Tuesday, 3 May 2005

Power crazy!

Given my previous issues with power, and the state of the three batteries, I fitted three new ones thinking that this would solve my power problems....... no such bloody luck.... still only measuring 12.6V at the batteries... and slightly more at the input to the diode splitter... so its either the cable run to the splitter (difficult to get at... the alternator is in an awkward position), the alternator (despite it being tested OK?) or the exciter circuit (?).... I'm slightly confused as to why the voltage isn't held higher at the battery terminals by either the solar panels or the wind generator, but given that there wasn't any wind much, and that the sun was a little hidden, i'm sticking with the basics for the moment!.... my vote is still for the cable from the alternator to the splitter.....might have to take a jump lead with me, and test it as a bypass.... Didnt have the time or inclination to work it out last weekend, so its the next challenge...... It has however prompted me to address one other need, shorepower. I can now hear all the traditionalists throwing their hands up in horror.... wind, solar, aletrnator AND shorepower!.... well... you obviously don't have two young kids with their long list of electrical and electronic dependencies, and also, I have several requirements for shore power myself... Firstly, with a direct cooled engine, its easier to fit a Calorifier and run it off the 240V thermostat, rather than try to plumb in a water feed.... Secondly, I have quite a bit of woodwork I want to do, not least fitting berths in the forepeak to replace the (extensive!) sail stowage area.... and it would be one whole load easier with mains power for tools... Thirdly, it would be really nice to be able to run whatever we like at night without having to worry about consumption... Fourthly, it makes my charging issues less pressing! Last, but not least, it also allows me to look at other needs such as a cooling plate for the cool box, to keep the beer properly cold! So, I've order the combined Dolphin battery charger/shorepower/RCD/Breaker unit from merlin, along with the appropriate Galvanic isolator and the female socket for the boat.... I've acquired a shore cable FOC from a caravanning friend.... I am going to have to buy a temporary domestic 3 pin socket to shore power 3 pin socket adapter to be able to use the shore power tools to fit it!... I'll need to source the appropriate cable for the DC and AC side, plus some electrical sockets..... Another challenge is.... how on earth do you crimp DC terminals yourself?..... Anyone got any smart ideas as to what else could be wrong with my existing setup?

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