All of us on Team Möbius enjoyed our four day weekend even if we were back under full national lockdown and returned to Naval Yachts on Wednesday morning with all our batteries fully charged to make the most of the 3 days we had to work this week. The theme this week with many parts of the build seemed to be electrical and hence this week’s title. Let’s jump right in to this week’s shortened show and tell so you can see for yourself.
ELECTRIFYING ELECTRICAL WORK:
Only seems right to start off this electrifying progress update with all the progress our head Sparkie aka Electrician aka Hilmi accomplished this past week.
Three of the Distribution Panels are in the Basement so that’s been Hilmi’s home of late and here is finishing off the wiring of this panel for all our solar panels.
This simplified schematic shows the overall Electrical System on XPM78-01 Möbius and you can see that there are 14 individual solar panels each with their own dedicated Victron SmartSolar 100/20 MPPT controller.
Hilmi had previously mounted the 14 MPPT controllers directly to this aluminium plate which acts as a giant heat sink to keep them all nice and cool.
Cables from each of the solar panels up above come down here where they connect to pos/neg input on their respective MPPT controller.
Them the regulated DC output from each MPPT controller is wired into this MPPT Distribution Panel via a DIN rail mounted circuit breaker.
With the panel door closed you can see the clear and easy to read labeling of each of these 14 circuit breakers grouped into the three physical banks, Forward, SkyBridge Roof and Aft.
As with all the wiring, Hilmi attaches unique numbered ID tags to each wire. The to Red bar is the Positive Bus Bar and the Black one below is the Negative Bus Bar. Silver cylindrical item on the far Right of the Positive Bus Bar is the Class T fuse where the large 120mm2 / 5/0000 output cable will be connected and carry all those beautiful solar amps over to the Main DC Distribution Panel on their way to the House Battery Bank.
A short while later Hilmi has these two eXtreme sized pos/neg cables installed on their respective busses inside the Distribution Panel above and runs them up the Right side of this cable tray where they cross overhead as the cable tray makes its way across the ceiling of the Basement and down into the Main DC Distribution Panel we will look at in a moment.
You can see these big Red/Black cables going across the ceiling if you scroll up to the very first photo in this section and look above Hilmi’s head.
This is the Main DC Distribution Panel here those cables from the MPPT Distribution Panel will soon be connected. This Main DC Panel is mounted on the other side of the wall opposite the MPPT Controller Panel which you can just see peeking out in the background on the far Left here.
Blue box on the Left of the Main DC Panel is the Victron automatic Isolation Transformer and on the far Right are the two Victron 120V MultiPlus 24V/3000W/70A inverter chargers.
Similar to the MPPT Distribution Panel the Positive Bus Bar is the one running across the top and the Negative Bus Bar is on the bottom.
Peering inside on the back of the Main DC Panel are a multitude of items such as these three Victron Smart Shunts each of which will be connected to …………..
……. one of these Victron BMV-712 Smart battery monitors which are mounted up at the Main Helm.
Two of these BMV-712’s will individually monitor Battery Banks A & B each of which have 12 FireFly L15+ 4V Micro Carbon Foam cells wired 6S2P and produce 24V @ 900Ah. Then the third BMV-712 will monitor their combined inputs and outputs of the whole House Battery Bank which is 24V @ 1800Ah.
Being a DC Battery Based boat ALL of our electrical power, both 12V & 24V DC and 120V & 230V AC comes from these batteries so having detailed monitoring is critical.
Looking up from the bottom you can see how eXtremely massive these solid copper Bus Bars are. Each bus bar is made from two strips of 8mm thick by 40mm wide solid copper bars which ensure that there is essentially zero voltage loss as they move the electrons around.
And with 24V @ 1800Ah or 43.2kWh flowing through these buss bars they need to be well isolated from everything else which is what these special composite made insulators do as they attach the bus bars to the electrical panel box.
eXcessive? Perhaps. eXpen$ive? To be sure. However this all yields very high dividends every day we live aboard and is a no-brainer investment that is well worth it in our opinion as our electrical system is quite possibly THE most critical of all the many systems that make up the small village known as XPM78-01 Möbius.
