A key component of any alternator, and especially the high performance/ racing alternator, is the voltage regulator. For seven years Powermaster has been offering the racing community a custom designed one wire voltage regulator with specific features, including a high voltage output of 14.9V. This circuit has crossed the finish line first thousands of times since. This regulator will continue to be available on our 12V alternators.
This year a newly designed voltage system will be available with Powermaster racing alternators. This new racing alternator is called the XS VOLT The XS VOLT
alternator still operates as a one-wire, meaning that the only connection necessary is the charge wire (or battery output). It has all the circuitry necessary to automatically sense when the alternator is spinning, and therefore energize itself. But other terminals and connections are included for additional features. These secondary features include adjustable voltage and a power saving mode that could generate some major benefits
First of all, the
voltage adjustment allows the racer to change the set point of the voltage system while the unit is running. The set point is the level that the unit sees as the goal, the perfect level of the electrical system. On the XS VOLT, turning a small potentiometer on the back of the alternator can move this set point. The range is 13.5V - 18.5V, allowing one alternator to be used with 12V and 16V batteries -and anything in
between. Charging sensitive gel batteries at low voltages or using the hybrid 14V batteries are not a problem for the XS VOLT. This means that one XS VOLT alternator will work with your car no matter what battery you choose.
The power saving mode of this alternator is a new idea to racing. This alternator actually has two operating levels. Keep in
mind that the horsepower draw of an alternator is directly proportional to the amperage being drawn from it. Therefore, changing from the high level to the low level at the right time can conserve valuable horsepower.
By grounding one terminal on the XS VOLT
alternator, the set point is temporarily dropped 1.25V from the set point. With it set at 14.9V and this pin grounded, the set point becomes 13.65V. This immediately reduces the horsepower drag of the alternator to a minimum level, saving as much as two horsepower (depending on the amp load of the vehicle, the size of the battery, and the size of the alternator).
This mode is easy to use, as the signal to the regulator is simply a connection to ground. This
can be accomplished through a throttle position switch, a dash mounted switch, or some other means of signaling the alternator that all available horsepower needs to be at the wheels right now. At times when extra horsepower is available (such as braking or other deceleration moves), the alternator can safely take horsepower and charge the battery at a fast rate.
The XS VOLT
features an indicator light drive. This is a terminal that will illuminate a bulb when the alternator is spinning, and yet the alternator is not charging. This can be used as a simple charging system monitor as it is used in a passenger car.
The power output curve of racing alternators is typically changed to maximize the unit's efficiency. This involves changing the winding and the rotor coil. A huge MOSFET transistor and heat sink insure that the XS VOLT can handle this increased load with capacity to spare. Of course, all forms of racing stress components to the edge of failure. Parts are subjected to a variety of harsh environments, and the XS VOLT is engineered for this. The XS VOLT
is short circuit protected. It also features loss of ground protection. The entire circuit is sealed in epoxy, keeping the water and grit out while isolating vibration.
Some components can make use of a tachometer/ frequency output, which is provided on the XS Volt.
In some street applications, this terminal drives an electric choke. In other applications, this terminal drives a tachometer. Given the number of poles in the alternator, the alternator's exact RPM could be monitored in some applications using this output.
The majority of the high performance Powermaster racing alternators, and also select high amperage alternators are available as XS VOLT systems.