulley for a direct-fit, bolt-in replacement.
The HPR in HPR Alternators stands for Hairpin Replacement. The term “Hairpin” refers to the modern winding techniques used in late-model alternator applications. Many hairpin designs feature a unique square copper wiring that allows for more material on the rotor and stator. This advanced design results in improved output and efficiency. Some hairpin alternators are also referred to as “six-phase” models due to their complex stator design, housing two 3-phase rotors, which significantly increases current production.
Powermaster’s HPR alternators adopt a unique winding design for both the stator and rotor. This innovative approach creates an exceptionally efficient assembly capable of producing substantial current even at low RPMs while maintaining cool operation and minimizing parasitic losses. The HPR series alternators offer a balanced output from idle to high RPMs, making them perfect for today’s modern off-road vehicles, which often operate at low idle and cruising engine speeds.
One key advantage of the HPR alternators is their direct-fit design, which means they use a stock-diameter pulley and are not overdriven. Overdriven alternators can generate excess heat and wear, as well as require a different belt length. Powermaster also includes a factory-spec decoupler pulley, mirroring the OEM setup.
Charge Cables and Grounds: An Important Consideration
When upgrading to a high-output alternator like the Powermaster HPR series, it’s essential to consider the charge cables and grounds. The charge cable must match the current requirements of the alternator and account for its length. It is advisable to use a multi-strand, copper cable and choose a size that ensures optimal current flow.
In addition to upgrading the charge wire, it is recommended and sometimes required, to add a ground wire from the alternator to the engine block or negative battery terminal. This step is crucial in modern off-road rigs with a multitude of electronics, as proper grounding is essential for the reliable operation of electronic systems. This becomes even more critical when some brackets are painted or powder-coated, creating potential challenges for electrons to find a proper ground.
Off-road vehicle enthusiasts often face challenges when adding aftermarket accessories that demand high electrical power. The stock alternators are ill-suited for this task, as they are designed for peak output at higher RPMs. However, Powermaster Performance’s HPR series alternators, particularly provide an effective solution to this problem. These alternators offer high current output at low RPMs without compromising performance or reliability.
Powermaster has delivered a viable solution that resolves inadequate alternator output. Their HPR series direct-fit high output alternators demonstrate a commitment to enhancing the off-road experience for vehicle enthusiasts. With this equipment, off-roaders can ensure their electrical systems function even in the most demanding terrains.