Thursday, 20 October 2011


Thanks so much to Mike Prior-Jones who saw yesterday's blog and visited us last night with help, advice and a test meter. Hope the proffered sherry, sausage and mash and lift home was adequate recompense for your trouble, Mike!!

Our landlord Martin had already helped me narrow down the potential problem range by lending a 1kw Honda generator which we plugged in to Pippin.

The inverter worked fine! It was taking a charge and the mains worked too.

So Jeremy's original diagnosis of a generator fault was sound: He'd popped out to have a look for us on Wednesday and found nothing wrong with the inverter but the generator giving something like 270 volts:

I'd persisted in thinking it was the inverter as I couldn't see why the generator was faulty if it could still power a washing machine and not blow any fuses.

Logical enough, I suppose, if, like me, you are electrically illiterate........

Of course, there's much much more to it than that.

Mike drew me lots of diagrams and led me by the hand through the mysterious garden of delight that is RMS, sine wave forms, phasing, and quite a lot of other stuff to which I confess I could do little but smile and nod at as it sailed way over my head.

Now, I speak under correction, but if I understood correctly , it seems to boil down to this:

You CAN have too much of a good thing.

The 270 odd volts that the genny was kicking out was far too much for the inverter.

It had refused to recognise or synchronise with that voltage to protect itself and the boats circuitry. This resulted in the big drain on the batteries while the washing machine was being run through the inverter. (The washer isn't sensitive enough to be badly affected by that variation in voltage, so ran fine when plugged directly into the generator.)

Jackie, meanwhile, had been on the phone to Pramac (makers of the generator) who suggested some possible solutions, one of which was a new pair of capacitors.

These are being delivered today and will hopefully restore the correct voltage to the inverter.

Watch this space!

Thanks again to Jeremy, Martin amd Mike for all their help.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are on the way to getting it sorted!

    Also, NEW KITTEN!? We must come out and visit sometime soon, and meet her, as well as of course catching up with you!

    Amy Duck xx