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ivan&alice

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ivan&alice last won the day on June 22 2019

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  • Location
    Warwickshire, UK

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  • Occupation
    Software Developer
  • Boat Name
    Butterfly

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  1. Black Prince ex-hire-boat-owner here, I'd highly recommend a hire boat purchase, particularly if you're a first time owner. Can't speak for all hire boat manufacturers nor can I speak for all of the boats, but I would definitely consider another Black Prince. She has a bumps and bruises that's for sure, but is built like a tank - the reinforcement in the bow is something to behold! In our first fortnight of owning her we were rammed at full speed amidships by a hire boater - there was barely a chip in the paintwork. In some sense going through the wringer and only having a few dents is more reassuring than a boat that's in pristine condition. Obviously a survey is essential - luckily our surveyor said that the dents are all cosmetic. What did you decide, in the end?
  2. Per cell or across the whole 12V battery?
  3. I got the weaker ones. Even so, a 0.3V drop per cell when under 200A load seems to be rather extreme. I figured more, cheaper cells would still be able to provide the current I require with more overall capacity, but I think that was the wrong decision because the voltage drop makes it very difficult to manage the battery. Jeremy has agreed for me to return and upgrade them to the traction capable ones - I just want to be sure that the problem is with the cells and not what I'm doing with them. Is that 0.12V per cell? I'm not sure I understand this calculation - isn't the volt drop dependent on the resistance of the load? (I'm not sure how to work out the resistance of the washing machine...)
  4. Thanks for the inside info! The energy label looks like this: But thanks Richard - I guess the "Electrical Connection Rating" is the maximum wattage that I'm looking for! Thank you both for that. --- I'm busy running a 60 degree 2.3h wash now. It's an hour in. It should be noted that my MPPT is currently in bulk mode and feeding about 35A to 40A of current into the system. When I last tested there was no assistance from the solar. It's hard to say exactly what the washing machine is doing, but I can guess - I can hear the motor, and when the heating element comes on my inverter starts to buzz quite loudly. After a bit the fan turns on. I am monitoring my BMV current (shunt is on the negative for the whole battery), as well as the current to my inverter only with my Uni-T clamp meter. Here are some results the 3.15V per-cell alarm on my ISDT BG-8S sounded pretty soon into the cycle. The lowest I've seen any cell go was 3.03V on a cell. I have now set the BG-8S low voltage alarm to 3.00V so that I can see if the voltage dips lower than what I saw. The 12.4V low voltage alarm on my BMV sounded, under heavy load once the battery SoC was depleted some. The lowest the battery went was 12.1V. My GWL cell monitoring board ("BMS") has not touched my emergency relays this time (yet) - (it has a 2.9V low voltage cut off - which is set too low for my comfort). My Volex B6 circuit breaker on my 240V distribution box has tripped twice (the washer is drawing more than 6A at 240V), so I should definitely rewire the washing machine socket to my 16A breaker - that was a bit of a silly oversight. During the start of the cycle, the inverter draws about 23A with the washer motor only. (Not sure what the machine is doing - I think it is weighing or distributing the load). The inverter draws about 190A with the heating element only. With both the heating element on and motor, when the motor first kicks in it surges to 240A or so but quickly settles to 210A once the motor is turning. I perhaps should test on a 90 degree wash. But I believe my inverter can handle the load - 240A surge and 210A continuous is within bounds, as long as I don't use any other power. I'm a bit worried about the 190A relays that I'm using though. I'm not however sure if my batteries are up to it. They seem to be fine with having the solar assist (or alternator assist when I get there). But I am very uncomfortable with setting a low voltage cutoff on all my monitors that is low enough to cope with the voltage drop with my inverter running flat out. I suppose that one option is to add more cells? If I did that, they should be more robust against voltage drop? Otherwise, to upgrade to the "traction capable" cells. One thing I should do at least is to hook up my BMV to a relay that can cut the load based on a 20% SoC, but a) that relies on the BMV staying synced up, and b) that seems to make my two other cell-level monitoring systems redundant if I set them low enough to handle the voltage drops. Just to reiterate, this is not about getting the washing machine running, this is about my system performing under pressure. Even though I will run the machine on cold wash only, I want the system to be robust enough to handle (for example) someone forgetting to hit the cold wash button. I want enough margin so that as the cells degrade over time the system will stay powerful enough for my needs. I can't be having my cells dip into the sub 3V range when they are still >50% full and under load, because setting the voltage cutoff this low makes all of the layers of protection I've added pointless. I guess the ultimate solution is to have a microprocessor controlled system like @MoominPapa's, that can be programmed to judge the situation based on more than just voltage.
  5. What rating is your kettle? The inverter didn't trip but the BMS did - would the inverter drop the voltage down lower than the current would suggest if it was maxed out? I would have thought the inverter itself would simply trip? In any event - I'll run the system with the inverter loaded up this weekend, take current measurements and see if I can reproduce / trip it again.
  6. That's the one. But I have no idea where you got that info from because I honestly cannot find it anywhere?! The only rating I see in the manual, online or anywhere on the machine itself is "A++" and a average per annum consumption, infuriating measurements... At the risk of starting up the inductive vs resistive loads debate again, the inverter is 3kVA. Considering that the majority of the load (the washing machine heating element) is a resistive load the inverter should be able to power this, right? (Although I never plan to use it this way - this point in this thread is about testing the lithium system rather than getting my washing machine to work. I got the washing machine for its true cold wash button and will fill with hot water. I have a mixer valve for underfloor heating allowing me to set the temperature from 35 to 65 degrees, and the washing machine is 2ft away from the calorifier to try to maintain the heat.)
