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The charging system of a vehicle consists of a battery, the voltage regulator and an alternator. Forklift alternators form essential part of their charging systems. Alternators generate power for the other electrical components of the forklifts, including the instrument panel. The alternator creates AC power using electromagnetism that is developed through the interaction of the rotor and stator. Then, the electricity that is formed provides the necessary voltage that helps run the electrical systems and components that are found in forklift trucks. There are certain types of alternators based on the method of electricity production. When a permanent magnet is used for electricity generation, the alternator is called magneto. The alternators installed in power stations are of a huge size and capacity and are turbine driven. They are known as turbo-alternators.
Let’s have some understanding of what this alternator is all about and how it works. An alternator consists of essentially four parts; the diodes, rotor assembly, stator and voltage regulator. They have further subparts in them, details of which can conveniently be found in technical manuals or on internet. The principle of generation of electricity by the alternators is similar to that of a DC generator. The principle is the induction of alternating current in the conductor, when the magnetic field around it changes. Classically speaking, a rotating magnet known as rotor is made to turn within a conducting material, which is wounded by coils in an iron core, and is called stator. The turns of rotor creates a rotating magnetic field which results in the induction of alternating current in the stator. This induced current therefore produces electricity for the operation of all other devices attached. Upon production of electricity, its output or the supply to different devices needs to be controlled. For this purpose, an automatic voltage regulator device is attached to the system. This device prevents overflow of the current and at the same time fulfills the deficiency of current supply to the system, as and when it occurs.
The alternator works on the mechanism of rotation of rotor assembly. Hence, the parts responsible for the rotary action are subjected to frequent wear and tear. The rotor moves with the action of its bearings, which although have been made to wear in a long period of time, but certain factors can accelerate the wearing down process. One of the important and most common cause is tightness of the belt, which can either be loose or tighter than desired. Other than that, there is not much to malfunction in a rotor as it is, in effect, only an electromagnet.
The next and most complicated part of alternator is a stator assembly, which is wounded with carefully placed copper wires, very sophisticatedly insulated amongst each other and the rest of the body. Despite its complicated structure, the stator mainly develops a single fault, which is commonly termed as a burned up alternator. Actually, it is the stator which gets partially or completely burnt, while the latter being a rare accident. The burning of any level in a stator happens due to short circuiting of very closely wound copper coils in the stator assembly. The current produced tends to expand the copper wires, which, despite being very highly and sophisticatedly insulated, sometimes meets each other and gets short-circuited. This causes a few or all of the coils to burn and your alternator stops working. The remedy to this effect is rewinding of short circuited group of coils in case of a partial damage. In the rare case of fully burnt out stator coils, the solution is a complete replacement. A complete burn out can result in an extensively heated working environment of alternator, so arrangements for keeping a controlled temperature should be put in place. The other two parts, the voltage regulator or the set of diodes is less likely to develop frequent faults unless they are a low quality product.
The normal and frequent indicators of some developing faults in a forklift machine can be flickering gauges and odd sounds that occurs while operating a forklift. At instances, lights may appear dim; the belt on the engine block may appear to be not functional. “Growling” or “whining” noise may come from the engine, and/or the scent of burning rubber or hot wires may be emitted. These are signs of problems with the forklift alternator and should be addressed immediately.
With such critical roles, it pays to maintain the alternators or replace them, if necessary. The good news is that there are many options with regards to forklift alternator replacement. Replacing alternators are available as brand new items or repaired/ refurbished alternators for people on a tight budget.
Note: Repaired and rebuilt alternators are tested and rechecked to ensure quality.
Refurbished/ Rebuilt Alternators are Cost-Effective Replacements
The process of refurbished and rebuilt alternator includes old alternators being disassembled and all member components being checked, inspected and cleaned. The service components such as the bearings and brushes will be replaced. After a thorough testing of the rebuilt alternator,it is re-assembled and tested again to comply with the quality standards. Many machine part shoppers tend to be cautious about purchasing rebuilt alternators out of fear of receiving a part that may fail in a short amount of time. However, the rebuilt alternators are quality proven and are designed to meet demanding conditions of construction sites and warehouses.
On the other hand, if the purchaser does not want to take the risk buying rebuilt forklift parts, one can always go for purchasing brand new forklift alternators. Brand new alternators are the perfect replacements for old and incapable parts that can no longer perform at its optimum capacities. Brand new alternators can be an expensive option at first, but will be more reliable and durable for the longer lifespan of the forklift.
Last option includes repairing the damaged alternators. This option is possible, though when the damage is substantial, there are no other options but to find the right replacement either in the form of new parts or rebuilt.
Forklift Alternator Photos
*Manuals and parts books are not owned by Solid Lift Parts inc. and are presented for reference purpose only.