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Ample Power Genie$^{tm}$ Diesel Battery Charger
Installation and Operating Instructions

Copyright ©1989 through 2015. All Rights Reserved - Ample Power Company March 4, 2017

Introduction

The Genie, Diesel Battery Charger, is a powerful battery charging system which uses a Kubota engine to drive one or more custom high output alternators. The marine version is freshwater cooled with a raw water heat exchanger. The alternator is regulated with a Smart Alternator Regulator, or EnerMatic Controller which provides current and/or power limiting limiting. The Smart Alternator Regulator is preset at the factory, whereas the EnerMatic Controller can be programmed using a personal computer.

The Ample Power Genie has been in production since 1989 with many thousands of Amp-hours produced for thousands of happy users. The unit has been improved in many significant and minor ways since it was first introduced and is truly unsurpassed in performance.

Warnings

Over the years many mistakes have been made with unhappy results. Please read this section to avoid the mistakes others have made.

WARNING #1

Do not operate the Genie without a belt guard!

NOTE: The Genie is not equipped with a belt guard. Never work around the Genie when it is operating. Do not mount the Genie such that children or adults can come into contact with the Genie when it is running. After the Genie is installed, and before operation, provide a belt guard, or enclure to protect all persons from harm.

WARNING #2

Do not share an intake thru-hull with another engine ...you will most likely flood the Genie through the water line when the other engine is running. This has happened more than once to people who have ignored this warning. Under all circumstances engines flodded with water void the warranty.

WARNING #3

Do not overfill the crankcase with oil. You may get an oily bilge when the excess blows out of the vent tube, or the vent tube may not be able to pass enough to prevent crankcase overpressure.

If the vent tube is fed into the air intake the engine may run away by burning the oil coming from the crankcase.

WARNING #4

Do not use pure antifreeze in the heat exchanger. Not only is pure antifreeze a poor carrier of heat, but it also leaks through petcocks and gaskets. Use only a 50:50 mix of antifreeze and water.

WARNING #5

If the engine is not mounted 24 inches above the waterline, use a siphon-break between the heat exchanger and the water injection port into the exhaust.

WARNING #6

If any portion of the exhaust system is below the waterline, use a waterlift muffler. Mount it at least one foot below the exhaust outlet from the engine. Follow the instructions from the waterlift muffler manufacturer. Note that the exhaust from the muffler should go straight up and only then slope toward the exhaust thru-hull fitting.

WARNING #7

Do not overcool the engine. Overcooling will result in carbon build up and loss of power. This problem may occur in cold climates.

WARNING #8

Do not adjust the current higher than what the engine can provide without struggling. A diesel will emit black smoke when it is overloaded. Always adjust the currentor power limit down about 15-25% from the black smoke point.

WARNING #9

Always let the engine warm up a little before turning on the regulator. When an EnerMatic Controller is used don't program a warm up time less that two minutes. W

WARNING #10

Do not adjust the throttle linkage so that the throttle solenoid cannot fully pull the plunger into the coil. The solenoid will burn out in a few seconds if this happens. Note: This is only applicable for engines which us a solenoid to engage the throttle.

Fuel System

The single cylinder Genie must be fed from a gravity tank, or an electric fuel pump. Note: Do not use a fuel pump that exceeds 10 PSI.

The two and three cylinder engines have a lift pump, but it will not reliably lift more than a couple of feet nor through a long fuel hose. Poor fuel delivery is a common cause of engine stalling.

A fuel return line is required. It is often possible to share an electric pump with the main engine, and almost always you can T the return line with that of the main engine. The return line fitting is located at the injector.

No fuel filters are supplied with the Genie. A filter is required, however. If you are not using the filters for the main engine to supply fuel to the Genie, you must mount a separate fuel filter.

A separate fuel filter and water separator unit is recommended, rather than sharing a system with another engine.

Cooling System

The Genie uses a marine heat exchanger to remove heat from the engine. A salt water pump is supplied with the Genie. The pump is mechanically driven on two and three cylinder engines. On the single cylinder engine a DC operated salt water pump is used.

Output from the pump goes to the heat exchanger. Water from the heat exchanger is fed into the exhaust to cool it permitting exhaust hose to be used. The hose between the heat exchanger and the exhaust must be plumbed during installation.

Note that if the unit is to be operated below the waterline, the hose from the heat exchanger to the muffler will need to be plumbed so that a siphon break can be mounted 2-3 feet above the waterline.

A water screen is required. The Genie pumps up to 15 gallons per minute of water, so use an appropriate water screen.

The engine is designed to run at about 190$^\circ$ F, ($ 88^\circ$ C). The water pump can be restricted if the salt water is too cold to allow the engine to reach temperature. If the engine runs too cool, there will be a buildup of carbon. The cylinder head should be running at about 230-250$^\circ$ F.

