[Amel Yacht Owners] Alternator and Masse leak detector


ngtnewington Newington
 

HI Alan,

Thanks, all good info. When I get back to the boat next Saturday I will check it again. I am toying with the idea of buying a 3 stage regulator too. 

I have Lifeline AGM bank of batteries. I have noticed that the Alternator brings the bank up to 28.55v but then stays at that voltage rather than drop back to float slightly lower. According to Lifeline AGM website the batteries can tolerate 28.8v so that should be ok. On the recent transatlantic passage we motored for 18 hours straight at one point and obviously the batteries were full and kept being charged at 28.55v. I checked the bank by feeling them and listening. There was no boiling or even warmth. So I reckon the current internal regulator is OK nevertheless I am not 100% about a long motor, say of 24 or even 48 hours. My new bank was expensive! I want 8 years out of that bank! I have a very good charging system, new Mastervolt 30A and new Xantrex 70A inverter charger as well as twin Rutland 1200 wind generators and 530w of solar all set to AGM’s plus of course the 175A alternator. Our wind solar combo covers pretty much everything even 24 x 7 autopilot. The only regulator not set to AGM is the Leece_Neville. So I am toying with changing the regulator. What brand/model do you have?

As for my leak I am not convinced that a diode can not be faulty and stuck in the short position whilst still charging, or that the alternator can not leak to ground and still work. when I get back to the boat it will be simple to remove the negative cable from the Alt and then try the “Masse” tester. I also wonder if the bow thruster could be at fault, carbon build up from worn brushes could leak. Tracking these problems is always tricky but a process of elimination is the only way.

Last time I was in Fiji was 1992, is Musket Cove still a yachtie hang out? I loved the Great Astrolabe reef area and Nevandra, Malolo Lai Lai. Suva YC was rainy but had good G+T’s

Nick


On 18 Jun 2018, at 20:50, divanz620@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Hi Nick,


Another possibility (and I completely forgot about this until I was reminded by a friend) is the little red light at the bottom left of the 24VDC panel.
If your 24VDC alternator has the standard automotive type internal regulator then this lamp is what provides the excitation current.
If everything is working normally, when you turn the key on, this lamp should light. When you start the engine and the alternator is spinning, this lamp should go out.
Have someone watch this lamp when you turn the key on and then start the engine. If the lamp doesn't light at startup this could be your problem...blown lamp or bad connection somewhere.

BTW the reason I forgot about it is that our little red lamp is disconnected as we have an external 3 stage regulator connected to the 175A Leece Neville 24VDC alternator (the internal regulator is disconnected) in order to charge (and more importantly not overcharge) the house batteries in a proper manner.

Good Luck
Alan
Elyse SM437



Alan Leslie
 

Hi Nick,

We have a NEXT STEP-2 reg ...there is a file in the Files section showing how I did it

The reg in the Leece  Neville alt is not designed to charge deep cycle batteries.
Keeping the voltage always at 28.8V will eventually kill your AGM batteries. They need a bulk, absorption, float regimen if they are to be cared for properly.

We have 
600W solar panels and  a Victron MPPT controller
Leece Neville 175A engine alt with Next Step-2 reg
Victron Skyalla 100A charger
Promariner 30A charger

and they are all set to the same absorption and float voltages.


Diodes fail open, I don't think that can be the cause of your problem.

Somewhere on some device that has both 24VDC feed AND a connection to the bonding system, there is a connection between -ve and the bonding connection...and it may not be a metal to metal contact , frequently it is through the sea water. 

Good Luck
Alan
Elyse SM437  Yasawa-i-rara


ngtnewington Newington
 

Hi Alan,

I have had an electrician check the boat for me and I asked him to look into the -ve leak and to then try some diagnosis.

This is his reply  "I checked the leak controller, it shows a leak in negativ. I tried several things like bilge pump but nothing changed. When I dismantled the negativ from the 24 V alternator, the leak light went off. So, the problem might be the alternator or somewhere at the engine.”

