Lost of sun energy and dinner with Astrid and Marjan

Friday August 4

During the day the solar panel reached a new record…

800pluswatts

As you can see from the Victron Venus readout we are getting 823 Watts ..free sun energy !!!!!

Late afternoon Astrid and Marjan came for tea and dinner, which was lovely.  One point which was brought up was the egg scare in Holland.  We found out that each egg had their unique code, showing what kind of egg is, and which company it comes from

eggs

 

1 means free range chickens

eggs
0 .                                      1                                     2                                 3

here is the article on egg codes in europe

 

Houston we have a problem ( and for the Dutch readers also…Dank U Sinterklaasje)

Yes yes yes…It did arrive in the USA.

venus Finally.

Gosh I have been bugging everybody, Matthijs, Justin, Peter Kennedy  (pkys.com) for a few months now, after Matthijs told me last year he was working on the Venus, and I did not had to buy the expensive Maretron equipment to monitor tanks,  temperature and (soon inplemented) bilge pump activation.

But then it is just like VETport software upgrades…later than being told.

Small Blue box, no manual ( it is being developed online) and bunch of cute handy connectors.  A temperature probe with an attached 2 wire connector.  Now where is the one for the DC power ……..not there…..huh …there are others , like for the relays, and one for the all the connections, but not a 2nd 2 wire connector.  So removed the connector of the temperature sensor and slapped it on the DC power line.  It blinks….now connecting…yes we see the wireless network of the Venus…VENUS-HQ1712NTJVI-51f…Gosh I hope we can change that to something easier, or that we can access it easy if the Venus is connected to the ‘real’ internet.  Now I have to try to read the small print of the password …no luck with the Ipad…try again…no luck …Ok Iphone……same .  darn …do I have to call people on a Sunday?  Lets try the Macbook Air…and like the old ads from AT&T …..”Reach out and touch”.. It connects  yes a nice display.  Lets try the Ipad and Iphone now….yep they work too…must have been too inpatient!

Now lets slap the Multi, the MPPT’s the BMV, the GPS, the Temperature sensor on….Multi..perfect…MPPT perfect…BMV . ah no cable ( took it to Holland, Jan-Kees), temperature sensor……..yes/ no….what …the device says connected , and the sensor says disconnected ???

 

 

Ok lets plug in the GPS……wait the unit freezes up?  Ok power cycle try again and wait longer…..mmm same . the moment I plug the GPS with the USB .  ( 2 * MPPT and GPS) the system freezes up.  Well we will email and then wait ..I am sure it wil be solved soon.

YES it was solved very very quickly, an email to Victronenergy on Sunday got a reply in an hour !!! with instructions to do some more digging, so I start digging and organizing the results in a reply email till we come to the model of the GPS.   I revert to friend Google and I can’t find the model number, more running around on the internet and .   mmm my “GPS” unit is in actuality a Wireless wifi unit, which I had used for the CCGX, so with egg on my face I replied to the good folks at Victron ( Matthijs) reporting this .

The connected / disconnected temperature sensor is not solved yet, but I am sure it wil be.

Now lets put the old CCGX on Ebay, sell it and buy another Venus!

GREAT units.

OK and update………Hall of shame…..I tried connecting via the vrm portal, but no such luck…So Friday the 16 June, I drove to the boat, reset everything and checked the temp sensor again. And I could also now connect via the VRM remote control.   And now I saw that the Tank sensors read out was also showing connected.   Darn…lets test the temp sensor……..ok get some water in a pan,….put heath on and put the sensor in the water….but first we need to take the tie wrap off, so we can unfold the cord…but wait …..the ‘temperature sensor’ is 2 O eyes….this is the DC power source cable…    bloody hell.

I never unwound it, since it looked like the temp probe of the Multi plus, I ASSumed it was one.   So with egg on my face I called Justin, and left a voice mail, and when he confirmed I ASSumed wrong, I emailed Matthijs. In his reply Matthijs did show me my observation was correct, that it should not have shown , connected.  The question now is…will I show up on the ‘Stupid yet funny and still a bug found Client of the month” wall at Victron??

