Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Right.....time to update this blog :) (sorry again). I know a blog without pics isn't that great, so I'll do a quick update and then come back with pics in due course. Having bought a sailaway, the initial surge of activity was to make it liveable, within a marina, on shorepower. This soon changed to....making it warm in winter, which we managed to do by installing a coal stove. This then changed to....making it ready to cruise without shorepower......which we managed to do by adding 6 x 110AH batteries, and wiring up the leisure alternator (175AH) Keeping the batteries charged, was done by running the boat engine, but I soon realised that on a widebeam, it's about £2 per hour running, and it's a bit loud at I looked at adding some solar. I eventually bought 4 x 230W panels from, and 2 seperate 30A MPPT controllers, which were wired up about a week ago. Since installing it, I then decided to cut the 6 batteries into 2 seperate banks, and connect each solar controller to a different bank. This means that we can liveaboard in the day, most living off free sun power, while storing power for the teen to run his desktop PC and do college homework at night, (using his own dedicated set of batteries which he manages himself, without me having to worry about it.) If he runs out of power, he cant come running to me for more, which is wonderful :) Since splitting the banks, I've been concerned that His bank (even using 5hrs of desktop PC each night) is doing well, and retaining a charge, and recharging well. The other bank however, seems to show fully charged in the daytime but as soon as the sun goes away, it shows quite a low voltage on the small digital display I installed on the wall. I'm convinced it's the fridge sucking all the power, but as part of testing things, I've removed 2 batteries which are full, leaving a remaining 2 batteries to carry the load for the night. I want to see if the two batteries I've removed from the circuit, still show a high voltage in the morning. This will prove those 2 batts are ok, and my focus will move to the remaining two...the digital display might be showing me a low voltage simply because of the load from the huge 3000W invertor I'm using and the 220V fridge. More on this little adventure later :) At the moment the sun is shining brightly and the wall is showing 13 V. I'm planning on putting a fan to blow cold air from the bilge up through the back of the fridge, to stop the compressor kicking in all day...and I need to put a back on the cupboard so the fridge doesnt feel all the hot air from the coal stove...which we use to dry clothes at times. Overall we are loving the boat life, and have been cruising the Bridgewater canal, and then back to Manchester where we have a mooring, but....we're only revisiting our mooring in Nov 2013. I'll post some pics soon. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dean,
    Clicked on your sig. in CWDF and came here ref. "I'll post some pics soon. :)" that was 2013. A bit like, tell em we'll do that Thursdee, but don't tell em which Thursdee!!!! Love it good blog so far too.


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