Moving back behind that Victron Wall with the Main DC Panel on it and looking down the MPPT panel on the WT Bulkhead, we spot the third electrical box to take up its home in the Basement in the rear Right here. Visible in the foreground on the Right are two of the three Victron 220V MultiPlus 24V/5000W/120A inverter chargers.
FWIW: I’m thinking about calling this “Electron Alley”, let me know what you think and if you have better name suggestions? We find it handy to have names for different spots on Möbius in our conversations and helps to have short clear names to reference.
This is the AC Distribution Panel where the inputs and outputs for all the various sources and consumers of 120V and 230V AC are centralised and distributed.
Hilmi starts by routing each of the Gray AC cables into this AC Distribution Panel through the WT cable glands along the bottom and then strips off the outer insulation jacket to expose the copper mesh grounding shield underneath.
We are using DIN Rail mounts for all the electrical panels and here you can see how Hilmi has wired the individual Gray junction blocks on the bottom to each of the circuit breakers above.
All tagged with their unique ID numbers of course!
The individual wires inside each AC cable is then separated out.
All the copper mesh wires are covered with Green striped Yellow insulation heat shrink for added safety.
And then each individual wire is connected to either the Negative Grounding Bus Bar on the bottom or …..
……the DIN Rail junction blocks up above which are in turn wired into the DIN Rail mounted circuit breakers at the top.
And this is the final result for the bottom end of this AC Distribution Panel.
That Gray Cable Chase running along the top will soon be filled with all the AC wires for the Isolation Transformer, Inverters and Charges so stay tuned for that next week.
Speaking of Inverters and Chargers ……….. Hilmi also worked on completing the wiring of these three Victron 220V MultiPlus Inverter/Chargers and the two 120V versions on the other side of this “Victron Wall”.
Red/Black are the 24V DC cables and Grey are AC.
You can guess as to what the as yet unshrunk clear tubing on each cable is for?
All the Red/Black cables from the MultiPlus Chargers pass through this opening in the large cable tray on the bottom which they will soon be securely zip-tied as they make their way up into the Main DC Distribution Panel on the Right.
This is what the connections look like inside each of the MultiPlus Inverter/Chargers. 24V DC on the Right and 230V (or 120V) on the Left.
Inverter/Chargers generate quite a bit of heat when in use so keeping them well cooled is very important as their efficiency drops dramatically as the heat goes up and they will automatically shut down if it goes too high.
To help them keep their cool, the five inverters are spaced well apart from each other and each one has two thermostatically controlled vans in the bottom of each unit to move the hot air up and out the top and sides.
Further cooling comes from having them all reside down in the Basement which is the coolest space in the boat, very well insulated and has its own thermostatically controlled ventilation system as do all three House Battery Compartments.
Closer look at Hilmi’s handiwork wiring all these AC cables into the AC Distribution panel you saw earlier.
And by now you’ve figured out what those clear plastic sleeves you’ve been seeing are for; Labels for the Cables!
All this does add to the time but it all becomes part of the basic mass production steps Hilmi has refined and repeats for each wire as he is installing the cables so it all goes very quickly.
This is yet another example of the importance of these “little things” which add up to eXtremely BIG things in terms of overall safety and low maintenance over the rest of the life of the boat in providing quick, clear identification of every wire, hose, valve, etc. Yes, you *could* just leave this in a schematic and look it up when needed as many boats do. BUT when it is Dark thirty and the seaweed has hit the fan and you’re trying to resolve a problem ASAP when you are tired and just have your headlamp on, these “little details” make ALL the difference in keeping yourself, your crew/passengers and your boat safe and operational. Ask me how I know!
How much time and $$ is THAT worth???
What is he holding here and how is this electrical?
This clue view should help you see that there is definately an electrical component to this bit of plumbing kit.
These are electrically operated control valves which in our case are being used for the high water “crash pump” operation. This is one of those systems which we hope to never use as this is for the unlikely scenario where there is seawater flooding the boat after something like the hull has been breached or more likely some sealed underwater entry has been breached such as the prop shaft seal.
Cihan is installing one of these Tork SS1010 solenoid valves to each of the 38mm / 1 1/2” ID pickup hoses at the bottom of each “bilge” compartment in the boat. Given that the XPM hull design has all the area below the waterline being integral welded tanks, we don’t have any traditional bilges other than in the Engine Room, so these high volume pickup hoses are installed at the bottom of the Margin Plates which connect the tank tops to the hull plates and thus form a V shaped “gutter” running down the length of both sides of the hull between each of the five WT Bulkheads.
