Today the postman delivered some good news. My UK biometric permit has arrived!
It’s made of plastic and the size of a credit card. All the data is accurate except they put some old man’s photo on the front! Interestingly, in one part of the accompanying letter the card is referred to as a Biometric Card but on the top are the words “Residence Permit”. The accompanying letter also stated I might have to bring the card with me when sitting the “Life in the UK Test” as proof of identity. But I had to pass the “Life in the UK Test” as part of the process to be eligible UK residency (ie, obtain this card)? I suspect the card is actually multi-purpose; if you arrive in the UK claiming refugee status and have no documents you are given the biometric card as temporary proof you are eligible to stay in the UK whilst your application is considered. In my case it proves I have “Indefinite Leave to Remain” in the UK. The card has a ‘chip’ embedded in it containing my biometric details (facial recognition and fingerprints)
The accompanying letter also stated I am not required to carry the card at all times but it must be presented to immigration when departing or arriving in the UK. So after two years and £3000 we can finally breath a sigh of relief about our ability to continue our plans for cruising the canals and rivers of England & Wales. Obviously this means I no longer have to hide in Waiouru when we are near major population centres.
[Jan here…..would you trust this man if saw him?]
After just over 24 hours on shore-power the domestic battery bank is on ‘float’ and the Victron BMV600 meter is showing between 0 – 0.5A going into the batteries. The capacity of the battery bank is 900AH which means there isn’t much charge going into the batteries. We will probably go shopping tomorrow so I’ll leave the Victron Inverter/Charger doing an ‘equalizing’ charge whilst we are away. I suspect it won’t make much difference to the batteries as the Sterling PDAR manual states that the software in the PDAR automatically monitors the batteries and completes an equalizing cycle when necessary. The Victron user manual states the equalizing charge is 1v above the absorption voltage (14.4V) and the cycle is one hour. However the Sterling PDAR is already forcing the alternator to produce 14.8V during normal use. The manual also states:
EQUALIZING TIME CYCLE:
The software in the new Digital Regulator automatically calculates the equalizing time cycle every time the engine is started. This will range between 1-12 hours depending on the rise time between engine on and time to reach 14 volts; this will be different every time the engine is started, and varies from battery type setting . The internal computer software will look after this function.
Furthermore, the Sterling manual stated the high voltage and rapid charging using the PDAR will result in higher than normal battery water evaporation. I can confirm this is correct because we have used five litres of distilled water during our 2013 cruising year. Hence the automatic battery watering system.