The marine heat exchanger should be filled with a solution of water and antifreeze, mixed 50:50. Do not pour antifreeze directly into the exchanger ...always pre-mix the antifreeze and water before pouring into the heat exchanger.

Exhaust System

Depending on where the Genie is mounted, and whether the exhaust is above or below the point of water injection into the exhaust, a water lift muffler and perhaps a siphon break will be required.

If the Genie is well above the water line, then it is possible to do without a water lift muffler. Just be sure that all of the exhaust hose is below the point where water is fed into the exhaust, so that no backflow into the dry muffler is possible.

If the engine is above the water line, but some part of the exhaust is higher than the point where water is fed into the exhaust, a water lift muffler is required.

NOTE: A siphon break device is necessary if the engine is below the water line. The siphon break should be mounted at least 24 inches above the water line ...more if mounted off the boat's centerline.

NOTE: Any time a water lift muffler is used, engine cranking must be limited to avoid flooding the engine. Since engine exhaust is necessary to pump the cooling water overboard, sustained cranking when the engine doesn't start can flood the engine. If the engine doesn't start after 20 seconds of cranking, disconnect the water pump electrical feed or shut off the raw water intake until the engine is running. Don't forget to re-connect the water pump once the engine runs.

A common problem with generators on small sail boats is flooding of the engine via the exhaust. Be aware that surge from following seas can drive salt water into the exhaust. The exhaust should be equipped with a shutoff valve so that the engine will not take on water in heavy weather.

Electrical System

The electrical system includes an electric starter, as well as the high output alternator. One or more glow plugs are also present on the engine. The glow plug, throttle solenoid and starter motor all operate from 12-volts, even on 24-volt and 48-volt models. A DC-DC converter can be used from the 24 or 48-volt supply to generate 12-volts to maintain a cranking battery.

Note that two and three cylinder engines include a small 12V alternator to maintain the starter battery.

Cor manually operated engines, a control switch is provided which allows the engine to be operated. Positions on the control switch are:


  • Pre-heat spring loaded, counter clockwise

  • Off counter clockwise rest position.

  • On clockwise rest position.

  • Start spring loaded, clockwise.

If the engine looses oil pressure, or water temperature is excessive, then the engine will stop.

Mounting the Genie

The Genie is equipped with four vibration dampening feet. The feet should be attached securely to a mounting floor. The mounting feet are failsafe, that is, they will not mechanically separate. However, the rubber compound will wear so periodic checks on the feet is advised.

Plumbing the Marine Exhaust

After the Genie is securely fastened to the floor, the exhaust can be plumbed. If no water lift muffler is used, simply attach the exhaust hose to an exhaust thru-hull fitting. Be sure that all of the exhaust is below the point that water is injected into the exhaust line. It is advisable to secure the exhaust hose with two hose clamps.

If a water lift muffler is used, chose an appropriate location for it as close to the Genie as possible, and secure it to the floor. Exhaust hose can now be run from the Genie to the water lift muffler, and from the muffler to a proper thru hull fitting. The exhaust hose should be run as high as possible before it exits the hull so that sea water can not back flood the engine. See instructions from the waterlift manufacturer.

Exhaust hoses for the Genie are 1.5 inches, inner diameter. The exhaust thru-hull fitting should be 3-4 inches above the water line. A valve to protect the exhaust from flooding in heavy weather is suggested.

Plumbing the Marine Cooling Water

To plumb the cooling water, a separate thru-hull intake is required. A sea strainer is also necessary. If the Genie is mounted in a planing hull, be sure that the intake is underwater, even when planing.

Water hose size for the Genie is 1/2 to 5/8 inch. Connect the thru-hull to the sea strainer, and the strainer to the water pump. We recommend the use of two hose clamps on each connection. Hose clamps should be made from all stainless steel.

If the Genie is not mounted at least 24 inches above the water line, a siphon break is required between the heat exchanger and the exhaust. The siphon break should be mounted well above the water line.

Plumbing the Fuel System

The engine must be connected to a fuel source with positive pressure. As mentioned, a gravity tank or a fuel pump is necessary.

Fuel to the engine connects to the fitting near the throttle. Do not let the fuel line interfere with the throttle mechanism. A fuel return line must be connected to the fuel tank. The return fitting is located at the injector nozzle.

Electrical Wiring

Wires are required on the starter and the alternator.

The Regulator should be wired according to the manual for the regulator and must be wired to activate current limiting. While current limit is pre-set at the factory, it is good practice to re-adjust it after installation.

Consult the system wiring diagram for units supplied with the EnerMatic Controller.

The starter must be wired to a 12-volt battery for starting. It can be a separate battery, or the prime battery that the Genie charges. The starting wire should be a #8 gauge. The starter and throttle solenoid requires 12-Volt power. The main alternator can be 12, 24, or 48 Volts.

The positive output of the alternator must be connected to the battery that is being charged.

The negative output of the alternator must be connected to the negative distribution point for both the Genie starter battery and the battery being charged by the alternator (12/24/48-Volt).

