The Supplenator was first envisioned by the guys at General Aviation Modifications, Inc. as a backup power source for the company’s PRISM electronic ignition system, as required by the FAA for certification. In typical GAMI fashion, they used the opportunity to create a feature-laden 35-amp, 14- or 28-volt power source that mounts to the accessory pad of most 360-cubic-inch and larger piston engines. The three-part system includes the 5.8-pound, direct-drive supplemental alternator, the remote-mounted electronic load management module and a panel display unit (PDU), which fits in a small instrument hole.
Although its primary mission is to provide a redundant power source for electronic ignition systems, the Supplenator could be used as a smart, lightweight alternator replacement in Experimentals that have a spare accessory pad mount. If you’ve already replaced those two stone-age magnetos with a modern ignition system mounted where one mag used to be, you’re halfway there.
But how can you possibly improve on the time tested, traditional alternator/regulator/battery system that we all know and love (when its working)? The Supplenator is self-exciting, meaning it doesn’t need a good battery to start producing current. It features three separate output buses, two of which can be shed with the push of a button if needed. The PDU displays the voltage and current output of both the primary alternator and the Supplenator concurrently with four digital displays and a bar graph that shows the relative health of both systems. And, theres another bar graph and digital read-out for that old vacuum gauge that was removed for the new PDU.
When used with a traditional primary alternator, the Supplenator system provides a great backup to prevent being stranded at a remote airport while waiting for a new alternator to arrive. Certification is expected shortly, but thats not a factor for homebuilts. Final price is not yet set, but GAMI estimates a cost of about $3000. For more information, call 888/FLY-GAMI or visit www.gami.com.