Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Thank goodness for solar panels and wind turbines!

Now we have sorted out the hot water tank problem, another little issue has arisen: to whit, the inverter is not charging the batteries.

Hmmmm. Is Pippin having a serious tantrum with us? Is it jealousy? I mean, we did spend a heck of a lot of time working on nb Caboodle for our friend Becky.(It's looking really nice. I'll try to post some pictures at some point....).

Pippin, however, is looking a bit faded, though not, I feel, to the point of scruffy.

Whatever the reason for the latest problem, solving it is proving tricky.

The problem manifested itself while we were doing a wash.

We have a domestic washing machine that runs off the 240v mains. The Pramac P6000s generator provides ample electricity for this. Any spare tops up the batteries, so it's normally quite efficient and works well.

However, half way through a wash on Sunday, Jackie noticed that the monitor was showing the batteries were being drained at an alarming rate. She switched off the washer mid-cycle, preventing any permanent damage to the battery bank.

This left us in a bit of a quandary. We can't run the engine due to the absence of gearbox. The generator isn't charging the batteries at all, so with two out of three of the triple redundant power systems knocked out, we are solely reliant on the solar panels and the wind turbine.

So far, so good, though we have turned off the Shoreline 12v fridge freezer as it's the biggest single draw on the boat. We'd rather lose the food than have to replace half a dozen batteries......

I got the washing finished by plugging the washer direct to the generator via our long extension cable. This worked fine, so not only is the generator seemingly not the problem, but also, we don't have a drumful of soggy washing going mouldy to worry about.

The new gearbox is hopefully going to be installed on Friday, so all being well, we will be able to charge batteries via the engine.

But what ails the inverter?

It's almost as big a puzzle as trying to guess which expensive bit of boat related kit is going to break next......!

1 comment:

  1. John: a couple of diagnostics for you!

    When you run the generator with the inverter/charger unit main switch in the "on" position, does the yellow "charging" light come on?

    How about when you have the switch set to "charge only"?

    I have the computer interface for the Victron inverters which I can lend to you to help with your debugging. Give me a ring later.

    Mike P-J