For those of you who regularly follow this blog (Thank you!), you’ll know that the past few weeks have been shortened to be 3 or 4 day work weeks by holidays and we have two more of those weeks coming up later this month. However this week was a gloriously full five day work week and all of us on Team Möbius took full advantage of that as you are about to see in this equally full update post of all this past week’s progress.
We have also been seeing the weather continue its trending ever warmer and starting to feel like summer is already on its way. The forecast for the week ahead is for daily highs to climb each day from 26C/75F today to 34C/93F on Friday! Even this past we have had spectacularly blue skies, sun and even a full moon just to put the icing on top. We’ll take it!
As in many other parts of the world, Turkey is also beginning to slowly reduce Corona based restrictions and this is our first weekend that has not been a mandatory lockdown for everyone. From what we can observe from our apartment and my travels to and from Naval Yachts each day, it does appear that most people continue to take the situation quite seriously and even without mandated stay home policy, the streets and sidewalks continue to be even more empty than they typically were long before Corona became a virus rather than a beer. While I have my concerns, I do hope that the gradual lifting of restrictions will not create a second rise of cases and deaths and we can all move forward to establishing an even more positive future than ever.
However that is all in the future and we’ll just have to wait and see but the progress on Möbius is very real and present so please join me in my typical deep dive into all that was accomplished by the eXtremely talented Team Möbius.
While our Aluminium team has been reduced to “an Army of one” for the past month, that one is Nihat and he had a stellar week. Even better, we hear that Uğur and Okan will be returning on Monday so we hope that next week will surpass this one, which is saying something.
Any guesses as to where Nihat is here and what he is working on?
For those of you who might remember, I will make this is a bit like the old (invented in Briton in 1943), “Who Done It?” murder/mystery board game, called “Clue”. So here are some Clues for you:
There is a reason Nihat is kneeling in the photo above.
There is a connection between what he is standing on and what is behind him and on the Left of this photo.
By now most of you will recognize that this photo is taken in the SuperSalon, but that’s just to throw you off a bit as well as giving you the most revealing clue of all ……………………
Full marks to those of you who figured it out and won the game with your guess that it was
in the Basement,
working on the Battery Compartments
with his drill and tap.
The Aluminium aspect of this job involved him cutting the 5mm/ 3/16” AL plate for the lids on each of the three House Battery Bank compartments and then drilling and taping these for the SS Countersunk bolts to hold them down tight against their rubber seals around the perimeter.
For those interested in such details, before I show you the initial installation of the batteries, this schematic overview of the electrical system on XPM78-01 Möbius might be useful. Hopefully all self explanatory but post questions if not.
NOTE: I have since expanded the House Battery Bank with an additional fourth bank so the House Battery Bank now consists of 24 FireFly L15+ 4V cells wired 6S4P. So the new numbers are 24 x 4V @ 450Ah which adds up to 24V @ 1800Ah = 43.2kWh.
In the coming weeks you will see these batteries being wired up as in this drawing (just add the fourth bank of six cells on the Right) so I will leave a more detailed description until then.
And YES, Mea culpa, I am woefully behind in writing up and posting a Tech Talk on the whole battery system and our thinking behind the change to go with FireFly Oasis Carbon Foam L15+ 4V @ 450Ah batteries rather than the OPzV 2V Gel cells we had originally designed.
It is hidden from view by the floor plate, but each of these deep compartments have the 25mm / 1” thick Keel Bar running through their Center Line length where the two sides of the thick hull plates begin. These battery compartments are therefore the exact same construction as all the individual fuel/water tanks which are an integral part of the hull and lie below all the floor plates in the boat.
By placing the batteries down at the very bottom of the hull the lead weight of the batteries serve double duty as they are also part of the “lead ballast” of the boat. Unlike the situation in most boats where the batteries have to be located relatively high up which is not a good thing, positioning the significant weight of all these batteries down at the lowest point position converts this to “good weight” and a very positive part of the design in terms of stability and ride.
Nihat has previously installed a bottom AL plate that sits atop the Keel Bar and is bolted to L-Bars around the perimeter to create a very solid floor for each battery compartment. Next, Nihat has placed one of the three White fiberglass Containment Trays inside the compartment before he carefully lowers each 4V battery cell into the compartment.
Each of these 4V @ 450Ah FireFly Oasis Carbon Foam batteries weighs 43Kg/94 Lbs so Nihat definately did the heavy lifting this week and I had Nihat show us his newly enlarged biceps, along with the results of his hard work with this now fully filled compartment.
