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ISBN-3-934584-69-1 Order Number 1 987 722 128 AA/PDT-09.

AA/PDT-09.03-En The Bosch Yellow Jackets Edition 2003 Expert Know-How on Automotive Technology Automotive Electrics/Automotive Electronics

2003 Alternators and

The Bosch Yellow Jackets

Starter Motors

The Program Order Number ISBN

Alternators and Starter Motors

Automotive Electrics/Automotive Electronics
Motor-Vehicle Batteries and Electrical Systems 1 987 722 143 3-934584-71-3 Automotive Technology
Alternators and Starter Motors 1 987 722 128 3-934584-69-1
Automotive Lighting Technology, Windshield
and Rear-Window Cleaning 1 987 722 176 3-934584-70-5
Automotive Sensors 1 987 722 131 3-934584-50-0
Automotive Microelectronics 1 987 722 122 3-934584-49-7

Diesel-Engine Management
Diesel-Engine Management: An Overview 1 987 722 138 3-934584-62-4 Generation of electrical energy and
Electronic Diesel Control EDC 1 987 722 135 3-934584-47-0 vehicle electrical systems

Expert Know-How on Automotive Technology

Diesel Accumulator Fuel-Injection System
Common Rail CR 1 987 722 175 3-934584-40-3
Basic physical principles
Diesel Fuel-Injection Systems Equipment versions for passenger cars
Unit Injector System/Unit Pump System 1 987 722 179 3-934584-41-1 and commercial vehicles
Distributor-Type Diesel Fuel-Injection Pumps 1 987 722 144 3-934584-65-9 Quality management
Diesel In-Line Fuel-Injection Pumps 1 987 722 137 3-934584-68-3
Workshop testing techniques
Gasoline-Engine Management
Emissions-Control Technology
for Gasoline Engines 1 987 722 102 3-934584-26-8
Gasoline Fuel-Injection System K-Jetronic 1 987 722 159 3-934584-27-6
Gasoline Fuel-Injection System KE-Jetronic 1 987 722 101 3-934584-28-4
Gasoline Fuel-Injection System L-Jetronic 1 987 722 160 3-934584-29-2
Gasoline Fuel-Injection System Mono-Jetronic 1 987 722 105 3-934584-30-6
Ignition Systems for Gasoline Engines 1 987 722 130 3-934584-63-2
Gasoline-Engine Management:
Basics and Components 1 987 722 136 3-934584-48-9
Gasoline-Engine Management:
Motronic Systems 1 987 722 139 3-934584-75-6

Safety, Comfort and Convenience Systems

Conventional and Electronic Braking Systems 1 987 722 103 3-934584-60-8
ESP Electronic Stability Program 1 987 722 177 3-934584-44-6
ACC Adaptive Cruise Control 1 987 722 134 3-934584-64-0
Compressed-Air Systems for Commercial
Vehicles (1): Systems and Schematic Diagrams 1 987 722 165 3-934584-45-4
Compressed-Air Systems for Commercial
Vehicles (2): Equipment 1 987 722 166 3-934584-46-2
Safety, Comfort and Convenience Systems 1 987 722 150 3-934584-25-X
Audio, Navigation and Telematics in the Vehicle 1 987 722 132 3-934584-53-5

The up-to-date program is available on the Internet at:

Robert Bosch GmbH


Published by: Reproduction, duplication and translation of this

Robert Bosch GmbH, 2003 publication, either in whole or in part, is permis-
Postfach 1129, sible only with our prior written consent and
D-73201 Plochingen. provided the source is quoted.
Automotive Aftermarket Business Sector, Illustrations, descriptions, schematic diagrams
Department AA/PDT5. and the like are for explanatory purposes and
Product Marketing, Diagnostics & illustration of the text only. They cannot be used
Test Equipment. as the basis for the design, installation, or speci-
fication of products. We accept no liability for
Editor-in-chief: the accuracy of the content of this document
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Horst Bauer. in respect of applicable statutory regulations.
Robert Bosch GmbH is exempt from liability,
Editorial staff: Subject to alteration and amendment.
Dipl.-Ing. Karl-Heinz Dietsche,
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Thomas Jger. Printed in Germany.
Imprim en Allemagne.
Dipl.-Ing. Reinhard Meyer (Alternators), 1st edition, September 2003.
Dr.-Ing. Hans Braun (Starter), English translation of the 1st German edition
Dipl.-Ing. Rainer Rehage dated: October 2002
(Service technology), (1.0)
Holger Weinmann
(Testing technology for alternators and starters),
and the editorial team in cooperation with
the responsible technical departments at
Robert Bosch GmbH.

Unless otherwise indicated, the above are

employees of Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators and Starter Motors

Robert Bosch GmbH

Robert Bosch GmbH


4 Alternators
4 Generation of electrical energy
in the motor vehicle
9 Basic physical principles
20 Alternator versions
30 Voltage-regulator versions
34 Overvoltage protection
38 Cooling and noise
41 Power losses
42 Characteristic curves
44 Alternator circuitry
46 Alternator operation in the vehicle

52 Starter motors
54 Starting the internal-
combustion engine
62 Starter-motor design
76 Starter-motor design variations
88 Technology of electrical
starting systems

91 Development and production

of alternators and starter motors
91 Quality management
92 Development
94 Production (starter motors)

96 Service technology
96 Overview
98 Testing technology for alternators
100 Testing systems for
starter motors

102 Index of technical terms

102 Technical terms
104 Abbreviations
Robert Bosch GmbH

The demands made on the vehicles power supply are increasing steadily. For instance, the
required generator/alternator power outputs increased about 5-fold between 1950 and
1980. In the meantime the amount of power needed in the vehicle has more than doubled
again. In the coming years, the need for electrical energy in the vehicle will rise at an ever
faster pace. The increasing demand for electrical energy stems from the large amount of
electrical equipment which has become an integral part of every modern-day vehicle. This
stems from the ECUs for electronic systems, and from all the safety, comfort and conveni-
ence electronics and their components.

The generator (more correctly termed the alternator) is the vehicles electricity genera-
ting plant. On the one hand, the increasing number of electrical loads demands higher al-
ternator outputs. On the other hand, considering the restricted installation space under
the hood, the equipment providing this power should under no circumstances become
larger and heavier in the process. Bosch therefore has developed alternators which not
only comply with these demands, but which at the same time are quieter, more long-lived,
and able to withstand higher loading than their predecessors. Wear-free electronic voltage
regulators are a prerequisite for coping with the extensive engine-speed changes and fluc-
tuations in loading which are characteristic for vehicle operations. Extremely lightweight
and requiring a minimum of space, these regulators maintain the alternator voltage out-
put constant across the engines complete speed range.

The starter motor must at all times be ready to crank the engine, and during the course of
its life must successfully complete thousands of starting operations. Taking a passenger car
which is mainly operated in town traffic, this can equate to about 2000 engine starts per
year for an average annual mileage of 15,000 km (10,000 miles). As with its alternators,
Bosch was successful in increasing starter-motor output while at the same time making
the unit lighter and smaller. The application of reduction-gearing in combination with
permanent-magnet techniques was decisive here. All Bosch starters are highly reliable
while ensuring maximum operational dependability.

Although the individual components Alternator with voltage regulator and Starter mo-
tor are subject to their own operating conditions, they are highly dependent on each
other. For this reason, development activities are concentrating on their effective interplay.
This manual from the Bosch Yellow Jacket series deals with the design and construction
of the most important components, as well as with their essential characteristics and diffe-
rences and their importance in the vehicles electrical system.
Robert Bosch GmbH

4 Alternators Generation of electrical energy in the motor vehicle

In order to supply the power required for the other as optimally as possible. For instance,
starter motor, for ignition and fuel-injection following a normal driving cycle (e.g. town
systems, for the ECUs to control the electronic driving in winter), the battery must always
equipment, for lighting, and for safety and still have sufficient charge so that the vehicle
convenience electronics, motor vehicies need can be started again without any trouble no
an alternator to act as their own efficient and matter what the temperature. And the ECUs,
highly reliable source of energy. Energy sensors and actuators for the vehicle's elec-
which must always be available, at any time tronic systems (e.g. for fuel management,
of day or night. ignition, Motronic, electronic engine-power
control, antilock braking system (ABS),
Generation of electrical traction control (TCS), etc.) must always be
energy in the motor vehicle ready for operation.
Apart from this, the vehicle's safety and security
Onboard electrical energy systems as well as its signaling systems must
Assignments and operating conditions operate immediately, the same as the lighting
Whereas, with the engine stopped, the battery system at night or in fog. Furthermore, the
is the vehicle's energy store, the alternator driver-information and convenience systems
becomes the on-board electricity generating must always function correctly, and with the
plant when the engine is running. Its task is vehicle parked, a number of electrical loads
to supply energy to all the vehicle's current- should continue to operate for a reasonable
consuming loads and systems (Fig. 1). In period without discharging the battery so far
order that the entire system is reliable and that the vehicle cannot be started again.
trouble-free in operation, it is necessary that As a matter of course, millions of motorists
the alternator output, battery capacity, and expect their vehicle to always be fully functional,
starter power requirements, together with all and demand a high level of operational relia-
other electrical loads, are matched to each bility from its electrical system. For many
thousands of miles in both summer and
1 Alternator principle winter.

Electrical loads
3-phase AC The various electrical loads have differing duty
Alternator cycles (Fig. 2). A distinction is made between
permanent loads (ignition, fuel injection,
etc.), long-time loads (lighting, car radio, ve-
hicle heater, etc.), and short-time loads (turn
signals, stop lamps, etc.).

Some electrical loads are only switched on

according to season (air-conditioner in
DC summer, seat heater in winter). And the
operation of electrical radiator fans depends
Electrical loads Battery on temperaure and driving conditions.

Fig. 1
The 3-phase AC is

rectified in the alternator

to provide the DC for the
vehicles electrical loads
and for charging the
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Generation of electrical energy in the motor vehicle 5

2 Power requirements of the loads in the vehicle (average values)

Alternator Battery
Energy generator Energy store

In vehicle Charging With engine

operation stopped

Permanent loads Long-time loads Short-time loads

Ignition Car radio Turn-signal Fog Glow plugs

lamps lamps for starting
1015 W 35...55 W (diesel
21 W each each engines)
20 W Navigation
system Stop Backup 100 W each
Electric 15 W lamps (reversing)
fuel pump 18...21 W lamps Passenger-
Side-marker each 21...25 W car starter
lamps each motor
5070 W 4 W each Interior 800
lamp Windshield ...3000 W
Electronic wipers and
fuel Instrument- 5W headlamp Cigarette
injection panel lamps cleaning lighter
2 W each Power 50...100 W
5070 W windows 100 W
License- Electrical
Gasoline- plate seat
engine lamp(s) 150 W adjustment'
management 10 W each
Electrical 100...150 W
175200 W radiator
fan Electrical
Diesel window
3...5 W each
fuel injection 200 W adjustment
Headlamp 20 W
5070 W Power
sunroof Seat
Fans/blowers 150...200 W 100...200 W
55 W each
for per seat
HVAC Headlamp
100...500 W upper Steering-
Heated wheel
beams rear heating
window 50 W
60 W each
120 W Auxiliary
Tail heating
lamps Rear- system
5 W each window 300...1000 W
Electrical Auxiliary
radiator 30...65 W driving
fan lamps
Horns and
200...800 W fanfares 55 W each
25...40 W
Windshield each High-

wipers mounted
Electric stop lamps
80...150 W 60 W 21 W each
Robert Bosch GmbH

6 Alternators Generation of electrical energy in the motor vehicle

Charge-balance calculation Electrical power generation using

Here, a computer program is used to deter- alternators
mine the state of battery charge at the end of The availability of reasonably priced power
a typical driving cycle, whereby such influences diodes as from around 1963, paved the way
as battery size, alternator size, and load input for Bosch to start with the series production
powers must be taken into account. of alternators. Thanks to its design principle,
Rush-hour driving (low engine speeds) the alternator has far higher electromagnetic
combined with winter operation (low charg- efficiency than the DC generator. This fact,
ing-current input to the battery) is regarded together with the alternator's much wider
as a normal passenger-car driving cycle. rotational-speed range, enables it to deliver
In the case of vehicles equipped with an power, and cover the vehicle's increased power
air conditioner, summer operation can be requirements, even at engine idle. Since the
even more unfavorable than winter. alternator speed can be matched to that of the
engine by means of a suitable transmission,
Vehicle electrical system this means that the battery remains at a high
The nature of the wiring between alternator, charge level even in winter during frequent
battery, and electrical equipment also influ- town driving.
ences the voltage level and, as a result, the state The increased power requirements men-
of battery charge. tioned above, result from the following factors:
lf all electrical loads are connected at the bat- The increase in the amount of electrical equip-
tery, the total current (sum of battery charging ment fitted in the vehicle, the number of
current and load current) flows through the ECUs required for the electronic systems
charging line, and the resulting high voltage (e.g. for engine management and for chassis
drop causes a reduction in the charging voltage. control), and the safety, security and conve-
Conversely, if all electrical devices are con- nience electronics. The expected power re-
nected at the alternator side, the voltage drop quirements up to the year 2010 are shown in
is less and the charging voltage is higher. This Fig. 3.
though may have a negative effect upon devices
which are sensitive to voltage peaks or high
voltage ripple (electronic circuitry).
For this reason, it is advisable to connect 3 Alternator output power

voltage-insensitive equipment with high power

inputs to the alternator, and voltage-sensitive
equipment with low power inputs to the kW
Appropriate line cross-sections, and good 3
Alternator rated power

connections whose contact resistances do not

increase even after long periods of operation,
contribute to keeping the voltage drop to a 1

Fig. 3 1
Expected developments
for passenger cars up to

the year 2010.

1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
1 Luxury car
2 Intermediate-size car
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Generation of electrical energy in the motor vehicle 7

Apart from these factors, typical driving Design factors

cycles have also changed, whereby the pro- Rotational speed
portion of town driving with extended stops An alternators efficiency (energy generated per
at idle has increased (Fig. 4). kg mass) increases with rotational speed. This
The rise in traffic density leads to frequent factor dictates as high a conversion ratio as
traffic jams, and together with long stops at possible between engine crankshaft and alter-
traffic lights this means that the alternator also nator. For passenger cars, typical values are
operates for much of the time at low speeds between 1:2.2 and 1:3, and for commercial
which correspond to engine idle. Together vehicles up to 1:5.
with the fact that longer journeys at higher
speeds have become less common, this has a Temperature
negative effect on the battery's charge balance. The losses in the alternator lead to heating
And it is imperative that the battery continues up of its components. The input of fresh air
to be charged even when the engine is idling. to the alternator, or the use of liquid cooling,
At engine idle, an alternator already deliv- are suitable measures for reducing component
ers at least a third of its rated power (Fig. 5). temperature and increasing alternator service
Alternators are designed to generate life.
charging voltages of 14 V (28 V for commercial
vehicles), and 42 V (undergoing development). Vibration
The three-phase winding is incorporated in Depending on installation conditions and
the stator, and the excitation winding in the the engine's vibration patterns, vibration ac-
rotor. celerations of between 500...800 m/s2 can
The three-phase AC generated by the al- occur at the alternator. Critical resonances
ternator must be rectified, the rectifiers also must be avoided.
preventing battery discharge when the vehicle
is stationary. Further influences
The additional relay as required for the The alternator is also subjected to such
DC generator can be dispensed with. detrimental influences as spray water, dirt,
oil, fuel mist, and road salt.

4 Proportion of time at standstill 5 Alternator current characteristic

Proportion of time at standstill

Alternator current


20 Fig. 4
Developments for
urban traffic (large cities)
10 up to the year 2000.


0 0 Fig. 5
1970 1980 1990 2000 0 nL n max
At constant voltage
Year Engine speed n
nL Idle speed
nmax Maximum speed
Robert Bosch GmbH

8 Alternators Generation of electrical energy in the motor vehicle

Electrical power generation using  Rugged construction to withstand the

DC generators under-hood stresses (e.g. vibration,
Originally, the conventional lead-acid battery high ambient temperatures, temperature
customarily fitted in motor vehicles led to changes, dirt, dampness, etc.),
the development of the DC generator, and  Low weight.
for a long time this generator system was  Compact dimensions for ease of installation.
able to meet the majority of the demands  Long service life.
made upon it.  Low noise level.
Consequently, until the middle of the sev-  A high level of efficiency.
enties, most vehicles were equipped with
such DC generators. Today though, these Characteristics (summary)
have become virtually insignificant in the The alternators most important characteristics
automotive sector and will not be dealt with are:
in detail here.  It generates power even at engine idle.
With the DC generator, it proved to be  Rectification of the AC uses power diodes
more practical to rotate the magnetic lines in a three-phase bridge circuit.
of force, while locating the electrically ex-  The diodes separate alternator and battery
cited magnetic system in the stationary from the vehicle electrical system when the
housing. The alternating current generated alternator voltage drops below the battery
by the machine is then rectified relatively voltage.
simply by mechanical means using a com-  The alternator's higher level of electrical ef-
mutator, and the resulting direct current ficiency means that for the same power out-
supplied to the vehicle electrical system or put, they are far lighter than DC generators.
the battery.  Alternators feature a long service life. The
passenger-car alternator's service life cor-
Requirements to be met by automotive responds roughly to that of the engine. It
generators can last for as much as 200,000 km, which
The type and construction of an automotive means that no servicing is necessary dur-
electrical generator are determined by the ne- ing this period.
cessity of providing electrical energy for  On vehicles designed for high mileages
powering the vehicle's electrical equipment, (trucks and commercial vehicles in general),
and for charging its battery. brushless alternator versions are used which
Initially, the alternator generates alternating permit regreasing. Or bearings with grease-
current (AC). The vehicle's electrical equip- reserve chambers are fitted.
ment though requires direct current (DC)  Alternators are able to withstand such ex-
for keeping the battery charged and for power- ternal influences as vibration, high tem-
ing the electronic subassemblies. The electrical peratures, dirt, and dampness.
system must therefore be supplied with DC.  Normally, operation is possible in either
The demands made upon an automotive direction of rotation without special mea-
generator are highly complex and varied: sures being necessary, when the fan shape
 Supplying all connected loads with DC. is adapted to the direction of rotation.
 Providing power reserves for rapidly charg-
ing the battery and keeping it charged, even
when permanent loads are swiched on.
 Maintaining the voltage output as constant as
possible across the complete engine speed
range independent of the generator's loading.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Basic physical principles 9

Basic physical principles How is the magnetic field generated?

The magnetic field can be generated by per-
Electrodynamic principle manent magnets. Due to their simplicity,
Induction these have the advantage of requiring only a
Electromagnetic induction is the basis for the minimum of technical outlay. They are used
generation of electricity. The principle is as for small generators (e.g. bicycle dynamos).
follows: On the other hand, electromagnets through
When an electric conductor (wire or wire which DC current flows permit considerably
loop) cuts through the lines of force of a DC higher voltages and are controllable. This is
magnetic field, a voltage is generated (induced) why they are applied for generation of the
in the conductor. lt is immaterial whether the (exciter) magnetic field.
magnetic field remains stationary and the con- Electromagnetism is based on the fact
ductor rotates, or vice versa. that, when an electric current flows through
A wire loop is rotated between the North and wires or windings, it generates a a magnetic
South poles of a permanent magnet, and its field around them.
ends are connected through collector rings and The number of turns in the winding and
carbon brushes to a voltmeter.The continuously the magnitude of the current flowing through
varying relationship of the wire loop to the it determine the magnetic field's strength.
poles is reflected in the varying voltage shown This excitation field can be further increased
by the voltmeter. lf the wire loop rotates uni- by using a magnetizable iron core, which, when
formly, a sinusoidal voltage curve is generated it rotates, induces an alternating voltage in
whose maximum values occur at intervals of the armature coil. In practical generator ap-
180. Alternating current (AC) flows as soon plications, in order to increase the effects of
as the circuit is closed (Fig. 1 ). induction, instead of a single wire loop, a
number of wire loops are used to form the
winding which rotates in the magnetic

1 Induced single-phase alternating current

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Voltage U

UME0027-1Y, UME0362-1E

Fig. 1
Voltage curve generated
during one full revolution
of a winding rotating in
0 45 90 135 180 225 270 315 360 a magnetic field.
Rotor rotation in degrees The position of the rotor
on the left corresponds
to position 3.
Robert Bosch GmbH

10 Alternators Basic physical principles

When this principle is applied to the generator comprises three identical windings which are
or alternator, a decisive advantage lies in the fact offset from each other by 120. The start points
that the magnetic field, and with it the induced of the three windings are usually designated
voltage, can be strengthened or weakened by u, v, w, and theendpoints x, y, z. In accordance
increasing or decreasing the (excitation) cur- with the laws of induction, when the rotor
rent flowing in the (excitation) winding. rotates in the magnetic field, sinusoidal volt-
Except for slight residual or residual mag- ages are generated in each of its three windings.
netism, the electromagnet in the form of the These voltages are of identical magnitude and
excitation winding loses its magnetism when frequency, the only difference being that their
the excitation current is switched off. lf an ex- 120 offset results in the induced voltages also
ternal source of energy (e.g. battery) provides being 120 out-of-phase with each other, as
the excitation current, this is termed external well as being out-of-phase by 120 with respect
excitation. lf the excitation current is taken to time.
from the machine's own electric circuit this is Therefore, with the rotor turning, the alter-
termed self-excitation. nator generates a constantly recurring 3-phase
In electric machines, the complete rotating alternating voltage.
system comprising winding and iron core is Normally, with the windings not connected,
referred to as the rotor. an alternator would require 6 wires to output
the electrical energy that it has generated
Principle of operation of the alternator (Fig. 3a). However, by interconnecting the 3
3-phase current (3-phase AC, Fig. 2) is also circuits the number of wires can be reduced
generated by rotating the rotor in a magnetic from 6 to 3. This joint use of the conductors
field, the same as with single-phase AC as is achieved by the star connection (Fig. 3b)
described above. One of the advantages of or delta connection (Fig. 3c).
3-phase AC lies in the fact that it makes more
efficient use of the electrical generator's po-
tential. The generator for 3-phase AC is des-
ignated an alternator and its armature

2 lnduced three-phase AC

u v w

Voltage U

Fig. 2
Voltage curves generated N
UME0028-1Y, UME0363-1E

during one revolution of

three windings (phases)
rotating in a magnetic -
field. The windings are
offset from each other
by 120. The connection
of the individual phase
voltages results in a 0 90 180 270 360
3-phase altemating Rotor rotation in degrees
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Basic physical principles 11

In the case of the star connection, the Rectifier diodes have a reverse and a forward
ends of the 3 winding phases are joined to direction, the latter being indicated by the
form a star point. Without a neutral con- arrow in the symbol. A diode can be com-
ductor, the sum of the 3 currents at any in- pared to a non-return valve which permits
stant time is always 0. passage of a fluid or a gas in only one direction
and stops it in the other.
Discussions up to this point have centered The rectifier diode suppresses the negative
on the alternator version with stationary ex- half waves and allows only positive half-waves
citation field and rotating armature winding to pass. The result is a pulsating direct current.
in which the load current is induced. So-called full-wave rectification is applied in
For automotive alternators though, the order to make full use of all the half-waves,
3-phase (star or delta connected) winding including those that have been suppressed.
system is in the stator (the stationary part of
the alternator housing) so that the winding Bridge circuit for the rectification of the
is often referred to as the stator winding. 3-phase AC
The poles of the magnet together with the The operating principle of the diode in the
excitation winding are situated on the rotor. rectification of an alternating current is shown
The rotor's magnetic field builds up as soon as in Fig. 4 (following page). Half-wave rectifica-
current flows through the excitation winding. tion is shown in Fig. 4a, and full-wave rectifi-
cation in Fig. 4b.
When the rotor rotates, its magnetic field The AC generated in the 3 windings of the
induces a 3-phase alternating voltage in the alternator is rectified in an AC bridge circuit
stator windings which provides the 3-phase using 6 diodes (Fig. 5).
current when the alternator is loaded.

