Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Umbilical Cord

Well we’ve cut the umbilical cord (shore-power line) and been running on the batteries.  Heating has come from the Hurricane central heater which is also heating the water in the calorifier.  The Hurricane can be controlled by the Empirbus system.  We can turn it off/on from the back cabin, a switch beside our bed, a button on the remote key fob or; when I get the GSM module configured; by mobile TEXT message.  The Hurricane has a thermostat control on the wall in the saloon and we have been experimenting with the desired settings. At the moment it’s programmed to run if the temperature drops below 16°C at night and below 20°C by day.  Thus far it has been starting and stopping correctly.  The plan is to run it continuously for 48 hours and then top up the diesel tank so the average hourly consumption can be establish.  The heating pipes under the bed, in the footlocker and inside the wardrobes are keeping all the clothes warm and dry.  After testing the Hurricane we will run the Lockgate Refleks for the same duration and check it’s fuel usage.  The Lockgate doesn’t require 12v to operate (gravity fed) and may therefore use less energy.  However it isn’t thermostatically controlled and runs continuously.  So it may actually burn more diesel than the Hurricane? 

I’ve also been regularly checking the battery state using the SmartGauge and the Tracer solar controller.  Both give the same battery voltage, although they disagree as to the state of charge.  After running solely on the domestic battery bank for 5 hours the Smartgauge reports the batteries at 95% charged and 12.7v.  The Tracer also reports 12.7v but states the batteries are at 46% charged.  The Tracer is obviously wrong!  However the Tracer can report the temperature of the batteries and also the amperage flowing out of them, which at this time is 0.7A  I’d like to know the amperage being produced by the solar panels but it only appears to display the voltage.

Bec, one of the delightful locals, passed by yesterday and very kindly gave us a roll of carpet off-cuts out of her loft.  We’ve used it to make mats for the tops of the cratch lockers.  It was very generous of her and yet another example of the benefits of living in a small community.  In many ways we will be sorry to leave Aldermaston Wharf.

 Starting to cut the carpet to shape

Meanwhile Darren has been down the blunt end applying the last coat of light grey paint to the stern deck.

The blunt end is now finished!

Oh,  I should mention it’s our 41st wedding anniversary today.  At least once a week I open one eye first thing in the morning and eye my girl.  Then I give myself a little pinch just to remind myself how lucky she is to have me.  Of all the girls in the world I chose her and I should really remind her of this more often!  Perhaps I should also skip getting her to proof-read today’s post?


Nb Duxllandyn said...

Happy Anniversary to you both :-)
Have a great day.
It sounds like the party has begun - celebrations today - sons arriving very soon and Christmas less than a week away.
Tie the season to be Meryy. Tra la la la la a......!

Best Wishes to Waiouru and her crew.
Marian & Mike

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Marian & Mike,
We celebrated the anniversary with a intimate dinner consisting of a bowl of tomato soup. The reason will be apparent in tonight's blog post :-)