Sunday, May 15, 2016

Power management

The boat runs on diesel and generates electrical power that is stored in batteries. We have been on board for over 26 days and found that at least three hours running was required to keep the three batteries charged up between 8 AM and 8 PM.

Having had no less than five batteries and solar panels on our previous boat I was concerned about a certain lack of power.

Those early days in April and May 2016 had cold mornings and evenings and occasional damp days. We were obliged to have the boiler on for many hours each day. Not only did this consume electrical power it burnt diesel along with the engine at a rate of 0.8 litres an hour.

One of our batteries demanded water most days and finally got hot and boiled. The charging voltage had dropped to 13! Now it seems that we had been coping with a bad set of batteries. Often dropping below 12V in the morning and evening.

We were at Foxton and my friend Terry helped to disconnect the failed item. It was fortunate that we were not far from North Kilworth Wharf where they had batteries and an engineer on hand to fit a new set of three 110AH batteries. Always best to replace them all.

We moved on to Bridge 33 on the Leicester Arm near Hemplow Hills and stayed for the weekend. It was warm and sunny so I set up our temporary solar panel and watched the F1 race from Spain. Even after having the heating on before breakfast and not running the engine the voltage has remained above 12.

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