Rectification of the AC voltage

The 3-phase AC generated by the alternator
cannot be stored in the vehicle's battery nor
can it be used to power the electronic com-
ponents and ECUs. To do so, it must first of
all be rectified. One of the essential prereq-
Fig. 3
uisites for this rectification is the availability
a Windings not
of high-performance power diodes which connected
can operate efficiently throughout a wide b Star connection.
temperature range. Alternator voltage U
and phase voltage Up
3 Connection of the three windings (partial voltage)
differ by the factor
3 = 1.73
a b c Alternator current I
Ip u U I = Ip U = Up I equals phase current Ip
U = Up  3 ; I = Ip
Up c Delta connection.
Alternator voltage U
Up equals phase
x w u voltage Up. The
z y

Ip Ip alternator current I
w v v
w v and phase current Ip
Ip differ by the factor
3 = 1.73
U = Up; I = Ip 3
Robert Bosch GmbH

12 Alternators Basic physical principles

Two power diodes are connected into each magnetizes the poles of the excitation field is
phase, one diode to the positive side (Term. tapped off from the stator winding and recti-
B+) and one to the negative side (Term. B). fied by a full-wave bridge rectifier. Older-ver-
The six power diodes are connected to form a sion alternators have three exciter diodes.
full-wave rectification circuit. The positive The three exciter diodes at Term. D+, and
half-waves pass through the positive-side diodes, the three power diodes at Term. B (negative
and the negative half-waves through the nega- side) form the bridge circuit for the excitation
tive-side diodes. Rectification takes place. current. With the aim of increasing power
With full-wave rectification using a bridge output at high speeds (above 3000 rpm),
circuit, the positive and negative half-wave auxiliary diodes can be used with star-con-
envelopes are added to form a rectified alter- nected versions to make full use of the alter-
nator voltage with a slight ripple (Fig. 5). nator voltage's harmonic component.
This means that the direct current (DC)
which is taken from the alternator at Terminals Reverse-current block
B+ and B to supply the vehicle electrical sys- The rectifier diodes in the alternator not
tem is not ideally smooth but has a slight only rectify the alternator and excitation
ripple. This ripple is further smoothed by the voltage, but also prevent the battery dis-
battery, which is connected in parallel to the al- charging through the 3-phase winding in the
ternator, and by any capacitors in the vehicle stator.
electrical system.The excitation current which

4 Rectifier circuits

Voltage U

UG 0

- -
1 UG-
- 3
2 UG-
Voltage U

Fig. 4
UME0031-1E, UME0202-1Y, UME0561-1Y

a Half-wave rectification -
b Full-wave rectification. 4
UG~ AC voltage
UG b
upstream of the
1 UG- UG-
UG Pulsating DC
Voltage U

downstream of the - 3
diodes G

1 Battery 2
2 Excitation winding
(G) - 0 180 360 540 720
3 Stator winding
Rotor rotation in degrees
4 Rectifier diodes
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Basic physical principles 13

With the engine stopped, or with it turning plate and functions as a cathode. lt is con-
too slowly for self-excitation to take place nected to the battery's positive pole and con-
(e.g. during cranking), without the diodes ducts towards B+ (battery positive). The metal
battery current would flow through the stator casing of the negative diode is pressed into
winding. With respect to the battery current, the negative plate and functions as an anode.
the diodes are polarized in the reverse direction lt is connected to ground (B-). The diode
so that it is impossible for battery-discharge wire terminations are connected to the ends
current to flow. Current flow can only take of the stator winding (Fig. 6, overleaf). The
place from the alternator to the battery. positive and negative plates also function as
heat sinks for cooling the diodes. The power
Rectifier diodes diodes can be in the form of Zener diodes
Regarding their operation, the power diodes which also serve to limit the voltage peaks
on the plus and negative sides are identical. which occur in the alternator due to extreme
The only difference between them lies in their load changes (load-dump protection).
special design for use as rectifiers in the alter-
nator. They are termed positive and negative
diodes, and in one case the diode's knurled
metal casing acts as a cathode and in the
other as an anode. The metal casing of the
positive diode is pressed into the positive

5 3-phase bridge circuit

u v w

Voltage U

Fig. 5
a 3-phase AC voltage
b Formation of the
alternator voltage by
a the envelope curves
of the positive and
negative half-waves
Voltage U

B+ c Rectified alternator
0 voltage.
UG UP Phase voltage,
UG Voltage at the
- rectifier (negative
not to ground),
4 5 UG Alternator DC
UP UG- b
voltage output
UME0203-1Y, UME0032-1E

(negative to ground),
- v UGms r.m.s. value of
Voltage U

3 the alternator DC
u w 0
G 1 Battery
- UGeff
2 B 2 Excitation winding
- 0 90 180 270 360 3 Stator winding
4 Positive diodes
Rotor rotation in degrees
5 Negative diodes
Robert Bosch GmbH

14 Alternators Basic physical principles

The alternators circuits current which flows through the charge-in-

Standard-version alternators have the dicator lamp from the battery. lt generates a
following three circuits: field in the rotor which in turn induces a
 Pre-excitation circuit (separate excitation voltage in the stator proportional to the ro-
using battery current) tor speed.
 Excitation circuit (self-excitation) When the engine is started, in order that
 Generator or main circuit alternator self-excitation can get going, the
engine must turn at a speed which enables
Pre-excitation circuit the induced voltage to exceed the voltage
When the ignition or driving switch (Fig. 7, drop across the diodes in the excitation cir-
Item 4) is operated, the battery current IB cuit. Since the charge-indicator lamp in-
first of all flows through the charge-indica- creases the pre-excitation circuit resistance
tor lamp (3), through the excitation winding compared to that of the excitation circuit,
(1d) in the stator, and through the voltage this speed is above the engine idle speed. lt is
regulator (2) to ground. In the rotor, this therefore affected by the charge-indicator
battery current serves to pre-excite the alter- lamp's wattage rating.
Charge-indicator lamp
Why is pre-excitation necessary ? When the ignition or driving switch (Fig. 7,
On most alternators, the residual magnet- Item 3) is operated, the charge-indicator lamp
ism in the excitation winding's iron core is (3) in the pre-excitation circuit functions as a
very weak at the instant of starting and at resistor and determines the magnitude of the
low speeds, and does not suffice to provide pre-excitation current. A suitably dimensioned
the self-excitation needed for building up lamp provides a current which is enough to
the magnetic field. generate a sufficiently strong magnetic field to
Self-excitation can only take place when initiate self-excitation. lf the lamp is too weak,
the alternator voltage exceeds the voltage as is the case, for instance, with electronic dis-
Fig. 6 drop across the two diodes (2 x 0.7 = 1.4 V). plays, a resistor must be connected in parallel
1 Battery This serves to support the pre-excitation to guarantee adequate alternator self-
2 Excitation winding
(G) 6 Excitation-current rectification 7 Pre-excitation circuit
3 Stator winding
4 Positive-plate diodes
5 Negative-plate 30 30
B+ (+) 30
6 4 3
6 Auxiliary diodes 4 5 15 IB D+ B+
7 Excitation diodes 1
a b

Fig. 7
+ +
1 Alternator
1a Excitation diodes 1 5 v
1b Positive-plate diodes u w
- -

1c Negative-plate G d
diodes D+ c
v 3 U DF
1d Excitation winding u w


2 Voltage regulator 7 2 D-
3 Charge-indicator
D+ 2 B- (-) 31 B-
lamp 31 31
4 Ignition switch
5 Battery
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Basic physical principles 15

excitation. The lamp remains on as long as Excitation circuit

the alternator voltage is below battery voltage. During alternator operation, it is the task of
The lamp goes out the first time the speed is the excitation current Ierr to generate a mag-
reached at which maximum alternator voltage netic field in the rotor so that the required al-
is generated and the alternator starts to feed ternator voltage can be induced in the stator
power into the vehicle electrical system. windings.
Typical ratings for charge-indicator lamps are:
2 W for 12 V systems,
3 W for 24 V systems.

Pre-excitation on alternators with

multifunctional voltage regulator 9 Excitation circuit

Alternators with multifunctional regulators

draw their excitation current directly from
Term. B+. This means that excitation diodes (+) 30
4 3
can be dispensed with (Fig. 8). As from the 15 D+ B+
Series B Compactalternator range, the multi- 1
functionalregulatorhasbeenfittedasstandard. a b
When it receives the information Ignition on
from the L connection, the multifunctional + Ierr.
Fig. 9
regulator switches on the pre-excitation cur- 5 v(+) 1 Alternator
rent. When the rotor starts to turn, the regu- (o) (-)
- u w 1a Excitation diodes
lator registers a voltage at the phase connec- 1b Positive-plate diodes
tion V, whose frequency it uses to calculate the G d 1c Negative-plate
D+ c diodes
alternator speed.A switch-on speed is set in the U DF
1d Excitation winding
regulator, and as soon as this is reached, the

2 D- 2 Voltage regulator
regulator switches through the final stage so 3 Charge-indicator
that the alternator starts to deliver current to (-) 31 B-
the vehicles electrical system. 4 Ignition switch
5 Battery
8 Excitation circuit without excitation diodes



B+ B+


Voltage-regulator IC Housing Alternator Vehicle electrical system
Robert Bosch GmbH

16 Alternators Basic physical principles

Since alternators are self-excited, the excita- in the vehicle electrical system. In other
tion current must be tapped off from the cur- words, the alternator current is divided into
rent flowing in the 3-phase winding. battery-charging current and load current.
Depending on the type of regulator, the excita- In Fig. 11, the curves of the stator-winding
tion current Ierr takes the following path: voltages are shown as a function of the angle
 Either through the excitation diodes (Fig. 9), of rotation of the rotor.
carbon brushes, collector rings, and exci-
tation winding to Term. DF of the mono- Taking a rotor with six pole pairs, for instance,
lithic or hybrid voltage regulator, and from and an angle of rotation of 30, the voltage re-
Term. D of the regulator to ground (B), or ferred to the star point at the end of winding v
 Through the positive power diodes (Fig. 8), is positive, for winding w it is negative, and for
multifunctional regulator, carbon brushes, winding u it is zero. The resulting current
collector rings, and excitation winding to path is shown in Fig. 10.
ground (B). Current flows from the end of winding v and
In both cases, the excitation current flows through the positive diodes to alternator ter-
from B back to the stator winding through minal B+ from where it flows through the
the negative power diodes. battery, or the load, to ground (alternator ter-
Since the alternator provides its own exci- minal B) and via the negative diodes (c) to
tation current, one refers to self-excitation. winding end w. Taking a 45 angle of rotation,
current from the v and w winding ends takes
Generator circuit the same path to winding end u. In this case,
The alternating voltage induced in the three there is voltage present across all of the phases.
phases of the alternator must be rectified by Both examples though are momentary values.
the power diodes in the bridge circuit before In reality, the phase voltages and currents con-
it is passed on to the battery and to the tinually change their magnitude and direc-
loads. tion, whereas the DC supplied for battery
The alternator current IG, flows from the charging and for the electrical loads always
three windings and through the respective maintains the same direction.
power diodes to the battery and to the loads

10 Alternator circuit 11 Stator-winding voltages

Fig. 10 (+) 30
1 Alternator 4 3
1a Excitation diodes 15 D+ B+ + u v w
1b Positive-plate diodes 1 +
1c Negative-plate a b
diodes +
1d Excitation winding
Voltage U

2 Voltage regulator 0
3 Charge-indicator 5 v(+)
(o) (-)
lamp - u w
4 Ignition switch
5 Battery G d - -
D+ c
U DF -


Fig. 11 2 D-
Voltage curves as a
(-) 31 B-
function of the angle of 0 15 30 45 60
rotation of a rotor with Rotor rotation in degrees
6 pole pairs.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Basic physical principles 17

This is due to the fact that, irrespective of higher in cold weather in order to compen-
the rotor's position, all the diodes are always sate for the fact that the battery is slightly
involved in the rectification process. more difficult to charge at low temperatures.
For current to flow from the alternator to
the battery, the alternator voltage must be Principle of voltage regulation
slightly higher than that of the battery. The voltage generated by the alternator in-
creases along with alternator speed and exci-
Voltage regulation tation current. Considering a fully excited
Why is it necessary to regulate the alternator alternator which is not connected to the bat-
voltage? tery, and which is being driven without load,
The regulator has the job of maintaining the the voltage without regulation would in-
alternator voltage, and thus the vehicle sys- crease linearly with alternator speed until it
tem voltage, at a constant level across the en- reaches about 140 V at a speed of 10,000 rpm.
gine's complete speed range, independent of The voltage regulator controls the level of
load and engine speed. the alternator's excitation current, and along
Presuming constant excitation current, with it the strength of the rotor's magnetic
the alternator voltage would be highly de- field as a function of the voltage generated
pendent upon the alternators speed and by the alternator (Fig. 12).
loading. Despite these continually changing The voltage-regulation tolerance zone for
operating conditions, steps must be taken to vehicle electrical systems with 12 V battery
ensure that alternator voltage is regulated to voltage is around 14 V, and for systems with
the specified level. This voltage regulation 24 V battery voltage around 28 V. The regu-
protects the electrical equipment against lator remains out of action as long as the al-
overvoltage, and prevents battery over- ternator voltage is below the regulator re-
charge. sponse voltage.
In addition, the battery's electrochemical
properties must be taken into account dur-
ing battery charging. This means that nor-
mally the charging voltage must be slightly

12 Regulation of excitation current Ierr

Regulator status at n1 Regulator status at n2

on off on off on off on off on

Imax Imax
Excitation current Ierr

Fig. 12
Im1 b IE2 TA2 The relationship between
on-time TE and off-time
TA is decisive for the
magnitude of the resulting
TA1 TE1 iA
mean excitation current lm.

The excitation current

0 rises along curve a, and
0 decays along curve b.
Time t
Robert Bosch GmbH

18 Alternators Basic physical principles

Within the tolerance range, if the voltage ex- Influence of ambient temperature
ceeds the specified upper value, the regulator The alternators characteristic curves (alter-
interrupts the excitation current. Excitation nator voltage as a function of temperature)
becomes weaker and the alternator voltage are matched to the batterys chemical charac-
drops as a result. As soon as the voltage then teristics. At low temperatures, therefore, the
drops below the specified lower value, the alternator voltage is increased slightly in order
regulator cuts in the excitation current to improve battery charging in the winter,
again, the excitation increases and along whereby the input voltages to the electronic
with it the alternator voltage. When the volt- equipment and the voltage-dependent service
age exceeds the specified upper value again, life of the light bulbs is taken into account.
the control cycle is repeated. Since these At higher temperatures, on the other hand,
control cycles all take place within a matter alternator voltage is reduced slightly in order
of milliseconds, the alternator mean voltage to prevent battery overcharge in summer.
is regulated in accordance with the stipu- Temperature compensation is implemented
lated characteristic. by the suitable choice of regulator compo-
The infinitely variable adaptation to the var- nents, e.g. of the Z-diodes. Fig. 13 shows the
ious rotational speeds is automatic, and the characteristiccurvesfor14Valternatorvoltage.
relationship between the excitation current The voltage level is 14.5 V with an incline of -
On and Off times is decisive for the level 10 mV/K.
of the mean exciting current. At low rota-
tional speeds, the On time is relatively long Alternator design
and the Off time short, the excitation cur- The theoretical principles and interrelation-
rent is interrupted only very briefly and has ships discussed so far are reflected in the
a high average value. On the other hand, at technical design of modern alternators. lndi-
high rotational speeds the On time is short vidual versions can differ from each other in
and the Off time long. Only a low excita- certain details according to their particular
tion current flows. application.
At present, the claw-pole alternator with
compact diode assembly is still in use in the
majority of older vehicles, but the compact
alternator is coming more and more to the
13 Voltage-regulator characteristic forefront.
The major design differences between
these two alternator types are the compact
alternator's two internally-mounted fans, its
smaller collector rings, and the location of
15 the rectifier outside the collector-ring end
Alternator voltage U


The basic construction of a compact alternator

is shown in Fig. 14:
14  Stator (2) with 3-phase stator winding.
The stator consists of mutually insulated,
grooved laminations which are pressed
Fig. 13
together to form a solid laminated core.

Permissible tolerance
The turns of the stator winding are em-
band for the alternator
voltage (14 V) as a - 40 - 20 0 20 40 60 80 C bedded in the grooves.
function of the alternators Temperature tA
intake-air temperature.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Basic physical principles 19

 Rotor (3), on the shaft of which are mounted  Carbon-brush holders complete with
the pole-wheel halves with claw-shaped brushes. The excitation current flows to
magnet poles, the excitation winding, the the rotating excitation winding through
two fans, the ball bearings, and the two col- the carbon brushes and collector rings.
lector rings. The excitation winding consists  Electronic regulator (4) forms a unit with
of a single toroidal coil which is enclosed by the brush holder for alternator mounting.
the claw-pole halves. The relatively small  Electronic regulator for mounting on the
excitation current is supplied via the carbon vehicle body (not shown). Used in rare cases
brushes which are pressed against the col- on commercial vehicles as an alternative to
lector rings by springs. the alternator-mounted version. Mounted
 The pulley for the belt drive is also mounted at a protected location on the vehicie body,
on the rotor shaft. Alternator rotors can be this regulator is electrically connected to
rotated in either direction. The fan design the brush holder by plug-in connection.
must be changed in accordance with clock-
wise or counterclockwise rotation.
 The stator is clamped between the collector-
ring end shield and the drive end shield.
The rotor shaft runs in bearings in each end
 Rectifiers with heat sinks (6). At least six
power diodes for rectification of the 3-phase
AC are pressed into the heat sinks.

14 Design of the compact alternator

1 2 3 4 5

Fig. 14
1 Housing
2 Stator
3 Rotor
4 Transistor voltage

regulator with brush

5 Collector rings
7 7 6 6 Rectifier
7 Fan
Robert Bosch GmbH

20 Alternators Alternator versions

Alternator versions the required alternator output power. This is

solely a function of the loads installed in the
Design criteria vehicle.
The following data are decisive for alternator The selection of the correct alternator is
design: governed primarily by:
 Vehicle type and the associated operating  The alternator voltage (14 V/28 V)
conditions  The power output as a product of voltage
 Speed range of the engine with which the and current throughout the rotational-
alternator is to be used speed range
 Battery voltage of the vehicle electrical  The maximum current
 Power requirements of the loads which With these electrical data, it is possible to
can be connected define the electrical layout, and therefore the
 Environmental loading imposed on the required alternator size.
alternator (heat, dirt, dampness, etc.) The different alternator sizes are identified by
 Specified service life letters of the alphabet or numbers (refer to
 Available installation space, dimensions. Table 1). Alternator size increases along with
alphabetical order. A further important feature
The requirements to be met by an automo- is the alternator or rotor system (e.g. claw-pole
tive alternator differ very considerably de- alternator as a compact alternator or alternator
pending upon application and the criteria as with compact diode assembly, or with salient-
listed above. Regarding economic efficiency, pole rotor or windingless rotor). For the
the criteria also vary along with the areas of various alternator types, an alphanumeric code
application. lt is therefore impossible to de- is used to identify the alternator or rotor system
sign an all-purpose alternator which meets inpassengercars(e.g.GC,KC,NC,G1, K1, N1),
all requirements. The different areas of ap- and in commercial vehicles and buses (e.g.
plication, and the power ranges of the vehi- K1, N1, T1). Further variations are possible
cle types and engines concerned, led to the with regard to the type of mounting, the fan
development of a number of basic models shape, the pulley, and the electrical connections.
which will be described in the following.
Claw-pole alternators with collector rings
Electrical data and sizes Claw-pole alternators with collector rings
The vehicle size is not decisive for determining feature compact construction with very fa-

1 Air-cooled alternators and their applications

Type range Size No. of poles Application
Compact-diode-assembly alternator G1 12 Motorcycles
K1, N1 12 Pass. cars, comm. vehs. tractors
N3 12 Long-haul trucks,
T1 16 construction machinery, buses
Compact alternator (LIC) GC, KC, NC 12 Pass. cars, comm. vehs., tractors,
Compact alternator, range B GCB1, GCB2, KCB1, 12 Pass. cars, comm. vehs., tractors,
(LIC-B) KCB2, NCB1, NCB2 long-haul trucks
Compact alternator, range E and P E4, E6, E8, E10 und 12 Pass. cars, comm. vehs.,
(LI-E and LI-P)) P4, P6, P8, P10 long-haul trucks
Compact alternator, range L (LI-L) NCB2 12 Long-haul trucks, construction machinery
Compact alternator, range X (LI-X) C, M, H 16 Pass. cars, comm. vehs.

Special versions T3 14 Special-purpose vehs.

U2 4, 6 Special-purpose vehs., marine applications
Table 1
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Alternator versions 21

vorable power characteristics and low weight. Operating principle

This leads to a correspondingly wide range Fig. 3 (overleaf) shows a 12-pole compact
of applications. Thanks to their robust design, alternator. The magnetic flux flows through
these alternators are particularly suited for the pole body and the left-hand pole half and
attachment to the engine. Their basic design its pole fingers, across the air gap to the station-
is shown in Fig. 1 ary laminated stator core with stator winding,
from where it flows back to the pole body
Features through the right-hand pole half and completes
Claw-pole alternators for automotive applica- the magnetic circuit. When the rotor turns,
tions are designed as 3-phase synchronous this field of force cuts through the three phases
generators and are usually self-excited. The of the stationary stator winding and during a
ratio of length to diameter is carefully selected complete 360 rotation induces six complete
to guarantee a maximum of power together sinusoidal waves in each phase. The generated
with a low outlay on materials. This results in current is divided into primary current and
the compact shape with its large diameter and excitation current. After rectification, the
short length which is typical for this type of primary current flows as operating current via
alternator. Furthermore, this shape also per- terminal B+ to the battery and to the loads.
mits excellent heat dissipation. The designation
claw-pole alternator derives from the shape Compact-diode-assembly alternators (LIT)
of the alternator's magnetic poles. The two Alternators with compact diode assembly
oppositely-poled pole halves are attached to (Fig. 4 overleaf) have been in series produc-
the rotor shaft, and the claw-shaped pole half tion since the 1960s. They are easily recog-
fingers mesh with each other in the form of nized by virtue of their large fan located be-
alternating north and south poles which en- tween the pulley and the pot-shaped alter-
velop the toroidal excitation winding on the nator housing. The external fan (max. speed:
pole body (Fig. 2). The number of poles which 12,000...18,000 rpm) pulls the cooling air axi-
can be realised in practice is limited. Whereas ally through the housing (single-pass cooling).
on the one hand, a low number of poles leads The stator lamination pack is clamped between
to a low machine efficiency, on the other the the drive end shield and the collector-ring end
more poles there are, the higher is the magnetic shield, and the rotor turns in rolling bearings
leakage. For this reason, such alternators are in each half of the housing. Fan and pulley are
designed as 12-pole or 16-pole machines de- mounted on the drive end of the rotor shaft.
pending upon the power range.

1 Basic construction of a claw-pole alternator with 2 The components of a 12-pole claw-pole rotor
collector rings




Fig. 2
The polarity shown
applies to alternators
with integrated voltage
Robert Bosch GmbH

22 Alternators Alternator versions

The excitation current reaches the excitation  Z power diodes are used to protect sensitive
winding through carbon brushes. These are components against voltage peaks caused
mounted in the collector-ring end shield and by sudden load shutoff (load dump), and
pressed against the collector rings by springs. in case operation takes place without a
The six power diodes for rectification of connected battery.
the alternator voltage are press-fitted into the
collector-ring end shield. On most versions, Standard-range compact-diode-assembly
the electronic voltage regulator forms a unit alternators G1, K1, and N1
together with the carbon-brush holder. For This comprehensive program of compact-
special applications, there are compact-diode- diode-assembly alternator types was installed
assembly alternators available with the fol- until the 1990s in passenger vehicles and
lowing features: commercial vehicles. The range comprised
five sizes (one G1, two K1, and two N1) which
 In the case of very high surrounding tem- were available with rated voltages of 14 V
peratures, cool air is drawn in from the and 28 V.
outside through hose-connection adapters As from 1990, the Compact alternator
and air-intake hose. started to supersede the compact-diode-as-
 Maximum alternator speed can be in- sembly alternator in new vehicle and engine
creased to 18,000 rpm. generations.
 Special corrosion-protection measures
can be applied for particularly unfavor-
able installation conditions.

3 Compact alternator: Section drawing (example)

1 2 3 4 5 3 6 7


Fig. 3 9
x x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

11 Pulley

12 Drive-end shield xxxxxxxxxxx x

13 Interior fan
14 Stator
15 Rotor
16 Collector-ring end
17 Electronic voltage 10

regulator with brush

18 Collector rings
19 Rectifiers
10 Swivel arm
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Alternator versions 23

2 14-V standard versions of the compact alternator type range with rated currents
Type range Size Rated current at
1800 rpm 6000 rpm
LIC GC 37 70
KC 50 90
NC (*104 mm) 70 120
NC (*112 mm) 90 150
LIC-B GCB1 22 55
GCB2 37 70
KCB1 50 90
KCB2 60 105
NCB1 70 120
NCB2 90 160
LI-E E4 50 110
E6 65 120
E8 80 150
E10 90 200
LI-P P4 55 95
P6 70 110
P8 80 130
P10 110 180
LI-X C 95 150
M 115 180
H 135 220 Table 2
* Stator internal diameter

4 Claw-pole alternator with compact diode assembly: Section drawing

1 2 3 4 5 6

Fig. 4
1 Pulley
2 Fan
3 Drive-end shield
4 Stator core
5 Excitation winding

6 Collector-ring end
7 Collector rings
8 8 Swivel arm
9 Voltage regulator
Robert Bosch GmbH

24 Alternators Alternator versions

Type T1 compact-diode-assembly alternators The electronic voltage regulator is installed

The compact-diode-assembly alternators in inside the alternator. Carbon brushes and
the T1 range are intended for vehicles with collector rings are inside a dust-protected
high power consumption, above all for buses. collector-ring chamber. A 100 W resistor be-
The T1 alternators are single-pass ventilated, tween D+ and D- causes the charge-indicator
self-excited 16-pole alternators with integrated lamp to light up in case of an open-circuit
rectifier diodes and encapsulated collector field. Fig. 6 shows the circuit diagram of a
rings. A very long maintenance-free service Double-T1 alternator with two stators and
life is ensured by the wide rolling bearings two excitation systems.
with their large grease pack. Special corro-
sion-protection measures safeguard the al- Compact alternators
ternators against the effects of splash and Type LIC compact alternators
salt water. In very demanding applications, Bosch started series production of the Type
cool, dust-free, dry air can be drawn in LIC compact alternators in 1990. These are
through an air-intake adapter and hose. characterised by two small fans inside the
housing which are fitted to the rotor, one on
Type DT1 compact-diode-assembly alternators the pulley end and the other on the collector-
The Double-T1 alternator (DT1) as shown in ring end. Each fan draws in the air from the
Fig. 5 complies with the ever-increasing power respective end of the alternator and forces out
demands made on bus alternator systems as a the (warm) air radially (double-pass ventila-
result of rising demands for more comfort. tion). These two small fans generate consid-
Basically, it consists of two electrically and erably less noise than the single large fan in a
mechanically coupled T1 alternators in a compact-diode-assembly alternator. Apart
common housing. from this, they are designed for higher speeds
(maximum 18,000...22,000 rpm).

5 1 Cutaway view of a DT1 Double-T1 alternator with two stators and two excitation systems

1 6 7 8 9
Fig. 5
11 Fan
12 Drive-end shield
13 Pulley 11
14 Drive-end ball-
bearing assembly 12
15 Swivel arm
16 Stator winding 1
17 Excitation winding 1
18 Stator winding 2 14
19 Excitation winding 2
10 Cable entry gland 15
11 Brush holder
12 CCollector-ring

roller bearing
13 Collector ring 5
14 Collector-ring end
15 Rectifier assembly
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Alternator versions 25

6 Schematic circuit diagram of a Double-T1 alternator with two stators and two excitation systems

B+ 30





B- (D-) 31
Fig. 6
1 Voltage regulator

These two special features permit a high The basic design of the type B compact alter-
speed-transforming ratio between crankshaft nator is the same as that of a first-generation
and alternator which means that for the same compact alternator. Further development of
speed and size compact alternators can gen- the rectifier assembly permits increased air
erate up to 25% more power. throughput so that cooling improves as a re-
Presuming normal operating conditions, sult. Around their complete circumference,
the brush/collector-ring system is designed the three center laminations of the stator
so that it lasts for the life of the passenger lamination pack are clamped and centered
car without replacement being necessary. between the end shields. Compared to the
This applies, even though it operates at first-generation compact alternators, this
higher speeds than in compact-diode-as- improves the alternators resistance to vibra-
sembly alternators. The small collector rings tion, and the heat transfer from the stator core
are located at the outside end of the rotor to the end shields.
shaft and with them the carbon brushes The type B compact alternators are equipped
have service lives in excess of 250,000 km with multifunctional voltage regulators (refer
(155,000 miles). to the Voltage-regulator versions chapter).