 

Switches

So you want to control things and see what is on and off.  On Serenity we have this breaker/switch panel custom made by BlueSeas Systems.  But that is just not a good fit here.    The breakers will be close to the 2 inverters.  The layout is much simpler, less circuits.

For switches in the pilot house we will have:
24 V
Bilges                        On/Off/(on)
Engine Exhaust fans  On/Off
Remote Battery       On/Off
Water Pump            On/Off
Deck wash               On/Off
Horn .                       (On)/Off
Wipers                      On/Off
Running Lights .     On/Off/On

220V
Hot Water (Vetus)   On/Off
Kabola                       On/Off

These are all Carling Contura switches. Getting switches is easy, but it seems very hard to get 24 V switches with back light  and on/off lights.  I was able to found them at onlinecomponents.com But the 220V and the 24V On/Off/(on) and On/Off/On had a 4 week delivery time.

For actuators.we used rockerswitchpros.com to get  them laser engraved.
Since we also use many many USB powered devices, weusb2 will ad a bunch of USB outlets all over.  First I bought these, but they are too bulky to fit in the carling size panel.

So these will be donated.   And I found smaller ones, without the
usb1voltage readout who will fit in the size of a Carling switch.

 

For some of the other actuators we got tIMG_1239.JPGhe following.

IMG_1238

 

Elektrikity

Now what do we do with electric…….we have 220 V, 12V, 24V .  when do we use what?

Lets view what we have we have 220V from shore, and we have 220V from the inverters ( 2 X 300 W Mutliplus 24V)
In order minimize DC losses we use 24 V, but the engine is 12V and some equipment, like VHF, N2K is only 12V

Lighting can be gotten in 220V and 24V.  Many of the older Led lights are 220V with a transformer going to 12 or 24 V.  So if 24 V led’s are available we use them, so we cut the transformer losses.  At the same time the 24 V is not always 24 V it can go as high as 29.   For the rest we use 220V, like appliances.

We will leave the starter battery for ONLY the engine and the engine critical systems.
The starter battery wil be maintained on a float charge with its own small charger.

All other systems will be connected to the house batteries wit a DC-DC converter
which can also be used to charge the 12V battery.

Just a fun side note.   It is cheaper to buy most Victron stuff in the US and bring it back to Europe.  Yes we can get BTW/VAT back if we buy equipment in Europe, but then we have to take it back to the USA in original packaging and then schlep it back.    Much easier to buy a cheap suitcase, load it with equipment and check it in when flying over.

For switches I found that Carling switches can be etched with pretty much any text and symbol.  I found rocketswitchpros.com  and newwiremarine.com deliver these . ( They are the same company, just a few price differences and offerings in the different websites….Don’t forget ‘marine’ is usually more expensive).  Only problem is …only available in 12 V.  So I had to google and find out a supplier who did the 12V Carling Contura body.  The 24 V is important because of the back light/ on-off indicator light.   Carling has a nice data sheet online which is self explanatory, except there was no code to 220V  switches.  After a few emails I found out it was 5, B = 24 V, D = 12V.  the switch covers can be exchanged.  I selected series V.

Some switches came with the remote battery switches.    I am using the Blueseas systems PN 7700, which also have a manual option.   They switch, but don’t need power to stay in  the open or closed postion.  Why pay about $140 more for a remote battery switch versus a manual one?  Simple, safety, now I don’t have to go in the engine compartment or in the back cabin where the batteries are, in case of an emergency.  Why not put a ‘manual’ switch at the helm, so it is close?  Because of voltage drop.  Now the switch is right next to the inverter. Lets look to cost, and we wil only use the house battery for fun.  If the manual switch was around the helm, there would be about 2 cables of 16 feet.  Lets go for full load 6000 watt. At 24V that would be about  250 Amps. Allowing a 3% voltage drop, means 2/0 AWG cables  ( 70 mm )  a 200 watt los.  Plus it would cost about $200 in cables, include the manual battery switch and you are at a total cost of about $240,   so $60 higher. I’d rather spend on Hertog Jan beer.  ( A case of 24 bottles is about E16, so with 4 cases of Hertog Jan I can bribe Daniel to do ALL the  electric cabling.)

