Give Me Power – Power Problems on a Narrow Boat Part 2

So I carry on the series of posts on Power with a continuation of pure Britishness, a good olde moan. For those of you who did not read the first blog on this subject you can read it here. To summarise, our onboard batteries were not charging, after much investigation we found that no power was been sent from the solar panels and up on the roof we found a loose cable which we thought was the answer to all our power issues.

You will perhaps not be surprised to read that the simple free solution was not the answer to our problems. The fridge remained warm, the lights remained dull and the water pump remained on strike … sensitive readers doubly look away now … double buggeration.

So the next problem in the chain we decided was the Victron solar regulator, which I believe takes the lovely power the solar panels produce and charges the batteries with it.

At this point I would like to say that I would absolutely not recommend taking my word on this, up to age 8 my sister and I believed that little gnomes lived in the wires and passed balls of electric to each other … so yeah not exactly an expert in this field. 

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We looked at the lovely entirely sealed powder blue unit and did what you do to anything electrical that refuses to do it’s job, tapped it, then walloped it, still nothing seemed to register, so off the wall it came. We didn’t know much about this unit, it had been aboard since we purchased the boat so had very little knowledge on it, with a small amount of research we found the units came with a five year guarantee, and that nearby Midland Chandlers was an approved stockist and return centre. So off we trudged.

Whilst James waited to speak to someone, I did what I think you’re supposed to do in these stores and went off to play with folding down kettles and open doors on fridges which didn’t realise hell on opening. Despite it being super busy in there we got to talk to the most wonderful Lady on their team, she couldn’t of been more helpful, looking thoroughly at the unit, explaining what would happen if we sent it off, which we were all ready to do until she offered to give it try, cutting and trimming wire to connect the unit up to one of their in store batteries where there was a spark of life. At this point she suggested the unit might be ok and we should perhaps try simpler, more cost effective solutions first. Back we trudged.

So it’s not the solar panels, it’s not the inverter … what next? … to be continued.

 

James and Kirsty

 

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