Friday, 25 January 2013

Many pictures of my endeavour

My efforts in the engine room are for now complete. I have fitted the engine hours counter, fitted the solar controller and fitted the Smartgauge.

As I have blogged about before, the engine room in Percy uses copper pipe as a conduit for the cable runs, this matches the copper for the engine plumbing plus other shiny bits.

So any install I do demands to be in some sympathy with what goes before....

When I took the solar panel & controller  off Waterlily I put them onto Percy via  a bit of a lash up just to keep the batteries getting some juice.

Here are a few pics of the 'initial install'

A little bit of copper, a few 3.5 mm holes drilled and some 'tapping' done it looks a lot tidier....

The 'wire' left is in fact the temp sender to a gauge on the pigeon box. I have found the drilling and tapping of the threads quite therapeutic, I even went home smelling like an engineer !

I put the cables that come from the MTTP controller into copper to get them back to the batteries, drilled and tapped onto the engine frame.

The hours counter was not essential but having brought one off Ebay for a fiver from the states it was worth doing. I wanted to find a metal box to match in with the fabricated one for the volt meter and charging light but I made do with a Maplins black plastic... easier to cut out the 2 inch hole. Good for oil changes and diesel consumption checking.

The final extra fitting was the Smartgauge.... some love them some think they are an over expensive volt meter. I would not do without so fitted one as I did on Waterlily. Same again with the black Maplins box....

I ran the engine to check the charge rate which was a little disappointing.... I must refresh my memory on what I was getting on Waterlily. It was over 14v on the back of the alternator but only getting 13.5 regardless of RPM on the smartgauge. I am sure on Waterlily the smartgauge showed over 14v . I may have blogged about it so something to check. It may be the batteries are still a little low, or the smartgauge needs a few more charging/discharge cycles to feel at home, a good reason to spend some time aboard.

I need to turn my attention to the engine next. Plenty to get to know and more to blog about.... including the manly manual.... you ladies... keep off, the manual says so !


Tom and Jan said...

Have you considered that if you have an old engine you may also have an old alternator which doesn't have an inbuilt advanced voltage regulator? If so; you could either replace the existing alternator with a modern one; or fit a Sterling Advanced Regulator (PDAR) to raise the existing alternators voltage.

************** Brian and Diana on NB Harnser******** Maps by said...

If you have 14 volts on the alternator but the SG is reading 13.5 then you are losing 0.5 somewhere.
Do you have a diod split charge system by any chance?

Nev Wells said...

Hi Brian,

I recall now Tony telling me that there was a split charging system... not sure how this works? O presume it is to prevent the leisure batteries and the starter sharing any different current?

I have re read my past posts on Waterlily and when the batteries were at a low SOC the Smartgauge was only showing about 13.5 volts but it did rise after the batteries recovered. This makes sense to me based on the alternator putting more in to bring the batteries back up and the batteries only able to show what they were charged to rather than what they were being charged at... does that make sense, or if the alternator is putting in 14 volts the batteries should be reporting 14v at the terminals?

Any advice gratefully received,


************** Brian and Diana on NB Harnser******** Maps by said...

No, You will lose half a volt going through the split charger. This is not like a resister where the volt drop is dependent on the current flow.
The only two ways out of this to change to a split charge relay or use an external regulator like an Adverc which will bring the alternator voltage up to give the required voltage at the battery terminals.