Each of these 12 gutters has its own dedicated diaphragm Bilge Pump to remove any small amounts of water that might accumulate in there, but for a breach where there is a high volume of water coming into the boat, there is a second High Water removal system which is where these 24V solenoid controlled valves come into play.
These valves are ‘normally closed’ which means when they have no power going to them they are closed. Each of these High Water 38mm pickup hoses connect run back to the Workshop where they connect to this high volume diaphragm Crash Pump you may recall seeing Cihan install a few weeks ago.
Each of the Tork solenoid valves is then wired to two switchboard panels, one at the Main Helm and one in the Workshop so the procedure is that when you get the alarm from one of the High Water Alarm switches you can flip two switches to start pumping out the water; one switch to turn on the Crash Pump and a second one to open the Tork High Water solenoid valve in the compartment where the water is.
Simple, Safe, Easy and as I said a system we hope to never need and only test a few times a year on our safety inspections to make sure the system is working.
Here is an overhead shot of one of these High Water solenoid valves in position below the grated flooring on the Starboard/Right side of the Workshop. Red circle is the Tork Solenoid valve with the Pickup Hose down to the bottom of the bilge area below on the Right and then IF the valve is On/Open the Crash Pump would pull water through the valve along the White U-shaped hose marked in red to the T in the Main line and then through the hose marked in Blue to the Crash Pump where it is sent out the exit Sea Chest.
Pump on the Left has nothing to do with this High Water system as it is the Feed Pump taking salt water to the Watermaker and just happens to be where the Solenoid valve is located.
Kneeling down for this closer point of view; Tork valve in the Center with the White Hose coming out of it at the top going down into the lowest point in the Bilge below and the White U-shaped hose coming out the bottom facing side of the valve to carry water over to the Orange T in the main hose. Not yet connected hose on the center Right will connect to the Orange T which then goes to over to the Crash Pump off to the far Right here.
I will show you more of these as Cihan installs them in the next few weeks.
More electrifying plumbing over here with the our R2D2 Mini-Me looking 220V Alfa Laval fuel centrifuge. Cihan has now installed it on vibration reduction rubber mounts over on the Stbd side of the Day Tank. This is pretty much the ultimate in fuel cleaning and is more commonly found on large +100 meter commercial ships but adds a whole new level to our ability to take even the dirtiest and water filled diesel and convert it to crystal clear diesel without any filters or other expendable media.
* For those interested in knowing more about these Alfa Lafal centrifuges, Steve D’Antonio has one of his typically well written article on them HERE and another one HERE.
And finally for Cihan this week he has finished installing all the Fleetguard fuel filtration system on the front of the Day Tank. These too have their own “electrifying” element to them which is your next Quiz:
What could possibly be electric when it comes to fuel filters themselves??
Hint; it has to do with those Black plastic fitting on the bottoms of the three FS19596 filters.
Hoses now all installed well enough for the first pressure testing with the various ball valves for selecting which filter is in use and which are at the ready.
And the Quiz answer? Those Black connecters are WIF or Water In Fuel detectors found in the bottom of each of the FS19596 fuel filters.
These are the Secondary filters after the fuel has all gone through the Primary “mud” FF5013 filters and the FS refers to “Fuel Filter Separator” as they are also separate out any water that might have gotten into the fuel. Water is heavier than diesel so will always sink to the bottom and would turn on a water sensor switch which is wired into an alarm and light readout to let us know immediately. There are additional water sensors in the Day Tank so we are sure to know well in advance of any water being present in our diesel fuel.
Yes, even our intrepid dynamic duo Aluminium team of Uğur and Nihat has an electrical element to their work the past three days and in several ways so let’s go check in with them now.
These are the extraction fans mounted in the Aft two corners of the SuperSalon which can be turned on to help extract the air out of the Galley on the Port/Left side you see here and …..
…… on the opposite Stbd corner seen here by the Entryway stairs. On the rare occasions when we have absolutely no breeze at all in an anchorage, these fans can also be used to pull fresh air in through all the ventilation ducts in the front of the SuperSalon and Main Helm ……
…….. and keep it flowing through and out the grills in these two Aft upper Wing Box corners on the Aft Deck.