So I reckon that this would suggest a fault on the 24v alternator or some kind of leak to the bonding system from the engine.

Nick


On 19 Jun 2018, at 02:18, divanz620@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Hi Nick,


We have a NEXT STEP-2 reg ...there is a file in the Files section showing how I did it

The reg in the Leece  Neville alt is not designed to charge deep cycle batteries.
Keeping the voltage always at 28.8V will eventually kill your AGM batteries. They need a bulk, absorption, float regimen if they are to be cared for properly.

We have 
600W solar panels and  a Victron MPPT controller
Leece Neville 175A engine alt with Next Step-2 reg
Victron Skyalla 100A charger
Promariner 30A charger

and they are all set to the same absorption and float voltages.


Diodes fail open, I don't think that can be the cause of your problem.

Somewhere on some device that has both 24VDC feed AND a connection to the bonding system, there is a connection between -ve and the bonding connection...and it may not be a metal to metal contact , frequently it is through the sea water. 

Good Luck
Alan
Elyse SM437  Yasawa-i-rara




 

Nick,

Your problem may be an indication of something much more serious.

How long have you owned this Amel 54? Has there been an engine change, or any sensors changed?

When Amel installed the Volvo D3-110, it had been modified to be Isolated Ground by Volvo France. If you ask any Volvo dealer to check the serial number for such a modification, it will not show up on Volvos database. In fact, it is difficult to find any Volvo record of this modification which occurred with 100% of all D3s installed when the 54 was built by Amel. 

I believe that your Isolated Ground has been defeated because of either:
  1. Engine change
  2. Non-Isolated Ground sensors or switches installed replacing original ones
  3. Some other modification made by some "expert" which has defeated the Non-Isolated Ground
Yes, if any of the above are true, when you disconnect the 24VDC Negative from the 24VDC Alternator, you will remove the fault indicated on the Bonding test circuit.

I consider this issue serious and you should seek expert help. A defeated Isolated Ground has been the cause of ruined C-Drives and other serious issues. Until you have this resolved, you should add a propeller zinc, although that will not completely protect things.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus

Amel School  http://www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550

+1(832) 380-4970






On Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 5:23 AM Nick Newington ngtnewington@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Hi Alan,


I have had an electrician check the boat for me and I asked him to look into the -ve leak and to then try some diagnosis.

This is his reply  "I checked the leak controller, it shows a leak in negativ. I tried several things like bilge pump but nothing changed. When I dismantled the negativ from the 24 V alternator, the leak light went off. So, the problem might be the alternator or somewhere at the engine.”

So I reckon that this would suggest a fault on the 24v alternator or some kind of leak to the bonding system from the engine.

Nick


On 19 Jun 2018, at 02:18, divanz620@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Hi Nick,


We have a NEXT STEP-2 reg ...there is a file in the Files section showing how I did it

The reg in the Leece  Neville alt is not designed to charge deep cycle batteries.
Keeping the voltage always at 28.8V will eventually kill your AGM batteries. They need a bulk, absorption, float regimen if they are to be cared for properly.

We have 
600W solar panels and  a Victron MPPT controller
Leece Neville 175A engine alt with Next Step-2 reg
Victron Skyalla 100A charger
Promariner 30A charger

and they are all set to the same absorption and float voltages.


Diodes fail open, I don't think that can be the cause of your problem.

Somewhere on some device that has both 24VDC feed AND a connection to the bonding system, there is a connection between -ve and the bonding connection...and it may not be a metal to metal contact , frequently it is through the sea water. 

Good Luck
Alan
Elyse SM437  Yasawa-i-rara




ngtnewington Newington
 

Hi Bill,

I am the second owner.

The engine is original. I purchased the boat in June 2017,  it had been ashore in Grenada for three years as the then owner was very ill and unable to use the boat.

