Topics

[Amel Yacht Owners] Upgrading all electronics


amelforme
 

Hello Stephanie. Here is some information I hope you will find to be helpful. When replacing electronics, be sure to remind the technician that Amel boats have a full-floating/full earth return DC electrical system. This is critical to know and understand this as to install certain components including but not limited to voltage transformers and the like in a conventional manner will cause problems in the future which can evolve into serious challenges.

 

The clothes washer dryer and the dishwasher are not sold in the United States and there is no support for them here. The closest support can be found in the French Caribbean Islands and possibly through Amel in Martinique. That particular dishwasher is no longer manufactured and many of the spares are very difficult to obtain. The “brain” that controls all functions is not available anywhere. I have two electrical engineers attempting to ‘reverse engineer’ a replacement without luck so far. These appliances cannot tolerate American 60 cycle  240 volt electricity for even a nanosecond as it will ‘cook’ the brain instantly. As a European I am sure you are aware of this and I include this information for others reading who may not have this information.

 

Good luck with your refit.

 

Have fun with your Amel, Joel

Joel F. Potter/Cruising Yacht Specialist LLC

THE EXPERIENCED AMEL GUY

954 462 5869 office

954 812 2485 cell

 

 

 

From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2016 9:59 AM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Cc: alanrosens@...
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Upgrading all electronics

 

 

Hi All!

SM Indecent is on the hard in West Palm Beach to have all of her electronics replaced. All were original to 2002, so 14 years service is noble! I would also like to take this opportunity to have her washer /dryer and dishwasher serviced. Can anyone recommend a service in the Fort Lauderdale - West Palm Beach that does this? Many thanks.

Fair winds,
Stephanie DiBelardino
SM Indecent 353
On the hard in West Palm Beach


enio rossi
 

Hi all. Our Santorin 122 Earendil, have this problem : electrical shock. When we touch sea wather and metallic parts of the boat we have about 2V of tension. That happens only if the  battery charger is connected to the shore power of the marina.We had substituted the original TECSUP with a Sterling Power Procharge N and  installed a Sterlng galvanic isolator ProSave E but the engineer who did the work  didn't connect  the ground  cable of the ProCharge  to the  bonding system. Can this be the problem? We have not an  electrician disposabe now,  so could anyone give  us help? Thanks and fair winds to all

SN Earendil
actually in Croatian sea


karkauai
 

Earendil,
The Sterling charger/inverter is what I had installed on Kristy when I had severe electrolytic damage to my prop shaft.  The grounding wire is connected internally to both the AC and DC systems.  With no ground connection you are at risk of electrocution if the charger fails.  If you connect the ground, and the unit fails, you are at risk of electrolytic damage.  I don't believe that charger is designed for the Amel isolated ground system.

I'm not sure what is going on with your boat now.
How long ago was the Sterling installed?
Is the Voltage leak AC or DC?
Do you have a generator?  If so, does the voltage leak occur when charging with the generator?
Is the Sterling an charger/inverter or just a charger?

Until you get this resolved, do not connect to shore power or use your charger.  Check your zincs ASAP!

Get to an Amel-savvy electrician ASAP!

Kent
SM 243
Kristy




On Aug 6, 2016, at 5:58 AM, rossienio@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Hi all. Our Santorin 122 Earendil, have this problem : electrical shock. When we touch sea wather and metallic parts of the boat we have about 2V of tension. That happens only if the  battery charger is connected to the shore power of the marina.We had substituted the original TECSUP with a Sterling Power Procharge N and  installed a Sterlng galvanic isolator ProSave E but the engineer who did the work  didn't connect  the ground  cable of the ProCharge  to the  bonding system. Can this be the problem? We have not an  electrician disposabe now,  so could anyone give  us help? Thanks and fair winds to all

SN Earendil
actually in Croatian sea


Bill Kinney <greatketch@...>
 

I am assuming what you are seeing is a AC voltage.  If it is DC, then the analysis would be different, starting with faulty wiring cross connecting your DC system with your bonding circuit.

What you describe can be potentially very dangerous for swimmers in the water. http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/magazine/2013/july/electric-shock-drowning-explained.asp

As a first question…  Are you sure the problem originates with your boat?  It could be from a neighboring boat, or from the wiring in the marina itself.  It is possible in salt water the only time you would feel the shock from some other source is when you touch metal on your boat AND your boat is connected to the marina earth connection.  If from some other boat there is nothing you can do other than move away!

If the voltage does originate on your boat, it comes from a combination of two problems.  First, a ground fault in some piece of equipment leaking current into the bonding circuit combined with a break (or high resistance connection)  in the ground wire somewhere between your boat and the earth connection in the marina.  A potential candidate for the leaking current from inside your boat is the water heater.  If the heating element is beyond it’s service life it can short to the shell, and then to the bonding circuit. If you turn off all electrical appliances at the circuit panel and turn them on one by one you might find a culprit. If you already did this and it is the reason you suspect the battery charger, then you are a step ahead of me!

If you have a ground fault from some piece of AC powered equipment, it will leak voltage into the bonding circuit, where it should travel back to the earth connection at the dock by the ground wire. The galvanic isolator blocks small voltages (typically from DC current leaks) and passes high voltages (safety issues).  Typically, these show a voltage drop of about 1.2 volts or so.  If this is what you are seeing between the water and bonded metal on the boat, your grounding system might be doing what it is supposed to, but you still have a ground fault with something onboard.

The isolator should be connected in line in the ground wire between the shore power connection and any other connections on the boat.  Can you test it as suggested in the manual? 

