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Found 13 results

  1. Hi all, I've been working on my boat and thought it a wise decision to touch base to benefit from anyone else's advice. I have the following setup: Shore Connection Socket (Charges batteries from 220v shore ) 3 Pin 220v Shore Connection > 50A Fused Isolator Switch > Automatic Inverter/ Charger > Consumer Unit > the rest of the boat. 220v Solar PV to Leisure Batteries (Powers 12v leisure batteries from solar panel energy) 215w Solar Panel > MPPT Charge Controller > Automatic Inverter/Charger > Inline Battery Fuse > 2 x 12v Batteries in Parallel. 12v Battery Connection (Powers electrics when not plugged into a shore connection): 2 x 12v Batteries in Parallel > Inline Battery Fuse > Automatic Inverter/Charger > Consumer Unit > to the rest of the boat.
  2. Can anyone help? I’m changing my batteries to AGM and need to install a DC/DC charger (CTEK D 250SE, which I have). I’m not sure if my battery is even using a battery charger at the moment. is that possible? I’ve tried to install it but I’m not confident enough to be sure it’s done correctly so I was wondering if any boaters on here have experience with installing this charger? Or if anybody has a number for a boat electrician who can help that wouldn’t break the bank (London, W10 area).
  3. Hi folks. My Lister Lpws4 has a leaky low oil pressure sender. I think it must have been weeping for a while but I now think it is getting worse. The audible alarm stops when I start the engine, but I'm not sure if this alarm is also connected to the charge circuit. I don't appear to have a lighting up pressure warning light on the warning light panel. Before I change the sensor, I would like to find out what the 3 terminals are for. I am familiar with the single wire type connected on car's. 3 terminals seems two too many! Are they, + (feed), buzzer and light? As the unit is leaky, I guess it may be the cause of the warning lamp failure. On a car it would be a simple case of touching the sender +feed to earth, I fear if one of these wires is live, touching it to earth might blow something, as might connecting a live feed to one of the other terminals? I have no idea where I could get hold of a wiring diagram. Thanks in anticipation, Patrick.
  4. Hi there new to the community so I hope it's alright to create a new thread. The narrowboat I'm currently looking to purchase is set up with an alternator, 3 new 12v batteries, no inverter, mains cabling throughout. There is also a generator on board. I'm sorry I can't provide specifics at this point, but even general advice much appreciated. If I continue with the purchase, I'm intending on putting on 4 Renogy 100 Watts 12v Monocrystalline Solar panels and doing my best to use the engine for power as minimally as possible (going into winter I realise that the solar is not going to give much power). The current owner will also be putting on a new 12v Fridge if I go ahead with the purchase. The appliances I intend on running would be a toaster, iron, TV, record player, iMac (I already own this and not looking to replace it), Laptop charger, Mobile charger. I'll be replacing all the current lighting with LED. There is currently a Washing Machine on board but the owner says its best to remove it as its on the mains (makes sense, although I would consider keeping it if anyone could provide a realistic solution). Stove and oven will be gas, have yet to decide on a water heating system. The current gas boiler is defunct. Currently considering a new gas boiler or a back boiler for the burner (no burner currently on board looking to purchase) to fuel hot water (taps, shower) and heating (there are radiators throughout but I'm not sure if they would be necessary once I purchase the burner - she's 63'. To be clear I will not be mooring up and 'plugging in', so everything needs to be off grid power. My knowledge is limited so being completely open, I apologise if my questions appear naive any support appreciated: Is it better to consider investing in a good inverter, or should I look at transformers on an appliance by appliance basis? If primary usage was 12v, would installing an inverter affect functionality or can you run both 230v and 12v with an inverter? I'm not particularly keen to keep the generator but would anyone advise that I do and why? Instead of an inverter or transformers would anyone's opinion be that I simply run the engine (with alternator) when using non-12v appliances, and why? I want to reduce emissions and costs from over using the engine unnecessarily wherever possible. Will the current 'all mains' wiring cause any problems with purchasing 12v appliances e.g. the fridge. If I wanted to consider keeping the washing machine what would you recommend having in place? Thank you for your advice.
  5. I am planning to move my 4 x 110Ahr leisure batteries to a new position where there is only room for three. So the idea is to fit 3 x 130Ahr batteries instead. Slightly less total power available, but possibly slightly better SOC may be maintained. I can find quite a bit of info on connecting banks of 2 or 4 or 6 etc, but nothing on 3 x batteries. I would appreciate the battery gurus' advice on how best to arrange the batteries' interconnections. If it is relevant I am a leisure boater and the boat is often left for several weeks unattended. Thanks in advance.
