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Thanks Teun, You are right, an answer must be found before there is a catastrophic boat loss fire. If changes have been made to a boat that could dramatically increase the current (amperage delivered) constantly to a particular circuit the impact on the circuit (and controllers etc) that it serves. that increased load must be considered. Spike load is one thing, constant high load delivery is quite another. I will take you to a mechanical example. An SM owner fits a new engine and upgrades from 78hp to 110hp not taking into consideration the fact that the C drive in the SM fitted in later production had an upgraded C drive to match the 110hp engine. The result is failure of the C drive.
On 18/05/2022 11:50 Teun BAAS <teun@...> wrote:
I have the AMEL supplied 100A in place by-passing the AMEL sent 75A Thermal Overload Protector (which didn’t work on arrival); see picture. Honestly I now remember discussing with AMEL the non-functioning of their TOP and going to address while I was on my usual 3 months USA shore stay but COMPLETELY forgot until Arno asked me for help/feed back earlier last week. So I had been sailing from April 2019 thru December 2019 using the 100A fuse.
I am now going to:
- Get a bunch of 50A fuses and replace the 100A fuse.
- Ask the Marine electrician coming on board to make AMELIT comply with the strict QUEENSLAND code (more strict than the general OZZIE code) if he can get me a TOP; preferably 50A.
- Ask AMEL a bunch of questions in relation to these increasing Amp TOPs as well as the 100A redundancy/limp home fuse.
Best Regards Teun
SV AMELIT A54 #128
HOPE ISLAND MARINA (near BRISBANE) QLD AUSTRALIA
May 18, 2022 09:48:07
You can follow AMELIT via this link: https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/AMELIT
From: Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2022 03:44
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io; Teun BAAS <teun@...>
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] tb/AMEL 54 outhaul protector burn out Mid Atlantic/AYOG
Thanks Teun, what is the amperage of the fuse that is in situ. I remain of the opinion that alternative (Particularly higher) amperage fuses should not be provided for the same circuit. There is a load/wire size and the fuse should be appropriate ie it will trip when the design load is exceeded.
If I overload either the main outhaul or furler motors on Ocean Pearl, my breakers trip, and so they should That scary photo of what could easily have developed into a boat loss fire demands proper investigation.
On 17/05/2022 20:21 Teun BAAS <teun@...> wrote:
If you look at the picture I sent you can see the purple (100A) Jumbo fuse zip tied to the bundle of wires. This is ONLY one way to utilize that fuse in that compartment.
Besides my A54 (hull 128) the same set up on Arno’s boat (hull 122) and I know of another A54 with identical set up.
On May 17, 2022, at 14:35, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS via groups.io <simms@...> wrote:
I cannot believe the different amperage breakers provided by Amel would have been intended for the same circuits. Olivier can you advise.
On 17/05/2022 08:13 Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...> wrote:
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] tb/AMEL 54 outhaul protector burn out Mid Atlantic/AYOG
Hi Teun, Breakers, as Brent has pointed out are there to protect the down stream wire. They trip from either a short circuit or overload downstream from the breaker. The response should NEVER BE INSTALLING A BIGGER BREAKER. FIND THE CAUSE AND FIX IT. The smoke and blackening is another issue, it is not the response of a breaker to overload. It is highly likely caused by poor connection of the wires in or out of the unit. I had a near house fire from a control unit for underfloor heating smoldering and then as I searched the source of the smell, seeing it break in to flames. A specialist house fire investigator said electrical unit connection fire was a common cause of catastrophic house fires. And the cause of the unit connections burning was poor wire connections in the units developing over time. On a boat corrosion is the enemy of good electrical connection. It can occur anywhere through salt laden air and more so in areas accessible to salt water trickles or splashes. So folks, the overheating and smoking of these breakers is the symptom, not the illness. Find the cause, and please dont respond with ever bigger breakers
Tuen, as was pointed out (correctly) here a few weeks ago, fuses and circuit breakers are NOT designed to protect the load device but protect the wire going to it. I don’t know the size of the wire that this fuse is protecting (it would be the wire between the fuse and the load) but if you can measure the diameter and ensure it’s copper, a quick look up will give you the amps that wire can safely carry at the specified voltage. I strongly believe that a 100A breaker would be too big if the original was 40-55A. Installing this could have the same impact as no fuse or circuit breaker at all and could result in the wire melting and a fire.
A few decades ago there was an Air Canada pilot who noticed that the toilet pump in the rear lavatory on his jet was popping the circuit breaker so kept resetting it so the passengers could use it and this resulted in an inflight fire, emergency landing and significant number of deaths.
The long and the short of it is that this breaker very likely tripped because there was something wrong with the circuit and not because it was underside for the wires. The fact that it emitted a lot of smoke tends to confirm that.
I’d figure out the size/gauge of the smallest wire between the breaker and the load, do a look up to see what current it can safely carry and ensure that it is more than 100A before I’d even dream of installing that as it wouldn’t be much better than bypassing it altogether if it isn’t (other than the ability to shut the circuit down manually).
I would also be VERY careful even if installing a new one of the same size to figure out why the original failed rather than tripped. Could it be a bad connection at the breaker or at the load? An internal short in the load? Is there some issue with the load causing it to draw way more current than normal? To measure the current draw, you need a clamp on type Ammeter capable of measuring DC Amps of that size). Most of the cheap knock off meters can’t do that but good ones like Flukes can.
Twin, please tell Arno NOT to install the 100A breaker until you or someone here can confirm it isn’t too big for the wires. A fire at sea is all our worst nightmares.
On May 16, 2022, 5:33 AM -0400, Teun BAAS <teun@...>, wrote:
A friend of mine (Arno) is currently with his A54 (#122) 1200 NM into his passage to the AZORES and texted me this afternoon that the main outhaul protector burned. This protector is behind a panel next to the breakers in the bulkhead of the Guest cabin. There are 2 black protectors: he informed me that he has a 55A and a 40A. At this point I don't know which one burned. He also confirmed he had the Purple spare 100A fuse which he is going to plug in in the morning (the burn out happened during the night).
He also told me that there was a massive amount of smoke & stench and feels that somebody sleeping in that cabin could have died from smoke inhalation.
BTW - one of the reasons I installed 3 smoke & carbon etc. detectors in the boat 2 weeks ago.
On my A54 (#128) there is a heavy black spot of charred wood at the top left corner of the protector closest to the cabinet (the left one) - this was there from the original owner. I now remember that in 2018/2019 I had a malfunctioning protector and ordered from AMEL a new protector and they sent a 75A black box. I now also remember that on installation of this new 75A protector (in NEW CALEDONIA) it didn't work and we used the Purple 100A fuse between the white and the orange wire and it worked fine.
Until today, when I checked for Arno, I completely forgot about this happening and noticed today that I carry in that compartment 3 spare Purple 100 A fuses. The other (right hand side) black box protector on my boat is 55Amp and appears to be original.
This would mean that AMEL changed the 45A protector into a 75A protector????
Arno remembers a discussion on the forum on this A54 protector burn out but has no access to the internet/Forum. Can anybody actually familiar with this issue tell us their experience; what caused it and what to do other than using the 100A fuse.
Discussing with an AMEL 53 couple laying right next to me here in the Marina they remarked that a 100A fuse is a massive, massive fuse - what are the potential consequences using this (AMEL installed spare) fuse?
Thanks for the help
SV AMELIT #128
HOPE ISALND, QLD, AUSTRALIA
Future Amel Owner & Amel Owner Registry Moderator
Oro-Medonte, Ontario, Canada