Operating the Genie

The Genie is typically shipped without engine coolant or oil. Be sure to check for coolant and oil before operating the engine.

Before operating the Genie, be sure that no obstructions are present that can interfere with belts and pulleys. Check the level of crankcase oil, and engine coolant. Open the sea water petcock for the Genie.

Before each use of the Genie, it is good practice to observe that there is coolant in the heat exchanger, and oil in the crankcase. For oil recommendations, refer to the Kubota manual. (For our own diesel engines we use Delo 400 15-40W from Chevron, which meets or exceeds warranty requirements of many U.S. made diesels.)

Note: The Regulator should be turned off until the engine has started and has a chance to warm.

Before cranking the engine, it is a good idea to preheat the cyclinder with the glow plugs. Preheat is not always necessary, but it does reduce cranking time. As mentioned, the water in the exhaust is pumped out using pressure from the engine. Prolonged cranking will flood the engine in the marine model.

After 10-15 seconds of preheat, the control switch can be rotated to crank the engine. Once the engine fires, release the control switch and allow it to return to the `ON' position. It is a good idea at this point to verify that water is exiting the exhaust.

Allow the engine to warm for a few minutes before activating the Regulator. If the alternator is connected to a battery selector switch, be sure that the switch is on before activating the regulator.

Normally, the engine is run until the batteries are charged, and then shut off. With manual start/stop units, separate instrumentation is required to determine full charge on the batteries.

Diesel Fuel

In many parts of the world, diesel fuel has a lower cetane rating than U.S. fuels. Even in the U.S. for our own diesels we use an additive regularly, and suggest that fuel be treated for the Genie with a diesel additive. These additives are extra refined oils that enable complete combustion and help to keep the engine injector clean. Some users report using a high grade two-cycle oil as an additive for low sulphur fuels typical in South America. Excessive smoking is often due to poor fuels, an overload on the engine, or insufficient fuel reaching the injectors.

Adjusting Engine RPM with Throttle Solenoids

The RPM that the Genie operates at can be adjusted with the throttle linkage rod.

Alternator Current/Power Limit

If engine RPM is adjusted less than that of the factory setting, it will be necessary to adjust maximum alternator output to less than rated Amps. Current limit adjustment is described in the Regulator manual.

Current and Power settings are programmed with the EnerMatic Controller.

The engine produces black smoke when it is overloaded. The engine works hardest when current is high, and voltage is at the absorption point ...about 14.4/28.8/57.6 Volts. To place the engine under load, deeply discharge the battery and then begin charging. Adjust the current limit, to less than rated Amps. As the voltage rises, and before current through the battery declines, adjust the limit so that the engine is not producing black smoke. Final current adjustment should be 15-25% below the black smoke amperage.

Engine Troubleshooting

The most common cause of failure to start is lack of fuel, which can be caused by air in the lines, an empty tank, a fuel cock that is not on, or a clogged fuel line or filter.

A blocked vent line may also cause fuel starvation.

To bleed the engine, loosen the bleed nut above the fuel intake and allow all the air to escape. This nut takes a 12 mm wrench. After bleeding all the air from the system, the engine will usually start readily.

Check the air cleaner to verify that sufficient air flow is possible.

Make sure that the engine is not flooded with sea water. Is the exhaust sea cock open?

NOTE: Never spray any chemical into the intake of the engine. This can permanently damage internal parts.

Alternator and Regulator Troubleshooting

Refer to the Regulator or EnerMatic manual for more troubleshooting suggestions.

Support

Support for the Smart Alternator Regulator and EnerMatic Controller is available at: http://www.amplepower.com/phpBB3.

Figure: Alternator Negative Lug
Image alt_negative_lr

Figure: Alternator Positive Lug
Image alt_positive_lr

Figure: Fuel Input
Image fuel_in_lr

Figure: Fuel Return
Image fuel_rtn_lr

Figure: Fuel Shutoff Solenoid
Image fuel_solenoid

Figure: Gear Tooth Sensor
Image gear_tooth_sender

Figure: Stop Solenoid
Image stop_sol

Figure: Oil Pressure Sender, (left) and Switch, (right)
Image oil_pressure

Figure: Coolant Temperature Sender, (left) and Switch,( right)
Image temperature

Maintenance

Follow the instructions in the Kubota Manual for engine maintenance. Note that the EnerMatic Controller has a stop feature that can be programmed to stop the engine at a specific hour and minute.

When doing a scheduled maintenance procedure on the engine, always remove all power to the engine starter and EnerMatic Controller.

At this time, make sure all nuts and bolts are tight. It is critical that the alternator bolts do not work loose. When that happens the flat plate may crack from the repetitive torque pulses from the alternator.

The EnerMatic Controller has a check out menu which enables setting and resetting engine controls. If there is any doubt about proper operations, use the check out menu to evaluate the system.