Type B (LIC-B) Compact alternators Type E and P (LI-E and LI-P) compact
The type B compact alternator (Fig. 7 overleaf) alternators
is a further development of the first-generation The E and P type compact alternators are
LIC compact alternator. It has better cooling, based on the B range. They each comprise
as well as being shorter and lighter, while at four sizes. Referred to the corresponding
the same time its power output has been in- sizes in the B range, thanks to new stator
creased. There are 6 sizes of the type B alter- wire-wrapping techniques efficiency was
nator with 14 V rated voltage, and two with improved by as much as 10% and power
28 V rated voltage. The close spacing of the output by as much as 25%. The increased
outputs enables optimal adaptation to the efficiency leads to fuel savings of up to 0.5 l
actually required power and the available per 100 km.
room in the vehicles engine compartment.
Robert Bosch GmbH

26 Alternators Alternator versions

The design of the type E alternator focuses Windingless-rotor alternators without

on efficiency and of the type P alternator collector rings
on power output in the lower speed ranges. These alternators are of the self-excitation
type. Excitation is by means of the fixed ex-
Type X (LI-X) compact alternators citation winding mounted on the internal
The type X compact alternators include the pole. The excitation field magnetizes the al-
three sizes C, M, and H. This flexible, modular ternating pole fingers of the rotating wind-
system comprises, among other things, wind- ingless rotor. In turn, the rotating magnetic
ings, diodes, and voltage regulators for a va- field of this pole induces a three-phase AC in
riety of different rated voltages. It permits the the stator winding. In the process, the mag-
construction of all three sizes for the rated netic flux travels from the rotating rotors pole
voltages 14 V, 28 V, and 42 V. Thanks to basic core, through the stationary internal pole to
changes in the stator-manufacturing techniques, the windingless rotor, from whose pole finger
and the improvement of component cooling, it then flows to the stationary stator lamination
it was possible to even further increase the pack. The magnetic circuit closes in the rotors
power output compared to the E and P types. pole core via the oppositely poled claw half.
In contrast to a collector-ring rotor, the mag-
netic flux must cross two additional air gaps
between the rotating polewheel and the sta-
tionary internal pole (Fig. 8). Typical for this
alternator type is the fact that the housing with

7 Range B compact alternator type LIC-B (part sectional drawing)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Fig. 7
1 Housing with double-
pass ventilation
2 Inboard fan
3 Stator

4 Rotor
5 Voltage regulator
6 Outboard collector
7 Outboard rectifier
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Alternator versions 27

stator lamination pack, the heat sinks with 9 Windingless rotor (part sectional drawing)
power diodes, the attached transistorized
voltage regulator, and the internal pole with
excitation winding all belong to the stationary
part of the alternator. Fig. 9
1 Rotor shaft with pole
The rotating part is comprised merely of the

rotor with pole wheel and conductive element 2 Conductive element
(Fig. 9). Six pole fingers of the same polarity 3 Non-magnetic ring
form a single north or south pole-finger crown. 1 2 3 4 4 Pole-wheel half
The two crowns form claw-pole half sections, section
and are retained by a non-magnetic ring po-
sitioned below the mutually-engaged pole long-haul trucks, and heavy-duty special-
fingers. purpose vehicles). Their outstanding feature
is that they complete exceptionally high
Type N3 compact-diode-assembly alternators mileages under extremely severe operating
On the brushless N3 alternators with wind- conditions. Their design concept is based on
ingless rotors and high-stability end bearings, minimizing the number of wear components
the only wear parts are the bearings. These in order to extend the alternators effective
alternators are used in applications where service life. This alternator is practically
very long service life is of decisive importance maintenance-free.
(that is, in construction machinery,

8 Sectional drawing of type N3 windingless-rotor alternator

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

xx x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
xx x
x x x x x x x xx




Fig. 8
11 Double-groove
12 Fan
13 Drive-end shield
with stationary
internal pole
14 Stator lamination

xxxx stack
15 Stationary excitation
16 Windingless rotor
17 Rear end shield

18 Attached transistor
voltage regulator
10 11 10 9 19 Power diode
10 Swivel arm
11 Conductive element
Robert Bosch GmbH

28 Alternators Alternator versions

Liquid-cooled, windingless-rotor compact 11 Basic structure of a salient pole alternator with

alternator (LIF) collector rings
In the case of air-cooled alternators, it is the
cooling fan which is mainly responsible for
air-flow noise. At high current outputs, a B+
pronounced reduction of noise can only be
achieved by using liquid-cooled alternators D+
(Fig. 10) which utilize the coolant from the

engines cooling circuit.
On modern intermediate-size and luxury
cars, the use of liquid-coooled fully-encap-
sulated alternators is often the only way to
achieve a decisive reduction in vehicle noise.
Since a carbon-brush/collector-ring system nected to the engines cooling circuit. All im-
would not last long enough inside an encap- portant sources of heat loss (stator, diodes,
sulated alternator with its high temperatures, voltage regulator, and the stationary excita-
the fully encapsulated alternator features a tion winding) are coupled to the alternator
windingless rotor without collector rings. housing in such a manner that their heat is
This alternator has a cylindrical aluminum transferred efficiently to the coolant. The
housing provided with a special flange on the electrical connections are at the alternators
drive end to locate it in the special coolant pulley end.
housing. The coolant space (jacket) between
the alternator and the coolant housing is con-

10 Liquid-cooled, windingless-rotor compact alternator

3 4 13 5 6 7 8 12 9 10 11

Fig. 10
11 Pulley
12 Rectifier
13 Voltage regulator
14 Drive-end shield
15 Alternator housing
16 Coolant
17 Coolant housing for
engine mounting or
engine block
18 Stationary excitation
19 Stator lamination

10 Stator winding
11 Windingless rotor
12 Non-magnetic 2 13
intermediate ring
13 Conductive element
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Alternator versions 29

Type U2 salient-pole collector-ring In contrast, the salient-pole rotor has four or

alternators six individual poles, each carrying its own
Type U2 salient-pole collector-ring alterna- excitation winding wound directly on the pole.
tors Salient-pole collector-ring alternators The salient-pole alternators slim, elongated
are mainly used in large vehicles with high cylindrical shape derives from the character-
power demands (>100 A) and 28-V vehicle istic shape of the rotor.
electrical systems. These units are therefore The stator with its 3-phase winding is in-
ideal for use in rail vehicles, special-purpose stalled in the alternator housing which is
vehicles and in marine applications. closed at the ends by a drive-end shield and a
Fig. 11 shows a four-pole, self-excited collector-ring end shield. The excitation wind-
salient-pole alternator. With each rotation, ing is on the salient-pole rotor which runs in
the rotor passes four poles , inducing four half bearings in the end shields. The excitation
waves in each circuit. In 3-phase operation, current is delivered through the collector rings
this equates to 4 x 3 = 12 half waves for each and the carbon brushes.
complete rotation. Rectifier and voltage regulator are installed,
The configurations of the 3-phase stator remote from the alternator, at a point pro-
winding, and the current-flow path, corre- tected against engine heat, moisture, and dirt.
spond to those of the claw-pole alternator. Alternator and regulator are joined electrically
However, the rotor of this basic alternator by a 6-line wiring harness. This alternators
version (Fig. 12) differs to that of the claw- encapsulated collector rings and its extra-large
pole version. grease chamber qualify it for high-mileage
The claw-pole rotor, namely, features a applications.
central excitation winding for all poles.

12 Cutaway view of a type U2 salient-pole alternator

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

x xx
xxx x
x x xx x xx

x xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx x x xxx



x x x xx x

Fig. 12
11 Drive-end shield
12 Housing

13 Stator winding

x xxxxxx

14 Rotor
15 3-phase connection
(remote rectifier and


voltage regulator)
16 End cap

17 Fan
18 Collector-ring end
19 Collector rings
10 9 8
10 Driveshaft
Robert Bosch GmbH

30 Alternators Voltage-regulator versions

Voltage-regulator versions As soon as the alternator voltage exceeds the

set value, the electromagnet pulls in the arma-
The mechanical electromagnetic contact regu- ture and opens the contact (position b).
lators and the electronic (transistor) versions This switches a resistor into the excitation
are the two basic voltage-regulator types. circuit which reduces the excitation current
Whereas the electromagnetic regulator is and with it the alternator voltage. When the
today practically only used for replacement alternator voltage drops below the set voltage,
purposes, the (monolithic or hybrid) transis- the magnetic force is also reduced, so that the
tor regulator is standard equipment on all al- spring force predominates and closes the con-
ternator models. tact again (position a). This opening and
closing cycle is repeated continually.
Electromagnetic voltage regulators The single-element double-contact regulator
The excitation current is varied by opening (Fig. 2) operates with a second pair of con-
and closing a movable contact in the excita- tacts which permit 3 switching positions.The
tion-current circuit. This movable contact is regulating resistor is short-circuited in posi-
pressed against a fixed contact by a spring, tion a and a high excitation current flows.
and when the rated voltage is exceeded it is In position b the resistor and the excitation
lifted off by an electromagnet. winding are connected in series and the exci-
The contact regulators which are suitable tation current is reduced. In position c, the
for alternator applications are of the single-ele- excitation winding is short-circuited and the
ment type. That is, regulators with a voltage- excitation current drops to zero (the time
regulator element comprising an electromagnet, constant is independent of the excitation
an armature, and a regulating contact. In the windings inductance and reactance).
single-element, single-contact regulator (Fig. 1), Due to its size and characteristics, this alter-
the contact opens and closes as follows: The nator is only suitable for mounting on the ve-
magnetic force and the spring force of a sus- hicle body.
pension and adjusting spring are both applied
to the regulating armature.

1 Circuit diagram of a single-element, single-contact 2 Circuit diagram of a single-element, double-contact

voltage regulator voltage regulator

Fig. 1 (+) 30 (+) 30

1 Voltage regulator
2 Alternator
3 Electromagnet 15 15
4 Regulating contact
5 Regulating resistor 1 2 1 2
6 Excitation winding (G)
a b D+ D+ D+ D+
3 3 4
G 6 a G 6
Fig. 2 DF b
1 Voltage regulator 5

2 Alternator D- D- D- D-
3 Electromagnet
4 Regulating resistor (-) 31 (-) 31
5 Regulating contact
6 Excitation winding (G)
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Voltage-regulator versions 31

Electronic voltage regulators With Tl blocked, a current flows from the

Characteristics exciter diodes via terminal D+ and resistor
Electronic regulators are used solely with R6 to the base of transistor T2 and switches
alternators. Thanks to its compact dimensions, T2 on. Terminal DF is now connected to the
its low weight, and the fact that it is insensitive base of T3 by the switched transistor T2.
to vibration and shock, this regulator can be This means that T3 always conducts when
integrated directly in the alternator. T2 is conductive. T2 and T3 are connected as
Whereas the first transistor regulators were a Darlington circuit and form the regulator's
built from discrete components, modern-day driver stage. The excitation current Ierr flows
versions all use hybrid and monolithic circuitry. through T3 and the excitation winding and
The transistor regulator's essential advan- increases during the On period, causing a
tages are: rise in the alternator voltage UG. At the same
 Shorter switching times which permit time, the voltage at the setpoint generator
closer control tolerances also rises. The regulator assumes the Off
 No wear (= no servicing) state as soon as the actual alternator voltage
 High switching currents (less types) exceeds the setpoint value (Fig. 3b).
 Spark-free switching prevents radio The Z-diode becomes conductive when the
interference breakdown voltage is reached, and a current
 lnsensitive to shock, vibration, flows from D+ through resistors Rl, R2 into
and climatic effects the branch with the Z-diode, and from there
 Electronic temperature compensation to the base of transistor TI which also becomes
also permits closer control tolerances conductive. As a result, the voltage at the base
 Compact construction allows direct of T2 is practically 0 referred to the emitter,
mounting on the alternator, irrespective and transistors T2 and T3 (driver stage) block.
of alternator size The excitation circuit is open-circuited, the
excitation decays, and the alternator voltage
Operating concept falls as a result. As soon as the alternator
Basically speaking, the operating concept is the voltage drops under the set value again, and
same for all electronic-regulator types. The the Z diode switches to the blocked state, the
type EE electronic regulator is used here as an driver stage switches the excitation current on
example, and Fig. 3 (overleaf) shows its op- again.
eration between the On and Off states. When the excitation current is open-circuited,
The operating concept is easier to under- a voltage peak would be induced due to the
stand when one considers what happens when excitation winding's self-induction (stored
the alternator's terminal voltage rises and falls. magnetic energy) which could destroy tran-
The actual value of the alternator voltage be- sistors T2 and T3. A free-wheeling diode
tween terminals D+ and D is registered by a D3 is connected parallel to the excitation
voltage divider (R1, R2, and R3). A Zener winding, and at the instant of open-circuit-
diode in parallel with R3 functions as the ing absorbs the excitation current thereby
alternator's setpoint generator. A partial preventing the formation of a dangerous
voltage proportional to the alternator volt- voltage peak.
age is permanently applied to this diode.
The regulator remains in the On state as
long as the actual alternator voltage is below
the set value (Fig. 3a). The Z-diode's break-
down voltage has not yet been reached at
this point, that is, no current flows to the
base of transistor TI through the branch
with the Z-diode, Tl is in the blocking state.
Robert Bosch GmbH

32 Alternators Voltage-regulator versions

The control cycle in which the current is Hybrid regulators

switched on and off by connecting the exci- The transistor regulator using hybrid tech-
tation winding alternately to the alternator nology comprises a hermetically encapsulated
voltage or short-circuiting it with the free- case, in which are enclosed a ceramic substrate,
wheeling diode is repeated periodically. protective thick-film resistors, and a bonded
Essentially, the on/off ratio depends on the integrated circuit (IC) incorporating all the
alternator speed and the applied load. control functions.
The ripple on the alternator DC is The power components of the driver stage
smoothed by capacitor C. Resistor R7 ensures (Darlington transistors and the free-wheel-
the rapid, precise switch-over of transistors ing diode) are soldered directly onto the
T2 and T3, as well as reducing the switching metal socket in order to ensure good heat
losses. dissipation. The electrical connections are
via glass-insulated metal pins.

3 Circuit diagram of a type EE transistor voltage regualtor

(+) 15 30
D+ B+
R1 D+
R6 iA
R2 D3 DF
R R7
- 4
2 T2
R4 R5

(-) 31 B-

Fig. 3 b
a Excitation current (+) 15 30
switched off by T3 D+ B+
b Excitation current 3
switched on by T3 R1 D+
R6 D3
1 Driver stage
R R7
UME0054-1Y, UME0055-1Y

2 Control stage
3 Voltage divider 1
4 Temperature- - 4
2 T2
compensation ZD T3
diodes T1
R4 R5
C Voltage-smoothing
capacitor D-
(-) 31 B-
D3 Free-wheeling diode
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Voltage-regulator versions 33

The regulator is mounted on a special brush Monolithic regulators in combination with

holder and directly fastened to the alternator Z-diode rectifiers are used in compact alter-
without wiring. nators.
Due to the Darlington circuit in the power
stage (two transistors), there is a voltage drop Multifunctional voltage regulators
of about 1.5 V in the current-flow direction. In addition to voltage regulation, the multi-
The circuit diagram (Fig. 4) shows an alter- functional regulator can also trigger an LED
nator fitted with an type EL hybrid regulator. display instead of the charge-indicator lamp,
The hybrid regulator's advantages can be as well as a fault display to indicate under-
summed up as follows: compact construction, voltage, V-belt breakage, or excitation open-
low weight, few components, few connections, circuit.
high reliability in the extreme operating con- This alternator does without excitation
ditions met in automotive applications. diodes. The signal for engine running can
Normally, hybrid regulators using conven- be taken from Terminal L. Terminal W pro-
tional diodes are used with compact-diode- vides a signal which is proportional to en-
assembly alternators. gine speed. The actual voltage value is taken
from Terminal B+ on the alternator.
Monolithic regulators The standard version of the type B compact
The monolithic regulator was developed from alternator has further functions available:
the hybrid regulator. The functions of the When a load is switched on in the vehicle
hybrid regulator's IC, power stage, and free- electrical system, the alternator's excitation
wheeling diode have been incorporated on a follows a ramp. This prevents torque jumps
single chip. The monolithic regulator uses in the alternator's belt drive which, for in-
bipolar techniques. The compact construction stance, could otherwise interfere with the
with fewer components and connections en- smooth running of the engine (LRD: Load-
abled reliability to be even further improved. Response Drive; LRS: Load-Response Start).
Since the output stage is in the form of a The regulator's on/off ratio can be picked-
simple power stage, the voltage drop in the off via the DFM terminal. This ratio defines
current-flow direction is only 0.5 V. the alternator's loading and can be used for
selection circuits (e.g. for switching off low-

4 Circuit diagram of an alternator equipped with type EL hybrid electronic voltage regulator

(+) 15 30
D+ B+


- 1

Fig. 4
1 Control stage using

thick-film techniques,
with resistors and IC
(-) 2 Power stage
31 B-
(Darlington stage)
3 Free-wheeling diode
Robert Bosch GmbH

34 Alternators Voltage-regulator versions, Overvoltage protection

priority loads when the alternator must de- Under certain circumstances though, short-
liver full power). Terminal L is designed for term or emergency operation without battery
relay triggering up to max. 0.5 A. is permissible. This applies to the following
The power loss associated with the charge- situations:
indicator lamp in the instrument cluster is  Driving of new vehicles from the final as-
often excessive. lt can be reduced by using an sembly line to the parking lot
LED display instead. Multifunctional regulators  Loading onto train or ship (the battery is
permit the triggering of lamp bulbs as well as installed shortly before the vehicle is taken
of LED display elements in the instrument over by the customer)
cluster.  Service work, etc.

Overvoltage protection With towing vehicles and agricultural tractors

Usually, with the battery correctly connected it is also not always possible to avoid operation
and under normal driving conditions, it is without the battery connected.
unnecessary to provide additional protection The overvoltage-protection device guaran-
for the vehicle's electronic components. The tees that overvoltages have no adverse effects
battery's low internal resistance suppresses on operation, although it does require extra
all the voltage peaks occurring in the vehicle circuitry.
electrical system.
Nevertheless, it is often advisable to install Types of protection
overvoltage protection as a precautionary There are three alternatives for implementing
measure in case of abnormal operating con- overvoltage protection:
ditions. For instance, on vehicles for trans-
porting hazardous materials, and in case of Z-diode protection
faults in the vehicle electrical system. Z-diodes can be used in place of the rectifier
power diodes. They limit high-energy voltage
Reasons for overvoltage peaks to such an extent that they are harmless
Overvoltage may occur in the vehicle electrical to the alternator and regulator.
system as the result of: Furthermore, Z-diodes function as a cen-
 Regulator failure tral overvoltage protection for the remaining
 Influences originating from the ignition voltage-sensitive loads in the vehicle electrical
 Switching off of devices with a predomi- system.
nantly inductive load The limiting voltage of a rectifier equipped
 Loose contacts with Z-diodes is 25...30 V for an alternator
 Cable breaks voltage of 14 V, and 50...55 V for an alternator
voltage of 28 V.
Such overvoltages take the form of very brief Compact alternators are always equipped
voltage peaks, lasting only a few milliseconds with Z-diodes.
which reach a maximum of 350 V and origi-
nate from the coil ignition. Overvoltages are
also generated when the line between battery
and alternator is open-circuited with the en-
gine running (this happens when an outside
battery is used as a starting aid), or when
high-power loads are switched off. For this
reason, under normal driving conditions,
the alternator is not to be run without the
battery connected.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Voltage-regulator versions, Overvoltage protection 35

Surge-proof alternators and regulators Overvoltage-protection devices,

The semiconductor components in surge-proof non-automatic
alternators have a higher electric-strength This type of overvoltage-protection device is
rating. For 14-V alternator voltage, the elec- connected directly to the D+ and D terminals
tric strength of the semiconductors is at least on Tl alternators, e.g. in buses and heavy
200 V, and for 28-V alternator voltage 350 V. trucks (Fig. 1). The unit responds to voltage
In addition, a capacitor is fitted between the peaks and consistent overvoltage that exceed
alternator's B+ terminal and ground which its response threshold of approx. 31 V. At this
serves for short-range interference suppression. point, thyristor Th becomes conductive. The
The surge-proof characteristics of such al- activation voltage is defined by Zener diode
ternators and regulators only protect these ZD, while the necessary response delay is reg-
units, they provide no protection for other ulated by resistors Rl and R2 along with capac-
electrical equipment in the vehicle. itor C. The unit requires only milliseconds to
short circuit the regulator and alternatoracross
Overvoltage-protection devices D+andD.Thethyristorassumes responsibility
(only for 28 V alternators) for the short-circuit current. Meanwhile, cur-
These are semiconductor devices which are rent from the battery triggers the charge-indi-
connected to the alternator terminals D+ cator lamp to alert the driver. The thyristor
and D (ground). In the event of voltage remains active, reverting to its off-state only
peaks, the alternator is short-circuited after the ignition has been switched off, or the
through its excitation winding. Primarily, engine and alternator come to rest. The unit
overvoltage-protection devices protect the will not provide overvoltage protection if the
alternator and the regulator, and to a lesser wires at terminals D+ and D are reversed.
degree the voltage-sensitive components in As the charge-indicator lamp also fails to re-
the vehicle electrical system. spond, the problem would remain unnoticed
Generally, alternators are not provided with if a backup diode DS were not installed bet-
polarity-reversal protection. lf battery polarity ween terminals D+ and D to ensure a signal
is reversed (e.g. when starting with an exter- at the lamp. This diode responds to reversed
nal battery), this will destroy the alternator connections by polarizing to allow current
diodes as well as endangering the semicon- flow, and the indicator lamp remains on
ductor components in other equipment. continuously.

1 Circuit diagram of a (non-automatic) overvoltage-protection device for a 24-V vehicle electrical system

(+) 30
3 B+

2 61

+ ZD D+

1 T 5
DS Th 4
- R1
Fig 1
R2 1 Battery

2 Overvoltage-
D- protection device
3 Driving switch
(-) 31 4 Voltage regulator
5 Alternator
Robert Bosch GmbH

36 Alternators Voltage-regulator versions, Overvoltage protection

Overvoltage-protection devices, automatic Consequential-damage protection device

This type of protection device is designed This protection device is specially designed for
for use with TI alternators (Fig. 2). use with the Double-TI alternator with two
The unit incorporates two inputs, D+ and stators and two excitation systems (Fig. 3).
B+ which react to different voltage levels While the overvoltage-protection device
and with varying response times. short-circuits the alternator, the consequen-
Input D+ provides rapid overvoltage protec- tial-damage protection unit functions as a
tion, as on the device described above. kind of backup regulator, even with the bat-
The second input, B+, responds only to tery out of circuit. Provided that the alterna-
defects at the voltage regulator, while the tor's speed and the load factor allow, it main-
alternator voltage continues to climb until tains a mean alternator voltage of approxi-
it reaches the unit's response voltage of ap- mately 24 V to furnish emergency capacity.
prox. 31 V. The alternator then remains The consequential-damage protection de-
shorted until the engine is switched off. vice responds to operation with battery and
lnput B+ is thus designed to prevent conse- a faulty, short-circuited regulator by inter-
quential damage. rupting the alternator's excitation current
This overvoltage-protection device makes it approx. 2 seconds after the alternator output
possible for the alternator to operate for passes the response threshold of 30 V.
limited periods without a battery in the cir- The unit's relay contact then assumes a
cuit. The alternator voltage collapses briefly backup voltage-control function by operat-
when the overvoltage device responds. If the ing as a contact regulator.
load becomes excessive, renewed alternator When the system is operated with the bat-
excitation is impossible. tery out of circuit, the unit reacts to voltage
Voltage peaks which can be generated by the peaks of 60 V or more lasting for more than
alternator itself when loads are switched off 1 ms.
(load-dump), cannot damage other devices The charge-indicator lamp flashes to indi-
in the system because the alternator is im- cate that the system is operating in the backup
mediately short-circuited. mode. The system does not charge the battery,
as the mean voltages in this mode are very low.
Maximum operating times in this backup
mode extend to approx. 10 hours, after

2 Simplified circuit diagram of an automatic overvoltage-protection device for a T1 alternator

(+) 30

2 B+
+ D+ 4

1 5

- DF
Fig. 2
1 Battery
2 Consequential-

damage protection
device D-
3 Ignition switch (-) 31
4 Voltage regulator
5 Alternator
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Voltage-regulator versions, Overvoltage protection 37

which the consequential-damage protection These induced voltages can be rendered

device must be replaced. harmless by means of a free-wheeling diode.

Free-wheeling diode
The free-wheeling diode (also known as a
suppressor diode or anti-surge diode) has
already been mentioned in the description
of the transistor regulator.
When the regulator switches to the Off
status, upon interruption of the excitation
current a voltage peak is induced in the exci-
tation winding due to self-induction.
Sensitive semiconductor components can be
destroyed if precautionary measures are not
taken. The free-wheeling diode is connected
in the regulator parallel to the alternator's
excitation winding. Upon the excitation
winding being interrupted, the free-wheeling
diode takes over the excitation current and
permits it to decay, thus preventing the gen-
eration of dangerous voltage peaks.
A similar effect can occur on vehicles
which are equipped with inductive loads re-
mote from the alternator regulator. Thus,
when electromagnetic door valves, solenoid
switches, magnetic clutches, motor drives,
and relays, etc. are switched off, voltage
peaks can be generated in the windings of
such equipment due to self-induction, and
can endanger the diodes and other semicon-
ductor components.

3 Circuit diagram of an overvoltage-protection device for a Double-T1 alternator

30 30
(+) 2
3 4


B+ Fig. 3
1 Battery
2 Consequential-

D- damage protection
D- device
(- ) 3 Ignition switch
31 31 4 Alternator with
voltage regulator
Robert Bosch GmbH

38 Alternators Cooling and noise

Cooling and noise In order to avoid the whistling noise which

can occur at specific speeds, the fan blades
Due above all to the heat developed by the alter- on some alternator types are arranged asym-
nator when converting mechanical power into metrically.
electrical power, and also due to the effects of
heat from the engine compartment (engine and Single-flow cooling
exhaust system), considerable increases in the Compact-diode-assembly alternators use
alternator component temperature take place. single-flow cooling. The external fan is at-
And when the engine compartment is encap- tached to the drive end of the alternator shaft.
sulated for sound-proofing purposes, temper- Fig. 1 shows a Gl alternator with a clockwise-
atures rise even further. In the interests of func- rotation fan. Air is drawn in by the fan at the
tional reliability, service life, and efficiency, it is collector-ring or rectifier end, passes through
imperativethatthisheatisdissipatedcompletely. the alternator, and leaves through openings
Depending upon alternator version, maximum in the drive-end shield.
permissible ambient temperature is limited to
80...120C, and future temperatures are ex- Double-flow cooling
pected to reach to 135C. Cooling must guar- Due to their higher specific power output,
antee that even under the hostile under-hood compact alternators are equipped with
conditions encountered in everyday operation, double-flow cooling (Fig. 2). The compact
component temperatures remain within the alternator's two fans are mounted inside the
specified limits (worst-case consideration). alternator on the driveshaft to the left and
right of the rotor's active section.
Cooling without fresh-air intake
For normal operating conditions, through-flow The two air streams are drawn in axially by
cooling is the most common cooling method the fans through openings in the drive and
applied for automotive alternators. Radial fans collector-ring end shields, and are forced out
for one or both directions of rotation are used. again through openings around the alternator's
Since both the fan and the alternator shaft circumference (Fig. 2).
must be driven, the cooling-air throughput One essential advantage lies in the use of
increases along with the speed. This ensures smaller fans, with the attendant reduction
adequate cooling irrespective of alternator of fan-generated aerodynamic noise.