Next steps are to build and install the battery hold down system and the ventilation ducting and then wiring them all up and installing the temperature monitors on each battery bank so stay tuned for more in the coming weeks AND that long overdue Tech Talk on the XPM Battery system.
ELECTRICAL & N2K SYSTEMS:
Let’s continue with the electrical theme and go check up on all the work our other Army of One, our Chief Sparkie Hilmi, and see what he accomplished this week.
This is the “brain box” that controls the whole In-Floor heating system on XPM78-01 Möbius. We have 3 independent zones, one for each interior floor area; Master Cabin, SuperSalon and Guest Cabin/Corridor.
We are using this Azel I-Link 3 zone system which consists of the main control head you see above then three thermostats which go in each compartment.
Most of the time you control the In-Floor heating with one of the individual thermostats and just access the main control for initial setup, programming, etc. All just how we like our systems; smart, simple & efficient.
There is a nice little alcove or cupboard on your Left as you go up the stairs from the Guest Corridor to the SuperSalon that seemed to be the just right location so Hilmi mounted the I-Link Control Head on the side wall and started wiring it up.
Pretty easy stuff for Hilmi so he had it all wired up with the appropriately tagged cables in no time.
Next up for Hilmi this past week was more work on the extensive NMEA 2000 or N2K network and the equally extensive Maretron monitoring system so let’s move aft to the Workshop to see what he is up to there.
On the Starboard/Right side of the Workshop down by the Day Tank he is preparing to mount four of the many Maretron Black Boxes, which are hiding inside those White boxes and will soon be mounted up on the top Right area.
The individual Maretron “Black Boxes” are located in multiple clusters throughout the boat to keep them relatively close to the sensors which feed into them and as per Christine’s schematic each BB is connected to the N2K Backbone which creates the overall Maretron network.
There is a long box running the full length of both sides of the Workshop to make the transition between the AlucoBond covered Workshop walls and these create an ideal area for locating things like the Maretron BB’s.
These corner transition “boxes” are a simple L shaped bend of AlucoBond which attaches to the AL L-bars you see running the length of these upper corners and will keep the Maretron BB’s and cabling well protected but easy to access.
The purplish block on the far Right here is one of many Turk N2K multi-ports which think is far superior to having a whole series of individual N2K T’s for each of these drop cables coming from each Maretron BB.
Same type of installation of more Maretron BB’s over on the Port side of the Workshop up by the WT door leading into the Corridor.
Moving up into the aft end of the Galley in the SuperSalon Hilmi took advantage of this area that will soon be covered by the Turquoise marble countertops, to install this run of five flexible conduits you see here. These are all currently empty because they are part of our efforts to “future proof” these boats which in this case is to make it relatively easy to install any additional circuits we might want for additional electrical devices in the future.
Wiring for all the existing equipment is already installed and mounted to the White cable tray you can see on the far Right here.
Hilmi is installing these in any spots where future access will be difficult once all the furniture is installed. This is looking at the ends of those 5 conduits which would be right above where the camera was to take the photo above.
You can see that the Gray flex conduit is empty and will just sit in this spot that can be easily accessed through the ceiling of the Guest Head below which you can just see through one lighted opening in the upper Right corner.
SUPER SALON FLOORS:
Looking around elsewhere in the SuperSalon we can see that Omur and Selim were equally as productive in their masterful cabinetry work. This week the focus was up high putting in the soffits that make the transition from the windows/walls to the ceiling and then down low putting in the plywood flooring.
Selim picked up where he left off last week, installing the last few jigsaw puzzle pieces of the 12mm / 1/2” marine plywood flooring. The darker square above his hands is the 50mm/2” thick laminated mounting platform for the base of the Helm Chair which will be through bolted in place.
The rest of the plywood covers the 50mm / 2’” pink insulating foamboard which will soon have all the PEX tubing for the In-Floor heating snaking through it.
After a quick vacuum and sweeping this is what the overall floor looks like and starts to give us a better sense of why we named this the Super Salon.
You are looking towards the Bow in this photo with the Main helm up near the top, dinette L-seating on the Right and Fridges and Freezers on the bottom Left. The large open hatch provides access to the eXtremely voluminous Basement which is below the entire floor of the SSalon.
SUPERSALON CEILINGS & SOFFITS:
Up above, Ömür and Selim have been very busy installing gridwork for all the removable ceiling panels. This is the dropped ceiling area above the Main Helm.
The five 100mm vent ducts bring fresh air that is forced through those slots in the underside of the Pilot House roof into a plenum above this AL plate. White diffusers will fit into each of these vent ducts and allow you to adjust air flow and direction much like side vents in your cars dashboard.