  6. Question: how is the alternator wired internally, is it self exciting? Story: As all the lights are going to go out soon, I planned ahead and bought a pretty looking (!) genset on a trailer. It runs nicely (after initial clouds of black smoke) and doesn't miss a beat when a 5KW load is dumped on it. Sadly it's a bit of a whited sepulchre - there are cracks in some of the casings, in particular the louvres at the rear of the alternator. The LHS of this fell off to reveal - A selenium rectifier - 16 fins A wire wound resistor both of which are small-ish about 4 inches long. They're hanging by a whisker, so I'm loth to remove them further. So the questions are is this a DC supply to excite the unit? What's the voltage likely to be? and at what current How to I replace it if it fails how do I set up a replacement The unit uses a Lister SR2 nd rated at 7KVa Somebody might know - if not in detail, but general points might be a help. TIA
  7. Hello Bonus is in and it gives me just enough to install some solar on the roof. Based on my usage needs I can do with pretty much all I can get . Although I'm all low power & LED I do have a few luxuries that it would be good to power with solar when/where possible and off grid (Currently on hook up but don't see that as necessarily lasting forever) I've started coming up with a plan to help me identify what I don't know. My first pass is below and I have already identified a few questions that I need to answer. I've spent a little time reading up on the forums and have experience of building a small set up a long time ago (To power a caravan) but definitely need to get myself educated on the subject. What are your thoughts on game plan below? Are you able to point me in the right direction with any of the questions I have identified thus far? 1. Design top boxes - Come up with a design for ‘sloped’ wooden top boxes with solar panels embedded in the top (to match lines of existing DB style dog box) 2. Map out roof and all fixed location extrusions - Including ‘to be’ pump out location (Another DIY task) 3. Identify optimum solar panels and box design that matches both electrical and aesthetic requirements (See a bit of back and forth comparing panel characteristics/sizes and lumps on the roof before settling on something) - Q: Any ideas on how to mount centre lines to roof with sufficient strength on port and starboard side? I have spray foam insulation and design that makes removal of internal roofing a PITA so anything that gets around both would be great! - Q: Does anybody have a top box with solar panels that also had a mushroom vent underneath? Does the temperature under the panels cause any issues with circulation? (Assuming not?) - Q: Any recommendations on good places to read up on different panel types and how to select right ones for needs and how to match to MPPT controller and installation design (Thinking max voltage considerations vs temperature etc.) 4. Identify optimum wiring of the panels to MPPT - I’m going to be using MPPT. Don’t yet know whether I will be wiring panels in series/parallel etc. or single vs multiple controller - TBD Q: Does having panels pointing in different directions (Like the doors on a dog box) create additional wiring considerations? 5. Identify optimum wiring of the MPPT to batteries - I’ve got a Victron Multiplus 12/3000/120. - In scenario where plugged in to mains I’d like solar to take priority and charger only to kick in if batteries discharging because solar not providing sufficient charge. - Q: Is that possible? - Q: If not, what’s the forums view on second best option (Looking for automatic rather than relying on me to check voltage, switch on/off chargers etc 6. Buy the stuff and build Apologies, looking back that is a lot of questions. Hopefully others have got or will have similar questions so this isn't all about me!
  8. Hi all, Way back last October we had Milady surveyed and bought her from Whilton Marina... 1. The survey recommended that the wiring, while OK for the BSS, would benefit from being, "simplified and tidied." 2. The 12V Lec fridge was noted in the survey report as "not working" but when we switched it on at the fridge AND the main distribution panel, it worked, but blew a 35A fuse after about a day and a half. (During the Winter, we left it off, but come spring we wanted it in operation.) 3. Matty40S installed 330W of solar panels, with a Tracer MPPT controller. Electrically, this seemed to work fine, and we could keep the fridge running - seemingly, the blown fuse was just down to a TED (Temporary Electrical Defect). 4. One day, shortly afterwards, we set off with the sun shining, and the controller voltmeter read over 13V, but after 6 hours cruising the voltage was shown as only 12.5V (see http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=67490&hl= for more details. Thanks, nicknorman, Richard10002 and Paul C for help) It seemed that the alternator was regulated to too low a voltage to do much good AND there was too much voltage drop in the charging connection. 5. Rodley Boat Centre was doing some work for us (making the weed hatch accessible) so we asked them to rectify the issue (replacing the 65A alternator with a 110A version, with higher voltage regulation, as well as more amps - so we could manage on a couple of hours cruising, and even take a day or two off, either to avoid the rain, or to laze in the sun). After describing the problem, they, like Matt before, said that the batteries were likely to be duff. "OK," we said, "can you give us a detailed diagnosis and fix the problems?" The response was to say they didn't have a load-tester and they were very busy, so couldn't give us a date to do the job. I interpreted that to mean they didn't really want the job. 6. I've found Lancashire Marine Electrical Services on the web, who apparently specialise in this kind of work and are near the Leeds Liverpool... Now cash isn't a problem, but sorting this out myself is (polymyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, DVTs and more - let's just say, "too old") so what I'm asking for is a recommendation for a contractor who I can trust to do a good job, on a reasonably predictable schedule, so we can go cruising for the