C.E. Niehoff Heavy-Duty Brushless Alternators and Electric Power Management Systems
C.E. Niehoff & Co. (CEN) is an employee-owned American company that has become the leader in the design and manufacture of heavy-duty brushless alternators.
Our brushless alternators are designed with the most demanding applications in mind, to minimize your downtime and maximize your operating efficiencies. Models are customized for niche markets with a wide range of output capabilities and a variety of market specific features. Our standard products range from 140A to 940A, either 14V, 28V or a dual voltage option.
The brushless design eliminates internal arcing making it ideal for operation in volatile environments. The high efficiency of CEN’s unique design requires less engine horsepower and fuel to produce the high output required in military markets.
Brushless and air-cooled alternators
CEN alternator designs are unique in the industry. Unlike the conventional Lundell/claw pole configuration employed by most alternator manufacturers, our alternators use a non-reversing magnetic field and laminated rotors. Both of these factors result in lower magnetic losses, higher efficiency, and less waste heat. The low number of stator poles inside the alternator allows for generous air flow through the machine. These factors combine to make our alternators extremely energy efficient and reliable.
CEN alternator designs favour a stationary field coil, which eliminates the need for brushes and slip rings that wear and need periodic replacement, to convey power to a rotating field. In addition, the normal arcing associated with brush operation is eliminated, greatly reducing the amount of generated Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). As such, the bearings are the only components of our design to experience mechanical wear.
High-efficiency and fuel saving alternators
The reduced mechanical drive power used by our higher efficiency alternators yields engine fuel savings, less stress on alternator drive components, and more engine power available for other purposes.
Lower efficiency alternators generate excess waste heat while tasking the engine to work harder to drive the less efficient alternator. Less efficient alternators run hotter, increasing the operating temperature of the bearings, windings, and diodes; therefore lowering the effective life of the alternator.
Typical claw pole alternator efficiency is 50%. Typical CEN alternator efficiency is 70%. For high electric power alternators the high efficiency means significant fuel savings may be realized over less efficient alternators.
Technical capabilities in dual-voltage operation, overvoltage cut-out, load dump protection, reverse polarity protection, EMI suppression, soft start protection and J1939 CAN BUS, have earned CEN a reputation as an engineering innovator, anticipating the requirements of the future, and designing for tomorrow’s demands.
Military brushless alternators
Our extensive experience in the supply of military alternators, is the core of the advanced technology of our entire line of alternators into the US, European, and Middle Eastern Markets. CEN is the principle supplier into these markets, and we are specified on most land-based armoured vehicles.
Power management systems
CEN’s product range includes an electrical power manager (EPM) which is a multi-functional device, capable of providing solid state automatic battery connect/disconnect, Led diagnostics, automatic reverse polarity protection for vehicle loads, and it will provide the user with information about the batteries, such as voltage and current charge. The EPM has the capability to communicate with other vehicle digital systems via J1939 data bus.
Battery isolators are becoming popular, as several vehicle electrical systems require independent power distribution DEF-STAN 59-411 branches, battery packs or additional power sources. They include one or more pathways for electrical current, and therefore allow current to flow from one alternator or other power sources to multiple branches of a vehicle system.
CEN’s proprietary semi-conductor technology is used to provide maximum current carrying capability in a small battery isolator package.
CEN alternators are designed and tested to the following recognized standards:
- On-vehicle applications (tracked and wheeled)
- Stationary applications (APU)
- Special applications (hydraulic drive, boat, submarine)
- Special environments (water, dust, NBC)
- Design and test to recognized standards
- MIL-STD-461, MIL-STD-1275, MIL-STD-810
- DEF-STAN 61-5, DEF-STAN 59-411
- Other international and OEM standards
- Design and test to special customer requirements
- 2,000 hour endurance testing
- Operation under salt water
- Shock and vibration test to vehicle/engine specific profiles
- Environmental stress screening (HALT/HASS)
- Service and support for C E Niehoff equipment
To support our extensive field population, we have a widespread distributor network, and a service / repair facility at our European base in Leyland, England. Returned units are inspected, the repair estimated, and once authorised the unit is rebuilt, tested and despatched. Only genuine Niehoff parts are used, and as we hold a wide range of spare parts at our Leyland branch, the repair lead times are short.
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