Bill Kinney
SM #160, Harmonie
Highlands, NJ
“Ships and men rot in port."





On Aug 6, 2016, at 05:58, rossienio@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Hi all. Our Santorin 122 Earendil, have this problem : electrical shock. When we touch sea wather and metallic parts of the boat we have about 2V of tension. That happens only if the  battery charger is connected to the shore power of the marina.We had substituted the original TECSUP with a Sterling Power Procharge N and  installed a Sterlng galvanic isolator ProSave E but the engineer who did the work  didn't connect  the ground  cable of the ProCharge  to the  bonding system. Can this be the problem? We have not an  electrician disposabe now,  so could anyone give  us help? Thanks and fair winds to all

SN Earendil
actually in Croatian sea



enio rossi
 

Hello Kent, My Sterling is the Procharge N, only charger. It has been installed a lot time ago, but I have seen the problem only now, touching the mooring, wet of salt water while connected to the shore power of the marina, with the battery charger on.
I have measured the voltage leak with the tester on AC (3V) and on DC (2,5V) connecting metallic part of the boat with sea water. Only when the B.C.  on.
I have isolated the generator ( all wires in and out disconnected),  but the phenomenon is still present.
Could you suggest me a kind of charger compatible with the Amel isolated ground system?
Now I'm using only solar panels but it is not enough. Thanks Enio 

 


enio rossi
 

Hi Kent,
 the Sterling ProCharge N is only charger, it was  installed  time ago, without ground connection, but I have seen the problem only now, touching the mooring wet of salt water, while the boat is connected  to  the shore power of the Marina and with the C.B. on.
I can see the voltage leak with the tester on AC (2V) and DC (2.5V) connecting metallic parts of the boat with sea water.
Now the generator (Fischer Panda) is totally isolated, with all wires ( in and out ) disconnected so I' using now only solar panels.
I am going to do all the measures suggested by Olivier, but I think that the Sterling is not suitable for our boats.
Could  you give me some indication about Battery Charger  suitable to boats with the electrical system isolated, like Amel?
I also istalled an alternator-to-battery charger Sterling, do you think that it too could not be ok  for the Amels?
Here I'm not able to find an Amel-savvy electrician. 
Good wind


karkauai
 

 I'm looking for a new charger now, too.  My Charles 60 A charger doesn't have an equalization cycle.  So far I've only been looking at chargers recommended by Amel owners on this forum, and for a 75-80A 24V charger with equalization mode only the Victron Skylla-i meets my needs.  I'm also looking at MasterVolt but a few owners have had bad experiences.

I think any good marine charger is OK as long as you  don't connect the ground to the bonding system.

I think ideally we want a charger with separate AC and DC grounds.  That way you could connect the AC ground to the boat's AC ground, and the DC ground to the battery negative.  Unfortunately they all seem to have a common ground that ABYC standard wants you to connect to the boat's "earth".

Are you just dropping a lead into the water and measuring between that lead and the bonding system?

It sounds like there is a fault in you charger.  But if it isn't connected to your bonding system, there is another connection to your bonding system that is carrying current to the water.  It could be on either the AC or DC circuit.
I'd be interested in what you find if you disconnect the AC and DC wires from the charger and measure resistance between each wire and the bonding system with the circuit breaker off, and again with CB on.  That should help you determine where to look for the connection.

On my boat I was never able to completely eliminate all connections to ground.  Your 220V air conditioner water pump, for example, is connected to the bonding system.  My generator case is also connected to the bonding system. (Read Olivier's earlier comments on this.)
I purchased a silver/silver chloride reference electrode to monitor hull potential and do that once a month, and every time I drop anchor or tie up to a marina dock.
Let us know what you find.
Kent
SM243
Kristy



On Aug 10, 2016, at 4:49 AM, rossienio@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Hi Kent,

 the Sterling ProCharge N is only charger, it was  installed  time ago, without ground connection, but I have seen the problem only now, touching the mooring wet of salt water, while the boat is connected  to  the shore power of the Marina and with the C.B. on.
I can see the voltage leak with the tester on AC (2V) and DC (2.5V) connecting metallic parts of the boat with sea water.
Now the generator (Fischer Panda) is totally isolated, with all wires ( in and out ) disconnected so I' using now only solar panels.
I am going to do all the measures suggested by Olivier, but I think that the Sterling is not suitable for our boats.
Could  you give me some indication about Battery Charger  suitable to boats with the electrical system isolated, like Amel?
I also istalled an alternator-to-battery charger Sterling, do you think that it too could not be ok  for the Amels?
Here I'm not able to find an Amel-savvy electrician. 
Good wind


Bill Kinney <greatketch@...>
 

Kent,

It is not as simple as saying it is "OK as long as you  don't connect the ground [of the charger] to the bonding system

You can not, and should not, remove all connections between the bonding system and the AC safety ground.  Those connections are there by Amel design—not by accident and are shown on Amel’s electrical drawings.  See Olivier’s comments on this matter.  Because of the connections between them, the bonding circuit and AC safety ground circuits really are all part of the same system, in normal operation carrying almost no current, but equalizing voltages.

Because there are always going to be connections between the AC safety ground and the bonding system, ANY connection between the DC negative and the AC safety ground is the same as connecting the DC negative to the bonding system. This should NOT be done--anywhere--on an Amel.  

The apparent problem with some battery chargers is that they make such a connection between DC negative and AC safety ground internally.  These are the kinds we need to avoid.  On a proper marine battery chargers this connection would not be part of the design.  It would be bad practice on any boat to have multiple connections between DC negative and AC safety ground scattered around the boat and always bad to have the charger case be part of the DC negative circuit. I am pretty sure that such a piece of equipment would not be considered ABYC compliant.