After installing the black ceiling grid you see above they quickly build these templates to get the intricate shapes just right and then use these to cut out the individual plywood ceiling panels. All plywood ceiling panels will be upholstered with White leather for the main areas and Black over the Helm to reduce night glare.
These templates are a very fast and accurate way to cut each piece of marine plywood to just the right size so Ömür quickly has the middle Helm ceiling panel all ready to be fitted.
I wasn’t fast enough to get a photo of them installing the FastMount clips so let’s just say they are called FastMount for a reason! They soon have all three of the ceiling panels snapped in place over the Helm.
Throughout the boat, all ceiling panels are similarly removable and snaps into the ceiling grid using more of the FastMount system you’ve see in many previous posts.
Before they can work on the Ceiling panels and grid system for the main ceiling, they needed to install the multi part soffit boxes which run along the tops of all the windows and make the transition to the ceiling.
In the photo above, we are looking at the aft wall of the Galley on the Right with the spiral stairs taking you up to the SkyBridge just outside on the Stbd/Right side of the Aft Deck. The White L-shaped box section is the the first part of the Soffit and then a second L-shaped box will be mounted to this.
Looking all the way along to the Left of the Soffit above to the forward end of the SuperSalon, Ömür is fitting this second part of the Soffit system with this angled piece that connects the side Soffit to the Black dropped ceiling over the Helm on his Left. These L shaped Soffit boxes will run along the entire perimeter of the ceiling/windows.
Standing up near the Main Helm looking Aft along the Port/Right side of the SuperSalon you can see how the first half of the Soffit system has been installed and runs the full length of the windows on this side. On the upper far Right you can see the start of the Black Soffit as the blacked out Helm ceiling begins.
For those whom I haven’t completely lost and totally confused, yet, (but give me time), we have now moved all the way Aft along that Port side Soffit above and we are standing on the landing between the two stair cases, Left one leading up though the WT Entrance door out onto the Aft Deck and then the other stairs on the Right leading down to the Corridor and Guest Cabin area which you can see at the very bottom of this photo.
The Soffit above this Aft Window is taller than the others because the large extraction air fan is behind the Right side of this panel taking air out of the SuperSalon through the Upper Aft Wing Box which is above those two pipe posts of the Arch you can see through the window in this photo and the photo above.
Standing in about the same spot as above and turning 180 to look forward again, this is how the second L-shaped half of the Soffit system is attached. There will be “mini” leather covered ceiling panels that snap in place to the grid that the underside of these Soffit frames provide.
Walking forward towards the Helm you can see how both halves of the Soffit bend to meet up with the dropped ceiling above the Helm. As much of the plywood as possible has been cut out of the Soffits to help keep weight down in these higher areas and also to provide me plenty of access to wires and hoses in these upper corner areas.
Looking directly across the Helm area, the Stbd/Right side gets the same Soffit treatment.
Walking diagonally across the SuperSalon to that Aft Port corner near the Entry door and stairs again, you can make sense of why the Aft Soffit board is taller and its upper Right corner cut away you can see the round opening (click to enlarge any photo) where the extraction fan will soon be attached.
FYI: The ceiling panel that snaps into this Aft corner will have a vent in it to allow air to be pulled from the SuperSalon.
AFT WINDOW SILLS:
Staying in the same spot in the Aft Port stairwell but switching Cabinetry teams, take a look at this most recent example of Omer’s master craftsman skillset! He is doing the final fitting of this Rosewood Window Sill that has recently emerged from the Finishing Shop.
Here is what that Window Sill looked like on Monday as Omur was finishing building it.
And here is what it looked like yesterday, Friday when you are standing in the Entryway door looking down the stairs into the Corridor.
GUEST CABIN HATCH LINERS:
Moving down into the Guest Cabin we get to see what took up the majority of Omer’s time this week as he finished installing these truly gorgeous Rosewood Hatch Liners.
The huge 700mm/28” square hatch on the Left is over the pull out bed/couch and the smaller 450mm/18” hatch on the upper Right is above Christine’s head when she is working at her Office desk which is on the far Right bottom corner.
Viewed from up above on the Aft Deck this is the large Hatch Liner being carefully positioned just right with some wood wedges to get the space for the rubber Hatch Seals perfectly even on all sides.
Once he is happy with the alignment, Omer can wedge and clamp the liner in place.
The Pullman Berth bed folds down out of the large rectangular cabinet on the Stbd side wall.