These are 230mm / 9” 24V axial fans which are on variable speed controllers so they can move a great deal of air while being almost silent up inside these well insulated plenums inside the aft end of the ceiling soffits.
You may recall Uğur and Nihat preparing for the installation of the Vetus 2024 Extended Runtime Bow Thruster the past few weeks but they had to wait for the special Sikaflex adhesive for below the waterline applications. It arrived last weekend so they were able to finish the installation this week.
Uğur & Nihat still need to add the vertical braces from the sides of this very heavy motor and the hull and then the Bow Thruster will be ready for Hilmi to complete the wiring from the Bow Thruster up to the Forward DC Distribution Panel up above here in the Forepeak. More on that next week.
Yet more electrifying work from Nihat and Uğur this week, any guesses what and where this is?
Some of you might recognize the well known Swiss made Belimo name or otherwise know this is one of two Fire Damper actuators that close off all air intake and extraction vents in case of fire in the Engine Room.
One damper is mounted on an AL frame that bolts into the large horizontal opening here in the Port Intake Vent Box on the Aft Deck. A Mist Eliminator grill is bolted into the vertical opening on the Right to remove most of the salt and humidity in the air being pulled through which then goes through the damper assembly above when it is open and then …..
down this long rectangular vent to the bottom of the Engine Room.
The two oval penetrations are for wiring runs in/out of the Engine Room to this Vent Box and the 90 degree pipe is the drain for ……..
…….. the sink which will be inserted into a cut out in the marble countertop which tops off the Vent Box as this area on the Aft Deck is also our Outdoor Galley. Nihat has now welded in the L-bar tabs around the upper edge of the Vent Box which will be used to attach the marble countertop to the Vent Box.
Here is what that long vent down from the Vent Box looks like inside the Engine Room as it brings that nice cool fresh air down to the bottom.
The opposite side Stbd Vent Box has the same Fire Damper to control the air being extracted from the Engine Room through the upper Vent and the lower one is for the air being extracted from the Workshop.
The tops of this Starboard Vent Box are also topped wtih 20mm/ 3/4” thick Turquoise marble and the electric Kenyon Frontier Electric Grill is on the lower surface on the Right.
Typical Swiss quality, these Belimo BLFL24-T95 actuators are eXtremely well made and tested. The small Orange unit in the upper Right is the temperature probe which sticks inside the air duct and is set to actuate if the air temperature goes above 72C/160F. That signal would then cause the 24V motor in the large Orange actuator to quickly turn the inner insulated door and close off the entire vent. The little Black crank in the lower Left allows you to manually close/open the vent and the little Black lever on the Right allows you to stop the door at any angle position.
Similar to those Tork SS solenoid valves these actuators are “Normally Closed” and only open when you turn them On by applying 24V to them.
They have also been fabricating these two pole supports and Uğur is showing about where this one on the Port side will be attached to the Vent Box. These support poles have dual functions providing additional support for the roof above that is cantilevered off the main Pilot House frame. There is only the three solar panels mounted atop this roof so not much weight to support but these poles will help make it much more rigid and eliminate any movement. These poles also act as safety handholds when moving along the side decks on the outside of these Vent Boxes.
No electrifying component to these two manual winches for the Paravane system but one more job ticked off the list as these were mounted on either side of the Main Arch.
As you may remember seeing when they were mounting the big Lewmar Kedging Winch and Maxwell Windlass on the bow, the bronze bases of these winches must be isolated from the aluminium plate so Uğur has cut out the thick round disc he is holding on the bottom here. And yes, these too were cut from the supply of kitchen cutting boards that Captain Christine bought at the nearby grocery store.
Might be odd sourcing but they are the Goldilocks just right material for the job and they soon have these this winch bolted and sealed to the base of the Starboard legs of the Arch.
Here is the fully finished Paravane Winch on the Port side. One more job checked off the list and one more step closer to Launch!
Still technically quite “electrifying” as Uğur uses the MIG welder to finish this Exiting Sea Chest on the Port side of the Engine Room.
Welds all done and cleaned up. The angled pipe on the Right is for the water being separated out of the Halyard wet exhaust Silencer/Separator that mounts up above and will be connected with a large 70mm / 2.75” rubber exhaust hose.