An important point to remember is that the AC Safety ground—in normal operation—should not carry any current at all.  It is only there to drain off hazardous voltages caused by short circuits to equipment cases.  Almost always, when this happens the current draw is enough to trip the circuit breaker, shutting down the faulty circuit.

Recommending that the case of a battery charger (or inverter, or any piece of equipment connected to AC line voltage) should not be grounded should not be done lightly.  Most of the time, that ground is an important safety issue.  If there was an internal short the case of the charger could become “hot” at full line voltage.  If the case is not grounded that condition can continue until the next thing to touch it (You?) carries 220 volts to ground. 

Bill Kinney
SM #160, Harmonie
Highlands, NJ
“Ships and men rot in port."





On Aug 10, 2016, at 08:50, Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 I'm looking for a new charger now, too.  My Charles 60 A charger doesn't have an equalization cycle.  So far I've only been looking at chargers recommended by Amel owners on this forum, and for a 75-80A 24V charger with equalization mode only the Victron Skylla-i meets my needs.  I'm also looking at MasterVolt but a few owners have had bad experiences.

I think any good marine charger is OK as long as you  don't connect the ground to the bonding system.

I think ideally we want a charger with separate AC and DC grounds.  That way you could connect the AC ground to the boat's AC ground, and the DC ground to the battery negative.  Unfortunately they all seem to have a common ground that ABYC standard wants you to connect to the boat's "earth".

Are you just dropping a lead into the water and measuring between that lead and the bonding system?

It sounds like there is a fault in you charger.  But if it isn't connected to your bonding system, there is another connection to your bonding system that is carrying current to the water.  It could be on either the AC or DC circuit.
I'd be interested in what you find if you disconnect the AC and DC wires from the charger and measure resistance between each wire and the bonding system with the circuit breaker off, and again with CB on.  That should help you determine where to look for the connection.

On my boat I was never able to completely eliminate all connections to ground.  Your 220V air conditioner water pump, for example, is connected to the bonding system.  My generator case is also connected to the bonding system. (Read Olivier's earlier comments on this.)
I purchased a silver/silver chloride reference electrode to monitor hull potential and do that once a month, and every time I drop anchor or tie up to a marina dock.
Let us know what you find.
Kent
SM243
Kristy



On Aug 10, 2016, at 4:49 AM, rossienio@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Hi Kent,

 the Sterling ProCharge N is only charger, it was  installed  time ago, without ground connection, but I have seen the problem only now, touching the mooring wet of salt water, while the boat is connected  to  the shore power of the Marina and with the C.B. on.
I can see the voltage leak with the tester on AC (2V) and DC (2.5V) connecting metallic parts of the boat with sea water.
Now the generator (Fischer Panda) is totally isolated, with all wires ( in and out ) disconnected so I' using now only solar panels.
I am going to do all the measures suggested by Olivier, but I think that the Sterling is not suitable for our boats.
Could  you give me some indication about Battery Charger  suitable to boats with the electrical system isolated, like Amel?
I also istalled an alternator-to-battery charger Sterling, do you think that it too could not be ok  for the Amels?
Here I'm not able to find an Amel-savvy electrician. 
Good wind




karkauai
 

Well crap, I guess I still don't understand it all.  So IF the charger has an AC only ground , it should be connected to the bonding system.  What about the DC ground (I assume a charger would have a DC ground too)?  I'm not talking about the DC output negative, I'm talking about something that would become hot with DC if there was an internal short on the output side. Is that run back to the battery negative?  If the safety concern is that either AC or DC current could shock you if the case became "hot", how could you separate the two?

Stray DC current is supposed to be the culprit most of the time in electrolytic damage.  Low current leakage that isn't enough to trip the breaker, but enough that over time it destroys your underwater metals.  Stray AC current can do it, too, particularly when on faulty shore power without a galvanic isolator.  Do I at least understand that correctly?

Sigh,
Kent, "Rusty", "Patch"
SM 243
Kristy



On Aug 10, 2016, at 1:49 PM, Bill Kinney greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Kent,


It is not as simple as saying it is "OK as long as you  don't connect the ground [of the charger] to the bonding system

You can not, and should not, remove all connections between the bonding system and the AC safety ground.  Those connections are there by Amel design—not by accident and are shown on Amel’s electrical drawings.  See Olivier’s comments on this matter.  Because of the connections between them, the bonding circuit and AC safety ground circuits really are all part of the same system, in normal operation carrying almost no current, but equalizing voltages.

Because there are always going to be connections between the AC safety ground and the bonding system, ANY connection between the DC negative and the AC safety ground is the same as connecting the DC negative to the bonding system. This should NOT be done--anywhere--on an Amel.  

The apparent problem with some battery chargers is that they make such a connection between DC negative and AC safety ground internally.  These are the kinds we need to avoid.  On a proper marine battery chargers this connection would not be part of the design.  It would be bad practice on any boat to have multiple connections between DC negative and AC safety ground scattered around the boat and always bad to have the charger case be part of the DC negative circuit. I am pretty sure that such a piece of equipment would not be considered ABYC compliant.

An important point to remember is that the AC Safety ground—in normal operation—should not carry any current at all.  It is only there to drain off hazardous voltages caused by short circuits to equipment cases.  Almost always, when this happens the current draw is enough to trip the circuit breaker, shutting down the faulty circuit.