Summer, knowing when to turn up for the work to be done, without getting ripped off. So: i) does anyone know if Lancashire Marine fits this description, or ii) has anyone any recommendation for any other firm within reach, or iii) anything else to contribute? Right now we don't have big problems, but we're past midsummer's eve, so the nights are drawing in and we want to face next Winter with confidence. Thanks in advance, Roger PS I think that a larger alternator and a zero-volt charge splitter, plus solar PV will give us security of electricity supply throughout the year, leaving us free to enjoy our cruising. Our electricity usage isn't high - LED lighting, water pumps and phone/laptop charging, no TV or other 230V gear - but with my eyes, I do want lots of light to read my books, without worrying about flattening the battery bank, ditto using the laptop (charger draws 10A) and fridge (2-3A average, I believe). Other relevant facts: The domestic bank is 4x110Ah and I want them to last a long time, possibly after replacement. We are CCers, but not live-aboards - so far we spend 1/3 to 1/2 the time, 'at home' in bricks-and-mortar (actually a stone built, victorian terrace house), with periods up to a month aboard and up to a fortnight (14 day mooring limit) at home. R Edited to add: We went back to the boat today to reconnect the solar panels, talk to RBC, etc. We found the battery bank voltage at 12.7 - after 2 weeks with no draw or input. This suggests to me that the batteries are, at least, adequate: they seem to hold their charge OK. After connecting the solar, the controller was giving only 0.5A charge (granted under clouds) which supports my opinion that the batteries are good and close to fully charged - am I wrong to deduce this? If I'm right, the issue (for short days in Winter) is the alternator - regulated voltage plus voltage drop in the wiring - it ought to provide enough charging voltage (and current) to do more for the battery SOC than it is doing. THAT's the problem that I think needs tackling. We cruised up from Whilton in a few months, taking time off for Christmas and stoppages, so I'll widen my query to ask for any recommendations for electrical experts almost anywhere on the system to tackle our rewiring (splitter plus other wiring problems) and alternator issues. Can anyone help with advice about a yard or handyman who'll do a good job and solve our problems? We aren't afraid of paying for good work. Roger
  9. Hey guys and gals, I'm sure it's something simple I've done wrong here but I've wired a 12v socket that has 3 cigarette style sockets and 2 usb sockets. I've tried wiring it in to two different connection points, where the lights are wired to and when I connect some things, especially my 12v laptop adapter, all the lights flash like a rave. Does anyone have any suggestions? Do I need to wire something in between to stop the "surge" or am I being too simple with my wiring? Thanks in advance.
  10. Hi there, I'm about to buy a boat which has been fitted out (electrics-wise) for shore power, with loads of 240v plug sockets everywhere, TVs, Kettles etc, but we don't anticipate or want to be hooked up at all. What I was wondering was if anyone has had experience in changing this sort of setup over to a 12v, battery-based setup, and what challenges they faced whilst doing so. Is it just a case of removing the external hookup point, connecting the internal wiring to the existing 12v loop (which runs the cabin lights etc) and replacing the 240v sockets with 12v ones? Maybe keep one or two and run through a separate, inverter-containing loop from the battery bank? I don't expect it to be that easy but hopefully it won't mean ripping the walls apart! Cheers, Alistair
  11. Hi everyone We're fitting out our boat and are deciding whether to run the 12v wiring outside the walls in conduit or behind the walls. Conduit would be great for access but expensive so I want to know if we run them behind does it also need conduit?/can the cabling sit against the insulation or does it need a certain amount of gap? I've had a look at the BSS handbook but its doesn't give much detail and cant get in touch with any of our sparkys right now. Got loads of work to do but am being held up by not knowing what to do first, walls or electrics.. I'd love to hear your opinions/thoughts/experiences/BSS knowledge.. Thanks in advance
  12. Hello all, I've search the forums to the best of my abiities but I can't fing any answers... Here's my setup: Alternator goes to battery bank (2x110 leisure and 1 starter via relay) via a sterling 4-step alternator booster (the old fashioned yellow box type). The batteries are hardly getting a charge as they're receiving about 13v. The alternator is sending 16v and of course the high voltage trip light is lit up on the sterling unit. What I've done so far is replace the alternator regulator to no avail. What do you think the source of the probem is? I get a sense it's either the alternator or the wiring. I don't see how it could be the latter as the batteries have charged in the past at 14v (according to the dashboard). Since living on a boat for just over a year, this is the first time I'm had to work with the batteries,and the first time I've even touched the alterator. Here's what I could do: 1 - take the alternator out and get it tested/serviced at a garage and if it's dead get a new one. 2 - run some further tests based on the vast wisdom available here 3 - be told by you guys that I'm in over my head and should get a pro to come have a look (I won't be offended!) Thanks!
  13. hiya quick query!! our narrowboat started life as a holiday boat and so there is an absolute proliferation of unwanted 230v/115v shaver sockets!! these are big and heavy with internal transformers, currently unused but connected to our 230/240v system powered by our inverter. can these unwanted sockets be rewired into normal 240v plug sockets?? also, can someone enlighten me as to whether we (terrestrial, and riverine with inverters) use 240v or 230v?? i always thought it was the former, but someone told me this has changed to the latter?? am i being wound up?? is the earth not flat? SB
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