  7. Sorry I haven't had a chance to reply - when I wrote originally it had just happened. I haven't retested properly yet but I will report back soon with some numbers and diagrams. I did successfully run a cold wash, which suggests that everyone's hunch was right - I think that the heating element was on in the washing machine. Even so, it seems excessive that it it dropped the voltage quite so much that it tripped my BMS. Although it is not my planned mode of operation - I'd expect to be able to power my washing machine with heating element. Having that capability seems like a reasonable margin of safety. I used 70mm2 cable throughout. The inverter is less than two feet of cable away from the battery. I can't remember what the voltage drop of that was, but I based my calculations on a maximum 240A current, given the 3kVA size of my inverter. So I am right to expect my 640Ah battery to be able to power my inverter flat out (2kVA = that's < 0.4C = 240A right?) That's interesting, reducing the low voltage cutoff due to discharge current - doesn't that mean though that if you are busy running down your battery that you're at risk of overdischarge? Does that mean you're entirely relying on the per cell cutoff?
  8. Thanks for that! Those stops are just from canalplan.eu based on a 7 hour day. I'm not planning on using those stops. We cruise verrrrrrrrrrry sloooooooooowly - not more than 4 or 5 hours at a time. We moor up whenever we like the look of where we're at. 20 locks in one day sounds like more than I'm willing to do to be completely honest. I think the most I've ever done in a day is 12 or so. So we'll need a few extra stops - but I'll check out those locations as possibilities, thanks!
  9. I think this is the plan then - 65mi, 90 locks... best get moving! Thanks - I will check where we are but I am definitely keen to head up the Lark and Wissey, as well as the Little Ouse. Is there anywhere to moor near the heads of navigation of these rivers?
  10. Very sure. I balanced them at 3.6V last week and they were charged up to 13.9V on the whole battery this morning before switching to float. When not under load (when they are just under my small 12V loads) they sit at around 3.3V. Unless my BMV is inaccurate, I've only used 24Ah since this morning.
  11. I have 640Ah of them which should also improve the current rating, right? I haven't run the battery down much at all - the BMV says 23Ah. So I can't really say what the balance was like on the bottom. While under load from the inverter the voltage was bouncing around all over the place, but the cells were around 3.0 to 3.1, and occasionally would dip into the high 2.9s. As I say the system is isolated from my alternator until I can do something clever with it. So running the engine is not an option. I'm still very much testing (the washing machine didn't have any washing in it) so I'm more trying to discover the limits than look for a solution right now. But today's testing is suggesting to me that the cells are on the weak side for putting out current. I'll put the ammeter on it to see what Thanks for that. Are the cells in danger to drop below 3.0V when they are sufficiently charged? This isn't the same as undervoltage due to being flat, right?
  12. Wash was cold, a 15min test run. This washing machine has a "true cold wash" button that allows you to turn off the heating element entirely. Washing machines don't get specified in a nice "this many watts" label because they vary so much depending on what they are doing; they get specified in "this many kWh per year" which is an infuriating measurement.. But in various other threads we've discussed this washing machine and the general consensus was it uses around 500W. 1000W is less than 100A. My domestic battery is completely isolated from the engine for the time being. I'm expecting this battery to be able to put out 200A. Is this unreasonable?
  13. We decided with a heavy heart to leave the MLN trip to as early as possible next year. Can't justify the extra spend on a gold license we'll only be able to use for two or three months. Instead we're now at Braunston and heading to visit friends in Stourbridge. Canalplan.eu offers 5 different routes to get here. The suggested route is 65 miles and 107 (!) locks, following the GU Warwick and Napton canal, Warwick and Birmingham canal, Birmingham main line, Netherton tunnel. Second is a 67 miles and 97 locks, using the Stratford upon Avon canal instead of Warwick and B'ham. Third is 81 miles 86 locks, via the Oxford canal and B'ham and Fazeley (Rugby and Coventry) rather than the southern route along Warwick and Napton canal. Fourth is 82 miles and 83 locks, similar to 3, but using Tame Valley Canal rather than B'ham main line. Fifth is 107 miles and (only!?) 62 locks, similar to 3 and 4 but avoiding B'ham entirely using the Staffordshire and Worcester line. I feel like 45 fewer locks than the "fastest" route and avoiding the city seems like a nice idea? Does anyone have any opinions or suggestions on a route?
  14. Oh dear. This suggests to me that the cells are a bit knackered? I don't know what load the washing machine is applying but it should be much less than 100A. The inverter doesn't tell me what the current is, but I can try again tomorrow and test with my clamp meter.
  15. I installed my 3kVA Victron inverter today. My heating element came in handy again as a way to charge the capacitors while connecting it up. Was very satisfying to see our test toaster and hair dryer come to life on the boat for the first time (apart from a little shore power we had while getting our boat blacked last year, we've not had any 240V power before). When I ran the washing machine, my BG-8S cell voltage low alarms went off. I'd set this to 3.1V so not too alarming. My BMV alarm went off at 12.4V - this was set to 12.4V (3.1V per cell average). Then a minute or two later the BMS board cut my load relay - which was set to 3.1V (the most conservative setting). I was watching the cell voltages and they were generally over 3V each but would occasionally dip into the high 2.9s. Unfortunately, resetting the BMS board didn't seem to turn on the relays again like it was supposed to. I had to manually connect the relay circuits to turn them back on. Possibly I've set it up or wired it incorrectly. I'm going to look into it more tomorrow. These aren't extremely heavy loads and my battery was nearly fully charged - is it expected that a washing machine could drop the voltage of my lithium bank from 13.4V to 12.1V? When the load eases up, it returns to 13.4V. In any case, I set the low voltage cut to 2.9V on the BMS and completed the washing machine cycle, so perhaps I just need to set my alarms to a more realistic voltage. I really just wanted to test them all, so mostly today was a good success
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