Recommending that the case of a battery charger (or inverter, or any piece of equipment connected to AC line voltage) should not be grounded should not be done lightly.  Most of the time, that ground is an important safety issue.  If there was an internal short the case of the charger could become “hot” at full line voltage.  If the case is not grounded that condition can continue until the next thing to touch it (You?) carries 220 volts to ground. 

Bill Kinney
SM #160, Harmonie
Highlands, NJ
“Ships and men rot in port."





On Aug 10, 2016, at 08:50, Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 I'm looking for a new charger now, too.  My Charles 60 A charger doesn't have an equalization cycle.  So far I've only been looking at chargers recommended by Amel owners on this forum, and for a 75-80A 24V charger with equalization mode only the Victron Skylla-i meets my needs.  I'm also looking at MasterVolt but a few owners have had bad experiences.

I think any good marine charger is OK as long as you  don't connect the ground to the bonding system.

I think ideally we want a charger with separate AC and DC grounds.  That way you could connect the AC ground to the boat's AC ground, and the DC ground to the battery negative.  Unfortunately they all seem to have a common ground that ABYC standard wants you to connect to the boat's "earth".

Are you just dropping a lead into the water and measuring between that lead and the bonding system?

It sounds like there is a fault in you charger.  But if it isn't connected to your bonding system, there is another connection to your bonding system that is carrying current to the water.  It could be on either the AC or DC circuit.
I'd be interested in what you find if you disconnect the AC and DC wires from the charger and measure resistance between each wire and the bonding system with the circuit breaker off, and again with CB on.  That should help you determine where to look for the connection.

On my boat I was never able to completely eliminate all connections to ground.  Your 220V air conditioner water pump, for example, is connected to the bonding system.  My generator case is also connected to the bonding system. (Read Olivier's earlier comments on this.)
I purchased a silver/silver chloride reference electrode to monitor hull potential and do that once a month, and every time I drop anchor or tie up to a marina dock.
Let us know what you find.
Kent
SM243
Kristy



On Aug 10, 2016, at 4:49 AM, rossienio@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Hi Kent,

 the Sterling ProCharge N is only charger, it was  installed  time ago, without ground connection, but I have seen the problem only now, touching the mooring wet of salt water, while the boat is connected  to  the shore power of the Marina and with the C.B. on.
I can see the voltage leak with the tester on AC (2V) and DC (2.5V) connecting metallic parts of the boat with sea water.
Now the generator (Fischer Panda) is totally isolated, with all wires ( in and out ) disconnected so I' using now only solar panels.
I am going to do all the measures suggested by Olivier, but I think that the Sterling is not suitable for our boats.
Could  you give me some indication about Battery Charger  suitable to boats with the electrical system isolated, like Amel?
I also istalled an alternator-to-battery charger Sterling, do you think that it too could not be ok  for the Amels?
Here I'm not able to find an Amel-savvy electrician. 
Good wind




James Alton
 

Bill Kinney,

   Is it enough to do a continuity test between the negative lead on a prospective battery charger and the AC ground to determine if a particular charger is ok to use on an Amel?    If so, should such a test give an infinite ohm reading?

   If I am understanding the concerns correctly, we want the bonding system to be as completely isolated from the battery negative (and positive) as possible?  Case bonding of 220V appliances is ok so long as the connection between AC ground and any DC ground wires that are a part of that appliance are not present?  

Thanks,

James

Amel Maramu "Sueno",  #220

On Aug 10, 2016, at 3:06 PM, Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Well crap, I guess I still don't understand it all.  So IF the charger has an AC only ground , it should be connected to the bonding system.  What about the DC ground (I assume a charger would have a DC ground too)?  I'm not talking about the DC output negative, I'm talking about something that would become hot with DC if there was an internal short on the output side. Is that run back to the battery negative?  If the safety concern is that either AC or DC current could shock you if the case became "hot", how could you separate the two?

Stray DC current is supposed to be the culprit most of the time in electrolytic damage.  Low current leakage that isn't enough to trip the breaker, but enough that over time it destroys your underwater metals.  Stray AC current can do it, too, particularly when on faulty shore power without a galvanic isolator.  Do I at least understand that correctly?

Sigh,
Kent, "Rusty", "Patch"
SM 243
Kristy



On Aug 10, 2016, at 1:49 PM, Bill Kinney greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Kent,


It is not as simple as saying it is "OK as long as you  don't connect the ground [of the charger] to the bonding system

You can not, and should not, remove all connections between the bonding system and the AC safety ground.  Those connections are there by Amel design—not by accident and are shown on Amel’s electrical drawings.  See Olivier’s comments on this matter.  Because of the connections between them, the bonding circuit and AC safety ground circuits really are all part of the same system, in normal operation carrying almost no current, but equalizing voltages.

Because there are always going to be connections between the AC safety ground and the bonding system, ANY connection between the DC negative and the AC safety ground is the same as connecting the DC negative to the bonding system. This should NOT be done--anywhere--on an Amel.  

The apparent problem with some battery chargers is that they make such a connection between DC negative and AC safety ground internally.  These are the kinds we need to avoid.  On a proper marine battery chargers this connection would not be part of the design.  It would be bad practice on any boat to have multiple connections between DC negative and AC safety ground scattered around the boat and always bad to have the charger case be part of the DC negative circuit. I am pretty sure that such a piece of equipment would not be considered ABYC compliant.

An important point to remember is that the AC Safety ground—in normal operation—should not carry any current at all.  It is only there to drain off hazardous voltages caused by short circuits to equipment cases.  Almost always, when this happens the current draw is enough to trip the circuit breaker, shutting down the faulty circuit.

