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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Let's do some knapkin math.. It appears I could upgrade the alternator to a 370a alternator: 370 amp high output alternator for Ram Hemi 5.7L

If I'm not mistaken, that would give an extra 210amps over the current 160a generated by the stock alternator.

What voltage does it produce? I err on the side of conversatism and say 12v. So, inverting that 210amps to 110vAC (root mean square average), assuming 100% efficiency would yield about 21amps Just to be convervative, though, let's assume just 70% efficiency. That would yield about 15amps at 110vac, which is what you'd get out of a typical home electrical outlet. It isn't huge, but it's a useful quantity for as long as the engine is running and there's gasoline in the tank.

Is there an even more powerful "high output" alternator that I could easily drop-in-place instead without modding? Names? Model numbers? For instance, there's this alternator, which produces 525amps at 28v: C803D - 28 Volt 525 Amp Alternator but I doubt it could be simply "dropped in" as a stock replacement for the existing alternator. It's more than double the power output by the 370amp alternator I linked to above.

Would this work?
 

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Red Trucker
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Considering modern Rams have inverters for 110v outlets from 220a factory alternators, the 370a is overkill unless you're ultimate goal here is to try to copy the new Ford Lightning as a home power source. You said you had a limited, but didn't say what engine, the 370a is a drop in for the hemi only (and not your year, later VVT engines). The 525a isn't a drop in by any stretch and would require bracketry, possibly it's own belt and I'd say definitely its own wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for your reply. My 2005 Dodge Durango Limited has a 5.7L Hemi engine.

I realize it doesn't have extensive battery storage like the Ford F-150 Lightning that you referenced, but, yes, it would be great if for pocket change my Durango could function as a home power source during an emergency, should the need arise. I live in Texas, and last winter during below-freezing weather many people lost all their utilities (electricity, natural gas, and water) for around a week or so because the Texas power grid could not meet demand. At least one person in a nearby neighborhood literally froze to death inside his own home. By maybe nothing more than dumb luck my family was spared that, because we didn't lose power or natural gas, but if it happens again, maybe we will. Well, fast forward to now and the power grid still isn't fixed. The same thing could happen again this year, and so if it does then this time I'd like to have better options. I realize I could purchase a portable power generator, but generally the gas tanks on those are relatively small, whereas my Durango has 20+ gallons. Plus, I already own the Durango, :) :cool: so it's a possible asset that I already have.

How many amps does the Durango draw with the engine idling but with headlights turned-off and air conditioning turned off? If I knew that, then I could maybe estimate the available power budget from using just the stock alternator. In short, how much headroom already exists? As a first step, I'm basically attempting to reconnoiter whether this would make any sense to pursue this or not. i.e. I'm not married to the idea, so if there's a fatal flaw with the idea, or it wouldn't make economic sense, then I'd love to hear about it sooner rather than later.
 

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I offer the following feedback simply to offer a different perspective as a fellow Texan who did lose power for over 3 days.
1. It is entirely possible to run a space heater off a 370amp alternator. Chrysler/ Dodge makes an ambulance prep package for some of its medium duty trucks that provide dual alternators and and decent fabricator could make you mounting brackets to run duals . You could definitely get a respectable amount of amperage . The hill to climb in my opinion is the wiring , which is not rocket science. Go with a solid 4 gauge wire or something comparable and if you want to stack batteries you can even do that.
The issue really is idling a gas engine for that long of a time. Alternators do not put out their best at idle. This compounded with low temperatures and the potential wear and tear of idling a gas engine for 20 hours makes it something I would consider before embarking upon. Your burning probably 1 gallon an hour idling the engine maybe less. 20 hours of the car idling at 900-1000 rpm would have me constantly checking the oil and making sure I’m not burning any off. You could buy a 12V vehicle heater and maybe insulate the vehicle with dynamat and build a rig you can stay warm in off an auxiliary gel battery like an optima. Then you can run the heater to warm up the truck and sleep in it . You can have a disconnect so that you only tie it in to your battery and alternator when it runs low. Then you could start your vehicle and go for a short drive and charge it back up.
If you do embark on your project take lots of pics and do a write up on it. I wish you lots of luck and stay warm this winter bud.
 

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2005 Dodge Ram 3500 Laramie quad cab 4WD SRW
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Thanks for your reply. My 2005 Dodge Durango Limited has a 5.7L Hemi engine.

I realize it doesn't have extensive battery storage like the Ford F-150 Lightning that you referenced, but, yes, it would be great if for pocket change my Durango could function as a home power source during an emergency, should the need arise. I live in Texas, and last winter during below-freezing weather many people lost all their utilities (electricity, natural gas, and water) for around a week or so because the Texas power grid could not meet demand. At least one person in a nearby neighborhood literally froze to death inside his own home. By maybe nothing more than dumb luck my family was spared that, because we didn't lose power or natural gas, but if it happens again, maybe we will. Well, fast forward to now and the power grid still isn't fixed. The same thing could happen again this year, and so if it does then this time I'd like to have better options. I realize I could purchase a portable power generator, but generally the gas tanks on those are relatively small, whereas my Durango has 20+ gallons. Plus, I already own the Durango, :) :cool: so it's a possible asset that I already have.

How many amps does the Durango draw with the engine idling but with headlights turned-off and air conditioning turned off? If I knew that, then I could maybe estimate the available power budget from using just the stock alternator. In short, how much headroom already exists? As a first step, I'm basically attempting to reconnoiter whether this would make any sense to pursue this or not. i.e. I'm not married to the idea, so if there's a fatal flaw with the idea, or it wouldn't make economic sense, then I'd love to hear about it sooner rather than later.
I know you want to utilize what you already have (truck) but you'd be better off in the long run by just purchasing a small generator. Right now you can get the 4375W generator at Harbor Freight for $399.99. It will run for 16hrs @ 50% load plus it has a 240V plug if you should ever need it. The "Predator" line has been on the market for quite awhile and has been proven to be reliable. With gas prices what they are today, I'd much rather pay the fuel cost for a 6.5hp engine not to mention the wear & tear than I would for a V8. This is just my 2 cents...
 
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