Why a smaller alternator makes a difference to vehicle performance

15 March 2018 | Article

DENSO introduced its first automotive alternators in the 1960s. Since then the company has pioneered a variety of new alternator designs capable of producing more electrical power more efficiently, yet in a smaller, lighter unit.

Alternators have always been an essential element of electrical power provision in vehicles. However, as the requirements and demands on vehicle power usage have changed and increased, alternators have had to adapt to meet them.

By converting mechanical energy from the engine into electrical power, the alternator supplies components in the car with energy, adapting its load according to changing driving conditions.

However, the requirements of modern vehicles mean that there’s more electrical equipment that the alternator needs to power. This increased output needs to be provided whilst also meeting specific weight and environmental requirements.

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DENSO alternator designs provide greater output in a smaller size

By providing smaller alternator designs with greater outputs, DENSO help manufacturers to meet modern vehicle requirements easily. With all three of DENSO’s alternator designs, conventional, type III and SC, the priority is to provide as high an output in the smallest and most lightweight construction possible. Down to the smallest elements of the alternator, each part is designed for maximum efficiency.

Within the Conventional Type, higher output efficiency comes from the cold forged rotor core, which improves the magnetic circuit. In addition, the IC regulator, which controls the amount of voltage outputted by the alternator, is built in, reducing the alternator’s size and weight.

With the integration of two fan blades and the rotor, DENSO significantly reduced the size and weight of their Type III alternator. By improving the magnetic circuit with optimal stator and rotor sizes and decreasing the diameter of the pulley, the design enables maximum efficiency in a reduced space.

Similarly, with their SC alternator, DENSO created a design that was 20 percent lighter than the conventional model and, with its miniaturized single-chip IC regulator, could maintain its efficiency, even at high electrical outputs. In addition, its one-of-a-kind rectangular segment conductor for its stator coil, coil resistance and thermal loss was reduced by half and the winding density was increased from 45 to 70 percent, increasing not only the efficiency, but the amount of output that the alternator could produce.

Efficient alternators provide efficient electrical performance

With their innovative design and optimum electrical output, DENSO alternators can efficiently provide power for even the highest vehicle demands, in the smallest of car engines. This means that cars can keep running efficiently, whilst meeting tough design and environmental standards.

Ruslan Leontiev, Product Manager at DENSO Europe, says that this increase in alternator technology and greater intelligence in cars, makes high alternator power in a smaller, more compact design possible.

He said, “Emerging smart charging technology offers reliability and precision in the control of alternator output generation and distribution. As pioneers of leading alternator technology for modern cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles, we harness this technology to provide optimum efficiency and reliability for our customers.”

“By doing this, we not only enable vehicles to maximise their electrical output, but to do so without affecting its design, weight or environmental performance. This is part of the reason that we’re one of the largest OE rotating machine manufacturers with 24.8 percent of the global market share.”

Find out more

Further details of DENSO’s rotating range are available online, on TecDoc or from your local DENSO Aftermarket sales contact.

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