Recommending that the case of a battery charger (or inverter, or any piece of equipment connected to AC line voltage) should not be grounded should not be done lightly.  Most of the time, that ground is an important safety issue.  If there was an internal short the case of the charger could become “hot” at full line voltage.  If the case is not grounded that condition can continue until the next thing to touch it (You?) carries 220 volts to ground. 

Bill Kinney
SM #160, Harmonie
Highlands, NJ
“Ships and men rot in port."





On Aug 10, 2016, at 08:50, Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 I'm looking for a new charger now, too.  My Charles 60 A charger doesn't have an equalization cycle.  So far I've only been looking at chargers recommended by Amel owners on this forum, and for a 75-80A 24V charger with equalization mode only the Victron Skylla-i meets my needs.  I'm also looking at MasterVolt but a few owners have had bad experiences.

I think any good marine charger is OK as long as you  don't connect the ground to the bonding system.

I think ideally we want a charger with separate AC and DC grounds.  That way you could connect the AC ground to the boat's AC ground, and the DC ground to the battery negative.  Unfortunately they all seem to have a common ground that ABYC standard wants you to connect to the boat's "earth".

Are you just dropping a lead into the water and measuring between that lead and the bonding system?

It sounds like there is a fault in you charger.  But if it isn't connected to your bonding system, there is another connection to your bonding system that is carrying current to the water.  It could be on either the AC or DC circuit.
I'd be interested in what you find if you disconnect the AC and DC wires from the charger and measure resistance between each wire and the bonding system with the circuit breaker off, and again with CB on.  That should help you determine where to look for the connection.

On my boat I was never able to completely eliminate all connections to ground.  Your 220V air conditioner water pump, for example, is connected to the bonding system.  My generator case is also connected to the bonding system. (Read Olivier's earlier comments on this.)
I purchased a silver/silver chloride reference electrode to monitor hull potential and do that once a month, and every time I drop anchor or tie up to a marina dock.
Let us know what you find.
Kent
SM243
Kristy



On Aug 10, 2016, at 4:49 AM, rossienio@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Hi Kent,

 the Sterling ProCharge N is only charger, it was  installed  time ago, without ground connection, but I have seen the problem only now, touching the mooring wet of salt water, while the boat is connected  to  the shore power of the Marina and with the C.B. on.
I can see the voltage leak with the tester on AC (2V) and DC (2.5V) connecting metallic parts of the boat with sea water.
Now the generator (Fischer Panda) is totally isolated, with all wires ( in and out ) disconnected so I' using now only solar panels.
I am going to do all the measures suggested by Olivier, but I think that the Sterling is not suitable for our boats.
Could  you give me some indication about Battery Charger  suitable to boats with the electrical system isolated, like Amel?
I also istalled an alternator-to-battery charger Sterling, do you think that it too could not be ok  for the Amels?
Here I'm not able to find an Amel-savvy electrician. 
Good wind







Bill Kinney <greatketch@...>
 

James,

Yes, that test you describe will tell you.  

All (properly wired) boats should have a “insulated return” which means that the DC negative should NOT show continuity with the case or the AC safety ground. That would apply to all DC powered equipment, not just battery chargers!

All boats (should) have insulated returns.  Boats built to the full ABYC standard have one (and ONLY one) connection between the DC negative, the AC safety ground and the bonding circuit.  Amel’s have a “floating ground” which means that the bonding circuit, and the AC safety ground are connected to each other, but NOWHERE connected to the DC ground.

Perfectly good boats are built either way. But you need to know what kind of system you are working on and not make connections that shouldn’t be there.  Bad connections in either system can lead to serious corrosion issues.

And we haven’t even started talking about the AC neutral wire yet!

Bill Kinney
SM #160, Harmonie
Highlands, NJ
“Ships and men rot in port."





On Aug 10, 2016, at 14:58, James Alton lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Bill Kinney,


   Is it enough to do a continuity test between the negative lead on a prospective battery charger and the AC ground to determine if a particular charger is ok to use on an Amel?    If so, should such a test give an infinite ohm reading?

   If I am understanding the concerns correctly, we want the bonding system to be as completely isolated from the battery negative (and positive) as possible?  Case bonding of 220V appliances is ok so long as the connection between AC ground and any DC ground wires that are a part of that appliance are not present?  

Thanks,

James

Amel Maramu "Sueno",  #220
On Aug 10, 2016, at 3:06 PM, Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Well crap, I guess I still don't understand it all.  So IF the charger has an AC only ground , it should be connected to the bonding system.  What about the DC ground (I assume a charger would have a DC ground too)?  I'm not talking about the DC output negative, I'm talking about something that would become hot with DC if there was an internal short on the output side. Is that run back to the battery negative?  If the safety concern is that either AC or DC current could shock you if the case became "hot", how could you separate the two?

Stray DC current is supposed to be the culprit most of the time in electrolytic damage.  Low current leakage that isn't enough to trip the breaker, but enough that over time it destroys your underwater metals.  Stray AC current can do it, too, particularly when on faulty shore power without a galvanic isolator.  Do I at least understand that correctly?

Sigh,
Kent, "Rusty", "Patch"
SM 243
Kristy



On Aug 10, 2016, at 1:49 PM, Bill Kinney greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Kent,


It is not as simple as saying it is "OK as long as you  don't connect the ground [of the charger] to the bonding system

You can not, and should not, remove all connections between the bonding system and the AC safety ground.  Those connections are there by Amel design—not by accident and are shown on Amel’s electrical drawings.  See Olivier’s comments on this matter.  Because of the connections between them, the bonding circuit and AC safety ground circuits really are all part of the same system, in normal operation carrying almost no current, but equalizing voltages.