1 Single-flow cooling 2 Double-flow cooling

Fig. 1
G1 compact-diode-
assembly alternator with


clockwise-rotation fan

Fig. 2
Compact alternator
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Cooling and noise 39

Cooling with fresh-air intake Liquid cooling

When fresh air is used for cooling purposes, a The liquid-cooling principle utilises the en-
special air-intake fitting is provided on the in- gine's coolant to cool the fully-encapsulated
take side in place of the air-intake openings. A alternator. The space for the coolant between
hose is used to draw in cool, dust-free air the alternator and the coolant housing is
from outside the engine compartment. connected to the engine's coolant circuit.
For instance, with the T1 alternator the cool- The most important sources of heat loss
ing air enters through the air-intake fitting, (stator, power semiconductors, voltage regu-
flows through the alternator and leaves again lator, and stationary excitation winding) are
through openings in the drive-end shield. coupled to the alternator housing in such a
With this type of alternator also, the cooling manner that efficient heat transfer is ensured.
air is drawn through the alternator by the fan.
It is particularly advisable to use the fresh-air Diode cooling
intake method when engine-compartment The heat levels in semiconductor diodes
temperatures exceed 80C and when a high- should not exceed cortain limits. Thus mea-
power alternator is used. With the compact sures must be taken to dissipate the heat that
alternator, the fresh-air method can be applied power diodes and excitation diodes generate
for cooling the rectifiers and the regulator. as thermal losses. For cooling, the diodes are
pressed into heat sinks which, with their large
surface area and high levels of thermal con-
ductivity, efficiently transfer the heat into the
cooling air stream or into the coolant. Alter-
nators usually employ a dual-heat-sink system
for the power diodes. The cathodic ends of
three of the diodes are inserted in a single
heat sink which is connected to battery ter-
minal B+. The remaining diodes are installed
with their anodic ends in a heat sink con-
nected to B. The excitation diodes located
between the stator windings and D+ are ei-
ther separate without
3 Cooling with air-intake fitting heat sinks, or installed
in a third heat sink of
their own (e.g. on alter-
nators for commercial

Fig. 3
T1 compact-diode-
assembly alternator with
fan for both directions of
Robert Bosch GmbH

40 Alternators Cooling and noise

Noise Measures taken to reduce noise also have

The more emphasis that is placed on quiet- an effect on the alternators power output, as
running vehicles, the more important is the well as upon component temperature and al-
reduction of alternator noise. Alternator noise ternator manufacturing costs. The challenge
is comprised of two main components: is to find the best-possible compromise be-
aero-dynamic noise and magnetically in- tween these conflicting factors. This necessi-
duced noise. tates the use of state-of-the-art simulation
Aerodynamic noise can be generated by and measuring techniques such as:
the passage of the cooling air through open-  Finite Element Methods (FEM) for the
ings, and at high fan speeds. lt can be limited optimization of oscillatory behavior and
by careful routing of the cooling air and by mechanical strength
using smaller fans with asymmetrically  Software for noise calculations
arranged blades.  Flow and temperature simulation
Magnetically induced noises are attribut-  Test stands for noise and flow
able to strong local magnetic fields and the measurements
dynamic effects which result between stator
and rotor under load. There are a number of
measures which can be taken to limit magnetic
noise. These include air-gap increases and
tighter manufacturing tolerances, etc. One of
the most effective measures for reducing ra-
dially radiated noise is the claw-pole chamfer.
Here, the claw-pole's trailing edge is chamfered
(Fig. 4). This measure reduces the effects of
armature reaction caused by the stator cur-
the armature reaction causes a pronounced
field displacement in the air gap which in turn
leads to the generation of noise. Optimization
of the claw-pole chamfer method, combined
with a reduction of the housing's noise-radi-
ating surfaces, results in noise reductions of
up to 10 dB(A), a figure which approximates
to about 50 % in individual noise perception. 4 Chamfered claw-pole trailing edge

Account must also be taken of the effect of

the alternator's position on the engine. 1
Structure-borne noise excites the alternator
mounting bracket and affects the alternator's
oscillatory characteristics and its noise gener-
ation. A resilient alternator mounting can
prevent this coupling completely. In individual
cases, mechanical noise can be caused by ball
bearings in which hardened grease together
with the effects of moisture ingress lead to
Fig. 4
stick- slip oscillations at very low tempera- 3

1 Stator
tures. The remedy here is to use well-sealed
2 Rotor
ball bearings together with greases which re- 2
3 Claw-pole chamfer
(exaggerated) tain their lubricity even at low temperatures.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Power losses 41

Power losses Sources of power loss

The power losses are shown in Fig. 2 below.
Efficiency The major losses are either iron losses,
Losses are an unavoidable by-product when copper losses, mechanical losses, or rec-
converting mechanical energy into electrical tifier losses. Iron losses result from the hys-
energy. Efficiency is defined as the ratio be- teresis and eddy currents produced by the
tween the power input to the conversion unit alternating magnetic fields in the rotor and
and the power taken from it. the stator. They increase disproportionally
The maximum efficiency of an air-cooled with frequency. That is, with the rotational
alternator is approximately 65 %, a figure speed and with the magnetic induction. The
which drops rapidly when speed is increased. copper losses are the resistive losses in the
Under normal driving conditions, an alter- stator windings. Their extent is proportional
nator usually operates in the part-load to the power-to-weight ratio, i.e. the ratio of
range, whereby mean efficiency is around generated electrical power to the mass of the
55...60 %. effective components. The mechanical losses
Presuming the same loading, using a larger, include friction losses at the rolling bearings
heavier alternator means that operation can and at the collector-ring contacts, as well as
take place across a more favorable portion of the windage losses of the rotor and the fan.
the efficiency curve (Fig. 1). At higher speeds, the fan losses increase con-
On the other hand, the increased efficiency siderably.
of the larger alternator can be offset by an
accompanying increase in fuel consumption.
What must be taken into account though is
the increased moment of inertia which results
in a higher energy input for accelerating the
The alternator is typical for a permanently
operating vehicle assembly, and regarding
fuel-consumption must first of all be opti-
mized with respect to efficiency and then
with respect to weight.
Fig. 1
I = 30 A
1 Efficiency curves for K1 and N1 alternators 2 Loss distribution in an alternator
U = 28 V
n = 6000 rpm
A K1 = 50 % at
N1- 28 V 55 A kW 5 kg weight,
60 5 Vmech. N1 = 62 % at
P1 VCu Stnd. 6,15 kg weight
Power P, Losses V

60 % 50 % 40 % 4
Load current I


K1- 28 V 30 A 3 VFe + Zus. Fig. 2

30 P1 Power input
2 VDioden P2 Power output
60 % 50 % 40 % 30 %
VCu Feld Vmech. Mechanical losses
15 1 P2 VCu Stator Stator copper
20 %


10 % 0 VFe+add. Iron and
0 0 5000 10000 15000 rpm
0 3000 9000 15000 rpm additional losses
Alternator speed n Vdiodes Rectifier losses
Alternator speed n
VCu field Excitation losses
Robert Bosch GmbH

42 Alternators Characteristic curves

Characteristic curves importance for understanding the alternator's

operation and each has therefore been allo-
Alternator performance cated a specific name.
The characteristic performance of the alter- Normally, the curves for alternator current
nator at a variety of different speeds is and drive power are shown as a function of
shown by its characteristic curves. Due to the rotational speed (Fig. 1). The characteristic
the constant transmission ratio between al- curves of an alternator are always referred to
ternator and engine, the alternator must be a constant voltage and precisely defined
able to operate at greatly differing speeds. temperature conditions. For instance, an
As the engine takes the alternator from ambient temperature of 80 C (or a room
standstill up to maximum speed, the alter- temperature of 23 C) is specified for the
nator passes through certain speed points. limit-temperature test.
Each of these speed points is of particular

1 Typical characteristic curves for an alternator

A kW



120 6


100 5

80 4
Alternator current I

Power input P

60 3


40 2

nN nmax

20 1

0 0
0 n0 3000 6000 9000 12000 15000 rpm
Alternator speed n
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Characteristic curves 43

Current characteristic curve (I) nA Cutting-in speed

0-Ampere speed (n0) The cutting-in speed is defined as that speed
The 0-Ampere speed is the speed (approx. at which the alternator starts to deliver current
1,000 rpm) ) at which the alternator reaches when the speed is increased for the first time.
its rated voltage without delivering power. lt is above the idle speed, and depends upon
This is the speed at which the curve crosses the pre-excitation power, the rotor's rema-
the rpm 1 abscissa. The alternator can only nence, the battery voltage, and the rate of
deliver power at higher speeds. rotational-speed change.

nL Speed at engine idle Characteristic curve of power input (P1)

IL Current at engine idle The characteristic curve of power input is
With the speed increasing, alternator speed decisive for drive-belt calculations. Information
nL is reached with the engine at idle. This can be taken from this curve concerning the
point is shown as an area in Fig. 1 since the maximum power which must be taken from
precise value depends upon the transmis- the engine to drive the alternator at a given
sion ratio between engine and alternator. speed. In addition, the power input and
At this speed, the alternator must deliver at power output can be used to calculate the
least the current required for the long-time alternator's efficiency. The example in Fig. 1
consumers. This value is given in the alter- shows that after a gradual rise in the medium-
nator's type designation. speed range, the characteristic curve for power
In the case of compact-diode-assembly input rises again sharply at higher speeds.
nL = 1,500 rpm, for compact alternators Explanation of the type designation
nL = 1,800 rpm due to the usually higher Every Bosch alternator carries a rating plate
transmission ratio containing type designation and 10-digit
Part Number.
nN Speed at rated current The type designation gives information on
IN Rated current the alternator's most important technical data
The speed at which the alternator generates its such as current at engine idle and rated voltage
rated current is stipulated as nN = 6,000 rpm. etc.
The rated current should always be higher than
the total current required by all loads together. Example of a type designation:
lt is also given in the type designation. K C () 14 V 40 70 A
K Alternator size (stator OD)
nmax Maximum speed C Compact alternator
Imax Maximum current () Direction of rotation, clockwise
Imax is the maximum achievable current 14 V Alternator voltage
at the alternator's maximum speed. 40 A Current at n = 1800 rpm
Maximum speed is limited by the rolling 70 A Current at n = 6000 rpm
bearings and the carbon brushes as well
as by the fan.
With compact alternators it is 18,000
20,000 rpm, and for compact-diode-assem-
bly alternators 15,00018,000 rpm.
In the case of commercial vehicles, it is
8,000 15,000 rpm depending upon
alternator size.
Robert Bosch GmbH

44 Alternators Alternator circuitry

Alternator circuitry normal 3-phase AC bridge circuit are unable

to handle it.
Sometimes, the alternator or the vehicle For this reason, such alternators are
electrical system is confronted with re- equipped with two or more parallel-con-
quirements which cannot always be fully nected power diodes for each phase. As a re-
complied with by the standard series-pro- sult, the alternator current is divided be-
duction versions. tween the parallel-connected diodes so that
For such cases, there are special circuitry the individual diodes are no longer over-
variants available which can be implemented loaded.
individually or in combination The circuit diagram of an alternator using
this principle is shown in Fig. 1. Two power
Parallel-connected power diodes diodes are connected in parallel for each phase,
As already dealt with in the section on semi- which means that the 3-phase AC rectifier
conductor devices, diodes can only be loaded comprises 12 power diodes instead of six.
up to a certain current level without damage.
At high currents, excessive heat-up would Auxiliary diodes at the star (neutral) point
destroy them. This is particularly important On alternators with star-connected stator
when considering the heavily loaded power windings, the ends of the windings are joined
diodes in the 3-phase AC bridge circuit at a single point, the star or neutral point.
through which the entire alternator current Since, at least theoretically, the addition of
flows. the three phase currents or phase voltages is
However, the alternator's maximum achiev- always zero at any instant in time, this means
able power output is limited by the maximum that the neutral conductor can be dispensed
possible alternator current. And high-power with.
alternators feature a alternator current which
is so high that the six power diodes in the

1 Circuit diagram of a T1 alternator with special circuit variants

(+) 15 30 30

D+ B+
1 2 B+

+ 3
Fig. 1
- u w 4
1 Excitation diodes
2 Parallel-connected
power diodes
3 Auxiliary diodes at D-
5 D+
the star (neutral)
point W

4 Suppression (-) 31
5 Terminal W
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Alternator circuitry 45

Due to harmonics, the neutral point assumes Terminal W

a varying potential which changes periodically For specific applications, Terminal W can
from positive to negative. This potential is be connected to one of the three phases as an
mainly caused by the third harmonic which additional terminal (Fig. 1). lt provides a
is superimposed on the fundamental wave and pulsating DC (half-wave-rectified AC) which
which has three times its frequency (Fig. 2). can be used for measuring engine speed (for
The energy it contains would normally be lost, instance on diesel engines).
but instead it is rectified by two diodes con- According to the following equation, the
nected as power diodes between the neutral frequency (number of pulses per second)
point and the positive and negative terminals depends on the number of pole pairs and
(Fig. 1). As from around 3000 rpm, this leads upon alternator speed.
to an alternator power increase of max. 10 %. f = p n/60
These auxiliary diodes increase the alternator- f Frequency (pulses per second)
voltage ripple. p Number of pole pairs (6 on Size G
K and N; 8 on Size T)
Operation of alternators in parallel n Alternator speed (rpm)
lf demanded by power requirements, alter-
nators with the same power rating can be Interference-suppression measures
connected in parallel. Special balancing is The main source of electrical interference in
not necessary, although the voltage regula- the SI engine is the ignition system, although
tors concerned must have the same charac- some interference is also generated by alter-
teristics, and their characteristic curves must nator and regulator, as well as by other elec-
be identical. trical loads.
lf a 2-way radio, car radio, or car telephone
etc. is operated in the vehicle itself or in the
vicinity, it is necessary to install intensified
interference suppression for alternator and
regulator. For this purpose, alternators are
fitted with a suppression capacitor. In the
2 Voltage with third harmonic case of compact-diode-assembly alternators,
if not present as standard equipment, the
suppression capacitor can be retrofitted on
the outside of the collector-ring end shield.
On compact alternators, it is already inte-
grated in the rectifier.
U1+U3 U1 Older versions of the contact regulator are
combined with an interference- suppression
Voltage U

filter or are replaced by an interference-sup-

pressed version. Transistor regulators do not
U3 require additional suppression measures. lf
Terminal W is connected, this can be sup-
pressed with a resistor which is installed in
the W line (Fig. 1).

0 180 360 Fig. 2

U1 Phase voltage
Rotor rotation in degrees
(fundamental wave)
U3 Third-harmonic
Robert Bosch GmbH

46 Alternators Operation in the vehicle

1 Charge balance Alternator operation in the

In general, the following applies:
IG = IW + IB IG Alternator current The vehicles engine, alternator, battery, and
IW Equipment current electrical loads, must be considered as an in-
IB Battery current
terrelated system.
The battery current may be positive or negative
depending on whether the battery is charging Energy balance in the vehicle
or discharging
When specifying or checking alternator size,
account must be taken of the battery capacity,
the power consumption of the connected
loads, and the driving conditions.
Alternator size and battery capacity are
specified by the automaker in accordance with
the electrical loads installed in the vehicle and
Unfavorable situation: Low alternator
the normal driving conditions. Individual
circumstances can deviate from the above
conditions though. On the one hand, be-
cause the operator installs extra electrical
IG equipment in the vehicle, and on the other,
because driving conditions differ consider-
ably from those taken as normal.
IW1 Battery discharging
These considerations are intended to
underline the fact that the total input-power
Electrical equipment, requirements, together with the individual
electronics, loads driving conditions, are of decisive importance
with regard to the loading of the alternator
and battery.
An adequate level of battery charge is the
prime consideration. lt is decisive for sufficient
energy being available to start the engine again
after it has been switched off. The battery
Favorable situation: Medium/high alternator
speed functions as an energy store which supplies
Alternator the various loads, and which in turn must
continually be charged by the alternator in its
function as the energy supplier. On the other
IG hand, if the energy drawn from the battery
+ IB
Battery exeeds that supplied to it, even a high-capac-
ity battery will gradually discharge until it is
IW2 Battery charging empty (or flat). The ideal situation is a
balance between input and output of energy
UME0599, 0597, 0596-1E

Electrical equipment,
Fig. 1
vehicle-system to and from the battery (Fig. 1).
Current flow between electronics, loads Thus, a correctly dimensioned alternator is
alternator, battery, and
decisive for an adequate supply of on-board
electrical devices, with
energy. An under-rated (i.e. overloaded) al-
constant power demands
from the loads, and
ternator is not able to keep the battery suffi-
varying alternator ciently charged, which means that battery
operating conditions. capacity cannot be fully utilized.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Operation in the vehicle 47

Consequently, if power demand is in-  Adequate cooling for alternator waste heat
creased, for instance as a result of fitting ex- as well as for heat conducted and radiated
tra equipment, it is advisable to replace the from the engine.
standard fitted alternator by a more powerful  Protection against dirt, moisture, shock,
version. One of the most important steps to impact, fuel and lubricants (ingress of
be taken when ascertaining the electrical sys- gasoline leads to the danger of fire and ex-
tem's charge balance is the registration of all plosion, and diesel fuel damages the car-
the installed electrical loads (including bon brushes and collector rings).
retrofitted equipment), together with their
power inputs and the average length of time Almost without exception, alternators which
they are switched on (short-time, long-time, are driven by the engine through normal
or permanent loads). Similarly, the driving V-belts are attached by means of a swivel-arm
cycles as dictated by the traffic situation must mounting. In addition to the mounting using
also be con- sidered. These include, for in- a swivel bearing, an adjustment facility (to
stance, low alternator speeds typical for town pivot the alternator around a swivel arm) is
traffic coupled with repeated standstills, ex- provided for adjusting the V-belt tension.
pressway traffic with congestion, and high lf the alternator is driven through a ribbed
alternator speeds on clear first-class roads. V-belt (poly-V belt), the alternator is usually
The time of day (journeys mainly by daylight rigidly mounted. The belt is adjusted using a
or during the dark), and the season (winter belt tensioner (in Fig. 2 overleaf, the belt is
or summer driving with the related temper- tensioned using the alternator).
atures and weather), also have an affect. In special cases, large alternators are cradle-
We can sum up as follows: mounted in a recess directly on the engine.
Even under the most unfavorable operating lrrespective of the type of mounting, all
conditions, in addition to powering all the alternators must have good electrical con-
electrical loads, the alternator power must nection to the engine block. Furthermore,
suffice to keep the battery sufficiently charged since current return from the electrical system
so that the vehicle is always ready for operation. is in the most cases via ground, a highly con-
An expert should be consulted before the ductive ground connection of adequate cross-
final selection of alternator size and its section must be provided between engine and
matching to the appropriate battery. The fol- chassis.
lowing example illustrates the loading of the
vehicle's energy household by the electrical
loads under a variety of different conditions:

Alternator installation and drive

The motor-vehicle operator usually has little
say concerning the alternator or regulator
fitted in his/her vehicle. And in every vehi-
cle, the alternator's installation position is
dependent upon the conditions prevailing in
the engine compartment due to construc-
tion and design. However, certain basic fac-
tors must always be borne in mind concern-
ing installation:
 Good accessibility for readjusting the V-belt
tension and for any maintenance work
which may be required.
Robert Bosch GmbH

48 Alternators Operation in the vehicle

Buses and special-purpose vehicles are often Alternator drive

equipped with extra return lines in order to Alternators are driven directly from the ve-
reduce voltage losses and thereby increase hicle engine. As a rule, drive is via V-belts.
safety. Less frequently, flexible couplings are used.
Electric cables and lines only provide The belt drive (using V-belts, ribbed-V
efficient connection if they have properly belts, etc.) is the most important element in
attached terminals or plug connectors. the transmission of power, and as such it is
subject to exacting requirements:
 The belt material must have very high
flexural strength.
 Belt slip leads to heat-up and wear, and in
order to prevent it, longitudinal stretch
2 V-belt and ribbed V-belt alternator drive should remain at a minimum as the belt
gets older.

Investigations conducted by ADAC

(Germany's largest automobile club) have
revealed that V-belt damage is a frequent
cause of breakdown. lt is therefore important
to use V-belts which comply with the above
requirements and which are capable of a long
service life. Typical for automotive applications
are theopen-flankbelt and the ribbed-V belt.
The open-flank design (Fig. 3) features
high flexibility, coupled with extreme lateral
rigidity and resistance to wear. Particularly
with small-diameter pulleys, this leads to

improved power transmission and longer

service life compared to conventional rubber-
jacketed V-belts.
Photo: VW

3 Construction of an open-flank V-belt 4 Construction of a ribbed V-belt (Poly-V-belt)

1 2 3 4 5 3

Fig. 3 2
1 Short-cut fiber
2 Embedding
3 Specially prepared
4 Cover fabric
5 Cut flanks


Fig. 4
1 Carcasse
2 Cord
3 Outer cover
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Operation in the vehicle 49

The high flexibility of the ribbed-V belt The transmission ratio must take into ac-
(Poly-V belt, Fig. 4) permits very small count the fact that the alternator's permitted
bending radiuses. This in turn means that maximum speed must not be exceeded at the
small-diameter pulleys (minimum dia. 45 engine's maximum speed.
mm) can be fitted to the alternators thus
permitting higher transmission ratios. The Notes on operation
back of the belt may also be used to transmit Battery and regulator must be connected
power, thus enabling a number of aggregates when the alternator is operated. This is the
(alternator, radiator fan, water pump, normal operating setup and the installed
power-steering pump, etc.) to all be driven electronic equipment and semiconductor
from a single belt with an adequate wrap devices perform efficiently and safely.
angle around each pulley wheel. Emergency operation without the battery
Usually, a single V-belt suffices to drive connected results in high voltage peaks which
small-power alternators. With large-power can damage equipment and components.
alternators on the other hand, two V-belts or Here, efficient emergency operation is only
a single ribbed-V belt are more common in possible if precautionary measures are taken.
order to overcome the alternator's resistance to There are three alternatives:
turning which is inherent in its higher power.  Zener diodes in the rectifier
Depending upon application, pulley wheels  Surge-proof alternator and regulator
and fan wheels are used which have either  Overvoltage-protection devices
been turned, or stamped from sheet metal, Connecting the battery into the vehicle's
and which can be combined with each other electrical system with the wrong polarity
as required (Fig. 5). immediately destroys the alternator diodes,
The pulley wheel's correct diameter de- and can damage the regulator, no matter
pends upon the required transmission ratio whether the engine is switched off or running.
between engine and alternator. The same damage can occur if an external
Being as the speed ranges covered by the voltage source is used as a starting aid and
multitude of engines concerned differ con- the terminals are reversed.
siderably from each other, there is a wide va-
riety of pulley wheels available with different

5 Pulley and fan wheel assembly on a compact-diode-assembly alternator

VMM0005-1Y, VMM0007-1Y, VMM0008-1Y

Fig. 5
Fan pulley:
1 Stamped version
2 Turned version
3 Turned version

Fan wheel:
4 Stamped version
with support plate
1 4 2 5 3 5
5 Cast aluminum
Robert Bosch GmbH

50 Alternators Operation in the vehicle

Special circuitry is available to safeguard this indicates a fault in the alternator itself, at
against reverse-polarity damage. When the the regulator, in the wiring, or at the V-belt.
battery is falsely connected, engine start is
blocked in order to protect alternator and Mileages and maintenance intervals
regulator. Using a variety of statistical methods, and
The charge-indicator lamp acts as a resistor taking typical operating conditions into ac-
in the alternator circuit. lf a correctly rated count, it is possible to calculate specific aver-
lamp is fitted which draws enough current, age service lives, mileages, and driving cycles
the resulting pre-excitation current provides for different categories of vehicle (passenger
a magnetic field which is strong enough to cars, commercial vehicles, long-haul trucks,
initiate alternator self-excitation. town and long-distance buses, and construc-
When the charge-indicator lamp lights up, tion machinery).
this merely indicates to the driver that the
ignition or driving switch is switched on and Considering the different fields of application
that the alternator is not yet feeding power of these vehicle categories, the requirements
into the electrical system. The lamp goes out and criteria for the economic efficiency of
as soon as the alternator's self-excitation speed their alternators also differ. This leads to there
is reached and the alternator supplies energy being a range of alternators available for dif-
to the electrical system. The lamp therefore ferent service lives and maintenance intervals.
provides an indication that alternator and Depending upon version and application,
regulator are functioning correctly, that they passenger-car alternators with en- capsu-
are correctly connected, and that the alter- lated ball bearings have service lives of
nator is supplying current. 150,000...600,000 km. Presuming that the
The charge-indicator lamp gives no indica- engine's service life until it is replaced or has
tion as to whether, and as of what speed, the a major overhaul corresponds to that of its
battery is being charged. When the alterna- alternator, this makes specific maintenance
tor is heavily loaded, it can happen that even work on the alternator unnecessary. The grease
though the lamp has gone out, the battery is in the bearings suffices for this period.
not being charged but discharged. The lamp
gives no information concerning the state of
battery charge even though it is (erroneously)
referred to as the charge-indicator lamp. 6 Fault indication
lf the lamp is defective (broken filament),
this means that pre-excitation current can-
(+) 30
not flow and self-excitation first sets in at
very high speeds. This error is noticeable 4
when the lamp fails to light up with the en-
gine at standstill and the ignition switched on. 15
lf during operation an open-circuit occurs 2
in the lamp line or in the alternator ground B+
line, and the alternator stops supplying cur- D+
rent, the driver is not warned of this fact even
though the charge-indicator lamp is intact.
Fig. 6 Here, in alternators with excitation diodes, 3
1 Alternator
it is necessary to connect in an additional re-

2 Charge-indicator
sistor (Fig. 6) so that the charge-indicator lamp
3 Resistor
lights up to inform the driver of open-cir- (-) 31
4 Ignition switch cuited excitation circuits. lf the charge-indi-
5 Battery cator lamp fails to go out even at high speeds,
Robert Bosch GmbH

Alternators Operation in the vehicle 51

Due to the use of particularly wear-resistant

components, the alternators installed in trucks
and buses for instance achieve mileages of
200,000...600,000 km. One prerequisite is
that they are equipped with suitable ball
bearings which, for instance, feature en-
larged grease chambers.
Provided the alternator is installed in a loca-
tion which is relatively free from dirt, oil, and
grease, the carbon-brush wear is negligible
due to the low excitation currents involved.

