Friday, 31 August 2012

Error Message

We woke this morning to find the Smartgauge displaying an error message.  The error code was E11 which had me confused until I reached the page in the manual where one line stated error messages starting with  zero relate to the Smartgauge and those starting with a ‘1’ relate to the SmartBank.  So it was an error being reported by the SmartBank.  As the SmartBank has yet to be configured and fully wired into the system I decided to ignore the error message.  The Smartgauge was showing the battery bank as 90% charged and the temporary charger was illuminating the float LED.

Nick decided to fit the Victron 3000 combi/inverter.  It has a more sophisticated battery charger which he felt would be better for Waiouru’s domestic bank.  He couldn’t connect up the 240v side of the inverter as the wall sockets in Waiouru haven’t yet been fitted.  We had quite a discussion about the layout of the units in the electrical cabinet under the spare bed.  My original intention was the solar controller, Hurricane heater controller, consumer unit (AC distribution board) and Victron would all go in the compartment.  However it became obvious if we squeezed everything into the compartment it might overheat.  So the Solar controller has been relocated up into the gauge and instrument cabinet and in the afternoon I connected all the wiring to it. Of course there are no solar panels on the roof, so there is no fuse in the cable to the battery bank.

The instrument and gauge cabinet in the back cabin is now starting to get quite full with more wires and the remote for the Victron combi.  We still have the diesel gauges and water tank gauge to install!

In an effort to create some space I started to tape some of the gauges to the top edge of the open cabinet.  At the far left end in the photo above is the Victron remote.  The orange LED shows the inverter is on ‘Float’.  Because we are plugged into the shore power Nick has limited the charge to 6 amps.  You might just be able to see the edge of the solar controller peeping around the right side of the photo.

I also made a shelf to go on the swim in the lower electrical cabinet.  Nick has fitted the consumer unit and will eventually fit the Hurricane controller in the adjacent space (red arrow).  The Victron combi inverter/charger is the large blue box in the base of the compartment.

Darren has masked up the side panels and stern of Waiouru for the coach lines.

He had just enough time to apply a coat of gloss paint to all the “fiddly bits” on the roof before heading off on holiday.

Richard has been continuing with the ceiling trim.  All but one of the crossover pieces have now been made and installed and he’s also making the trim which goes around the cabinets at ceiling level.  I stupidly volunteered to start plugging the screw holes with the oak plugs.  Richard is very particular and actually checked to ensure I was aligning the grain in the plug with the grain in the timber trim.  Only 150 plugs done today <phew>.  No doubt there will be more to be done tomorrow.

Look at all those little oak plugs in the ceiling trim! Smile with tongue out


Paul - from Waterway Routes Maps and DVDs said...

Just seen your photo of the Victron unit well enclosed inside everything.

We have six inches each side of ours and twelve inches above but it still went into thermal resticted power output regularly when charging our batteries. Once it has cooled down it happily restarts. Fitting fans has almost cured the problem.

It does no harm except that, when it spent 50% of its time in thermal shutdown, it simply takes twice as long to charge the batteries - which meant our typical overnight battery usage was not being recharged in one days cruising.

I would let your batteries run down to 50% then put them onto maximum charge (not the 6A restricted shore supply) for a while to see what happens to he heat.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Paul,
I thought about the heat issue when designing and constructing the compartment. It looks like a swiss cheese at one end leading to the remaining void under the bed. Also the lid has holes (albeit mattress on top?). I'm going to cut holes in the base to allow cool air from the bilge to rise. Also, The side against the rear steps will have holes which will allow heat to escape across the boat into the wet locker. Finally, I've purchased two 12v fans I'll link to the inverter to assist with air circulation.
I can't increase the amperage at the moment because any increase in the load is likely to overload the cable to the boat.
I'm not relying on the inverter to recharge the batteries when cruising. That will be done by the SmartBank (I hope)! The inverter is really only there to provide 240v (unless by chance we get shore power when continuously cruising).