Saturday, February 5, 2011

Failing the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test

2011 02 05
Green Turtle Cay, Abacos

Here is the current status of four boats, ours and three friends.

Meredith: The start battery will not start the diesel.  It has lots of juice but when called upon to deliver same to the starting motor it cannot.  We are starting on the house bank which is, at least, ironic.

Friend No. 1 (on my port side): As reported his Honda generator is reversing the polarity of charge creating a dangerous situation rendering the Honda unusable. 

Friend No. 2 (on my starboard side): His 90 amp internally regulated alternator is running hot.  It puts out a proper 14.4 volts but after 12 hours motoring he found his shore power  charger was delivering 150 amps to the seemingly starved batteries.  They should have been full.

Friend No. 3: With 900 amp hours of battery, 650 watts of solar panel and a wind generator this boat suffers a near catastrophic voltage drop each time the skipper applies a load to the DC circuit.  

All four of us have been working on these issues for weeks.  One of us is an electrical engineer.  

When you set off be prepared for failure.  

And if your electrical has to fail Bahamas is the place for it.  You can't fix anything but the beer is cold, the air is warm and the beaches deserted. 

The four of us are all doing something right.

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