Because there are always going to be connections between the AC safety ground and the bonding system, ANY connection between the DC negative and the AC safety ground is the same as connecting the DC negative to the bonding system. This should NOT be done--anywhere--on an Amel.  

The apparent problem with some battery chargers is that they make such a connection between DC negative and AC safety ground internally.  These are the kinds we need to avoid.  On a proper marine battery chargers this connection would not be part of the design.  It would be bad practice on any boat to have multiple connections between DC negative and AC safety ground scattered around the boat and always bad to have the charger case be part of the DC negative circuit. I am pretty sure that such a piece of equipment would not be considered ABYC compliant.

An important point to remember is that the AC Safety ground—in normal operation—should not carry any current at all.  It is only there to drain off hazardous voltages caused by short circuits to equipment cases.  Almost always, when this happens the current draw is enough to trip the circuit breaker, shutting down the faulty circuit.

Recommending that the case of a battery charger (or inverter, or any piece of equipment connected to AC line voltage) should not be grounded should not be done lightly.  Most of the time, that ground is an important safety issue.  If there was an internal short the case of the charger could become “hot” at full line voltage.  If the case is not grounded that condition can continue until the next thing to touch it (You?) carries 220 volts to ground. 

Bill Kinney
SM #160, Harmonie
Highlands, NJ
“Ships and men rot in port."





On Aug 10, 2016, at 08:50, Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 I'm looking for a new charger now, too.  My Charles 60 A charger doesn't have an equalization cycle.  So far I've only been looking at chargers recommended by Amel owners on this forum, and for a 75-80A 24V charger with equalization mode only the Victron Skylla-i meets my needs.  I'm also looking at MasterVolt but a few owners have had bad experiences.

I think any good marine charger is OK as long as you  don't connect the ground to the bonding system.

I think ideally we want a charger with separate AC and DC grounds.  That way you could connect the AC ground to the boat's AC ground, and the DC ground to the battery negative.  Unfortunately they all seem to have a common ground that ABYC standard wants you to connect to the boat's "earth".

Are you just dropping a lead into the water and measuring between that lead and the bonding system?

It sounds like there is a fault in you charger.  But if it isn't connected to your bonding system, there is another connection to your bonding system that is carrying current to the water.  It could be on either the AC or DC circuit.
I'd be interested in what you find if you disconnect the AC and DC wires from the charger and measure resistance between each wire and the bonding system with the circuit breaker off, and again with CB on.  That should help you determine where to look for the connection.

On my boat I was never able to completely eliminate all connections to ground.  Your 220V air conditioner water pump, for example, is connected to the bonding system.  My generator case is also connected to the bonding system. (Read Olivier's earlier comments on this.)
I purchased a silver/silver chloride reference electrode to monitor hull potential and do that once a month, and every time I drop anchor or tie up to a marina dock.
Let us know what you find.
Kent
SM243
Kristy



On Aug 10, 2016, at 4:49 AM, rossienio@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Hi Kent,

 the Sterling ProCharge N is only charger, it was  installed  time ago, without ground connection, but I have seen the problem only now, touching the mooring wet of salt water, while the boat is connected  to  the shore power of the Marina and with the C.B. on.
I can see the voltage leak with the tester on AC (2V) and DC (2.5V) connecting metallic parts of the boat with sea water.
Now the generator (Fischer Panda) is totally isolated, with all wires ( in and out ) disconnected so I' using now only solar panels.
I am going to do all the measures suggested by Olivier, but I think that the Sterling is not suitable for our boats.
Could  you give me some indication about Battery Charger  suitable to boats with the electrical system isolated, like Amel?
I also istalled an alternator-to-battery charger Sterling, do you think that it too could not be ok  for the Amels?
Here I'm not able to find an Amel-savvy electrician. 
Good wind









Bill Kinney <greatketch@...>
 

Kent,

It’s not simple…

Connecting the charger safety ground can be done to either the AC safety ground wire, or the bonding wires, assuming the bonding wires are big enough to take full current from the AC system.  Since those two systems are interconnected, they are are pretty much the same.  

There is no “DC Ground” as you seem to think of it  There is only a DC negative.  The reason for this is that 24Volts is not going to kill you, although, DC current running around on you boat can cause havoc as you well know!

Stray DC current certainly is the culprit in electrolytic damage. “Stray” AC current isn’t so much a corrosion issue as it is a serious safety problem.  The issue when connected to  shorepower is DC currents that flow over the AC Safety Ground wire when plugged into shore power. In this case every boat in the marina is grounded to the same point on shore.  Any problem on any boat can result in DC currents flowing between boats, through the water and back on the ground wire.

Now it gets more complex… electrolytic and galvanic corrosion are not exactly the same, although people frequently use the terms interchangeably.

Electrolytic corrosion is caused by imposed electrical currents.  Galvanic corrosion is caused by an electrical current generated by the presence of dissimilar metals in an electrolyte. No external voltage source is needed. Galvanic voltages are low, usually less that 1 volt and are blocked completely by a galvanic isolator (hence the name…)  Stray currents can be up to 24 volts.  If they are greater than about 1 volt the galvanic isolator does not work.

One other difference.  The isolator blocks galvanic action between different boats.  It will not protect you from electrolytic corrosion caused by stray current generated by your OWN boat that do not flow through the AC safety ground wire.  And an isolator does nothing at all when not in a marina.