With the Hatch Liners in place he can now finish fitting the removeable ceiling panels.
This shot will help you see how the FastMount sockets work with the White Female sockets clearly visible in the Black painted ceiling grid where …..
…. Black male FastMounts in the ceiling panel around the smaller hatch will soon snap into.
And look like this!
Turning a bit to show you this better shot of Christine’s Office Desk and bookshelf.
More FastMount sockets in the walls where ……..
…… the Green/Gray leather upholstered Wall Panels will snap into.
Like this one on the opposite side wall above the other set of bookshelves.
Another large upholstered wall panel will soon snap into the lower wall below the bookshelves and a small one will snap in place in the upper Right corner which will make it easy to access that electrical junction box you can see inside.
GUEST HEAD SINK:
On our way out of the Guest Cabin we get to check out the latest addition Omer has added to the Guest Head/Bathroom; this Goldilocks White sink!
Finding the just right sink for this spot is a whole story in itself and we are delighted with how well it fits this space.
Finally, we catch up with who might have been the busiest beaver of them all this week; our Master Plumber and bracket maker, Cihan!
One last game of Clue for today; What is your “Who done it?” guesses for what you think Cihan is quickly covering up here?
Does this help you guess?
One more Clue; they are going to be mounted to this bracket.
Full detective points if you guessed:
In the Workshop
Mounting these three Fuel Manifolds.
The threaded ports will have SS ball valves in them soon and this will be Grand Central Station for everything fuel related allowing you to select which pump to use, which consumer to go to, etc. The other set of fuel manifolds are in the Basement where you select which fuel tank to pull from or deliver to.
These manifolds also connect up to these Fleetguard fuel filters which you will see being mounted next week. You can check back with last week’s post for more details on the fuel filtration system I’ve designed.
Pretty simple really as there will be double 2 stage filtration pairs like this with one primary filter and then a secondary fuel/water filter to follow. Two of these pairs will be plumbed in parallel so there is always a fresh set ready at the turn of two ball valves.
One double pair for the fuel polishing with the Transfer Pumps and one matching set for fuel moving from the Day Tank to the two consumers, Mr. Gee our Gardner 6LXB main engine and the Kabola KB45 Combi diesel boiler.
This will all be much easier to understand as you see Cihan installing them so I hope that will help keep you coming back or more.
HART TANK TENDER SYSTEM:
OK, I lied to you earlier. One more quiz; any Clues Who Done This?
Does this zoomed out shot help you?
Plumber Cihan again,
In the Basement,
With his rivet gun
shooting the Hart Tank Tender system!
This is a bit of a “belts and suspenders” approach to ensure that we can always know the levels of any one of the 18 different tanks we have for Fuel, Potable Water, Gray Water and Black. For those not familiar this is a very simple and dependable tank level system that we had on our last boat and is installed on thousands of other boats.
It works by having a small nylon tube that runs vertically down to the deepest part of each tank through a fitting like this.
Each of those tubes then winds its way to the control head which has been mounted to the big bracket in the Basement where all those other Fuel Tank Manifolds are. One hose per tank.
FYI, for those who might wonder, that open pipe in the bottom Right corner of the Batter Bank lid is for the Battery Compartment ventilation system which helps keep it filled with fresh cool air.
To check the level of any tank, you press and hold the button for the tank # you want and then use the large knob on the lower Right beside the gauge to create a vacuum in that line which is pulling the tank’s liquid up to whatever height the liquid is at. If you click to enlarge this photo you can see that there are two scales on each gauge, one for water, one for diesel and this tells you how full/empty that tank is.
Of course our high tech N2K Maretron tank level system is MUCH more accurate and visible on any screen or phone we want, BUT this Hart manual Hart Tank Tender system requires zero electricity and is so simple it is almost guaranteed to work and allow you to know what your tank levels are.
Once again; Smart, Simple, Efficient!
Now you know just how productive Team Möbius can be when we get a full 5 day work week!
Hope you enjoyed this weeks Progress Update. I sure appreciate you taking the time to come along for this week’s ride and hope you’ll do so again next week.
As always, PLEASE contribute your thoughts and questions in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Ciao for now. Keep your distance and stay safe and positive.
Endless details, work and cleverness!! 🙂
Thanks Elton. Endless details? Truer words have never been spoken. Cleverness? We’ll have to wait and see but we are good problem solvers and enjoy it as you know well yourself.