The only thing that was changed on the engine in my ownership has been the turbo boost pressure sensor. This was a five minute job to remove the old sensor and replace with new sensor. Done by Volvo agent in Martinique.

In the year I have owned the boat I have had no zinc sacrifice beyond normal, there was until recently no fault on the indicator including just after the turbo boost  sensor was replaced. So this fault is new.

I already have a propeller zinc.

Is there a way in which I can test if the Isolated ground has been defeated?

Nick

On 19 Jun 2018, at 16:07, Bill Rouse brouse@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Nick,

Your problem may be an indication of something much more serious.

How long have you owned this Amel 54? Has there been an engine change, or any sensors changed?

When Amel installed the Volvo D3-110, it had been modified to be Isolated Ground by Volvo France. If you ask any Volvo dealer to check the serial number for such a modification, it will not show up on Volvos database. In fact, it is difficult to find any Volvo record of this modification which occurred with 100% of all D3s installed when the 54 was built by Amel. 

I believe that your Isolated Ground has been defeated because of either:
  1. Engine change
  2. Non-Isolated Ground sensors or switches installed replacing original ones
  3. Some other modification made by some "expert" which has defeated the Non-Isolated Ground
Yes, if any of the above are true, when you disconnect the 24VDC Negative from the 24VDC Alternator, you will remove the fault indicated on the Bonding test circuit..

I consider this issue serious and you should seek expert help. A defeated Isolated Ground has been the cause of ruined C-Drives and other serious issues. Until you have this resolved, you should add a propeller zinc, although that will not completely protect things.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus
Amel School  http://www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970






On Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 5:23 AM Nick Newington ngtnewington@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Hi Alan,


I have had an electrician check the boat for me and I asked him to look into the -ve leak and to then try some diagnosis.

This is his reply  "I checked the leak controller, it shows a leak in negativ. I tried several things like bilge pump but nothing changed. When I dismantled the negativ from the 24 V alternator, the leak light went off. So, the problem might be the alternator or somewhere at the engine.”

So I reckon that this would suggest a fault on the 24v alternator or some kind of leak to the bonding system from the engine.

Nick


On 19 Jun 2018, at 02:18, divanz620@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Hi Nick,


We have a NEXT STEP-2 reg ...there is a file in the Files section showing how I did it

The reg in the Leece  Neville alt is not designed to charge deep cycle batteries.
Keeping the voltage always at 28.8V will eventually kill your AGM batteries. They need a bulk, absorption, float regimen if they are to be cared for properly.

We have 
600W solar panels and  a Victron MPPT controller
Leece Neville 175A engine alt with Next Step-2 reg
Victron Skyalla 100A charger
Promariner 30A charger

and they are all set to the same absorption and float voltages.


Diodes fail open, I don't think that can be the cause of your problem.

Somewhere on some device that has both 24VDC feed AND a connection to the bonding system, there is a connection between -ve and the bonding connection...and it may not be a metal to metal contact , frequently it is through the sea water. 

Good Luck
Alan
Elyse SM437  Yasawa-i-rara







 

Nick,

I am sending you an Off-Group, direct email.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus

Amel School  http://www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550

+1(832) 380-4970






On Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 1:00 PM Nick Newington ngtnewington@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Hi Bill,


I am the second owner.

The engine is original. I purchased the boat in June 2017,  it had been ashore in Grenada for three years as the then owner was very ill and unable to use the boat.

The only thing that was changed on the engine in my ownership has been the turbo boost pressure sensor. This was a five minute job to remove the old sensor and replace with new sensor. Done by Volvo agent in Martinique.

In the year I have owned the boat I have had no zinc sacrifice beyond normal, there was until recently no fault on the indicator including just after the turbo boost  sensor was replaced. So this fault is new.

I already have a propeller zinc.

Is there a way in which I can test if the Isolated ground has been defeated?

Nick
On 19 Jun 2018, at 16:07, Bill Rouse brouse@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Nick,

Your problem may be an indication of something much more serious.