 The history of the generator/alternator

At the turn of the century, the introduction Endeavours, therefore, concentrated on the
of electrical lighting to motor vehicles to take development of a DC dynamo with voltage
the place of the previously used horse-and- regulation. Finally, electromagnetic control of
carriage lighting meant that a suitable source the field resistor as a function of the machines
of electrical power had to be available in the output voltage proved to be the answer.
vehicle. The battery alone was completely un- Around 1909, using the knowledge available
suitable since, when discharged, it had to be at that time, it thus became possible to build a
removed from the vehicle for re-charging. complete Lighting and Starting System for
Around 1902, Robert Bosch designed a light- Motor Vehicles. This was introduced to the
ing dynamo (which came to be called a gen- market in 1913 and comprised a dynamo
erator) which essentially comprised a stator, (splashwater-protected, encapsulated 12-V
an armature with commutator, and a contact DC dynamo with shunt regulation and a rated
breaker for the ignition (see below). The only power of 100 W), a battery, a voltage-regula-
difficulty here, though, was the fact that the tor and switching box, a free-wheeling starter
dynamos voltage was dependent on the en- with pedal-operated switch, and a variety of
gines speed which varied consideraby. different lighting components.
Robert Bosch GmbH

52 Starter motors Development of starting systems

Starter motors
Before an internal-combustion engine can able to start it by spinning the flywheel.
operate independently and generate its own But it is doubtful whether his wife or the
power output, it requires assistance to start two boys would have had the physical strength
it. It needs a certain degree of momentum required to start the engine in that way.
before the torque produced by the ignition
stroke is sufficient to overcome the resis- For many years after Berta Benz daring jour-
tance of the exhaust, induction and com- ney, muscle power remained the chief source
pression strokes. In addition, when an engine of energy for starting the internal-combustion
is first started, the bearings are not properly engine. Whether by push-starting, spinning
lubricated so that high levels of friction have the flywheel or using a crank handle, starting
to be overcome. In short, the process of start- a motor car required physical exertion and
ing an internal-combustion engine is one often a good deal of sweat. No wonder, then,
that requires a large amount of force. that from an early stage, engineers began to
look for an easier method of getting the en-
Development gine going.
of starting systems
Right from the early days of the Twentieth
Manual starting methods Century, the inventive efforts of numerous
On January 29, 1886, the inventor Carl Benz engineers were devoted to this problem.
registered his motor carriage, a new type of An enormous variety of starting devices was
road-going vehicle driven by a gasoline engine, thought up, including spring-loaded, com-
with the German Imperial Patent Office. pressed-air, hydraulic and inertia starters
In August 1888, his wife Berta Benz and (Figure 2).
their two sons embarked on their legendary
and courageous journey from their home in The electric starter motor
Mannheim in the south of Germany to The development of the electric starter motor
Pforzheim. It was the first-ever journey across was a major breakthrough. However, its effec-
country in the history of the automobile tive use depended on the availability of a suf-
(Figure 1). As this excursion took place with- ficiently powerful battery. Lead-acid accumu-
out the knowledge of her husband, push-start- lator batteries with sufficient capacity started
ing was almost certainly the only way that to be produced around 1910, which meant that
Berta Benz could get the three-wheeler car from then on nothing more stood in the way
going. Carl Benz himself would have been of the spread of the electric starter motor.

1 Berta Benz tests out her husbands invention (source: DaimlerChrysler Classic, Group Archive)
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Development of starting systems 53

In the beginning, starter motors were linked 3 The first Bosch electric starter motor (1913)
directly to the crankshaft by a chain or belt-
drive system and, in some cases, they also 1
performed the function of a dynamo a
concept that has been revived in some of
todays very latest designs. At that point,
however, separate devices optimized for
the distinct functions of starting and elec-
tricity generation became the established
norm. As early as 1913 there was an electric
Fig. 3

starter motor with planetary gearing and an 1 Starter motor
overrunning clutch (Figure 3). 2 Planetary gear
2 3 4
3 Freewheel
In order to reduce the technical complexity, 4 Magnetic brake
starter-motor designs were subsequently de-
veloped which allowed separation of the these involved increasing the reliability of the
starter-motor drive from the driven compo- pinion-engagement action and reducing size
nent. Initially, the starter-motor drive pinion and weight. On commercial vehicles, increas-
was brought into engagement with the ring ingly large engines were used. Accordingly, the
gear on the flywheel by manual means in- mechanical stresses on the starter motor were
volving a lever, pedal or cable linkage a prin- much greater. These were overcome by multi-
ciple that remained in isolated use right up stage pinion-engaging systems and specially
until the 1950s. However, it wasnt long be- designed overrunning clutches.
fore electrical actuation by means of the ig-
nition switch and engagement of the pinion By the beginning of the 1980s, the development
with the aid of a solenoid switch became the of ceramic permanent magnets had reached
established method. The basic design of the a stage where they could be used in starter
electric starter motor had thus been deter- motors for cars. This made it possible to dis-
mined by roughly the end of the Second pense with the more costly electromagnet.
World War. As a further means of reducing size and
weight, starter motors with internal reduction
The years that followed were marked by a wide gear were introduced in 1982. They have re-
variety of design improvements. In particular, mained the market-leading design ever since.

2 Flywheel starter motor with manual engagement mechanism

1 2

Fig. 2

1 Multiplate
overrunning clutch
2 Flywheel
3 Planetary gear
Robert Bosch GmbH

54 Starter motors Starting the internal-combustion engine

Starting the internal- teeth of the pinion collide with those of the
combustion engine ring gear as the pinion moves outwards. The
pinion can then not move any further out-
A starter motor starts an internal-combustion wards and mesh with the ring gear unless it
engine by engaging its pinion gear in a ring gear is rotated. However, in this case too, the sole-
that typically has about 130 teeth (on cars). On noid armature continues to be drawn further
vehicles with a manually shifted transmission, into the coil so that the engagement lever com-
the ring gear is on the engine flywheel, while presses the meshing spring. Consequently, the
on vehicles with automatic transmission, it is on pinion is pressed with increasing force against
the torque-converter housing.When in its rest- the side of the ring gear (Figure 1, Diagram 2).
ing position, the starter-motor pinion (which As it reaches the end of its travel, the sole-
typicallyhas10teeth)isdisengagedfromthering noid closes the switch in the starter-motor
gear, but remains only a few millimeters away main circuit (as previously explained). As a
from it (Figure 1, Diagram 1). When the driver result, the pinion starts to turn and at some
turns the ignition key to the starting position, point reaches a position where it will mesh
the starter motor first of all establishes the me- with the ring gear. At that point, the tension in
chanical link between itself and the engine. the meshing spring forces the pinion rapidly
outwards. In this way, the necessary mechan-
Operating sequence of the starter motor ical link between starter motor and engine is
Engagement established in this more complex scenario.
When the ignition switch is in the starting
position, it completes an electric circuit that On most starter motors, pinion engagement
energizes the starter-motor solenoid switch. is also assisted by a helical spline. This has two
The magnetic field created by the solenoid coil effects:
draws in the solenoid armature, thus operat-  as the pinion moved outwards, it turns
ing the engagement lever so that the pinion slightly in the opposite direction to its
gear is moved outwards and comes into con- normal direction of rotation, which assists
tact with the ring gear. the meshing action, and
 when the starter motor starts to rotate, the
Under ideal circumstances, the teeth of the effect of the helix throws the pinion out-
pinion will be in line with the gaps in the ring wards as it engages with the ring gear.
gear so that the two gears mesh perfectly and
the mechanical link between the starter motor As starter motors for commercial vehicles have
and the engine is immediately established to produce high levels of torque, appropriate
(Figure 1, Diagram 2). As it reaches the end of meshing methods have to be adopted in order
its travel, the solenoid armature closes a switch to prevent excessive stress on the teeth of the
which completes the starter-motor main cir- pinion and ring gear (refer to the section
cuit. The starter motor thus starts to rotate Starter motors for commercial vehicles).
so that its drive shaft and pinion gear drive They ensure that there is sufficient overlap of
the ring gear with the result that the engine the teeth before the starter motor delivers its
starts to turn as well (Figure 1, Diagram 4). full power.
This ideal sequence of events, whereby the
pinion meshes perfectly with the ring gear first Turning the engine
time, actually rarely occurs in practice because When the starter motor begins to rotate, the
the 0.4 mm of play between the teeth of the two transmission ratio between the pinion and the
gears leaves very leeway for smooth meshing. ring gear produces a large amount of torque
acting on the crankshaft of the engine.
The typical scenario (which occurs around The frictional resistance is overcome and the
70 % of the time) is a situation in which the engine starts to turn over.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starting the internal-combustion engine 55

1 Operating sequence of the starter motor

1 Resting position 1
3 2

5 8

1 Ignition / 5 Pinion-engaging lever

starter switch 6 Roller-type overrunning clutch
2 Solenoid switch 7 Pinion
3 Return spring 8 Battery
4 Excitation winding, 9 Armature
series winding

2 Pinion tooth meets gap 3 Pinion tooth meets tooth

30 30

4 Engine is turned over

Robert Bosch GmbH

56 Starter motors Starting the internal-combustion engine

2 Curves of engine speed and starter-motor current during starting sequence

rpm A
800 800

600 600
Engine speed n

Current I
400 400

200 200

0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 s 1.6

The cyclic compression and decompression the engine. As soon as the driver releases the
of gases in the cylinders means that the torque ignition key, the solenoid-switch circuit is
required to turn the engine over fluctuates broken. The return spring moves the solenoid
considerably, as a result of which the mo- armature back towards its resting position as
mentary engine speed also fluctuates consid- a result of which the primary-circuit switch
erably. Figure 2 shows the typical graphs for opens. The meshing spring completes retrac-
engine speed and starter-motor current. tion of the pinion from the ring gear with the
assistance of the helical spline. The starter
A warm engine with a modern fuel-injection motor freewheels to a standstill and the en-
system will normally take only two revolutions tire mechanism returns to its initial position.
of the crankshaft to start. When starting from
cold, the engine may need to be turned over Preconditions for starting
for slightly longer. If, for whatever reason, the The resistance to rotation of an internal-com-
fuel system needs to be purged of air when the bustion engine, i.e. the torque required to turn it
engine is started, it may have to be turned over, depends primarily on the engine capacity
over for as long as 20...30 s before it starts. and the viscosity of the engine oil (measure of
the internal friction of the oil). The design of
Starting and overrunning the engine, the number of cylinders, the ratio of
As soon as fuel is injected / ignited, the internal- stroke to bore, the compression ratio, the mass
combustion engine starts to generate its own of the moving engine components and the na-
torque and, therefore, to increase its speed of ture of their bearings, as well as the additional
rotation. After only a few ignition strokes, it is drag from clutch, transmission and auxiliary
revving so fast that the starter motor can no drive systems also have an effect. In general,
longer keep up. The starter motor is thus over- the mean resistance to rotation increases with
running. At this point, it is essential that the engine speed in the case of gasoline engines
one-way or overrunning clutch disengages the (Figure 3). With diesel engines, on the other
pinion from the starter-motor drive shaft. By hand, the resistance may decrease after reach-
doing so, it prevents excessive wear and pro- ing a peak at about 80...100 rpm because of
tects the starter motor from damage as a re- the energy regained from the relatively large
sult of being driven at excessive speeds by amount of compression work.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starting the internal-combustion engine 57

The torque delivered by the starter motor is at torque, though not necessarily enough to start
its highest when first switched from standstill the engine in every case.
and decreases continuously as speed increases To attain the air/fuel mixture required by
(refer to the sectionDC motors). The surplus the gasoline engine or, as the case may be, the
torque provided by the starter motor at the spontaneous-ignition temperature required
beginning of the starting sequence initially by the diesel engine, the starter motor must
overcomes the static friction in the engine continue to assist the engine to reach themin-
bearings and then accelerates the engine to the imum starting speed. The various phases of
turnover speed. This speed is characterized the starting sequence are illustrated by the di-
by the intersection of the engine and starter- agram in Figure 3.
motor torque curves and must be above the
minimum starting speed in order to ensure The degree of frictional resistance that has to
successful starting. be overcome is heavily dependent on the vis-
cosity of the engine lubricant and thus also on
On engines with electronically controlled fuel- engine temperature. Oil viscosity is at its great-
injection systems, sensors detect the position est at low temperatures, when it can be as
of the crankshaft within the first two revolu- much as two or three times greater than at
tions (initiation of the fuel-injection system). normal engine operating temperature. Further-
Their signals are used to selectively deliver fuel more, the minimum engine speed required for
to the cylinder that will be the next to perform obtaining satisfactory mixture formation in a
its compression stroke. This ensures that ex- gasoline engine or spontaneous ignition in a
haust emissions and fuel consumption are diesel engine increases as temperature de-
minimized during the starting sequence. As creases. Consequently, the starter motor must
soon as one of the cylinders fires, the internal- produce significantly greater power output for
combustion engines starts to generate its own cold starting than when the engine is warm.

3 Phases of the starting sequence (schematic)

Nm A W

160 1600 1600

MS Engine
120 1200 1200
Torque M

Current I

Power P

M drag

80 Torque from 800 800

initial ignition

40 400 400

0 0
0 50 100 150 200 250 rpm
Engine speed n
1 motor on 2
Starter motor
accelerates engine
Fig. 3
Engine is turned
3 MS Starter-motor torque

over, initial ignition

4 5 Mdrag Engine drag
Starter motor continues to assist until Starter P Power
engine is running under own power motor off I Current
n Engine speed
Robert Bosch GmbH

58 Starter motors Starting the internal-combustion engine

The fact that the starter motor generally Tests designed to determine that temperature
obtains its electrical power supply from a threshold are carried out in the cold room at
lead-acid accumulator battery (see section the Bosch Automotive Electrics Technical
Batteries) means that in cold weather, the Center (Figure 6).
available voltage /current is lower because the
internal impedance of this type of battery 5 Minimum starting temperature

increases as the temperature drops.

As a result, the power of the starting system is rpm
lower at lower temperatures. 180
The greater torque requirements on the part
of the internal-combustion engine on the one Minimum starting

Engine speed n
temperature nM
hand, and the lower power of the starting sys-
tem on the other, mean that the achievable
turnover speed decreases as the temperature
falls (Figure 4). For this reason, the engine can
Fig. 5 only be successfully started at temperatures
t G Minimum starting above a certain threshold referred to as the
temperature 60
minimum starting temperature (Figure 5).
nS Engine speed

achieved by starting -18 - 24 C - 30
Temperature t
nM Minimum speed
required for starting

4 Dependence of available starter-motor torque and engine torque requirement on temperature

Fig. 4 Ms
1 Starter-motor torque
MS (available torque) 240
measure using
battery with rating
of 64 Ah 380 A, 200
PE 20 %
Torque M

1a At 20 C
U0 = 10.9 V 2a
Ri = 4.5 m MM
Rzul = 1.3 m 2b
1b At 24 C
U0 = 10.6 V
Ri = 5.6 m 80
Rzul = 1.3 m 1a
2 Engine drag MM
(torque requirement) 40
2a At 24 C,
engine oil

SAE10W40 0 50 100 150 200 250 rpm 300
2b At 20 C,
Average engine speed n
engine oil
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starting the internal-combustion engine 59

6 Cold-starting tests in the cold room

Robert Bosch GmbH

60 Starter motors Starting the internal-combustion engine

Dimensioning of starting systems In Europe, starting systems are generally di-

A starter motor must satisfy the following mensioned for the minimum starting temper-
requirements: atures detailed in Table 1. There are variations
 Readiness to function at any time within the ranges shown in order to suit local
 Sufficient starting power even at low conditions in particular countries. The re-
temperatures quired minimum starting speed varies widely
 Sufficient durability to start the engine according to engine type and method of
many thousands of times mixture formation. In the case of diesel en-
 Sufficient toughness to withstand the gines, the presence of start-assist systems is
stresses of pinion engagement, turning the also of significance. The list in Table 2 gives a
engine over, vibration and shock, the cor- general guide to the possible figures.
rosive effects of damp and gritting salt,
dirt, variations in temperature inside the The combination of required torque at min-
engine compartment, etc. imum starting temperature and minimum
 Lightness and compactness starting speed provides the required starter-
 Maintenance-free operation motor power output, which is the initial cri-
terion for selection of starter-motor type.
The most important operating parameters are:
 Minimum starting temperature, i.e. lowest The rated power output of a starter motor is
engine and battery temperature at which it a characteristic determined on a test bench.
should still be possible to start the engine The figures quoted by Bosch always relate to
 Rotation resistance of the engine, equivalent use in conjunction with the most powerful
to the torque required at the crankshaft in battery permitted with a charge level of 20 %
order to turn the engine and all connected discharged at a temperature of 20C and an
auxiliary systems / drivetrain components at impedance of 1 m on the part of the main
the minimum starting temperature, power supply cable to the starter motor.
 Required minimum engine speed at mini- Those figures have to be adjusted as required
mum starting temperature, to the specifics of the individual situation.
 Possible transmission ratio between starter Rated-power figures are commonly quoted
motor and crankshaft on the basis of quite different parameters,
 Nominal voltage of starting system however. Figure 8 shows a comparison of some
 Characteristics of vehicle battery of the standards applied. The figures quoted
 Impedance of electrical supply cables by Bosch are based on cold-starting require-
between battery and starter motor ments and operation with the drive pinion
 Speed / torque characteristics of starter engaged. Some of the other testing require-
motor ments and standards are based on a temper-
 Maximum permissible voltage drop in the ature of +20 C and centric torque-loading of
vehicles electrical system for continued the pinion, i.e. the losses when the pinion is
functioning of the motor electronics engaged are ignored. And finally, there is a lack
(see section Starter control) of consistency in the assumed battery char-
acteristics so that the overall picture obtained
It is clear, therefore, that the battery cannot be of commonly applied power ratings for starter
viewed in isolation. It is a component of the motors is regrettably somewhat confusing.
overall system consisting of internal-combus- There is no generally applicable conversion
tion engine and ancillary systems, vehicle elec- equation; Figure 7 should thus only be viewed
trical system including battery and wiring, and as an example.
the starter motor itself. It has to be compatible
with the other components in order ensure
that it functions reliably and efficiently.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starting the internal-combustion engine 61

1 Minimum starting temperatures Those are the essential criteria for battery
Minimum starting dimensioning.
Type of engine
temperature C As explained in the preceding section, the
Car engines 18...28
starter motor speed and torque characteristics
Truck / bus engines 15...32
Tractor engines 12...15
must match the requirements of the engine on
Marine and power- which it is used. Power output as a composite
generator engines 5 characteristic is inadequate for determining
Engines for diesel locomotives +5 suitability in this regard. Therefore, the trans- Table 1
mission ratio between the starter motor and the
2 Typical minimum starting speeds crankshaft must be adopted as an additional
at 20 C
variable. It can be varied within limits by chang-
Engine type Speed rpm ing the number of teeth on the starter-motor
Gasoline engine 60...100 pinion. However, much greater scope is offered
Direct-injection diesel engine 80...200 by the use of an internal reduction gear in the
without start-assist systems
starter motor which allows for broader varia-
Direct-injection diesel engine 60...120
with start-assist systems tion of starter-motor characteristics.
Table 2

The nominal voltage of starting systems is

The actual power output of a starting system normally fixed. For cars, it is now universally
essentially depends on the internal impedance 12 V, while for commercial vehicles in Europe
of the battery and the power supply cable. The it is 24 V. In the USA, on the other hand,
lower the internal impedance of the battery, commercial vehicles also have mostly 12-volt
the greater is the power output of the starter electrical systems. On vans, tractors and small
motor. The size of the battery must be such generator and marine engines, both 12-volt
that it is capable of supplying the necessary and 24-volt systems are common. Fixed-in-
current at the minimum starting temperature stallation engines, railway locomotives and
and maintaining it for a sufficiently long pe- specialized vehicles can have systems operat-
riod under unfavorable conditions. ing on voltages ranging from 36 to 110.

7 Differences between commonly used power-rating standards for starter motors

150 %
1 2
2 1
100 %

90 %

Fig. 7

Bosch DIN 8856 DIN 8856 SAE J544 JIS D1607 1 Power available at
rating (+20 C) (- 20 C) (+20 C) (+20 C) ring gear
(- 20 C) 2 Centrically measured
power at pinion
Robert Bosch GmbH

62 Starter motors Starter-motor design

Starter-motor design as it rotates. The circuits are arranged so that

current flowing through the wires adjacent to
DC motors the north poles of the field magnets is always
The most important components of the starter flowing in the same direction, e.g. towards the
motor are shown in Figure 1. The outer casing pinion end. At the same time, the current in
is made of sheet steel and protects the inner the wires adjacent to the south poles is flowing
workings of the motor from external effects. in the opposite direction. As the armature ro-
It is also called the stator housing (1) because tates, the commutator maintains this state of
it holds the magnets that form the stator or affairs by reversing the direction of current
nonmoving part of the motor. The stator field flow in the wires by virtue of the fact that dif-
is created either by permanent magnets (4), ferent commutator plates come into contact
as shown in the illustration, or by the addi- with the carbon brushes. This constant rever-
tional use of field coils. The design most sal of current flow is referred to as commu-
commonly used today is the six-pole motor. tation and gives the commutator its name.
As the name suggests, this type of motor has Two carbon brushes are generally required
six magnets or field coils; they are arranged so to complete the armature circuit. Six-pole
that fields of opposite polarity are adjacent. motors may have as many as six carbon
The moving part of the motor is called the brushes positioned around the commutator.
rotor or armature. It consists essentially of a The most technically efficient arrangement
laminated core (3) that is press-fitted onto the has usually proven to be the use of four
armature shaft and serves to conduct the mag- brushes two negatives and two positives.
netic flux. On its outer circumference the lam-
inated core has slots into which copper wires Since the flow of an electric current through
are inserted or laid. The wires are connected conductors in a magnetic field produces a force,
to each other according to a specific winding the effect of commutation is to create a con-
pattern and welded to the plates of the com- stant torque, M, represented by the equation
mutator (6). Collectively, they form the ar-
Fig. 1 mature winding (2). M = c1 B l Fe d I , Eq. 1
1 Stator housing The electrical current that flows through the
2 Armature winding armature winding is supplied via carbon that is proportional to the current flowing, I,
3 Laminated core brushes (5) that are in sliding contact with the the magnetic induction, B, of the magnetic
4 Permanent magnets
commutator and thus pass current in sequence field, the length of the laminated core, l Fe, and
5 Carbon brushes
6 Commutator
to the individual plates of the commutator the diameter, d, of the armature.

1 DC motor 2 Starter-motor main circuit

Fig. 2
Ri Internal impedance
of battery Ri Rperm RS
RS Starter-motor
Rperm Power-cable Ubr
UL No-load voltage of
battery UL UK US
UK Battery-terminal
US Starter-motor voltage Uind


Ubr Voltage drop across

Uind Induced voltage in 1 2 3 4 5 6
armature winding
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design 63

The machine constant, c1, is derived from The product of torque and speed is the power
the number of poles and the characteristics output, Pi, which is given by
of the armature winding.
Since a voltage is induced in a wire coil that is Pi = 2 M n
moving inside a magnetic field, the induced
voltage = c1 (UL Ubr) I (Ri + Rperm + RS) I2
Eq. 3
Uind = 2 c2 B l Fe d n ,
Thus it is equal to the battery power output,
where n is the speed of rotation of the armature, UL I, minus the losses at the brushes,
occurs in the armature winding. Due to the Ubr I and the combined impedance losses
effect of commutation, this voltage appears
externally as DC voltage. It is acting in the (Ri + Rperm + RS) I2 .
opposite direction to the supply voltage even
though the polarity of the conductors on the At the specified nominal voltage, the only
rotating armature is continually changing. technical parameters that can be varied in
The machine constant, c2, is determined as order to determine the power output are thus
described above. the impedance of the battery, the power-sup-
The electric circuit of a starter motor is shown ply cable, and the starter motor itself. The
in Figure 2. The voltage at the battery termi- actual power output, Pm, delivered at the starter
nals, UK, is the product of the open-circuit motor pinion is reduced even further by the
voltage, UL, minus the voltage drop due to the mechanical friction, VR, and magnetization-
batterys internal impedance, Ri. The voltage reversal losses, VFe, in the iron core so that
available at the starter motor, US, is further re-
duced by the voltage drop due to the supply- Pm = Pi VR VFe
cable impedance, Rperm. The voltage at the
commutator is in turn diminished by the volt- Permanent-magnet motor
age drop, Ubr, due to the brushes.Approximately Electric motors with permanent-magnet sta-
1.2 V is generally lost for each pair of brushes tors (Figure 3) are at present the most com-
regardless of the current. For positive and neg- monly used design for car starter motors
ative brushes combined, therefore, Ubr 2.4 V. worldwide. New types of magnetic material
The impedance of the starter motor itself is RS. such as strontium ferrite are able to achieve
an air-gap induction of B 400 mT. As it is
For the electric circuit as a whole, therefore, imposed by the permanent magnet (1), it is

UL = (Ri + Rperm + RS) I + Ubr + Uind 3 Stator housing with permanent magnets

and with the inclusion of the speed-dependent 1

induced voltage,
UL = (Ri + Rperm + RS) I + Ubr +
2 c2 B l Fe d n ,

from which it follows that the speed can be N

represented by

UL Ubr (Ri + Rperm + RS) I N

n= Eq. 2
2 c2 B l Fe d 2 S Fig. 3
1 Permanent magnets
2 Stator housing
Robert Bosch GmbH

64 Starter motors Starter-motor design

independent of the armature current. Such Series-wound motor

motors are also said to have a shunt charac- In a series-wound motor, the stator magnetic
teristic. The effective magnetic flux is reduced field is electromagnetically created by excita-
at high armature currents by the armature tion windings (Figure 5, Item 2). They are
crossfield1), however. connected in series with the armature winding
so that the same current is flowing through
As is evident from Equation 1, the torque in- them. Consequently, the induction, B, is not
creases in linear relationship with the current, constant and is dependent instead on the
whereas the motor speed decreases in linear starter-motor current. An initial approxi-
fashion (Equation 2). As a result of the two mation using the machine constant c3 can be
linear relationships, the power output charac- represented by
teristic is represented by a convex parabolic
curve. B = c3 I
Real starter-motor characteristics are
marginally different from the theoretical so that the torque is given by Equation 1 thus:
graphs. That is due in particular to the
retroactive effect of the armature magnetic M = c1 c3 lFe d I2
field at high currents, but also because of
nonlinear material and friction-related ef- It increases quadratically relative to the cur-
fects. The characteristic graphs are shown in rent. The motor speed drops hyperbolically
Figure 4, with losses taken into account. according to Equation 2 thus:

Elektrische Maschinen, Rolf Fischer, Hanser

2c2c3lFed U IUL br
(R i+Rperm +RS) 
Verlag 2001, ISBN 3-446-21810-6.