The aft facing flange is where this big “Saxophone” manifold mounts to provide connections for all the various hoses bringing everything from Gray to Black to brine water exiting from the Watermaker and seawater from the Chiller’s water pump. There will be a vertical support added to the bottom end on the Left.
More Sea Chest action in the Basement as it receives its flanged mounts for the smaller manifold on top and …….
……. the single unit below for pumping out the Black Water tank not far away in the Basement which services the Guest Head.
MR. GEE ALWAYS ELECTRIFIES ME!
Not to be left out, even with the shortened 3 day work week, I was able to make some good progress on restoring Mr. Gee our Gardner 6LXB Main Engine to better than original condition so let me show you that.
I did the final honing of the new cylinder liners that have been pressed into the cast iron cylinder block.
This honing is done to create the just right cross hatch surface on the cylinder walls for the rings to fully seal and be slightly lubricated. I do the honing using this special ball style hone in my 1/2” drill along with plenty of WD40 for lubricant.
I have used these Flex-Hones for decades so I bought the right size for Mr. Gee’s 120mm / 4.75” bore and it worked flawlessly. I’m holding the hone one handed to take this shot but it takes both hands and a well timed Up/Down motion
…… matched to the drill speed to get the just right angle of the microscopic “scratches” the abrasive balls of the hone leave on the cylinder walls.
This is the end result. As with most engines, Gardner wants this cross hatch pattern to be at an angle of 40-45 degrees to each other which is what you are seeing here. While the depth of the cross hatch pattern left by the hone abrasive is literally microscopic, about 15-25RA which is 15-25 micro-inch or .000015” to .000025” they are eXtremely critical to the engine’s lifespan and performance. The just right cross hatch allows the rings to seat quickly with minimum wear and they they are just right depth and shape to retain the just right amount of oil so the rings are properly lubricated. Once the rings have seated, wear virtually ceases because the rings are now supported by a thin film of oil and do not make physical contact with the cylinder wall.
After multiple cleanings using fresh WD40 and plenty of clean paper towels to remove ALL abrasive grit or cast iron particles left behind in the cross hatch, I used my trusty 1.5 Ton hydraulic lift to hoist the cylinder block up onto the cast aluminium crankcase to begin a critical measurement of piston top to cylinder top which I will quickly walk through here for those interested. If not just skip ahead.
I carefully lower the cylinder block onto the studs in the crankcase being careful to not damage the threads and then tighten all the nuts down to the correct torque as per the Gardner manuals.
Then I prepped the connecting rods and piston assemblies, giving them one last thorough cleaning and putting in all new bearings.
Thanks to the incredible attention to detail of the Gardner Company, Mr. Gee guides me throughout the process with plenty of help with the even more detailed Overhaul & Maintenance manuals I have at my side at all times.
Here is but one example of this detail with each connecting rod bottom end bearing being stamped with numbers so they are assembled with the critical eXact matching from original. I also engraved each part when I first removed them so this is the connecting rod from cylinder #3. Note too that each nut and each bolt is stamped #1-4 so that the right nut goes on the right con rod bolt.
Forget your YouTube video “unboxing” channels, THIS is what exciting “unboxing” looks like folks!
I don’t expect too many of you will share my excitement about the quality of these new Gardner parts and I’ll try to not obsess too much but these pistons really are works of art & engineering. Special inserts for the sidewalls of the top ring, special black low friction coating on the wear sides of the piston body, massive piston pins ……….
……. detailed identification of critical orientation and sizing information stamped on top noting these have the latest 15:1 compression ratio, perfect hyperbolic combustion dome in the middle, valve clearance cut outs, …….
Oooops! Sorry, I did say I would too much now didn’t I.
While others are busy getting their ducks all in a row I’ll focus on having all of Mr. Gee’s assembled pistons and con rods all in a row.
I was a bit too into the moment of fitting the pistons into their bores and torqueing the con rod nuts just right to take many pictures but this is what the setup looks like for the critical measurement I needed to take.
