Sunday, April 3, 2011

Quick update on progress.

 Have been wrapping up loose ends on a few projects, and starting a new ‘batch’.

  • Battery relocation.  Completed all the wiring, motor, generator, etc.  Even completed the battery cover!  We are FINALLY back to the point we were at the end of December.    Wow…
  • Storage in forward engine room.  Have completed installing shelving in the location of the old battery box.  Now just need to decide what to store there :)
  • Search Light converted to new bulb, works great.  In fact  - when I stand on the dock in front of the boat,  I can feel the heat from the bulb.  Good for warming the hands on cold days!
  •  Air compressor all ready to go again.  Also cut off the un-used handle that intruded into the space set aside for spare hull plank storage.
  • New Navigation Sub Panel.  All installed.  Nice to have labeled breakers.
  • Glued and bung-plugged a board to cover the gap at the top of the new door to the aft cabin.  Noticed it now is a bit low and I can hit my head on it, so rounded the sharp corner with a hand plane and some sand paper.  Still hit my head, but now the risk of cutting my scalp is lower.

Hydronic Heating System:
Have been back onto the heating system.  Started to install the PEX tubing connecting the copper segments I installed last summer.  If I were to do this all over again, I would have home-ran all PEX based zones.  Have only made ONE PEX connection, but wow – was that easy!

Speaking of copper,  cut off excess pipe and soldered on a new end cap to the end of the forward radiator segment.  That is now all sealed up and ready for leak-test, and I have a bit more scrap for the metal run.

Have also been spending time designing a control panel – ala how to enable main motor pre-heat, as well as the ability to use waste heat when the motor is running.  And as I am using commercial zone valves and pumps (for improved reliability), I need to add some extra relays to match the control signals from the Hurricane heater control box to these valves and pumps. 

Kubota DC Generator
Have spent a little more time working on this again.  I am in the process of installing an impeller pump driven from the motor to replace the temporary March DC raw water pump.  This will improve reliability greatly.  At the same time will be mounting the Cat pressure pump in preparation for installing the water maker.

I spent a little time looking at the RPMs of this motor vs. output capability.  Until now I had no idea what RPM I was running the EB-300, just that it was about 20% slower than the Max speed based on the throttle stop.  What I found out is I was running at around 1900 RPM, which explains why I could get only around 100A before overloading or stalling the motor.  1900 RPMs gives about 4HP continuous.  At the original stop speed of 2200 RPMs I am producing  4.75 HP and at that speed am able to draw 125A  with no observable issues. 

This is a big 'Aha!', as one sees commercial examples of these DC generators which advertise driving a 150A or even 200A alternators.  I will tell you, at 150A I can easily stall this small Kubota, even when running 2200RPMs.  Now, it may be they have the faster turning, higher HP version (3200 RPM).  But this brings in issues of noise and reliability.  I am happy with a 125A goal, and will continue to see how this shapes up.  Stand by on this one as the total amps/volts will be a key balancing point for this DC generator, as well as rolling-back when the water maker pump is enabled.  Am not sure if I will need to design a custom regulator in the end,  will see.


Finally, cleaned up the Lazzerate a little – vacuumed it well, put a coat of paint on the rudder upper bearing framework.  Also cleaned and primed the backup tiller gear.  Tuesday am meeting with someone to talk about the exhaust system for the Hurricane heater, as well as final placement of the boiler.  Once that is decided will decide on how best to reinstall the aft bilge pump through-hull.

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