4 Characteristics of permanent-magnet DC motor (schematic)

W rpm Nm V

10 10
1600 16000

8 8
1200 12000
Engine speed n

Voltage U
Torque M
Power P

6 6

800 8000 n
4 4

400 4000
2 2

0 0 0 0
0 200 400 600 A 800
Current I
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design 65

5 Stator housing with excitation windings Similarly, in the case of the torque, the theo-
retical quadratic characteristic is evident only
at low currents. Due to magnetic saturation of
1 the iron, the magnetic flux ceases to increase
S proportionally at high currents, and instead,
N virtually proportional torque increase results.

N Figure 6 shows the characteristic graphs.

Due to their high peak transient torque
S combined with adequate speed at low loads,

3 N series-wound motors are used mainly as Fig. 5

starter motors for commercial vehicles. 1 Pole shoes
2 Excitation winding
3 Stator housing

This means that the series-wound motor

characteristically has a high peak transient
torque and a high no-load speed. Theoreti-
cally, the speed would increase to infinity in
response to decreasing current. In practice,
however, the ever-present friction losses con-
stitute the limiting factor.

6 Characteristics of series-wound motor (schematic)

W rpm Nm V

10 10
1600 16000

8 8
1200 12000
Engine speed n

Voltage U
Torque M
Power P

6 6

800 8000
n 4 4

400 4000 M
2 2

0 0 0 0
0 200 400 600 A 800
Current I
Robert Bosch GmbH

66 Starter motors Starter-motor design

Permanent-magnet motor with flux 8 Stator housing with permanent magnets and flux
concentrators concentrators
The torque and speed characteristics of per-
manent-magnet motors can be manipulated 1
with the aid of flux concentrators (Figure 8,
Item 2). If part of the leading edge of the S
magnet (1) is replaced by a piece of soft iron,
the shape of the shunt characteristic curve can S
be changed to a certain degree to more closely
resemble the series-wound characteristic
(Figure 7). N

As the size of the magnet is smaller and the N
Fig. 8 2
1 Permanent magnets soft-iron piece short-circuits part of the 3 S
2 Flux concentrators magnetic flux, the primary flux is reduced
3 Stator housing under no-load conditions. In accordance with
the equation for the induced voltage, the no- accordance with the torque equation. The
load speed is then increased. In the vicinity of flux concentrators only marginally increase
the short-circuit, the soft-iron pole edge of- the maximum power output. Flux concen-
fers the flux resulting from the stator flux and trators are primarily a common feature of
the armature flux a path of high magnetic medium-power starter motors for car diesel
conductivity, as a result of which the overall engines.
flux is greater than for a motor without flux
concentrators and produces higher torque in

7 Characteristics of permanent-magnet motor with flux concentrators

(schematic, effect of flux concentrators exaggerated for purposes of illustration)

W rpm Nm V

10 10
1600 16000

8 8
1200 12000
Engine speed n

Voltage U
Torque M
Power P

6 6

800 8000 n
4 4

400 4000
2 2

0 0 0 0
0 200 400 600 A 800
Current I
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design 67

Compound motor If planetary gearing is used (Figure 10), the

The compound motor has two separate exci- same torque can be obtained from a smaller
tation windings: the series winding and the and faster-running electric motor with the
shunt winding. This purpose of design is to result that a weight saving of 30...40 % can be
obtain a defined no-load speed while retaining achieved, depending on model. Furthermore,
the advantages of the series-wound motor. less weight ultimately means lower fuel con-
The shunt winding is connected in parallel sumption by the vehicle concerned.
with the armature winding. Compound mo-
tors are used as heavy-duty starter motors for
commercial vehicles. Figure 9 shows the typ- 10 Principle of planetary gear
ical characteristics.

Direct-drive and reduction-gear starter

motors 1
In a conventional direct-drive starter motor,
the pinion rotates at the same speed as the
armature. The one-way clutch and the pinion 2
are mounted directly on the motors armature
shaft. In order to be able to deliver the high
torque required for cold starting, the motor has
to be relatively large and therefore heavy 3

with this type of design. Consequently, it is Fig. 10
now only commonly used in cars for power 1 Planet gear
ratings < 1 kW. 2 Sun gear
3 Internal gear

9 Characteristics of compound motor (schematic)

W rpm Nm V

10 10
1600 16000

8 8
1200 12000
Engine speed n

Voltage U
Torque M
Power P

6 6

800 8000

n 4 4

400 4000
2 2

0 0 0 0
0 200 400 600 A 800
Current I
Robert Bosch GmbH

68 Starter motors Starter-motor design

11 Starter-motor reduction gear Number of teeth on internal gear

Number of teeth on sun gear

On standard-design starter motors for cars,

the planet gears are made of sintered steel
while the internal gear is constructed in glass-
fiber reinforced polyamide. Where there are
particularly demanding requirements regard-
ing smoothness, temperature-resistance and
durability, the internal gear may also be made
of sintered steel. Such designs are then use three
elastic rubber supports in the intermediate
UMS0712Y bearing.

The transmission ratio between the armature

and the pinion is variable across a broad range
from roughly 3.3 : 1 to 6 : 1 depending on the
Smaller starter motors allow the vehicle man- design of the planetary gear. This allows op-
ufacturer more scope in the design of the en- timum matching of the starter motor to the
gine compartment and / or the placement of characteristics of the engine on which it is fit-
other equipment within the vehicle. ted and to the vehicles electric Dimension-
Planetary gearing systems generally offer the ing starting systems.
advantage of combining compact overall di- Higher transmission ratios enable higher
mensions with low gearing ratios. The gearing engine speeds for warm starting, while lower
geometry allows the achievement of high transmission ratios allow the starter motor to
torque output without generating high levels cope with extreme cold-starting conditions
of noise. Furthermore, they do not generate and result in lower power consumption by the
any external transverse forces so that the ar- starter motor when turning the engine over.
mature-shaft and pinion-shaft bearings are
not subjected to high stresses even at high The characteristics of a reduction-gear starter
power outputs. motor also offer other advantages.
The high armature speed obtained as a re-
The planetary gearing system used in starter sult of the low gearing ratio creates a fly-
motors has a fixed internal gear, that is the wheel effect which helps to turn the engine
outer, internally toothed ring gear. The drive through the cylinder top-dead-center posi-
input is carried by the sun gear, which is at- tions and smooth out engine-speed fluctua-
tached to the armature shaft of the electric tions. As a result, the engine has a higher
motor. The planet gears (of which there are momentary speed precisely at the point when
normally three) are thus in engagement with fuel is injected, and this has a positive effect
both the sun gear and the internal gear. As the on the fuel-injection pattern and therefore
planet gears orbit around the sun gear, their the ease with which the engine starts and the
bearing-shaft journals drive the output shaft exhaust emission levels.
which carries the familiar helix and one-way On engines with smaller numbers of cylin-
clutch (Figure 11). ders, this flywheel effect also has the advan-
tage that the high peak-torque levels of the
The transmission ratio, i, for this type of individual cylinders can be reliably overcome
planetary gearing system is given by the with a relatively low amount of starting power.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design 69

Solenoid switch The solenoid core (4) protrudes into the so-
The purpose of the solenoid switch is to be lenoid coil from one side, while the movable
able to switch a high current by means of a coil (1) protrudes from the other side. The
relatively low control current. The starter-mo- distance between the core and the armature
tor current can be as high as 1500 A on cars when at rest represents the total travel of the
and as much as 2500 A on commercial vehi- armature. The solenoid housing, core and ar-
cles. Due to the diminishing effect of the mature together form the magnetic circuit.
supply-cable impedance on the starter-motor The magnetic field created when the sole-
power output, the length of the power cable noid is energized draws the armature into the
from the battery must be kept as short as pos- coil. That armature movement is utilized
sible and the switch impedances as low as pos- firstly to move the pinion along its longitu-
sible. In addition, the switch contacts for such dinal axis, and secondly to close the contacts
currents are subjected to high loads. The use of (6, 8) of the relay switch.
a power relay in the form of the solenoid switch The solenoid coil in most solenoid switches
is therefore absolutely essential. A simple consists of a pull-in winding and a hold-in
mechanical switch (ignition / starter switch, winding (Figure 12, Items 2 and 3, and Figure
starter button) or a mini-relay operated by 13, Items 4a and 4b). This arrangement is
the engine control unit can then be used to particularly effective with regard to thermal
switch the relatively low control current. stress capacity and the achievable magnetic
forces. When the coil first starts to draw in
The solenoid switch built into the starter the armature, the air gap between armature
motor is the combination of a solenoid and and the core is relatively large. Only a high
a relay switch. As previously explained in the magnetomotive force can overcome meshing
section Operating sequence of the starter resistance.
motor, it performs the following two func- As the air gap closes up as the armature
tions: retracts, the magnetic force increases signifi-
 it moves the drive pinion outwards so that cantly. When the armature is fully retracted,
engages in the engines ring gear i.e. when there is only a minimal residual air
and gap, the force of the hold-in winding on its
 it closes the switch which completes the own is sufficient to hold the armature in po-
starter motors primary electric circuit sition until the starting sequence is completed.
Fig. 12
The design of a solenoid switch is shown in The pull-in winding is thus short-circuited
1 Solenoid armature
Figure 12. when the main-circuit switch and the ignition
2 Pull-in winding
3 Hold-in winding
12 Solenoid switch 13 Solenoid-switch circuit
4 Solenoid core
5 Contact spring
3 6 Switch contacts
1 2 3 4 5 7 Electrical connection

T 50
8 Switch contact
T 30 4 9 Armature shaft (split)
10 Return spring
6 4a 4b
1 T 45
Fig. 13
1 Battery
2 M

2 Starter motor

3 Ignition/starter switch
10 9 8
4 Solenoid switch
4a Pull-in winding
4b Hold-in winding
Robert Bosch GmbH

70 Starter motors Starter-motor design

switch are closed. It is important that the two provides the required resistance to mechanical
coils have the same number of turns. Other- stress even at high temperatures (up to 180 C
wise, the solenoid switch might adopt a self- for short periods) and thus ensures that the
locking characteristic due to the supply of the solenoid switch and all its components are
coils, which would then be connected in se- held together reliably.
ries, in reverse through Terminal 45. Having
the same number of turns in each coil ensures In order to ensure reliable retraction and
that that the magnetic fields of the two coils, switching of the solenoid even at high tem-
through which the current then flows in op- peratures, there are special coil designs that
posite directions, cancel each other out and can also withstand temperatures up to 180 C.
the solenoid switches off reliably.
Since the starter motor causes a substantial The primary-circuit switch contacts on car
voltage drop in the vehicles electrical system starter motors generally consist of steel bolts
when its main circuit is closed, the hold-in with riveted copper contacts that provide re-
winding must be dimensioned so as to be liable switching characteristics and minimal
capable of reliably holding the armature in switch impedance. The relay switches for com-
place even at supply voltages significantly mercial-vehicle starter motors are manufac-
below half the nominal battery voltage. Oth- tured as one-piece components from a high-
erwise, the solenoid switch might under cer- strength copper alloy in order to provide high
tain circumstances repeatedly switch on and current capacity.
off in rapid succession, resulting in damage Depending on the type of wiring harness
to the switch contacts. used, the control-circuit terminal (Terminal
50) may take the form of a screw terminal or
Return springs between the individual com- some type of push-fit connector which may
ponents ensure that the switch opens again or may not be insulated.
when the solenoid is switched off and the
armature returns to its resting position. Modern relay switches for cars have a round
All starter-motor terminals (Terminals 50, plug connector to connect the cap to the so-
30 and 45) are usefully incorporated within lenoid coil. This allows a closed-surface cap
a single terminal block on the cap of the so- design without riveted or soldered connec-
lenoid switch. The solenoid-switch cap is made tions or the holes they would require. In ad-
of a high-quality duromer material which dition, the standard arrangement provides
for a seal between the cap and the solenoid
14 Solenoid switch with rubber-boot seal housing.
2 1
For situations requiring special sealing
arrangements, the solenoid armature can be
protected by a flexible rubber boot (Figure 14,
Item 2) in order to prevent the ingress of
humidity from the starter motors
pinion-engaging mechanism. This measure is
primarily adopted for applications in which
it is not possible to entirely prevent the entry
of water into the drive-end shield. Another
situation where the armature boot may be

used is one where the fitted position of the

Fig. 14 motor is such that the solenoid switch is un-
1 Solenoid switch derneath, with the result that moisture can
2 Rubber boot collect in the drive-end shield cowl.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design 71

Some large commercial-vehicle starter motors Roller-type overrunning clutch

do not have an integral solenoid switch; in- Pre-engaged starter motors normally have
stead the solenoid for engaging the pinion and roller-type overrunning clutches (Figure 15).
the relay switch for controlling the electric The central component of this type is a clutch
circuits are separate from one another (refer shell (3) with a roller race (4). The clutch shell
to the section Starter motors for commercial forms part of the driver (3) and is thus con-
vehicles). nected to the pinion drive shaft by a helix.
The frictional link between the central cylin-
Overrunning clutches drical shaft of the pinion and the clutch shell
On all types of starter motor, the drive is trans- surrounding it is formed by cylindrical rollers
mitted via an overrunning or one-way clutch. (5) that are able to move within the roller race.
That one-way clutch is positioned between
the motor and the pinion. Its job is to trans- When the mechanism is at rest, the springs
mit the drive to the pinion when the starter (7) force the rollers into the constricted space
motor is driving the ring gear, but to disen- between the roller race in the clutch shell and
gage the pinion from the pinion drive shaft the pinion shaft (6). Because of the constric-
as soon as the ring gear is moving faster than tion, the rollers jam between the surfaces of
the pinion. The one-way clutch therefore the roller race and the pinion shaft, so that
prevents the armature of the starter motor when the motor turns the clutch driver, the
from being accelerated to excessive speeds pinion shaft is forced to turn as well.
once the engine has started.
Overrunning clutches for starter motors As soon as the pinion starts to overrun, the
can be either frictional (roller and multi- friction between the pinion shaft and the
plate types) or positively interlocking rollers pushes the rollers into the wider part
(spur-gear type) in design. of the roller race; the force of the springs en-
sures that the rollers are held in contact with
the pinion shaft and roller race at all times.
The resulting overrunning torque is relatively
small and has very little effect as far as the no-
load speed of the starter-motor armature is

Multiplate overrunning clutch

15 Roller-type overrunning clutch The multiplate overrunning clutch is used on
1 4 5 larger pre-engaged starter motors. Its job is:
 to establish the frictional link between
starter-motor pinion and armature
 to prevent overload by limiting the torque
transmitted to the pinion by the armature
a shaft, and
 to disengage the pinion from the armature Fig. 15
shaft as soon as it is overrunning 1 Cap
2 Pinion
3 Driver and
clutch shell

4 Roller race
5 Cylindrical roller
6 Pinion shaft
2 3 6 7 7 Springs
a Direction of rotation
Robert Bosch GmbH

72 Starter motors Starter-motor design

Explanation of Figure 16:

16 Multiplate overrunning clutch
a Resting position
Disc spring compresses laminated core with initial force.
Transmission of drive to clutch race ensured by frictional effect.
1 2 3 4 5
a b Transmission of drive
Pinion engaged.
Clutch race presses against disc spring.
Compression increases.
Laminated core fully locked.
c Torque limitation
Clutch race presses disc spring against collar.
Forces in equilibrium at design rating.
Plates slip if design rating exceeded.
d Overrunning
Direction of force transmission reversed.
Clutch race runs up against stop ring, thus relieving plate
pressure/disengaging drive.
6 7

Transmission of drive
So that the multiplate overrunning clutch
can transmit the drive from the motor to the
pinion, there has to be a certain amount of
pressure holding the plates against each an-
other (Figure 16a). When the clutch is in the
resting position, the laminated core (3) is
compressed by the force of a disc spring (2)
to such as extent that it is able to drive the
clutch race (4).
Once the pinion has reached the limit of its
outward travel, the clutch must be capable of
transmitting the full power of the motor. As
the pinion is held stationary while the arma-
ture shaft is rotating, the clutch race slides out-
wards on the helical spline (7) of the output
d shaft and presses against the disc spring.
This further compresses the laminated core
and increases the pressure between the indi-
Fig. 16 vidual plates. Compression continues to in-
1 Driver flange crease until the friction between the plates is
2 Disc spring sufficient to transmit the torque required to
3 Laminated core start the engine. The force transmission path
4 Clutch race
as follows:

5 Stop ring
6 Stop collar on
Armature shaft driver flange outer plates
output shaft inner plates clutch race output shaft
7 Helical spline on pinion (Figure 16b).
output shaft
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design 73

Torque limitation Radial-tooth overrunning clutch

The increasing plate pressure due to the helix A radial-tooth overrunning clutch (Figure 17)
effect of the clutch race, and the resulting is fitted on Type JE and KE pre-engaged starter
torque transmission, are limited by the fact motors (described in more detail in the section
that, on reaching the maximum load, the Starter motors for commercial vehicles) in
end face of the clutch race comes into contact combination with a mechanical two-stage
with the disc spring. In doing so, it presses pinion-engaging mechanism. This type of
the disc spring against the stop collar (6) of overrunning clutch transmits the torque by
the output shaft (Figure 16c). a positively interlocking mechanism in the
This prevents the laminated core from be- form of a system of helical teeth.
ing compressed any further. The multiplate
overrunning clutch then functions as an over- During the overrunning phase, the ring gear
load clutch since the plates will slip if the max- on the engines flywheel is driving the pinion
imum power transmission rating, and there- (1) which is connected to the clutch race (4)
fore the maximum torque, is exceeded. by helical teeth. Due to the special shape of
the helical teeth, the clutch race is forced in-
Disengagement of drive (overrunning) wards along the helical spline towards the
When the engine flywheel accelerates due to motor when the pinion is overrunning. Sep-
ignition pulses or the engine starting, the aration of the meshing components (pinion
pinion starts to turn faster than the starter and clutch race) of the radial-tooth overrun-
motor. As a result, the direction of force trans- ning clutch is assisted by three flyweights (2)
mission is reversed and the clutch race is as the latter generate a longitudinal force via
thrown inwards along the helical spline until an internally tapered thrust ring (3).
it meets the stop ring (5, Figure 16d). The disc
spring is released and no longer presses against
the laminated core. As a result, the plates
separate from one another and the drive is
no longer transmitted between them.

17 Radial-tooth overrunning clutch (resting position)

Fig. 17
1 Pinion

2 Flyweights
3 Internally tapered

thrust ring
4 Clutch race with
1 2 3 4 5 6 spur gearing
5 Spring
6 Rubber bumper
Robert Bosch GmbH

74 Starter motors Starter-motor design

Pinion-engaging mechanism the limit of the continued axial travel of the

The pinion-engaging mechanism is the system overrunning clutch (stop ring) due to the ef-
of components that engages the pinion with the fect of the helical spline. This mechanism
ring gear. The lever-and-helix system (Figure ensures that the maximum possible overlap
18) has established itself as the global standard between the teeth of the pinion and the ring
for such mechanisms.For this reason, only this gear is utilized. The helix prevents transmis-
system is described in this section. Other types sion of torque to engine until the pinion is
of mechanism are detailed in the section fully engaged in the ring gear.
Starter-motor design variations in connec- The solenoid armature is connected to the
tion with the relevant starter motor types. pinion-engaging lever in such a way that there
On starter motors with a lever-and-helix is a certain amount of free travel or play. If
engaging mechanism, the engaging sequence is the engine on which the starter motor is
made up of a lever-travel phase and a helical- mounted fails to start (e.g. due to lack of fuel),
travel phase. the starting sequence has to be aborted. At
this point, the pinion is fully engaged, and
Lever-travel phase pinion and ring gear are under maximum load.
When the ignition / starter switch is operated, When the power supply to the solenoid is
the solenoid armature is drawn inwards against switched off, there must be sufficient armature
the force of the return spring. It is connected free travel to allow it to open the primary-cir-
to the pinion-engaging lever in a manner that cuit switch. If this were not the case, the pin-
allows for a certain amount of play. The pin- ion-engaging lever would hold the armature
ion-engaging lever pushes the overrunning in place. The primary-circuit switch would
clutch against the ring gear on the engine fly- remain closed and it would not be possible to
wheel with the aid of the guide collar and the stop the starter motor.
meshing spring. The starter- motor armature is On commercial-vehicle starter motors, the
not rotating at this stage as the primary elec- geometrical constraints demand that rather
tric circuit has not been closed. If the pinion that a "cutout spring" (Figure 19) is used in-
is in such a position that its teeth are aligned stead of the "free-travel" arrangement ex-
with the gaps in the ring gear, it will mesh im- plained above. The force of that spring when
mediately and the lever will move it outwards the pinion is in the resting position over-
as far as the solenoid- armature travel allows. comes the force of the solenoid-armature re-
This marks the end of the lever-travel phase. turn spring and so pushes the armature back
until it is resting against the lever. When the
Helical-travel phase solenoid armature is in the retracted position,
The helical travel corresponds to the distance on the other hand, the force of the armature
between the end of the lever-travel phase and return spring must be sufficient to compress

18 Lever-and-helix pinion-engaging mechanism

l2 l4
a b

Fig. 18
a Resting position
b Extended position,
shown at end of lever l1 l3
l1 Overall pinion travel

l2 Solenoid-armature
l3 Helical travel
l4 Free travel
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design 75

19 Cutout spring for cutout function the closed-shield design is preferable. The
pinion bearings are completely enclosed
within the drive-end shield. Special sealing
rings provide such effective protection that
these starter motors are suitable for even the
most unfavorable conditions. In order to be
able to cope with the higher bearing loads
and last the full service life of the motor, the
pinion bearings are suitable reinforced.
Closed-shield starter motors also have ad-
vantages in terms of fitting because they do
not require a mating flange that is shaped to
match the mouth of the end shield. Conse-

quently, they allow more scope for choice of Fig. 19

fitted position and the space requirements in 1 Solenoid with
the bell housing are smaller. cutout spring
the cutout spring enough for the
primary-circuit switch contacts to be sepa- Nevertheless, the following features prevent
rated. the general use of this design:
There are two possible arrangements for the  The bearing forces in the drive-end shield
pinion end bearing as illustrated in Figure 20. and the effective radius of friction are about
 Most starter motors have a drive-end twice as great as for an open-shield starter mo-
shield which has a mouth where it fits over tor, with the result that friction-related power
the flywheel. The drive-end shield holds the losses are greater (the use of rolling bearings
pinion end bearing and has an opening fac- can help to alleviate this problem and also
ing the flywheel. The bearings used can be improves wear and noise characteristics).
plain or rolling bearings (in some cases  Bearings, seals and elongated pinion design
sealed). The pinion-engaging mechanism is result in higher costs.
exposed to the ring gear.  The overall length of the starter motor
 For applications where the pinion-engag- is greater.
ing mechanism would be subjected to high  The gearing arrangements, and therefore
levels of dirt, moisture or clutch-plate dust, the noise characteristics, are less favorable.

20 Pinion bearing and bearing forces on starter motors with open and closed end shields

a b

FR = 100 % FR = 100 %

Fig. 20

a Open-shield
starter motor
F1 = 80 % F2 = 20 % F1 = 145 % F2 = 45 % b Closed-shield
starter motor
Robert Bosch GmbH

76 Starter motors Starter-motor design variations

Starter-motor design variations S is for short, M for medium, L for

long, and E for extended.
Starter-motor type designations  An additional numerical suffix in the type
Bosch starter motors are classified according designation indicates other features which
to the type designation key shown in Figure 1. affect the motor characteristics.
 The first letter indicates whether the starter  Details of the voltage rating and the direc-
motor is a direct-drive model, a reduction- tion of rotation complete the designation
gear model or a starter motor for commercial code where necessary.
 The second letter indicates the method of Starter-motor types and applications
excitation; the third letter shows whether the Bosch manufactures starter motors for a wide
motor has a closed end shield. range of internal-combustion engines The
 The figure that comes next indicates the suitability of the various starter-motor types
stator-housing diameter in millimeters. for the different types of engine is shown in
This identifies the starter-motor family or Figures 2 (cars), 3 and 4 (commercial vehi-
type range. cles). The starter motors specified in Figure 4
 A class code letter follows to indicate the have been in production for many years and
size of the armature core which can vary therefore have a different type-designation
within the individual motor series. format from newer models.

1 Type designation key for starter motors

R 70 S 10 12 V (L)

Direction of rotation (optional)

Voltage (optional)
Cost and performance-related
Armature-core length
S Short
M Medium
L Long
E Extended

Stator housing diameter

70 mm
74/78 mm
86/95 mm
109 mm

End shield type

F Closed

Excitation system
E Electromagnet

Design type
R Reduction-gear
D Direct-drive
C Compact

H Heavy Duty
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design variations 77

2 Starter-motor types for car applications

kW R78-M50
Starter-motor power output Pmax

2.0 R78-M40
1.5 R74-L40
0.5 D78-M

1 2 3 4 5 6 l
Gasoline engine 1 2 3 4l
Diesel engine Capacity

3 Starter-motor types for commercial-vehicle applications

kW HEF109-M 24V
Starter-motor power output Pmax

HEF95-L 24V
HE(F)95-M 24V

3 HE(F)95-M 12V

1 RE86-M 12V
RE86-S/M 12V

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 l
Diesel-engine capacity

4 Starter-motor types for commercial-vehicle applications

Starter-motor power output Pmax

QB 24V 9.0 kW

JE 24V 6.7 kW KE 24V 7.5 kW
7 (KB 24V 6.6 kW)

JE 24V 6.2 kW
6 (KB 24V 5.4 kW)

4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 l
Diesel-engine capacity
Robert Bosch GmbH

78 Starter motors Starter-motor design variations

Direct-drive starter motors for cars Reduction-gear starter motors for cars
Application Application
The Series D78 pre-engaged starter motors For gasoline engines with capacities above
have a permanent-magnet excitation field. 1.4 l and for car diesel engines, it is advisable
They are suitable for use in cars with small due to considerations of weight and it is
gasoline engines up to approx. 1.6 l capacity. preferable to fit the R70, R74 and R78 series
of reduction-gear start motors for reasons of
Design weight and space restrictions. They are avail-
The design and internal configuration of the able with open or closed end shields.
Series D78 can be seen in Figure 5.
This model has a DC motor with six-pole Design
permanent-magnet excitation and four car- Design and internal configuration can be
bon brushes. Power transmission is by way seen in Figure 6. These starter motors have a
of a roller-type overrunning clutch which is tough planetary reduction gear of the type
driven directly by the armature shaft. previously described with three planet gears.
They provide the high starting torque re-
The two basic models available (D78-S and quired by gasoline engines up to a capacity
D78-M) differ primarily by virtue of the of approx. 6 l and for diesel engines up to a
length of the electric motor. In addition, capacity of approx. 3 l.
the D78-M has flux concentrators which
increase the short-circuit torque. In order to cover the range of power outputs
required by modern car engines, there are

5 Series D78 direct-drive starter motor

5 6 7

1 2 3 4
Fig. 5
1 Drive shaft
2 Stop ring
3 Pinion
4 Roller-type
overrunning clutch
5 Pinion-engaging
6 Solenoid switch
7 Electrical connection
8 Commutator bearing
9 Brush holder
10 Commutator

11 Armature
12 Magnet 14 13 12 11 10 9 8
13 Stator housing
14 Meshing spring
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design variations 79

three type ranges with varying stator hous- The bearings in the planetary gear and the
ing diameters available. Common to all drive end shield are fitted with sintered bushes
models are the integral solenoid switch, on the smaller models (up to R70-M, R74-M)
six-pole permanent-magnet excitation field but are also available with needle-rolling
and four carbon brushes. The permanent bearings as an option for higher performance.
magnets used ensure that demagnetization
does not occur even under unfavorable con- Starter motors for commercial vehicles
ditions. The more powerful types also have Starter motors for commercial vehicles are
flux concentrators that increase the short- nowadays generally fitted with a reduction
circuit torque and no-load speed. gear in order to utilize the weight and size
advantages compared with direct-drive
The use of planetary reduction gears with starter motors.
transmission ratios between 3.38 : 1 and The use of lighter materials and optimized
5.67 : 1 enables optimum starting-system manufacturing methods has made it possible
compatibility with the requirements of the to reduce the overall weight by as much as
engine and vehicle electrical system in ques- 40% compared with conventional direct-drive
tion. The standard internal gear is made of starter motors.
glass-fiber reinforced polyamide plastic,
while an alternative planetary gear with a The area of application for reduction-gear
sound-insulated internal gear made of sin- starter motors with electromagnetic excita-
tered steel is also available. tion is primarily diesel engines with capaci-
ties between 2.5 and approx. 16 l.