For those interested the measurement is all described here in the Gardner manual but basically what I’m checking is the height of the top of each piston to the top surface of the cylinder block. As per the drawing in the manual this distance “A” needs to be no less than 0.025” and no more than 0.034”, which includes the 0.014 thickness of the head gasket. This “Clearance A” is critical in order to assure that the compression ratio is correct and more so that even when running a bit hot there is plenty of clearance between the valves when they are fully open and the top of the piston. If this distance was too small and a valve was to be hit by the upward moving piston ………….. well let’s just say, that would be VERY bad! And yes, you can ask me how I know that too!
So I set up my dial gauge with its tip on the top of the piston and then slowly rotate the crankshaft to find the exact Top Center position when the piston is the highest and turn the dial gauge to zero it at that position.
With the dial gauge zeroed with the piston at its Top Center highest point, I then rotated the arm to move the tip onto the freshly machined cylinder block to give me the distance this surface is above the top of the piston. I did this three times for each piston to ensure accuracy and they were all as you see here; 0.027”
If you look back at the chart in the manual, 0.027 + 0.014 head gasket thickness = 0.041 which is 0.002” under the maximum factory allowance of 0.043”d so I will leave well enough alone.
The other bit of TLC for Mr. Gee this past week was fixing THIS. After almost 50 years of continuous service in his original home powering a tugboat on the River Thames in England, some of the aluminium parts had suffered some serious “crevice” or “poultice” corrosion. VERY clearly seen here on this aluminum thermostat housing where a rubber hose has been clamped on for all those years.
Many of you will have seen Poultice corrosion on aluminium parts on cars or boats which usually appears as a white paste. Poultice corrosion occurs when water gets into very thin areas that are starved of oxygen and instead of developing the healthy aluminium oxide coating when exposed to air which resists corrosion, the oxygen starved water becomes aluminium hydroxide which causes the corrosion pitting you see above.
Once again, Steve D’Antonio has an excellent in depth explanation of the different types of aluminium corrosion in THIS Professional Boat Builder article for those who would like to know more.
These surfaces on the aluminium cooling water manifolds look similarly corroded but in this case it is physical wear from 50 years of coolant eroding these surfaces so I set out to return all these to like new as well.
The surface you see here on one of those manifold faces started out looking almost identical to the thermostat housing above and this is the “after” shot from me doing a thorough cleaning with a tiny carbide dentist burr in my ever present Dremel tool to get down to clean solid aluminium.
One of the handiest items in my “Mr. Fix It” toolbox is a metal epoxy called “JB Weld” and wouldn’t you know it, Amazon.com Turkey had it and Captain Christine had 5 packs of JB Weld delivered to our door in 2 days!
I suspect many of you also know how well this stuff works as either a filler or an adhesive for most metal and other materials. You mix it up just like any other 2 part epoxy and when it hardens it has the properties of aluminium in terms of strength and machinability. So you can file it, grind it and tap it for threads with no problem and unbelievable strength.
I created these little cylindrical pipes by wrapping clear cello packing tape around a tapered round paintbrush handle and jammed them into the hole I needed to maintain and then filled in all the surrounding void in the aluminium with JB Weld and let dry overnight.
My other little trick for getting smooth cylindrical surfaces such as these hose attachments on that thermostat housing is to first fill the voids with JB Weld and then wrap clear cello tap tightly around the cylinder. Next day you can unwrap the tape and find an almost perfectly round and smooth surface.
That was as far as I got on Friday evening so I’ll show you the finished results in next week’s update.
Our Cabinetmakers were away this past week so unfortunately no updates to show you from them so you will have to wait for another week to see more of the ever evolving and ever beautiful woodworking on XPM78-01 Möbius.
Well, it is now late Sunday evening here and Christine and I were onboard Möbius all day yesterday getting started on splicing all our Lifelines out of Dyneema so I’m going to call it a night and show you that in next weeks Progress Update. We have a full 5 day work week coming up so you will need this slight reprieve to build up enough stamina to get through a full 5 days of progress update!
AND the Turkish government is lifting almost all the Corona related restrictions tomorrow, June 1st so Cheers! to that. We have our fingers crossed it all turns out well but the culture here is very “law abiding” and most people are very thoughtful so we think that everyone will continue to stay smart and healthy with all the lessons we have learned of late and we won’t see any significant recurrence in cases here. I know that similar changes are happening in most places so we sincerely wish the same for all of you wherever you are and look forward to seeing you here again next week.