Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Higher in the water

It was nice to wake to a clear but slightly cold morning.  We moved off at 9.00am along with all but one of the other moored boats.  That one was just off the 48 hour moorings so we guessed he was more ‘long term’!  The wind in some of the exposed sections of the canal made navigation slightly more complicated.  By the time we reached Autherley Junction either the wind had dropped or the trees on either side were acting as a windbreak.  It’s exactly a month since we last had the toilet tank emptied and as we’ve decided to empty it out when it reaches half full we decided to ask the boatyard at the junction (Napton Narrowboats) to take our unwanted effluent. Smile

Moored at Napton Narrowboats

We had another very good pumpout; including a thorough rinse.  The member of staff doing the task did comment that we must have a large tank so we didn’t bother to mention it was only half full!  Waiouru is now slightly higher at the stern.  Out of curiosity I asked what price they sold diesel.  It’s a flat rate of £1.20 p/ltr with no split.  He then mentioned they don’t sell much diesel! <surprise>

We went through the stop lock disposing of the rubbish in the bins whilst there and then moored around the corner on the 48 hour moorings.  Other boats have also moored, but then departed, so there must be something about our personal hygiene or the condition of Waiouru.

The afternoon has been spent doing numerous small maintenance tasks.  Jan sorted though the long term storage lockers under the spare bed and whilst she had them empty I checked the cabin bilge and was quite pleased to find the bilge bone dry.  I’ve also been doing one of those regular thorough recharges of the domestic battery bank.  The Smartgauge and Victron BMV600 have both been showing the batteries as 100% charged for the last couple of hours.  The Victron Inverter/Charger has also been showing the batteries fully charged and at “float”.  However the solar panels are still producing power which the batteries are accepting.

The BMV was showing 4.62 amps going into the batteries

So despite the two gauges showing the batteries at 100% they are still taking a very small ‘trickle charge’.  When I say ‘very small’, the battery capacity is 900A/h and they are accepting 0.4A.  That’s small…..

Jan has a salmon wellington in the oven for dinner with apple pie and ice cream to follow.  Yes….. it’s a rough life!


Halfie said...

Tom, your top meter (MeTeR) photo shows exactly the same device as came with my solar panel kit. Is this what you are calling your "Smartgauge"? I haven't worked out what I'm meant to do with the buttons yet; all I do is use the arrow buttons to cycle through the display options.

You say that the meter indicates that the battery bank is 100% charged - is that because it reads 14.5V? What voltage do you take as 50% charge? (Sorry if I've asked you this before.)

Where do you get your figure of 0.4A from? Do you have ten 12V batteries in parallel?

Tom and Jan said...


No, the MT-5 is the remote panel display that is linked to the Tracer MPPT solar controller. The Smartgauge is a different device which shows the battery bank SOC.

Are you having problems understanding the Chinglish user manual for the MT-5?

The meter I use to check the battery SOC is the Smartgauge. I don't trust the SOC reading from the MT-5 or the Victron BMV600.

The MT-5 shows the amps being produced by the solar panels and the Victron BMV600 shows the current (amps) flowing in or out of the battery bank.

If you deduct the amps from the solar panel from the total amps going into the battery then the generator was only contributing 0.4 amps and it wasn't worth running it for that. However my other point was both the Smartgauge and Victron BMV600 were already showing the battery bank at 100% charged. But it was still accepting 4.6amps.