Why A Powermaster Alternator Is Not Your Average Battery Charger

When it comes to diesel engines, having a reliable and heavy-duty charging system is crucial. Diesel engines operate at low engine RPM and require a lot of electrical power. This is especially true in tough working environments like areas where snowplow usage is the norm or any place where truck owners add a lot of accessories to their rig. This is where Powermaster Performance can be your best friend. Powermaster has been designing and manufacturing high-quality alternators for more than 30 years. In this article, we will dive into the importance of a heavy-duty alternator for diesel engines and how Powermaster is leading the way with its above-average alternator designs.

A Powermaster alternator for diesel engines is designed specifically for the rigors a diesel engine imparts on the charging system. You can find a Powermaster alternator for many applications, including Cummins, Power Stroke, and Duramax engines. These alternators have the ability to provide maximum output at low RPM, which is crucial for diesel engines that spend a lot of time idling or operating at lower engine speeds. Powermaster alternators for diesel trucks are designed from the inside out to deliver increased output at lower RPM — with a stock diameter pulley. Powermaster had to go back to the drawing board with their newest models to make them really kick, many at 195 amps, at idle.

Powermaster alternator

Although this may be an overlooked component under the hood, it is far more important than most think.

Depending on the specific application, Powermaster offers alternators that deliver 200 (or more) amps of current. These high-output alternators are designed to balance their output from idle to cruising RPM, ensuring they deliver the electrical power required, even in tough operating conditions.

It’s What’s Inside A Powermaster Alternator That Counts

In addition to high-output alternators, Powermaster Performance also offers a range of components to ensure that the entire charging system is up to the task. For example, if the OEM alternator was equipped with a clutch or decoupler-style pulley, Powermaster ensures their replacement alternator includes the same diameter and design pulley so that the factory belt can be used. What’s more, the new assembly is designed to meet or exceed the factory requirements.

powermaster alternator

These alternators and the components inside are meticulously hand-crafted to ensure longevity.

Having built an untold number of alternators for diesel applications, Powermaster possesses a deep comprehension of the requirements exhibited by various diesel engine models. With a varied range of high-output-capable units, Powermaster ensures the fulfillment of power demands for all diesel engines.

Separating a quality alternator designed for your diesel as opposed to an over-the-counter “replacement” piece comes down to the parts used in its construction. Inside, Powermaster Performance only uses heavy-duty rectifiers to manage the increased current while decreasing heat for improved overall efficiency. With a “box store” alternator do you really know what you’re getting? Powermaster’s rectifiers are designed to withstand harsh working environments and ensure that the alternator is working at peak efficiency.

Also, the company’s rotor windings are wound in-house, allowing for complete control over quality and the ability to experiment with different materials and ratios of windings. The outer diameter of the pole pieces and copper slip ring on the rotor are machined accurately with a CNC machine, and each rotor assembly is balanced to ensure a longer life for the bearing assemblies and the longevity of the alternator.

alternator rectifier

Not all rectifiers are created equal. Powermaster only uses heavy-duty pieces in their alternators.

The rotor is another critical component of the alternator, and Powermaster takes extra care in designing and manufacturing this part. The rotor is the heart of the alternator, it spins and helps generate the current needed to charge the battery(ies). Each Powermaster rotor is chucked up in a CNC machine so that the outside diameter can be phased and machined accurately.

After the windings and pole pieces are assembled, each rotor assembly is final machined in CNC machine. From here the rotor is dual-plane balanced to ensure longer bearing life and alternator longevity.

Stator Design

The stator found within an alternator is the stationary part of a rotary electromagnetic device and it surrounds the rotor. Its basic construction is an outer frame, core, and windings. The outer stator frame provides support for the stator core and the stator core is comprised of thin steel laminations found within the stator winding. The stator windings (or stator coil) are made of insulated copper wire. As the rotor spins within the stator, an electrical current is applied, and the stator winding becomes an electromagnet. The magnetized stator converts the rotating magnetic field of the rotor to an electric current.

powermaster alternator

A closer look at the Powermaster stator shows how much copper they can pack into their unit. This is all in the name of efficiency and output, especially at low RPM. The advanced winding design, combined with the highest-quality materials, creates very high current capabilities.

Making The Connection

Although not a part of the alternator, Powermaster also emphasizes the importance of truck owners using high-grade, multi-strand copper wire with properly crimped terminals to handle the increased output of their alternators. If the charge wire can’t handle the alternator’s increased output, then there’s no benefit.

We cannot stress how important it is to use the correct size wire when upgrading and connecting the alternator to the battery. if the wire size is too small, it can allow the wire to overheat and cause a fire. The maximum output of the alternator determines the wire size you should be choosing. The chart below shows the minimum recommended wire gauge for a given amperage.

A Powermaster Alternator Offers Good Looks And More

Not only does a Powermaster diesel truck alternator deliver the current your truck’s electrical system needs, but additionally, all of Powermaster’s diesel alternators come with an extreme-duty wrinkle finish. This finish is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also adds an extra layer of protection against wear and tear. Powermaster understands that these alternators will be subjected to harsh working environments and their finishes are designed to withstand these conditions.

While charge cables are not a part of the alternator, they are an important part of the charging system. Truck manufacturers have incorporated the appropriate size charge cables for your stock application, but add electrical items that will increase current draw (i.e: snow plows, various accessory lighting, and anything with a current draw), and it is crucial to use a high-grade, multi-strand copper wire with properly crimped terminals.

Once assembled, every diesel truck alternator is run through its paces on an advanced dyno that monitors the output voltage and current while under load over a range of RPM and loads. This is the final test before the unit is packaged and shipped to the customer. Each unit is supplied with its own Proof-of-Performance dyno sheet, too.

Powermaster alternators come with OE-style pulleys to ensure easy installation.

Getting The High-Output Low-Down

We spoke with one of the experts at Powermaster, Chris Donaldson, for a quick Q&A on its products and what separates them from other options in the diesel pickup space.

DieselArmy.com (DA): What distinguishes Powermaster’s alternators from other similar products in the market?

Powermaster (PM): “Our alternators stand out because they are entirely manufactured at our facility in West Chicago, Illinois. This grants us complete control over the entire production process, and we do not use any remanufactured parts. We meticulously wind and machine the rotors, perform dual-plane balancing, and then conduct thorough component testing throughout the assembly stages. This meticulous approach ensures superior quality control and results in the best possible alternator.”

DA: What feedback have you received from customers who have used your product compared to others?

PM: “While I can’t comment on specific brands or competitors in the market, our sales partners and customers highly appreciate the direct-fit nature of our alternators, the robust heavy-duty wrinkle finish, and the fact that our units come with a factory-diameter pulley eliminates the need for purchasing a different length belt. The high output at idle is especially important for most users, particularly those engaged in winching, plowing, and other demanding tasks.”

DA: Are there future plans to expand or improve upon your already-full product line for diesel pickup trucks? 

PM: “Our support team and sales team are always reviewing new applications and what the diesel performance market needs and is asking for. Research and development are ongoing to produce more efficient and higher-output alternators. There’s always the need for more charging capabilities! We also offer a full line of Ultra Duty Diesel Starters for Cummins, Powerstroke, and Duramax applications.

powermaster alternator

To make sure that you aren’t left stranded, Powermaster dyno tests each and every alternator before it leaves

We cannot thank the crew over at Powermaster Performance enough for taking the time to sit down and educate us and allow us to translate it to our readers. If you have any more questions regarding Powermaster and its products, head over to their website right here.

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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