On Aug 10, 2016, at 14:06, Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Well crap, I guess I still don't understand it all.  So IF the charger has an AC only ground , it should be connected to the bonding system.  What about the DC ground (I assume a charger would have a DC ground too)?  I'm not talking about the DC output negative, I'm talking about something that would become hot with DC if there was an internal short on the output side. Is that run back to the battery negative?  If the safety concern is that either AC or DC current could shock you if the case became "hot", how could you separate the two?

Stray DC current is supposed to be the culprit most of the time in electrolytic damage.  Low current leakage that isn't enough to trip the breaker, but enough that over time it destroys your underwater metals.  Stray AC current can do it, too, particularly when on faulty shore power without a galvanic isolator.  Do I at least understand that correctly?

Sigh,
Kent, "Rusty", "Patch"
SM 243
Kristy



On Aug 10, 2016, at 1:49 PM, Bill Kinney greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Kent,


It is not as simple as saying it is "OK as long as you  don't connect the ground [of the charger] to the bonding system

You can not, and should not, remove all connections between the bonding system and the AC safety ground.  Those connections are there by Amel design—not by accident and are shown on Amel’s electrical drawings.  See Olivier’s comments on this matter.  Because of the connections between them, the bonding circuit and AC safety ground circuits really are all part of the same system, in normal operation carrying almost no current, but equalizing voltages.

Because there are always going to be connections between the AC safety ground and the bonding system, ANY connection between the DC negative and the AC safety ground is the same as connecting the DC negative to the bonding system. This should NOT be done--anywhere--on an Amel.  

The apparent problem with some battery chargers is that they make such a connection between DC negative and AC safety ground internally.  These are the kinds we need to avoid.  On a proper marine battery chargers this connection would not be part of the design.  It would be bad practice on any boat to have multiple connections between DC negative and AC safety ground scattered around the boat and always bad to have the charger case be part of the DC negative circuit. I am pretty sure that such a piece of equipment would not be considered ABYC compliant.

An important point to remember is that the AC Safety ground—in normal operation—should not carry any current at all.  It is only there to drain off hazardous voltages caused by short circuits to equipment cases.  Almost always, when this happens the current draw is enough to trip the circuit breaker, shutting down the faulty circuit.

Recommending that the case of a battery charger (or inverter, or any piece of equipment connected to AC line voltage) should not be grounded should not be done lightly.  Most of the time, that ground is an important safety issue.  If there was an internal short the case of the charger could become “hot” at full line voltage.  If the case is not grounded that condition can continue until the next thing to touch it (You?) carries 220 volts to ground. 

Bill Kinney
SM #160, Harmonie
Highlands, NJ
“Ships and men rot in port."





On Aug 10, 2016, at 08:50, Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 I'm looking for a new charger now, too.  My Charles 60 A charger doesn't have an equalization cycle.  So far I've only been looking at chargers recommended by Amel owners on this forum, and for a 75-80A 24V charger with equalization mode only the Victron Skylla-i meets my needs.  I'm also looking at MasterVolt but a few owners have had bad experiences.

I think any good marine charger is OK as long as you  don't connect the ground to the bonding system.

I think ideally we want a charger with separate AC and DC grounds.  That way you could connect the AC ground to the boat's AC ground, and the DC ground to the battery negative.  Unfortunately they all seem to have a common ground that ABYC standard wants you to connect to the boat's "earth".

Are you just dropping a lead into the water and measuring between that lead and the bonding system?

It sounds like there is a fault in you charger.  But if it isn't connected to your bonding system, there is another connection to your bonding system that is carrying current to the water.  It could be on either the AC or DC circuit.
I'd be interested in what you find if you disconnect the AC and DC wires from the charger and measure resistance between each wire and the bonding system with the circuit breaker off, and again with CB on.  That should help you determine where to look for the connection.

On my boat I was never able to completely eliminate all connections to ground.  Your 220V air conditioner water pump, for example, is connected to the bonding system.  My generator case is also connected to the bonding system. (Read Olivier's earlier comments on this.)
I purchased a silver/silver chloride reference electrode to monitor hull potential and do that once a month, and every time I drop anchor or tie up to a marina dock.
Let us know what you find.
Kent
SM243
Kristy



On Aug 10, 2016, at 4:49 AM, rossienio@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Hi Kent,

 the Sterling ProCharge N is only charger, it was  installed  time ago, without ground connection, but I have seen the problem only now, touching the mooring wet of salt water, while the boat is connected  to  the shore power of the Marina and with the C.B. on.
I can see the voltage leak with the tester on AC (2V) and DC (2.5V) connecting metallic parts of the boat with sea water.
Now the generator (Fischer Panda) is totally isolated, with all wires ( in and out ) disconnected so I' using now only solar panels.
I am going to do all the measures suggested by Olivier, but I think that the Sterling is not suitable for our boats.
Could  you give me some indication about Battery Charger  suitable to boats with the electrical system isolated, like Amel?
I also istalled an alternator-to-battery charger Sterling, do you think that it too could not be ok  for the Amels?
Here I'm not able to find an Amel-savvy electrician. 
Good wind







Herbert Lackner
 

hi enio,

maybe not relevant to your current problem, but eventually some helpful thoughts.