We added a nice large piece of plywood above the fuel tank to mount all the electric equipment on.   The 220 lines are inside the pvc pipes and marked by a label with some clear heatsink over it.

This way the lines are very well marked and putting the clear heatsink over it protects the writing

Last year we got 8 6 V 330 AH Mastervolt batteries  (ManualAGM6V120626) for a steal, E750 via marktplaats.  With Oving1’s boom we loaded them into the back hold and split them up in 2 groups of 4.

Daniel made the connector wires and wired them up to a double fuse box,  where we mounted large Battery fuses and a 100 Amp DC fuse for the 24 V system and a small 6A fuse for the Battery Shunt.

inverter_temp

here we see from left to right .  Fuse box with 2 big fuses, a positive 24V to the inverter

The top grey box is the 220V AC out , Line A output from the inverter ( UPS line and the lines are rated for only 16 amp, which needs to be replaced by 32 A wires ( once we install the 2nd inverter).  The 32 A is important for the induction cooking
The lower grey box is the box for the 220 V AC shore power in, so we can branch from there to the two inverters.
The 100 Amp DC fuse which goes to the front breaker panel, the fuse for the positive MPPT
A bit lower 2 negative going to the BMV shunt and on the other side the negative of the MPPT
Then the first Multiplus, a space for the 2nd Multi plus (currently one is being used on Oving1.)  and the MPPT

Pic fuse box

pic BMV

Pic DC fuses

Sun & Solar

Daniel, the ‘ultimate scrounger’ was able to find a pallet load of 145W solar panels @ E75/ panel.  This is about 1/2 the normal price for solar panels.  I know I would have preferred 300 Watt panels, but we will just offerup some more deck space for future energy needs.

The Voc is pretty high 87 V, so we need to make sure the MPPT has a high enough voltage.

145W_solar_panel

Since the Voc is so high if we put them im series we would need for just 2 an max voltage of 174V, or with 3 of 261V.   Victrons MPPT start at 75,  100, 150 and 250.  But with 3 in series we go over the 250V, so easiest all panels parallel, which will result in 87V max and  with 24 V as  battery, a Imax of 36.25 Amps  (6 * 145 W panels gives  870 watt > 870/24=36.25 )  Realistically it will be below the 36 Amps.  So that leaves us with the Victron MPPT 100/30 (max 880 W ) or 100/50 (max 1440W) .  The 100/30 is about $202   the 100/50 is about $300.   So we will go with the  mppt_100_30

The Mppt will be connected to the batteries directly, and connected to the VenusGX. (Once it comes …it was supposed to arrive Q4 2016, not it is slated Q2 2017, until that time we can grab the CCGX from Serenity, with the GP and use that)

So we got to the point of putting the 6 panels on.  In the mean time Daniel found 4 solar_panel_yingli_panda_yl260c-30b Watt panels, who could be fitted easier.   Because of  the low Vmp (30.8 V) we placed two in series and these two in parallel.  To mount them we added a 20 mm  thick neoprene cell rubber adhesive strip to the long sides of the panels.    We made some aluminum strips to mount them all together.

Marc cutting strips picture

On the boat in the US I had bought the special attachment clamps, but here we opted for some self made aluminum strips, to mount two panels together.  After mounting the strips on the long sides of the panels, we added the foam strip. and just laid the panels on the pilot house roof.  ON a later date we will mount the outside strips through the roof
solar_strips_cleaning

 

 

Marc making aluminum strips to keep them into place

 

 

 

Here Daniel is adding some extra caulk to the cable passthrough

The panels are connected to a Victron MPPT 100/30 and then directly to the batteries.
Here is a view from the Victron CCGX showing the solar power on a sunny day 720 Watts

With the 4 panels being flat 720 watt is a good efficiency for 1000 W solar panels.  If we have 4- 5 hrs we will get 3 KW/day, which is more than sufficient to be self sustainable.