How long have you owned this Amel 54? Has there been an engine change, or any sensors changed?

When Amel installed the Volvo D3-110, it had been modified to be Isolated Ground by Volvo France. If you ask any Volvo dealer to check the serial number for such a modification, it will not show up on Volvos database. In fact, it is difficult to find any Volvo record of this modification which occurred with 100% of all D3s installed when the 54 was built by Amel. 

I believe that your Isolated Ground has been defeated because of either:
  1. Engine change
  2. Non-Isolated Ground sensors or switches installed replacing original ones
  3. Some other modification made by some "expert" which has defeated the Non-Isolated Ground
Yes, if any of the above are true, when you disconnect the 24VDC Negative from the 24VDC Alternator, you will remove the fault indicated on the Bonding test circuit..

I consider this issue serious and you should seek expert help.. A defeated Isolated Ground has been the cause of ruined C-Drives and other serious issues. Until you have this resolved, you should add a propeller zinc, although that will not completely protect things.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus
Amel School  http://www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970






On Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 5:23 AM Nick Newington ngtnewington@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Hi Alan,


I have had an electrician check the boat for me and I asked him to look into the -ve leak and to then try some diagnosis.

This is his reply  "I checked the leak controller, it shows a leak in negativ. I tried several things like bilge pump but nothing changed. When I dismantled the negativ from the 24 V alternator, the leak light went off. So, the problem might be the alternator or somewhere at the engine.”

So I reckon that this would suggest a fault on the 24v alternator or some kind of leak to the bonding system from the engine.

Nick


On 19 Jun 2018, at 02:18, divanz620@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Hi Nick,


We have a NEXT STEP-2 reg ...there is a file in the Files section showing how I did it

The reg in the Leece  Neville alt is not designed to charge deep cycle batteries.
Keeping the voltage always at 28.8V will eventually kill your AGM batteries. They need a bulk, absorption, float regimen if they are to be cared for properly.

We have 
600W solar panels and  a Victron MPPT controller
Leece Neville 175A engine alt with Next Step-2 reg
Victron Skyalla 100A charger
Promariner 30A charger

and they are all set to the same absorption and float voltages.


Diodes fail open, I don't think that can be the cause of your problem.

Somewhere on some device that has both 24VDC feed AND a connection to the bonding system, there is a connection between -ve and the bonding connection...and it may not be a metal to metal contact , frequently it is through the sea water. 

Good Luck
Alan
Elyse SM437  Yasawa-i-rara







ngtnewington Newington
 

Hi Bill,

As I understand it, the Isolated ground system on an Amel is no different to other yachts with Isolated ground systems, and is quite simple namely that the negative of the DC system (and indeed the AC system) is not connected to the rest of the equipment in the boat. So every piece of 24v equipment is connected to the battery bank with a +ve and negative wire via the switch panel and or busbars or indeed directly to the batteries. The battery bank negative is not connected to the engine block or anodes. Then all the equipment and metal on the boat is linked together and earthed to the sea independent of the battery bank.

With this system the alternator for example has to be an isolated ground alternator. That is the -ve terminal is not electrically connected to the alternator frame as on some alternators. So there are two terminals on the back of the alternator, one +ve and one -ve and there is no electrical contact between them and the alternator frame.

If the +ve or the -ve on the battery system is connected to the ground system a fault light appears on the “Masse” detector.

If any sensor or piece of equipment on the engine is not isolated ground rated then its -ve will make an electrical contact with the bonding system.

It is, to my eye, likely that the 24v charging alternator has a fault such that the negative terminal is leaking to the frame of the alternator and thus to the engine itself which is connected to the bonded system and to the sea. By disconnecting the 24v negative cable from the faulty alternator there is no longer a contact between negative 24v and the bonding system, which is why the fault light goes off then.  Thus we have found the fault.

