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Important Troubleshooting Tips for Aircraft Alternators

As any pilot knows, alternator failures can be serious business. Not only do they result in a loss of electrical power, but they can also lead to engine failure if you don’t catch the problem in time.

That’s why it’s important to be proactive about troubleshooting and maintaining your aircraft’s alternators. This blog post will share some important troubleshooting tips for aircraft alternators. 

How Alternators Work

Before we get into troubleshooting tips, let’s quickly review how alternators work. Alternators are responsible for generating the electricity that powers an aircraft’s engine, avionics, and other electrical systems. They do this by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.

There are two main types of alternators: AC alternators and DC generators. AC alternators are more common in small aircraft, while DC generators are typically in larger planes. Both types of alternators have their pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

Common Alternator Problems

Now that we know how alternators work let’s look at some of the most common problems that can occur. The three most common issues are low output voltage, high output voltage, and high output current. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Low Output Voltage

This problem is typical because of a loose connection or a bad diode. To fix it, you’ll need to check all the connections and replace any damaged parts.

High Output Voltage

A defective rectifier or regulator usually causes this problem. You’ll need to replace the faulty component with a new one to fix it.

High Output Current

This problem is from an overcharged battery or a short circuit. You’ll need to check the battery and charging system for problems to fix the issue. You may also need to replace damaged wiring or other components.

Troubleshooting Tips

Now that we’ve covered some of the most common problems let’s look at some troubleshooting tips. These tips can help you identify and fix alternator problems before they cause serious damage.

First, it’s important to regularly check your aircraft’s electrical system. This includes checking the voltage and current output of the alternator. You should also check the condition of the batteries, wiring, and other components. If you notice anything abnormal, take immediate action.

Next, keep a close eye on your engine temperature gauge. If the alternator fails, the engine will start to overheat. So, if you see the engine temperature rising, it indicates a problem with the alternator.

Finally, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan. This plan could include carrying spare parts or having a second alternator on hand. If one fails, you can quickly replace it and get back in the air.

As you can see, several things can go wrong with an aircraft alternator. That’s why it’s important to be proactive about troubleshooting and maintaining your plane’s electrical system. Following the tips in this blog post can help ensure that your aircraft is always safe and ready to fly.

Seattle Aviation Solutions has the commercial airplane parts you need to keep your fleet in the air. Visit our website to browse our inventory or contact us today to speak with a team member.

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