Monday, 5 August 2013

Ready Steady Stop!

 Only last year I changed the leisure battery bank as the original batteries had aged their ability to provide the needed power over an extended period was compromised. I upped the battery bank from 400 to 500ah by installing larger capacity batteries. Working on the principle that I would never drop the batteries below 50% capacity. So I set the available power budget to be about 100ah for every 24 hours. Or a steady continuous discharge of about 4ah. After 48 hours the batteries would be need to be recharged.

Click a link to read previous postings Part I - Part II - Part III

I also made some changes to power provision.

The first task was to add three solar panels. The theoretical power from the panels was up to 20 amps in bright sunshine. The controller keeps a record of the ampere hours and the typical charge per day is around 35ah each day into the battery bank. The second task I did was to fit a larger alternator rated at 100ah so that the batteries could be charged quicker. The third task was a Sterling 'Alternator to Battery' charger, which can also combines the output from the second alternator which can also be used charge the leisure batteries more efficiently.

Click a link to read previous postings Part I - Part II

I also looked at making changes that would help the power budget.

I did some modifications to the lighting on the boat a couple of years ago. Replacing the incandescent bulbs with low wattage light emitting diodes types which are much more efficient. The flat screen television was changed over from being on mains power to using a 12 volt DC supply. Both circuits were protected by employing a device to regulate the voltage to 12 volts. So as the charging voltage raised, the voltage level for the devices would remain the same. The regulator can provide a stable 12 volts even with voltages between 10 and 14 volts on the device input. 

Click a link to read previous postings Part I

I forgot that the starter battery was aged as well.

After eight years the battery decided to self retire itself. I placed the battery on a special battery charger that is supposed to take the battery through a rejuvenating charging cycle. On placing the battery on a ten second load on a test meter. It was marginal, not in the red but on the border between the yellow and green. Replaced on the boat it struggled to crank the engine over. So even after regular tender maintenance it had given up the ghost. So I ordered up a replacement, to be delivered on express delivery and today twenty four hours later it arrived. So in bright hot sunshine I treated myself to a self induced 'sweat bath' and changed the batteries over.

So now it's ready, steady, go once again.

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