I think your huge battery bank still begs to be split in two and I would still consider doing that, for a couple of reasons:
1) You already have multiple of most everything, no need to get anything new (almost). 7 PV chargers, one alternator, part of the inverter load to each bank and thats it. Split the critical loads and instruments between the banks, like autopilot pumps etc
2) This way you have true full online 24/7/365 redundancy. Nothing can cause a sudden blackout. They always happen at 3 am, when they do.
3) Most importantly, this way you can alternatively charge the bank to 100% full once a week or two or so to prolong lifetime of those cells – as recommended by the manufacturer I believe. Just hook all the loads to one bank, let the another charge fully under the sun, and rinse and repeat. You can even “help” the topping up by charging from one bank to another with inverter connected charger, but that might not even be necessary. Babying you battery can mean 2-3x lifetime in practise.
My 1-2 c. Quite substantial benefits, no downsides as I can see, me thinks.
4. Bonus for future, by connecting the banks in series you would potentially have 48 VDC readily available for future higher output inverters etc.
Quite right Andy, we have the option of connecting all four banks in series to get 48V however I don’t currently envision a scenario where that would make sense. We’ve designed all the systems and the whole boat to be a “Battery Based” boat and our primary DC voltage is 24 with some 12. While I appreciate the advantages that some high consumers such as the Bow Thruster could benefit from the jump to 48V, we have gone the extra mile with all the wiring to ensure that we have no circuits with more than 3% voltage drop and most of the big ones with 1% or less. So no benefit at this point to reducing wire sizes with 48V. I might agree with you that more boats will start to use 48V for some of the larger consumers but I think that if this happens the transition time from 12 and 24 to 48 will be very slow over many years.
In our case, having taken up the challenge of creating a highly efficient boat electrically and in all other aspects, and invested the time and costs of designing and building the XPM’s to be eXtremely efficient electrically, I don’t think the value proposition for changing to 48V is there. However future owners of the XPM’s to come will always have the option to chose 48V from the beginning for their XPM and as long as it is done from the get go, then I could see that working out OK, though again, I don’t know that I see there is a strong argument to do so, at least right now.
I personally see rapid transitioning from 12V/24V to 48VDC in coming years for sure. It has already happened a lot among the off grid users, and boats are following fast.
Main issue driving the higher voltage is higher power usage and more electric appliances, electric cooking etc, plus higher efficiency. Also electric outboards seem to be moving to 48VDC, quite many of them, as well as in near future more and more affordable gyrostabilisers and hybrid propulsion systems that will become more common quickly with falling prices.
All things being equal 48VDC is usually always higher efficiency with same load, and wire sizes drop in square so same power can be had with 1/4 of the wiring. Even considering some loss with powering legacy devices with a point of use DC-DC downconverter – which are cheap, efficient and reliable – usually it is overall win, as it is the big loads that will dominate the losses in most cases.
When running solar powered, 10% or 20% efficiency wins are huge, especially onboard boats where room for installing more PV-panels is not unlimited. Already 48VDC devices are widely available from Victron and others, chargers and inverters and MPPT-controllers are in the standard catalog.
I would say in a future boats 48VDC will be standard in 5-10 years at most.
I don’t disagree that we will continue to see more and more 48V being used on new boats going forward and perhaps on some major refits. However in our case we’ve made the call long ago to be a 24V DC based “Battery Boat” and so conversion is not reasonable nor warranted IMHO. We’ll see how the future rolls out from here.
Thanks as always for your well considered and thoughtful suggestions Andy. As I hope to show you and others more in future blog posts as the electrical system install proceeds, I think we are at least close to already having what you suggest to “split” the overall 24V @ 1800Ah House Bank into two. Whenever we have a system with multiples of the same components, we have done our best to design the system in such a way that we can easily isolate each of the components in most cases and the House Batteries are a good example of that. As you’ve seen, each of the four 24V @ 450Ah banks consists of of six FireFly L15+ 4v cells so we start with the redundancy of these four 24V banks, any number of which can be combined or isolated. So by simply turning some On/Off battery switches we can chose to have the boat “see” anything from one to all four banks as the “House Battery”. With just one bank it would only give us about 450Ah overall capacity, combining any two would give us 900Ah, three gives 1350Ah and all four produce 1800Ah. Same scenario with the Electrodyne Alternators where we can switch from zero, one or both. The 14 MPPT controllers can isolated or combined in a similar fashion though in their case we would do that by connecting to each MPPT controller via Bluetooth and the Victron control app.
What we will do with all our systems is give them a good run in the first month of “sea trials” and see how things work (or not!) and then start making any changes we think would improve the system as we do more extended sea trials over the next few months while cruising the Med.