This Alternator CANbus Controller is the only alternator regulator available that can utilize current, voltage and temperature to deliver the most precise and effective charging possible for 12V, 24V and 48V battery systems – with configurability for voltages in between – making it the perfect solution for charging LiFePo4 lithium ion battery banks.
The image shows the wiring harness but this is priced separately as it may be P type or N type.
This Alternator CANbus Controller is uniquely designed to be configured in one of two ways:
For NON - CANbus Batteries of either AGM or Lithium
- Easy-to-use onboard DIP switches,
- Connected to a PC to provide more than 100 user controls.
Fof CANbus connection to CAN enabled Lithium Batteries
- The Alternator CANbus Controller can also be connected to battery BMS modules through its data ports, making it the only regulator of choice to provide safe and smart charging for LiFeP04 and other emerging battery technologies.
The Alternator CANbus Controller can be connected to a current shunt to monitor current flow to and from the batteries, enabling the regulator to control charging based on a combination of system voltage and amperage delivered from the alternator to the batteries. In addition, the Alternator CANbus Controller can also monitor alternator and battery temperatures and modify charging output to ensure optimal safety and charging performance at the alternator and batteries. When connected to a BMS system via CANbus, the Alternator CANbus Controller can receive critical voltage, current and temperature data via the CAN J1939 pathway, reducing the need for external sensor connections.
The regulator’s auto-detect function identifies system voltage and automatically adjusts charging to support 12V, 24V and 48V profiles. Default profiles for eight battery types can be configured at the regulator via the DIP swiches. Selectable profiles include programs for standard and deep cycle flooded lead acid, standard and high-density AGM batteries, carbon foam AGM (Firefly), Gel, and LiFeP04. Two profiles allow for the flexibility to customize profiles with a PC, using the WS500 Configuration Tool or a terminal program like Putty. Support for non-common battery voltages (such as 32v) may also be configured in the same way.
The Alternator CANbus Controller can be used with different polarity alternators by selecting the appropriate N-Type or P-Type regulator wiring harness. Wiring harnesses are equipped with high-quality Ampseal connectors and provide all connections for basic operation, as well as dedicated connection wires for voltage and current sensing. The Wiring harness is priced separately and the type is to be specified.
The Alternator CANbus Controller is built in the U.S.A. and features an industry-leading two-year limited warranty.
The biggest difference with the Alternator CANbus Controller over other systems I have used is the data it utilizes to make charging decisions – battery voltage, battery temperature, alternator temperature and current. Most regulators only the first few, and not the current flowing to/from your battery bank.
This results in a far more predictable charging result, similar to what you would see from a standard AC charger. For LiFePO4, Firefly and other charge-sensitive banks, this is a perfect solution, as you not only can configure the WS-500 using a PC to be very custom, but it actually drives the alternator so accurately due to all of the data being gathered that you end up with a proper charge system.
In addition, each phase of the charge cycle can be adjusted and tuned exactly for the battery bank and type you have. This includes not just voltage, but overall time, how many amps are flowing, temperatures, etc. etc. etc.
Dual Engine Support
This was one of the main features I was interested in the Wakespeed product, and it does not disappoint. Simply connecting an ethernet cable between the two units CAN ports ensures they communicate between each other to operate in the most efficient way possible. Seriously, all I did was plug in a cable, and I now have a dual regulator, dual alternator solution that is terrifyingly efficient. If you look at other solutions out there, this sort of setup requires a ton more work.
This allows the regulators to monitor the current shunt and reduce the alternator output to match the house loads once the batteries are charged. This is a really important feature for batteries that, once charged, should be left alone and not constantly discharged.
This feature allows you to set an RPM level for when the load should be increased on the alternator, and a weight for how quickly it should be increased.
This one makes me the most excited, and I don’t know why other manufacturers haven’t figured this one out yet. I have tried a couple of solutions that attempted to do this, but were not implemented well or didn’t work.
The Alternator CANbus Controller, already being connected to the alternator, has an idea of RPMs based on the pulses it is seeing from the alternator. With a bit of math using the size of the engine flywheel + the size of the alternator wheel, you can configure the Alternator CANbus Controller to see the actual RPM of your engines.
Even though I have two rather beefy 305HP engines, at a low idle of 600 RPM they tend to not like a lot of extra load on the alternator. In the default configuration, my field values for the alternators were at about 50%, causing the engines to idle rougher than I wanted. Using this feature, I was able to tell the WS-500 to not bother starting the field until I hit 900 RPM, and even then to phase it in slower than the default profile.
As a result, I have nice idle speeds from the engines, no rough idle, and I don’t have to worry about any effects on control while at these speeds.
For smaller engined boats such as a sailboat, this feature will be critical, and result in good engine performance while close quarters maneuvering, while still taking advantage of higher RPMs while out on the water.
Because of the USB port, you can configure and monitor every aspect of the regulator. No magnet and tiny displays in cramped spaces, hoping you get things in the right order the first time after tap, tap, tapping. Plugging a standard USB cable into a PC provides the regulator with power so you can configure it ahead of final install, which is a really nice feature. The regulator shows up as a standard COM port, and there is an extensive Communication and Configuration Guide that gives you access to every part of the software.
There are a lot of other useful features on the Alternator CANbus Controller including the ability to use the CAN ports for BMS compatibility using RV-C and OSEnergy protocols, 100’s of charge profiles / combinations, custom presets, and firmware updates.
Configuration can be done two different ways – simple or more advanced. The simple method is using DIP switches. The more advanced requires a computer and USB cable.
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