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-how do you determine the torque required to rotate an alternator?
-is that torque formula the same as the one used to determine the torque output of an electric motor?
Yes. The mechanical work done per unit time by a motor, or electrical work done per unit time by an alternator, is the shaft power, product of torque and shaft angular velocity. In the first case some electrical source of energy is used to excite the magnetic flux and electrical current in the rotor, which interacts with the rotating flux of the stator to convert electrical to mechanical energy, and in the second case mechanical work is done to spin the rotor and induce magnetic flux and current in the stator to convert mechanical to electrical energy.

I mean is there any way to 'predict' the response of a motor/alternator under load?
-do different load have different impact on the alternator?
Yes. The work per unit time plus losses such as windage and bearing friction must equal the shaft power. Larger power dissipation in a load requires more work be done per unit time, more mechanical power input to the alternator, so more torque and/or higher rpm.

You might also try the Aussie group. They have some people who are knowledgeable in electrical/mechanical conversion devices:
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