6 Type R70 reduction-gear starter motor

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Fig. 6
1 Drive shaft
2 Stop ring
3 Pinion
4 Roller-type
overrunning clutch
5 Meshing spring
6 Pinion-engaging
7 Solenoid switch
8 Hold-in winding
9 Pull-in winding
10 Return spring
11 Switch contact
12 Switch contact
13 Electrical connection
14 Commutator end
15 Commutator
16 Brush holder

17 Armature
18 Magnet
20 19 18 17 16 19 Stator housing
20 Planetary gear
Robert Bosch GmbH

80 Starter motors Starter-motor design variations

Type RE86 and HE(F)95 mediate bearing, which supports the drive
starter motors for commercial vehicles shaft and planetary-gear carrier as well as
Application the rubber-insulated internal gear, is made
These models are suitable for diesel engines of aluminum. The internal and planet gears
with a capacity of between 2.5 and 9.5 l. are constructed from high-strength sintered
metal. The overrunning clutch can be modi-
Design fied both in terms of size and choice of ma-
The basic design is the same as the starter terials to suit specific requirements.
motors for cars described above. They are
available with the conventional open-mouthed Type HEF95-L starter motor for
end shield (Figure 7a) or with the closed-type commercial vehicles
end shield (Figure 7b). Application
In contrast with the permanent-magnet car The HEF95-L (Figure 8) is the next larger
starter motors described previously, these model in the present range of reduction-gear
models use electromagnets. Accordingly the starter motors.
motor is of the DC series-wound variety. The area of application for this model
covers diesel engines with a capacity of be-
Special features tween 9 and approx. 12 l.
Due to the high torque loads, the inter-

7 Type RE86/HE(F)95 starter motors for commercial vehicles

UMS0720Y, 0721Y

Fig. 7
a Conventional design
with open end shield
(Type RE86//HE95)
b Closed-shield design
(Type HEF95)
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design variations 81

8 Type HEF95-L open-shield starter motor with electrically operated two-stage engaging mechanism for commercial vehicles

1. Resting position a
50 11
Starter motor disconnected 12
from power supply 13
6 RV 50i

4 5 45
2 3 10

1 14
2. Pinion tooth meets gap in 8
ring gear
Starter switched on b 50 11
Good meshing position 12
(1st engagement stage)
6 50i 13

4 5 45
2 3 10

1 14
3. Pinion tooth meets tooth 8
on ring gear or edge
Starter switched on
Meshing difficult 50 11
(1st engagement stage)
Meshing spring ensures 6 50i 13
pinion engagement 30
Main circuit switched on
4 5 45
2 3 10
Fig. 8
7 1 Ring gear
2 Pinion
9 3 Pinion-engaging
1 14
8 lever
4 Roller-type
overrunning clutch
4. Engine is d 11
50 5 Planetary gear
turned over
6 Solenoid switch
End position 50i 13
6 RV 7 Armature
(2nd engagement stage)
30 8 Excitation winding
Starter motor delivers
9 Pole shoe
maximum 4 5 45
10 Commutator
torque 2 3 10
11 Thermostatic switch
7 12 Type IMR pilot

9 13 Ignition/starter switch
1 14 14 Battery

RV Series resistor
Robert Bosch GmbH

82 Starter motors Starter-motor design variations

Design and method of operation in winding. This firstly moves the overrunning
The HEF95-L starter motor is generally a clutch and pinion shaft outwards by operating
closed-shield model in order to utilize the the pinion-engaging lever. Secondly, a suffi-
benefits of the design (e.g. greater resistance ciently high current can flow via the series
to environmental effects and greater adapt- resistor through the electric motor to start it
ability with regard to fitting). In contrast with turning before the main circuit is closed. As
the less powerful Series HE95 starter motors, a result, the pinion can normally be fully en-
this model has an electrically operated, two- gaged in the ring gear before the maximum
stage pinion-engaging system (Figure 8) in current is applied to the motor by the closure
order to enable reliable pinion engagement of the primary-circuit switch.
and minimize ring-gear wear over the full
service life of the motor despite the high dy- In exceptional cases, the pinion may not en-
namic forces at play. gage with the ring gear if the two gears are
not aligned. In such cases, the meshing
The two-stage pinion-engagement sequence spring on the solenoid armature makes sure
is controlled jointly by the Type IMR pilot that the main circuit is completed before the
solenoid (Figure 9) and the solenoid switch. pinion is fully engaged with the ring gear.
The meshing spring is also integrated in the The pinion-engaging sequence is then com-
solenoid switch (Figure 10). A cutout spring pleted within a single stage.
ensures that the starter motor switches off if
the starting sequence is aborted. 2nd stage (main stage)
When the pinion has successfully engaged with
1st stage (preliminary stage) the ring gear, the solenoid armature discon-
A voltage signal (e.g. from the ignition switch nects the circuit through the series resistor
or a control unit) activates the starter motor. by means of a break switch shortly before it
It initially switches the IMR pre-control relay reaches its fully retracted position. Immedi-
which is capable of switching the high current ately after that, the main circuit is completed
of approx. 150 A required for a two-stage and the starter motor begins to generate its
electrical system. full torque output.
That current then flows through a series
resistor and a combined retracting and hold-

9 Type IMR pilot solenoid (external and cutaway views) 10 Solenoid switch with integral meshing spring

Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design variations 83

11 Type HEF109-M starter motor with reduction gear and electrically operated two-stage pinion-engaging system

Type HEF109-M starter motor for dynamic forces that occur during the pinion-
commercial vehicles engaging sequence, the masses moved along
Application the motor axis are kept as small as possible.
The HEF109-M starter motor is the most The roller-type overrunning clutch is com-
powerful model in the current range for bined with the planetary reduction gear to
commercial vehicles. It is designed for use form a single unit which does not move in an
on diesel engines with a capacity of between axial direction. The pinion-engaging lever
9 and approx. 16 l. moves the pinion shaft via a thrust plate; the
Like many of the other models, it utilizes the overrunning-clutch driver does not move in
advantages of the reduction-gear concept to an axial direction (Figure 12). The pinion it-
reduce weight and size, improve short-circuit self is mounted on the pinion shaft by means
torque and minimize speed fluctuations when of straight-tooth gearing incorporating a de-
turning the engine over (Figure 11). gree of spring-cushioned axial travel which
further contributes to load reduction during
Design the pinion-engaging sequence.
The HEF109-M is a closed-shield model in
order to utilize the benefits of the design (such 12 Non-sliding overrunning clutch

as greater resistance to environmental effects

and greater adaptability with regard to fitting).
In addition, it has an electrically operated two-
stage pinion-engaging system which ensures
reliable pinion engagement and significantly
longer life both on the part of the starter mo-
tor and the ring gear.
The electrical functions, in particular those

of the electric motor and the two-stage en-

gagement system, are the same as described
previously for the HEF95-L starter motor.
In order to further significantly reduce the
Robert Bosch GmbH

84 Starter motors Starter-motor design variations

Starter motors with pre-engaged starter the pinion can neither rotate nor slide out-
pinion engagement mechanism wards into engagement with the ring gear. In
incorporating mechanical pinion rotation such cases, the starting sequence must be
Application aborted and repeated. When this happens, the
Starter motors with pre-engaged starter pinion helix in the radial-tooth overrunning clutch
engagement mechanism incorporating me- forces the starter-motor armature to rotate in
chanical pinion rotation (Types JE and KE) the opposite direction to its normal direc-
are used to start large-scale internal-combus- tion of rotation (armature reversal) when
tion engines. They have a two-stage mechan- the overrunning clutch is being moved by the
ical pinion-engagement sequence in order to pinion- engaging lever. The next time the
reduce the loads on the pinion and the ring starting sequence is performed, the
gear. The most important functional com- starter-motor armature / pinion is then in a
ponent of the mechanism is the radial-tooth better position relative to the ring gear and
overrunning clutch described in the section is able to mesh.
Overrunning clutches.
The overrunning-clutch travel and the sole-
Design and method of operation noid- armature travel are precisely matched
The Type KE has a series-wound motor, to each another so that the switch contacts do
while the Type JE has a compound motor in not close until the pinion is fully engaged in
order to limit speed. the ring gear. In other words, the motor main
circuit is not completed until the pinion is fully
1st pinion-engagement stage engaged in the ring gear. Consequently, the
When the ignition / starter switch is operated, starter motor cannot develop its full torque
the solenoid switch initially moves the pinion- until that point.
engaging lever against the action of the return
spring. The pinion-engaging lever slides the Overrunning and pinion retraction
radial-tooth overrunning clutch assembly As soon as the engine is running faster than it
outwards along the straight-tooth gearing un- is driven by the starter motor, the ring gear
til it meets the ring gear. If the pinion happens starts to drive the pinion. Due to the special
to be in a position where it can mesh with design of the radial-tooth overrunning clutch,
the ring gear, it will continue to move out- the pinion pushes the clutch race inwards on
wards to the full extent of its linear travel. the helix and simultaneously compresses the
spring in the overrunning clutch. The helical
2nd pinion-engagement stage teeth disengage. Three flyweights that pro-
If the pinion is not in a position where it can duce an axial force by way of an internally
mesh with the ring gear, the remaining com- tapered thrust ring effect separation of the
ponents of the radial-tooth overrunning clutch gears.
continue to move outwards on a linear path
towards the ring gear. The action of the clutch- As the speed drops, the flyweights lose their
race helix forces the pinion to rotate in its effect and the helical teeth engage again.
working direction while simultaneously com-
pressing the meshing spring of the radial-tooth Resting position
overrunning clutch. When the ignition / starter switch is switched
The pinion teeth are brought into alignment off, the radial-tooth overrunning clutch is
with the ring gear so that the pinion slides moved back into its resting position with the
into engagement with the ring gear under aid of the return spring and pinion-engaging
the force of the compressed meshing spring. lever.
The pinion and ring-gear teeth can some-
times meet in such a way (edge-to-edge) that
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design variations 85

Starter motors with pre-engaged of the KB/QB and TB/TF starter-motor de-
starter pinion engagement mechanism signs is that the solenoid is positioned co-axi-
incorporating motor-assisted pinion ally with the other components of the motor.
rotation Figure 13 shows the motor design, Figure 14
Application the method of operation.
Starter motors with pre-engaged starter pin-
ion engagement mechanism incorporating 1st stage (preliminary stage)
motor-assisted pinion rotation (Types KB, When the ignition/starter switch is operated,
QB, TB and TF) are used to start large-scale current flows through the control-relay wind-
internal-combustion engines. ing and the hold-in winding of the pinion-
engaging solenoid. As a consequence, the con-
Design and method of operation trol relay also immediately completes the en-
This type of starter motor has a motor-as- gaging-solenoid pull-in-winding circuit.
sisted two-stage operating sequence in order The engaging-solenoid armature then
to reduce the loads on the pinion and ring gear. pushes the pinion against the engine ring gear
The first stage of the sequence only involves by means of the pinion-engaging rod and the
engagement of the pinion; at this stage the pinion drive shaft. At the same time, the shunt
pinion does not start to turn the engine over. winding (which initially is connected in series
Only in the second stage of the sequence, just with the armature winding) is energized. It
before the pinion reaches the limit of its out- acts in conjunction with the engaging-sole-
ward travel, is the full excitation and armature noid pull-in winding as a series resistor for the
current connected. The characteristic feature motor-armature winding. This circuit limits

13 Type KB pre-engaged starter motor with electrically operated two-stage engaging mechanism (cutaway view)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Fig. 13
1 Output shaft
2 Drive end shield
3 Multiplate
overrunning clutch
4 Armature
5 Electrical connection
6 Switch contact
7 Control relay
8 Switch contact
9 Stop
10 Tripping lever
11 Release lever
12 Pinion-engaging
13 End cap
14 Commutator
15 Carbon brush

16 Brush holder
17 Pole shoe
18 Excitation winding
20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 19 Stator housing
20 Pinion
Robert Bosch GmbH

86 Starter motors Starter-motor design variations

14 Main phases of operation of a Type KB pre-engaged starter motor with motor-assisted pinion engagement

1. Resting position 31 5
Starter motor disconnected
11 1
50 4
from power supply

9 R
N 6

10 E H 2 3
12 8

2. Pinion tooth meets gap in 30

ring gear
Starter switched on 50
Good meshing position
(1st engagement stage) R


3. Pinion tooth meets tooth

on ring gear 31
or edge
Starter switched on
Meshing not possible
Fig. 14 R
(1st engagement stage) N
1 Ignition/driving
Starting sequence must
be repeated
2 Tripping lever
3 Release lever E H
4 Control relay
5 Switch contact
6 Stop
7 Pinion-engaging
4. Engine is 30
8 Armature
turned over 31
9 Excitation winding
End position 50
10 Pinion
(2nd engagement stage)
11 Battery
Starter motor delivers R
12 Multiplate N
maximum torque
overrunning clutch

E Pull-in winding

H Hold-in winding E H
N Shunt
R Series
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Starter-motor design variations 87

the armature current to such a degree that the Overrunning and pinion retraction
motor can only produce a small amount of Once the engine has started and the speed of
torque and, therefore, only turns very slowly. the starter-motor pinion exceeds the no-load
In the first stage, therefore, the starter-mo- speed of the motor armature, the direction of
tor pinion is moved outwards along the motor force transmission is reversed. With the aid of
axis and simultaneously slowly rotated in or- the helix in the multiplate overrunning clutch,
der to allow smooth engagement with the ring the drive between the pinion and the motor
gear. If the pinion teeth are not in a position armature is disengaged. The pinion remains
where they can mesh with the ring gear when engaged in the ring gear as long as the ignition/
the two gears meet, the pinion continues to ro- starter switch remains on. Only when the ig-
tate until it is able to mesh with the ring gear. nition/starter switch is released, and the starter
The pinion and ring-gear teeth cansometimes motor therefore switched off, can the pinion
meet in such a way (edge-to-edge) that the retract from the ring gear and return to its
pinion can neither rotate nor slide outwards resting position.
into engagement with the ring gear; in such
cases, the starting sequence must be aborted Type TB/TF pre-engaged starter motor
and repeated. Application
This type of starter motor is used on very
2nd stage (main stage) large diesel engines such as those used in
Immediately before the pinion reaches the end railway locomotives, ships, specialized vehi-
of its outward travel, a release lever lifts up a cles and fixed installations.
tripping lever and releases the control-relay
switch contacts. A pre-loaded spring can then Design and method of operation
abruptly close the switch contacts. The full The basic design and method of operation
current is then applied to the starter motor so are to a large degree the same as for the Type
that it can generate its maximum torque out- KB / QB models. Figure 15 shows the design of
put in order to turn over the engine by means a Type TB starter motor. The Type TF differs
of the multiplate overrunning clutch and the from the Type TB essentially only by virtue of
pinion. a reduction gear, i.e. its pinion is offset from

15 Type TB pre-engaged starter motor (sectional view)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Fig. 15
1 Mating collar for
engine flange
2 Multiplate
overrunning clutch
3 Pinion-engaging rod
4 Pole shoe
5 Armature
6 Excitation winding
7 Carbon brush
8 Brush holder
9 Electrical connection
10 Control relay
11 Pinion-engaging

12 Cutout spring
13 Commutator
14 Stator housing
16 15 14 13 12 11 10 15 Helical spline
16 Pinion
Robert Bosch GmbH

88 Starter motors Technology of electrical starting systems

the motor-armature axis. This offset config- tems and approx. 100 m for 24-V systems).
uration often facilitates fitting of the starter In addition to the impedance of the cables,
motor to the engine. In addition, the reduc- the contact impedance across terminals, con-
tion gear is significant in terms of the dimen- nectors, switches and resistors must also be
sioning of the starting system (speed/torque). taken into account by fuses. Furthermore,
the power consumption of electrical devices
Technology of electrical connected in parallel with the solenoid which
starting systems use sections of the control lead must also be
Starter-motor control If the permissible limits are exceeded, the
Conventional method of control reliability of the starting system may be im-
In a conventional starting system, the driver paired. The control line to the solenoid switch
connects the battery voltage to the starter- on the starter motor must be kept as short as
motor solenoid switch (by turning the igni- possible. Where this is not possible (e.g. artic-
tion key to the starting position). The current ulated buses, construction machinery, etc.)
flowing through the solenoid switch (approx. an intermediate precontrol relay is often used.
30 A in cars, up to approx. 70 A in commercial
vehicles) produces the electromagnetic force Automatic starting systems
which firstly moves the pinion towards the The demanding requirements placed on mod-
engine ring gear and secondly switches on the ern vehicles in terms of convenience, safety,
starter-motor main circuit (200...1000 A on quality and low noise output have resulted in
cars, approx. 2000 A on commercial vehicles). the increasing popularity of automatic start-
The starter motor is switched off when the ing systems.
ignition key is released and moves back from
the starting position to thedriveposition, i.e. An automatic starting system differs
the starting circuit is broken and the power from a conventional one by virtue of two
supply to the solenoid switch is disconnected. additional components:
 A pilot control solenoid (Figure 1, Item 2)
In order to ensure that the solenoid switch and
functions reliably, the effective impedance of  A control unit in the vehicle (e.g. an engine
the supply cable between the positive termi- control unit, Item 3) which controls the
nal of the battery and Terminal 50 on the starting sequence
starter motor must be within a specific, pre-
defined range (approx. 50 m for 12V sys- The driver then no longer directly controls
the starter-motor solenoid-switch circuit;
1 Automatic starting system (circuit) instead the ignition key is used to send a re-
2 T 15 T 15 quest signal to the control unit, which then
performs a series of checks before initiating
the starting sequence. A wide range of such
checks is possible and is aimed at establish-
ing such things as:
Fig. 1  Is the driver authorized to start the vehicle
1 Start signal from
T T 30 (theft-deterrence feature)?
driver 5  Is the engine already running (in quiet vehi-
2 Pilot control solenoid
cles or even in buses or coaches, the driver

4 Selector-lever/ M
can hardly hear the engine inside the vehicle)?
clutch-position  Is the battery sufficiently well charged for
signal 4
starting taking account of the engine tem-
5 Starter motor perature?
Robert Bosch GmbH

Starter motors Technology of electrical starting systems 89

 Is the selector lever in the neutral position Power circuit

(automatic transmission) or the clutch Starter-motor power cables
disengaged (manual transmission)? As explained in the section DC motors, the
power-supply cable to the starter motor has a
On successful completion of the checks, the fundamental effect on the power of the start-
control unit initiates the starting sequence by ing system. Under normal conditions, it has to
switching on the transistor, T. This connects carry the starter-motor short-circuit current
the coil of the precontrol relay to equipment for a short period (<50 ms) and the current
ground so that a current flows from Terminal 15 required to turn the engine over for the du-
(connected to battery power supply when ig- ration of the starting sequence. The voltage
nition is on). The pilot control solenoid closes drop over the length of the cable and the per-
the circuit between the battery (Terminal 30) missible temperature rise must also be taken
and the starter-motor relay. The starting se- into consideration.
quence then proceeds as previously described.
In exceptional circumstances, the starter-mo-
During the starting sequence, the engine speed tor power lead must also be capable of carrying
(which is in any case detected by the control currents close to the short-circuit current for
unit) is compared with a reference figure for relatively long periods without suffering dam-
the speed at which the engine is running under age. This would be the case if the vehicle had
its own power (the reference speed may also to be driven by the starter motor in an emer-
be variable according to engine temperature). gency, for example.
Once the engine reaches the reference speed,
the control unit switches off the starter motor The starting point for determining the per-
by switching off the transistor, T. As a result, missible temperature rise is a permissible
the starting time is always as short as possible, transient current density of J = 30 A / mm2.
noise output is reduced and starter-motor Together with the short-circuit current (at
wear is minimized. +20 C) for the starter motor in question,
this can be used to calculate the cross-sec-
This system can also be modified to perform a tional area, qw, of the power cable thus:
stop-start function. This involves automatically
switching the engine off when the vehicle is qw = Ik/J
stationary and restarting it when required.
This can achieve substantial reductions in fuel where Ik is the short-circuit current of the
consumption, particularly in urban traffic. At starter motor at +20 C.
present, reduction-gear starter motors used
in this type of system in conjunction with a The power-cable impedance including the
high-quality ring gear can perform over internal impedance of the battery must not
200,000 starts. fall below or exceed the permissible level.
If it exceeds the permissible level, the power
Due to its inherent characteristics, when it is of the starting system will be reduced, leading
switched on the starter motor causes a sig- to problems starting the engine at low tem-
nificant, transient voltage drop in the vehicles peratures and malfunctions in the vehicles
electrical system. For this reason, the control electrical system.
units and starting system must be mutually If it falls below the permissible level, thermal
compatible. The voltage drop must be limited overload, demagnetization of the permanent
in terms of size and duration, and the control magnets, gear damage or pinion engagement
units must be capable of performing their problems may occur.
functions even at a substantially reduced
power-supply voltage.
Robert Bosch GmbH

90 Starter motors Technology of electrical starting systems

Starter-motor batteries That point of intersection represents the

Starter-motor batteries are nowadays almost steady-state voltage, U0, of the battery, which
exclusively lead-acid accumulator batteries. The is not the same as the no-load voltage, UL (the
nominal voltage per cell for such batteries is latter is the voltage of the battery when no
2 V, so that a conventional 12-V battery has six load is applied). Accordingly, the internal im-
cells connected in series. Accordingly, a 24-V pedance, Ri, of the battery is given by
commercial-vehicle battery has 12 cells. The Ri = (U0 Uf)/ICC
capacity of the battery, i.e. the amount of cur- The ideal battery characteristic is given by
rent that can be drawn from the battery over a UK = U0 Ri I
specific period expressed in ampere-hours The maximum power that a battery can de-
[Ah], or the size of the accumulator plates es- liver is produced at the current at which the
sentially determines the size of the battery. voltage between the terminals has dropped
The most important battery characteristic to half the steady-state voltage:
as far as starting the engine is concerned is PKmax = U02/(4 Ri)
its power, that is the product of the current The internal impedance of the battery
supplied and the voltage between the termi- decreases as the battery capacity increases so
nals, UK. The battery-terminal voltage de- that maximum power increases along with
creases as the load current increases. It is greater capacity. Starter motors are designed
useful to define an internal battery imped- for a maximum battery size.
ance, Ri, which reflects that phenomenon. If powered by a smaller battery, the actual
The internal impedance, Ri, of the starter power of the starting system will be less than
battery has a diminishing effect on the starter- the rated power. As long as the cold-starting
motor power output in addition to the imped- requirements are satisfied, this is technically
ance of the power cable, switches and contacts. allowable.
However, the internal impedance of the bat- If the starter motor is powered by a larger
tery is not a fixed quantity but a variable which battery, the power will be the corresponding
is dependent not only on the battery design amount above the rated power. This can result
but also the temperature, the battery charge in overloading of the mechanical components,
level, battery age, and usage history. Figure 2 increased wear and thermal overload. In the
shows an ideal battery characteristic graph. case of permanent-magnet starter motors, it
When the battery is fully charged, the volt- can cause partial demagnetization of the mag-
age drops steeply at low levels of current draw nets and the associated irreversible loss of
due to capitative discharge. At higher levels of torque output. Consequently, the specified
current draw, the gradient of the graph is battery size should not be exceeded.
shallower. This is the range in which the bat-
tery is operating during the starting sequence. 2 Characteristic of a lead-acid accumulator battery
It makes sense, therefore, to define the inter- (schematic)
nal impedance of the battery for starting
within this range. The basis for that determi-
nation is the low- temperature test current,
ICC, as defined by EN 60 095. According to U0
that definition, the battery-terminal voltage,
Voltage U

Fig. 2 UK, when discharging at ICC and 18 C mea- Uf

ICC Low-temperature sured 10 s after commencement of discharge,
test current
must be at least 7.5 V (1.25 V per cell). The
Uf Voltage at

internal impedance of the battery is defined
test current as the gradient of the shallower section of the
U0 Steady-state voltage graph. It is determined by extrapolation of the Current I
UL No-load voltage shallower section of the graph to the Y-axis.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Development and production of alternators and starter motors Quality management 91