I spent some time in finding grounding issues :-) on different santorins (including our own). what I found out where to put attention to:

fischer panda is normally not isolated but there is an upgrade kit available by fischer panda (relais plus ready made cabling) that makes the fischer panda genset "amel-friendly".  I installed it on KALI MERA and it works fine. without the kit you will have battery-minus connected to seawater when running the genset.

you should check the cabling at the shaft alternator, there is a strong possibility that the isolation of the cables break and a connection from ground to the housing occurs, causing a ground leak (battery connection to bonding system, positive or negative)

any changes in the alternator-system (new alternator or new shaft alternator, additional alternator...) can cause ground problems because most alternators are not isolated and therefore should not be used on an amel.

and if an SSB has been installed on a santorin that has not dedicated SSB grounding then this is also a typical thing to pay some attention to when looking for ground leaks (e.g. direct connection of grounding to the rudder...).

and (for sure not relevant to your actual problem but worth to mention): the original bonding - copper ground strap to the keel will break after about 10 -15 years, so should be checked also... :-)

best regards

herbert
SN120, KALI MERA, Trinidad


James Alton
 

Herbert,

   Thanks for the detailed information on things to check with the bonding system.  My boat is a later Maramu but perhaps the system is fairly similar?   Does the aforementioned connection to the keel occur at a keel bolt?  I did not see a strap during the water tank inspection so perhaps it is in the sump?  If so then definitely something to look forward to!  (grin)  Do you normally use more copper for the repair or is there a better solution?

Best,

James

SV Sueno,  Maramu #220

On Aug 11, 2016, at 3:25 AM, herbert@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

hi enio,

maybe not relevant to your current problem, but eventually some helpful thoughts.

I spent some time in finding grounding issues :-) on different santorins (including our own). what I found out where to put attention to:

fischer panda is normally not isolated but there is an upgrade kit available by fischer panda (relais plus ready made cabling) that makes the fischer panda genset "amel-friendly".  I installed it on KALI MERA and it works fine. without the kit you will have battery-minus connected to seawater when running the genset.

you should check the cabling at the shaft alternator, there is a strong possibility that the isolation of the cables break and a connection from ground to the housing occurs, causing a ground leak (battery connection to bonding system, positive or negative)

any changes in the alternator-system (new alternator or new shaft alternator, additional alternator...) can cause ground prob lems because most alternators are not isolated and therefore should not be used on an amel. 

and if an SSB has been installed on a santorin that has not dedicated SSB grounding then this is also a typical thing to pay some attention to when looking for ground leaks (e.g. direct connection of grounding to the rudder...).

and (for sure not relevant to your actual problem but worth to mention): the original bonding - copper ground strap to the keel will break after about 10 -15 years, so should be checked also... :-) 

best regards

herbert
SN120, KALI MERA, Trinidad



enio rossi
 

Hi Herbert thanks for your experience and your information.I need to rreplace my Sterling but I have no idea about B.C. Amel-friendly. Could you give me some advice about Battery chargers that I must buy?  Which is the model have you installed and how many Ampers? Fair winds. Enio


Herbert Lackner
 

hi enio,  we have an LEAB 3.200W  charger installled.  maybe some "overkill" but does its job. typical load current is below 80A when battery charge state is 70% (we do not let them go below 70%, 500AH 12V). charger can handle up to 200A.

http://www.leab.eu/fileadmin/data/files/products/charger/ABC_3200_DE-EN_2009.pdf

fair winds,

herbert

KALI MERA, SN120, Trinidad


Herbert Lackner
 

james, I am not familiar with the Maramu, but the SN and the SM have the bonding connection to the keel with a copper stripe that goes to a keel bolt in the bilge. there is an excellent documentation how to exchange that by our Bill Rouse that helped many of us to replace the corroded stripe.

look at this...

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/amelyachtowners/photos/albums/138287824

 

fair winds,


herbert, SN120, Trinidad

 


James Alton
 

Herbert,
  Many thanks for the link and for your clear explanations of the Amel bonding system.  
James


Sent from Samsung Mobile



-------- Original message --------
From: "herbert@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
Date: 08-11-2016 4:02 PM (GMT-04:00)
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Upgrading all electronics


 

james, I am not familiar with the Maramu, but the SN and the SM have the bonding connection to the keel with a copper stripe that goes to a keel bolt in the bilge. there is an excellent documentation how to exchange that by our Bill Rouse that helped many of us to replace the corroded stripe.

look at this...

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/amelyachtowners/photos/albums/138287824

 

fair winds,


herbert, SN120, Trinidad

 


James Alton
 

Herbert,

A big thanks to Bill Rouse for the excellent photos and details of how he changed his copper strap for the bonding system.   I suspect that the keel bolt grounding connection on Sueno will need to be renewed as well though as you point out the design might be a little different.  Am I correct that this connection is needed so that the iron keel is protected along with the other keel bolts?  

Best,
James

On Aug 11, 2016, at 4:02 PM, herbert@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

james, I am not familiar with the Maramu, but the SN and the SM have the bonding connection to the keel with a copper stripe that goes to a keel bolt in the bilge. there is an excellent documentation how to exchange that by our Bill Rouse that helped many of us to replace the corroded stripe. 

look at this...

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/amelyachtowners/photos/albums/138287824

 

fair winds,


herbert, SN120, Trinidad




Herbert Lackner
 

James,  yes, the connection is to protect the iron keel and the keel bolts from electrolytic corrosion. If the connection is broken / corroded with the years the keel transforms to swiss cheese (the one with the tiny holes :-) ) and requires a lot of sandblasting before recoating (I did learn the importance of a working amel bonding system the hard way, as with some other amel specific items on the boat, checking the resistance between battery and bonding is one of my routine tasks)...

herbert, KALI MERA, SN120, trinidad