Development and production of alternators and

starter motors
Quality management process. Thus a system known as Failure
Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is used to
Alternators and starter motors are high- determine the possible failure risk of the prod-
quality, highly developed products. The fail- uct as a whole and of each individual com-
ure rates encountered nowadays are of the ponent and to eliminate that risk by design
order of a few per million. This means that of modifications or testing procedures during
a million products manufactured, only a few production (Figure 1).
fail to achieve the intended service life. This is A similar procedure is adopted when plan-
the result of a systematic quality management ning and designing the production processes.
process that follows the product from the ini- The production processes must also demon-
tial phases of development right through to strate their suitability for volume production
the end of its useful life. in short-term and long-term viability studies.
The starting point is a set of specifications This applies not only to internally produced
agreed with the customer which define the parts but also to pasts procured from exter-
requirements for the alternator / starter motor nal suppliers.
as precisely as possible. In the course of prod- At the end of the development process
uct development, a series of regular design (i.e. before the start of volume production),
reviews are undertaken in order to compare the product has to be approved by the vehicle
the design results with those specifications. manufacturer and by Bosch.
This method of working ensures that, when Alternators and starter motors are generally
the product goes into volume production, developed for a specific application, i.e. for use
all external requirements as well as all inter- on a specific engine. The start of volume pro-
nal requirements are met. duction is therefore coordinated and syn-
chronized with the start of engine / vehicle
Beyond the testing of the specifications de- production by the vehicle manufacturer.
fined at the start, there are other procedures
adopted in the course of the development

1 Testing area for endurance testing of starter motors

Robert Bosch GmbH

92 Development and production of alternators and starter motors Development

Even after the start of full production, the Development

product must continually demonstrate its
quality, i.e. its compliance with specified re- Computer simulation identifies the
quirements, in a series of requalification optimum design
tests. For starter motors, those include tests In order to improve electrical systems, Bosch
relating to: uses computer programs that calculate such
 torque / speed characteristics, things as the charge-balance equation. This
 service life incorporating specific testing of involves calculating a systems battery charge
number of switching operations level after a simulated 14-day winter urban
resistance to corrosion driving cycle.
resistance to vibration/shock
 dimensions The following data is incorporated in the
 weight and charge-balance equation:
 electrical data  road and traffic conditions
 vehicle type
Quality management therefore also involves  driving style
the analysis of returned products from the  temperatures
field. The knowledge gained from such analy-  daytime and nighttime journeys
sis is used to improve the design of the product  characteristics of alternator, battery
and/or the production process. Quality doc- and starter motor, and
umentation and design rule-books are used  power consumption of electrical con-
to record the knowledge gained and apply it sumer units
to new developments. In this way, a process
of continual improvement is maintained. If the battery has an adequate charge level
(usually above 50 %) at the end of the testing
The entire system of maintaining and improv- cycle, the charge balance is acceptable. If the
ing quality is also constructed in collaboration result of the charge-balance equation is neg-
with European and American automobile ative or if the system is overdimensioned, the
producers and regularly checked for correct optimum combination of alternator, starter
application and effectiveness by means of motor and battery is recalculated.
internal and external quality audits. Certifi- Such calculations help to determine whether
cates are issued to confirm that the required the system can be improved with existing
standards are being maintained. products or whether the development of a new
custom-designed product would provide a
TheAlternatorandStarter Motordivisions better solution.
of Robert Bosch GmbH are certified in accor-
dance with all applicable motor-industry re- Using CAD systems to reduce
quirements catalogs (VDA Vol. 6.1; QS9000). development time
In 2003, certification according to the in- Bosch engineers use computers to test out
ternational environmental management all possible solutions right from the start of
standard, ISO 14001, is due to follow. the development process. The Bosch Techni-
cal Center for Automotive Equipment at
Schwieberdingen near Stuttgart in Germany
has CAD systems for this purpose. They allow
designs and technical or scientific calculations
such as magnetic-field and temperature dis-
tribution to be completed much more quickly.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Development and production of alternators and starter motors Development 93

Finite-element calculations for materials 2 Computer representation of finite-element

The power, weight, dimensions and strength of
a product such as an alternator is defined even
before the first specimen is produced. An im-
portant role in that process is played by finite-
element calculations on a computer. They sim-
ulate the behavior of components and mate-
rials under a wide range of conditions (Fig-
Fig. 2
ure 2). If unacceptable deficiencies exist, the Finite-element
design engineers can identify them immedi- calculations enable
ately on the computer, determine the causes simulation of material
and develop suitable remedies. This method of response to various
working saves having to perform costly tests. types of stress at an
early stage of the
development process

From endurance test to volume (example: simulation of
production natural oscillation of an
For testing fitted position, function and en- alternator showing areas
durance (Figures 3 and 4) the use of test spec- of high amplitude)
imens is unavoidable. They are produced by
staff who have gained qualifications in a wide 3 Vibration endurance test

range of specializations at Bosch factories.

Their experience is brought to bear on the
process of specimen production and is also
incorporated in subsequent series production.

Requirements of the fitted location

The location in which the product is fitted has Fig. 3
a decisive influence on its design. As part of Simulation of the resonant
frequencies encountered
a simultaneous engineering process, Bosch

on the vehicle on vibration

consults with the vehicle manufacturer on tables and spatial-vibration
questions of available space for fitting, am- test benches
bient conditions of the location and possi- (example: alternator
bilities for reducing space requirements. In testing specimen)
the early stages of a development project, CAD
models of the product are used, whereas in 4 Splash-water endurance test

the later stages testing specimens are required.

There is hardly any other location in which
electrical, electronic and mechanical compo-
nents are subjected to such high stresses as in
the engine compartment of a motor vehicle.
Temperatures can rapidly change from extreme
cold to searing heat; shocks and vibration
demand enormous strength and resistance;
Fig. 4
components are under attack from saltwater

Product trials also involve

and dust. The consequences of exposure to testing the products
such stresses are investigated in climatic and resistance to splash-
endurance-testing facilities according to speci- water (example: alternator
fied testing schedules. testing specimen)
Robert Bosch GmbH

94 Development and production of alternators and starter motors Production (starter motors)

Speed capacity and vibration-resistance Production (starter motors)

Comprehensive laboratory and practical tests
provide data on vibration and speed-related The manufacture of a starter motor under
stresses on components in the vehicle. From volume-production conditions is to a large
that information, the testing conditions for extent a fully automated process (Figure 5).
the test specimens can be defined. The large number of custom designs places
particular demands on the design of the
Electrodynamic vibration tables and spatial- production facilities.
vibration test benches are used to simulate the
frequencies that occur on the vehicle. This The drive-end shield (Figure 5a) and reduc-
demonstrates whether the material character- tion-gear and overrunning-clutch assemblies
istics meet the high quality standards de- (Figure 5b) are manufactured in a preproduc-
manded. Rotating components must prove tion phase on extensively automated produc-
their strength in overspeed and fluctuating- tion lines.
speed tests.
The solenoid switch is assembled from the
Cold-starting tests in the cold room individual components casing, coil and
For detailed and reproducible cold-starting cap (Figure 5c).
tests at temperatures down to 35 C, Bosch
has three cold cells for complete vehicles. When The armature is the central component of the
joined together, they can even accommodate motor and therefore the essential determinant
commercial vehicles up to 18 meters long. of power output as well as motor noise. The
One of the cold cells is equipped with a commutator is produced by a complex press-
chassis dynamometer and another has an forming process. The armature shaft, lami-
engine test bench. nated core and armature conductor are com-
bined with the commutator on the armature
The first practical trials (conducted in col- assembly line (Figure 5d). Once assembled, the
laboration with the vehicle manufacturer) armature is balanced (Figure 5e) in order to
take place concurrently with the cold-room ensure that the starter motor runs as smoothly
tests. The results enable precise adaptation as possible.
of products to the engine at an early stage.
The precision with which the components
Global quality standards are manufactured is the essential prerequi-
All Bosch production facilities for alternators site for reliable operation over the full ser-
and starter motors whether in Germany, the vice life of the starter motor.
UK or Spain work to the same exacting and
internationally applicable Bosch standards Final assembly completes the involved
in other words, the manufacturing and test- process of producing a starter motor. In this
ing methods are universally standardized. phase, all subassemblies are combined to
produce the finished product (Figure 5f),
Spare parts too are produced by the same which then undergoes final inspection.
methods as the original components. A
worldwide dealer network ensures that those
parts are universally available.
Robert Bosch GmbH

Development and production of alternators and starter motors Production (starter motors) 95

5 Highly automated starter-motor production

a b

c d

e f

Fig. 5
a Drive-end-shield
production line
b Planetary-gear
assembly line
c Solenoid-coil

d Armature assembly
e Armature balancing
f Final assembly
Robert Bosch GmbH

96 Service technology Overview

Service technology
Important: Over 10,000 Bosch service centres in General-application test equipment from
This chapter provides 132 countries are standing by to provide Bosch extending from basic battery testers
general descriptions of
motorists with assistance. And, because to comprehensive vehicle inspection bays is
service technology, and
is not intended to replace
Bosch centres do not represent the interests used by vehicle service facilities and official
repair and instruction of any one vehicle manufacturer, this help is inspection agencies throughout the world.
manuals. neutral and unbiased. Fast assistance is al- Service personnel receive training in the ef-
Repairs should always be ways available, even in sparsely populated ficient use of this test technology as well as in-
performed by qualified countries in South America and Africa. And formation focusing on a range of automotive
professional technicians.
the same quality standards apply every- systems. Meanwhile, feedback from our cus-
where. It is thus no wonder that the Bosch tomers flows into the development of new
service warranty is valid throughout the products.
AWN Service Network
Test technology
Overview It is still possible to test mechanical systems
in motor vehicles using relatively basic
The specifications and performance data of equipment, but mastering the increasingly
Bosch components and systems are precisely complex electronic systems found in modern
matched to the requirements of each indi-
vidual vehicle. Bosch also develops and de-
1) Bosch service technology stems from development
signs the test equipment, special tools and
activities carried out by the Bosch AWN service network.
diagnosis technology needed for tests and
The asanetwork GmbH is responsible for advanced
inspections. development and marketing under the AWN brand.

1 The AWN service network 1)

Dynamo- Chassis Engine and

meter alignment electronic system tests
Acceptance system
(test bay)

Lighting test


Data storage
Brake test

Invoice generation Emissions inspection

(IT system)
Robert Bosch GmbH

Service technology Overview 97

vehicles means using new test methods rely- extending beyond those available from
ing on electronic data processing. Tomorrows microfiche cards. It can also be incorporated
technology is represented by the AWN service. in electronic data processing networks.
This was conceived to link the entire range of
workshop IT systems within a single inte- Application
grated network (Figure 1). This concept The ESI[tronic] software package supports
earned Bosch the 1998 Automechanika In- service personnel throughout the entire ve-
novation Prize in the service category. hicle repair process by providing the follow-
ing information:
Test sequence  spare-part identification (correlating spare-
When a vehicle arrives for a service inspec- part numbers with specific vehicles, etc.)
tion, the job order processing systems data-  work units
base furnishes immediate access to all avail-  repair instructions
able information on the vehicle. Immedi-  vehicle circuit diagrams
ately the vehicle enters the shop, the system  test specifications, and
provides access to its entire history. This in-  vehicle diagnosis
cludes all service work and repairs carried
out on the vehicle up to that point. Service technicians can select from two avail-
Individual diagnostic testers provide the able options to diagnosis problems and mal-
data needed for direct comparisons of speci- functions: the KTS500 is a high-performance
fied results and current readings, without portable system tester, while the KTS500C
the need for supplementary entries. All ser- has been designed to run on the PCs used in
vice procedures and replacement compo- service areas (diagnosis stations). The latter
nents are recorded to support the billing consists of a PC adapter card, a slot card (KTS)
process. Following the final road test, the bill and a test module for measuring voltage,
can be generated with nothing more than a current and resistance. The interface allows
few keystrokes. The system also provides a ESI[tronic] to communicate with the elec-
clear and concise printout with the results of tronic systems within the vehicle, such as the
the vehicle diagnosis. This offers the cus- engine ECU. Working at the PC, the techni-
tomer a full report detailing all of the service cian starts by selecting the SIS (Service Infor-
operations and material that went into the mation System) utility to initiate diagnosis of
vehicles repair. on-board control units and access the engine-
management ECUs fault storage.
Electronic Service Information ESI[tronic] uses the results of the diagnosis as
ESI[tronic] the basis for generating specific repair in-
Even in the past, the wide variety of vehicle structions. The system also provides displays
makes and models made data control sys- with other information, such as component
tems essential (with part numbers, test speci- locations, exploded views of assemblies, dia-
fications, etc.). Large data records, such as grams showing the layouts of electrical,
those containing information on spare parts, pneumatic and hydraulic systems, etc. Using
are contained on microfiche cards. Micro- the PC, the technician can then proceed di-
fiche readers provide access to these micro- rectly from the exploded view to the parts list
fiche libraries, and are still standard equip- with part numbers, and order the required
ment in every automotive service facility. replacement components.
In 1991, Bosch introduced its ESI[tronic]
(Electronic Service Information) system on
CD ROM for use with PCs. ESI[tronic]
vastly increases data-storage potential. The
system offers additional application options
Robert Bosch GmbH

98 Workshop testing techniques Testing technology for alternators

Testing technology for charge-indicator lamp.

Basically, an engine analyzer and a volt-am-
alternators meter are required for the electrical tests.
Average driving cycles and operating times The following tests can be performed using
can be determined for all types of vehicles these two testers:
(passenger cars, trucks, buses, construction  Oscilloscope display of the DC voltage with
machinery, etc.) and their typical operating low harmonic ripple (between B+ and B),
conditions. There are therefore a wide variety  Voltage (between B+ and B), with and
of alternator designs available which comply without load
with these different requirements.  Charging current under load
In case of malfunction in the vehicle's elec-  Current without load
trical power-generating system, a check should  Quiescent current
first of all be carried out directly in the vehicle.  Battery voltage
lf, in the process, an alternator defect is lo-  Short-circuit of lines to ground or plus (+)
cated, the alternator is either replaced or re-  Line open-circuit, and
paired using the service-information and ser-  Contact resistance of the lines
vice-instructions documentation. Before be-
ing installed in the vehicle again, the alternator Alternator repair
must be tested on the combination test bench. For the various alternator types, there are
specific service instructions available which
Testing directly in the vehicle describe the alternator repairs.
A visual inspection is first of all carried out These instructions also contain the relevant
to check the V-belt, the wiring, and the test and adjustment values.

1 Combination test bench for starter motors and alternators

Fig. 1
11 Operator panel for
alternator and 7 RPA RPA RPA RPA RPA RPA

starter-motor tests
6 9
12 Adjustable loading
resistor (alternator test) 5
13 Handwheel for
adjusting clamping-
table height 10
(alternator test) 4
14 Alternator test setup
15 Protective hood
10A +6V +12V +24V D+/61 AKKU MINUS

16 Tool tray 3


+6V +12V +24V
17 Display unit 2 +6V +12V +24V
+6V +12V +24V
50 START 11
18 Lighting unit
19 Socket connection
for rotational-speed
sensor (alternator test)
10 Starter-motor test
11 Connection terminal 1 12
for starter motor

12 Battery compartment
with cover
13 Pedal for starter-
motor loading
(drum brake)
Robert Bosch GmbH

Workshop testing techniques Testing technology for alternators 99

A number of different testers (e.g. alternator electrically. An alternator test involves running
tester and interturn-short-circuit tester) are it at two points on its output curve.
used for alternator repairs. In addition, in At two different testing speeds (e.g. 1500 or
order to localize defects inside the alternator 1800and6000rpm)thealternatorissubjected to
and repair them efficiently, special tools are the required load current by means of a vari-
required for each alternator type. able load resistor. The alternator voltage must
remain above the specified threshold (e.g.
Checking the alternator on the combination 13.5 V).
test bench If the alternator passes the test, it can be
Once the alternator has been repaired, it is refitted on the vehicle right away.
clamped in the relevant test setup on the
combination test bench (Fig.1). Two points on the power curve are run up
to when testing an alternator:
Depending upon the version concerned, the Using an adjustable loading resistor, the
alternator can be driven directly up to speeds alternator is loaded with the maximum at-
of approx. 6000 rpm). At higher speeds, the tainable current at two different test speeds
alternator is driven through a V-belt (Fig. 2). (e.g. 1500 or 1800 rpm and 6000 rpm). The
The alternator is bolted to the clamping de- alternator voltage must remain above the
vice using a swivel arm. The rotational-speed stipulated limit value (e.g. 13.5 V).
sensor is calibrated after aligning and tensioning lf these desired values are reached, the al-
the V-belt. The alternator is then connected ternator can be installed in the vehicle.

2 Testing the clamped altemator

5 6 7

Fig. 2
1 Clamping table
2 Guide
3 Clamping device
4 Swivel arm

5 Drive
6 V-belt
8 4 3 2 1 7 Altemator
8 Rotational-speed
Robert Bosch GmbH

100 Workshop technology Testing systems for starter motors

Testing systems for Testing in the vehicle

Before the starter motor can be tested, the func-
starter motors tion of the battery (voltage under load, elec-
Starter motors for cars are designed to last for trolyte level and electrolyte specific gravity)
the average service life of the engine and there- must be checked.
fore do not require any special maintenance. The following problems can be identified
In the case of commercial vehicles with duty by listening to the starter motor:
profiles that involve frequent short journeys  unusual noises during the starting sequence
or vehicles that are subjected to other excep-  starter motor engages but turns the engine
tional stresses (particularly taxis, parcel de- very slowly or not at all
livery vans, etc.), regular inspection of the  no sound of pinion engagement
starting system is advisable.  starter motor disengages too slowly or fails
This also applies to commercial vehicles to disengage
that are designed for much greater mileages
than the average car. In the case of unusual noises during the start-
ing sequence, the fault can be traced to the
If there is a fault in the starting system, the starter motor, the way it has been fitted or the
equipment is usually first tested in the ring gear. Other problems require selective
vehicle. If the fault can be traced to the electrical testing of the starting system (e.g.
starter motor, it is either replaced or re- using an engine analyzer). The following tests
paired with the help of service information are carried out with the starter motor at rest:
bulletins and servicing instructions.  line short to equipment ground or positive
Before it is refitted on the vehicle, the  voltage at Terminal 30
starter motor should then be tested on the  line continuity, and
combination test bench (Figure 1).  line contact impedance

1 Combination test bench for starter motors and alternators

Robert Bosch GmbH

Workshop technology Testing systems for starter motors 101

The following are tested during the starting The handwheel and the fixing table are used
sequence: to adjust the play between the teeth of the
 voltage at Terminal 50 pinion and ring gear and the distance of the
 voltage at solenoid-switch output, and pinion from the ring gear (if the backlash is
 starter-motor current (up to 1000 A) not correct, excessive tooth wear will result).
The speed sensor is then adjusted and the
Repairing the starter motor electrical connections to the starter motor
First of all, the starter-motor pinion is checked completed.
for damage (broken teeth, excessive wear, etc.) The starter-motor testing procedure essen-
and replaced if necessary. Then various in- tially consists of two parts:
struments (e.g. alternator testers and coil-  Testing the starter motor under no-load
winding short-circuit detectors) are used in conditions. The criteria for this part of the
conjunction with the relevant servicing in- test are that the starter-motor current re-
structions. In addition, each individual type mains below a specified threshold and the
of starter motor requires special tools for motor speed reaches a minimum level when
carrying out the repairs; only in this way can not under load.
faults be isolated within the starter motor  The short-circuit test involves braking the
and properly rectified. starter motor to a standstill using the drum
brake built into the test bench. During this
Testing the starter motor on the procedure, the starter motor may only be
combination test bench held stationary for a short period (no more
Once the starter motor has been repaired, it than 2 s). The starter-motor current and
is fixed on the starter-motor testing table of voltage are measured under those condi-
the combination test bench (Figure 1) either tions. The test results must be within the
by means of a flange (Figure 2) or wedges and specified limits.
a hold-down clamp, depending on design.

2 Starter motor fixed to testing table


Fig. 2
1 Ring gear
2 Starter motor
3 Safety cover

4 Speed sensor
5 Handwheel
6 Clamping bracket
7 Mounting flange
8 Fixing table
Robert Bosch GmbH

102 Index of technical terms

Index of technical terms

Technical Terms Cooling without fresh-air intake, 38
Copper losses, 41
A Current characteristic curve (I), 43
AC bridge circuit, 11 , 0-Ampere speed (n0), 43
Alternator, 43
Alternator circuitry, 44-46 D
Alternator design, 18 DC motors, 62
Alternator drive, 48 Delta connection, 10
Alternator installation and drive, 47 Design criteria, 20
Alternator operation in the vehicle, Design factors, 7
46-51 Development, 92
Alternator output power, 6 Development of starting systems, 52
Alternator repair, 98 Development and production of alter-
Alternator versions, 20-29 nators and starter motors, 91-101
Alternators, 4-8 Dimensioning of starting systems, 60
auxiliary diodes, 12 Diode cooling, 39
Auxiliary diodes at the star (neutral) Direct-drive, 67
point, 44 Direct-drive starter motors for cars, 78
Dual-heat-sink system, 39
Basic physical principles, 9-19 E
Belt drive, 48 Efficiency, 41
Benz, 52 Electrical data and sizes, 20
Bridge circuit for the rectification of Electrical loads, 4
the 3-phase AC, 11 Electrical power generation using DC
generators, 8
C Electrical power generation using
CAD systems, 92 alternators, 6
Characteristic curve of power input, Electrodynamic principle, 9
43 Electromagnetic voltage regulators,
Characteristic curves, 42-43 30
Characteristics (summary), 8 Electronic Service Information
Characteristics of compound motor, ESI[tronic], 97
67 Electronic voltage regulators, 31
Characteristics of permanent-magnet Endurance test, 93
DC motor, 64 Energy balance in the vehicle, 46
Characteristics of permanent-magnet Engine idle speed, 14
motor with flux concentrators, 66 Excitation circuit, 15
Characteristics of series-wound motor, Excitation-current rectification, 14
65 Exciter diodes, 12
Charge-balance calculation, 6 External excitation, 10
Charge-indicator lamp, 14, 50
Claw-pole alternators with collector F
rings, 20 Finite-element calculation, 93
Claw-pole chamfer, 40 Flywheel starter motor, 53
Cold room, 94 Free-wheeling diode, 37
Cold-starting tests, 94 Fresh-air intake, 39
Compact alternators, 24 Full-wave bridge rectifier, 12
Compact-diode-assembly alternators
(LIT), 21 G
Compound motor, 67 Generation of electrical energy in the
Computer simulation, 92 motor vehicle, 4
Connection, 11 Generator circuit, 16
Consequential-damage protection
device, 36
Cooling, 38
Cooling and noise, 38-40
Robert Bosch GmbH

Index of technical terms 103

H Power requirements, 5 Starter motors with pre-engaged starter

Hybrid regulators, 32 Pre-control relay, 82 pinion engagement mechanism
Pre-excitation circuit, 14 incorporating motor-assisted pinion
I Pre-excitation on alternators with rotation, 85
Installation, 47 multifunctional voltage regulator, 15 Starter motors with pre-engaged starter
Interference-suppression measures, Preconditions for starting, 56-101 pinion engagement mechanism in-
45 Principle of operation of the alternator, corporating mechanical pinion rotation,
Iron losses, 41 10 84
, 3-phase AC, 10 Starter-motor batteries, 90
L Production (starter motors), 94 Starter-motor control, 88
Liquid cooling, 39 Starter-motor design, 62
Liquid-cooled, windingless-rotor Q Starter-motor design variations, 76
compact alternator (LIF), 28 Quality management, 91 Starter-motor main circuit, 62
Loss distribution in an alternator, 41 Quality standards, 94 Starter-motor power cables, 89
Starter-motor type designations, 76
M R Starter-motor types, 76
Mechanical losses, 41 Radial-tooth overrunning clutch, 73 Starting and overrunning, 56
Mileages and maintenance intervals, Rectification of the AC voltage, 11 Starting the internal-combustion
50 Rectifier circuits, 12 engine, 54
Minimum starting temperature, 58 Rectifier diode, 11 Suppressor diode, 37
Monolithic regulators, 33 Rectifier diodes, 13
Multifunctional voltage regulators, 33 Rectifier losses, 41 T
Multiplate overrunning clutch, 71-101 Reduction of alternator noise, 40 Technology of electrical starting
Reduction-gear starter motors, 67 systems, 88
N Reduction-gear starter motors for cars, Terminal W, 45
nA Cutting-in speed, 43 78 Test technology, 96
Noise, 40 Regulation of excitation current, 17 Testing systems for starter motors,
Notes on operation, 49 Repairing the starter motor, 101 100
Requirements to be met by automotive Testing technology for alternators, 98
O generators, 8 The alternators circuits, 14
Open-flank belt, 48 Residual, 10 Third harmonic, 45
Operating sequence of the starter Reverse-current block, 12 Transistor regulator using hybrid
motor, 54 Ribbed-V belt, 48 technology, 32
Operation of alternators in parallel, 45 Roller-type overrunning clutch, 71 Turning the engine, 54
Overrunning clutch, 71 Type B (LIC-B) Compact alternators,
Overrunning clutches, 71 S 25
Overvoltage, 34 Self-excitation, 10 Type designation, 43
Overvoltage in vehicle electrical Series D78 direct-drive starter motor, Type DT1 compact-diode-assembly
system, 34 78 alternators, 24
Overvoltage protection, 34 Series-wound motor, 64 Type E and P (LI-E and LI-P) compact
Overvoltage-protection devices Service AWN, 96 alternators, 25
(only for 28-V alternators), 35 Service technology, 96 Type EL hybrid regulator, 33
Overvoltage-protection devices, Single-element double-contact Type HEF109-M starter motor for
non-automatic, 35 regulator, 30 commercial vehicles, 83
Overvoltage-protection devices, Single-element, single-contact Type HEF95-L starter motor for
automatic, 36 regulator, 30 commercial vehicles, 80
Solenoid switch, 69 Type LIC compact alternators, 24
P Sources of power loss, 41 Type N3 compact-diode-assembly
Permanent-magnet motor, 63 Standard-range compact-diode- alternators, 27
Permanent-magnet motor with flux assembly alternators G1, K1, and N1, Type RE86 and HE(F)95 starter
concentrators, 66 22 motors for commercial vehicles, 80
Pinion engagement, 54 Star connection, 10 Type T1 compact-diode-assembly
Pinion-engaging mechanism, 74 Starter motors, 52-101 alternators, 24
Poly-V belt, 49 Starter motors for commercial Type TB/TF pre-engaged starter
Power circuit, 89 vehicles, 79 motor, 87
Power diodes, 44 Type U2 salient-pole collector-ring
Power losses, 41 alternators, 29
Robert Bosch GmbH

104 Index of technical terms Abbreviations

Type X (LI-X) compact alternators, 26 Abbreviations

Types of protection, 34 AWN: Asanetwork Werkstattnetz
CAD: Computer Aided Design
V ESI: Electronic Service Informations
V-belt, 48 FEM: Finite Elements Method
Vehicle electrical system, 6 FMEA: Failure Modes and Effects
Voltage regulation, 17 Analysis
Voltage-regulator characteristic, 18 ppm: parts per million
Voltage-regulator versions, 30-37 VDA: Verband der Deutschen Auto-
mobilindustrie (German Automobile
W Industry Federation)
Windingless rotor, 27
Windingless-rotor alternators without
collector rings, 26

Zener diodes, 13