Furthermore I suspect that within the faulty 24v alternator we will discover that it is one of the diodes within the rectifier that is leaking to the frame, but that remains to be seen.

Kind regards

Nick

On 19 Jun 2018, at 19:20, Bill Rouse brouse@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Nick,

I am sending you an Off-Group, direct email.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus
Amel School  http://www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970






On Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 1:00 PM Nick Newington ngtnewington@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Hi Bill,


I am the second owner.

The engine is original. I purchased the boat in June 2017,  it had been ashore in Grenada for three years as the then owner was very ill and unable to use the boat.

The only thing that was changed on the engine in my ownership has been the turbo boost pressure sensor. This was a five minute job to remove the old sensor and replace with new sensor. Done by Volvo agent in Martinique.

In the year I have owned the boat I have had no zinc sacrifice beyond normal, there was until recently no fault on the indicator including just after the turbo boost  sensor was replaced. So this fault is new.

I already have a propeller zinc.

Is there a way in which I can test if the Isolated ground has been defeated?

Nick
On 19 Jun 2018, at 16:07, Bill Rouse brouse@...[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Nick,

Your problem may be an indication of something much more serious.

How long have you owned this Amel 54? Has there been an engine change, or any sensors changed?

When Amel installed the Volvo D3-110, it had been modified to be Isolated Ground by Volvo France. If you ask any Volvo dealer to check the serial number for such a modification, it will not show up on Volvos database. In fact, it is difficult to find any Volvo record of this modification which occurred with 100% of all D3s installed when the 54 was built by Amel. 

I believe that your Isolated Ground has been defeated because of either:
  1. Engine change
  2. Non-Isolated Ground sensors or switches installed replacing original ones
  3. Some other modification made by some "expert" which has defeated the Non-Isolated Ground
Yes, if any of the above are true, when you disconnect the 24VDC Negative from the 24VDC Alternator, you will remove the fault indicated on the Bonding test circuit..

I consider this issue serious and you should seek expert help.. A defeated Isolated Ground has been the cause of ruined C-Drives and other serious issues. Until you have this resolved, you should add a propeller zinc, although that will not completely protect things.

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus
Amel School  http://www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970






On Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 5:23 AM Nick Newington ngtnewington@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Hi Alan,


I have had an electrician check the boat for me and I asked him to look into the -ve leak and to then try some diagnosis..

This is his reply  "I checked the leak controller, it shows a leak in negativ. I tried several things like bilge pump but nothing changed. When I dismantled the negativ from the 24 V alternator, the leak light went off. So, the problem might be the alternator or somewhere at the engine.”

So I reckon that this would suggest a fault on the 24v alternator or some kind of leak to the bonding system from the engine.

Nick


On 19 Jun 2018, at 02:18, divanz620@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Hi Nick,


We have a NEXT STEP-2 reg ...there is a file in the Files section showing how I did it

The reg in the Leece  Neville alt is not designed to charge deep cycle batteries.
Keeping the voltage always at 28.8V will eventually kill your AGM batteries. They need a bulk, absorption, float regimen if they are to be cared for properly.

We have 
600W solar panels and  a Victron MPPT controller
Leece Neville 175A engine alt with Next Step-2 reg
Victron Skyalla 100A charger
Promariner 30A charger

and they are all set to the same absorption and float voltages.


Diodes fail open, I don't think that can be the cause of your problem.

Somewhere on some device that has both 24VDC feed AND a connection to the bonding system, there is a connection between -ve and the bonding connection...and it may not be a metal to metal contact , frequently it is through the sea water. 

Good Luck
Alan
Elyse SM437  Yasawa-i-rara










Alan Leslie
 

Hi  Nick,

Agree you found the "fault". 
It is the alternator.
BUT I very much doubt that it is a diode "leaking" to the frame.
It's more likely to be a breakdown in the insulation somewhere...it could even be something as simple as salt crystals around the negative terminal providing a circuit from  -ve to the alternator case.

Good luck
Alan
Elyse SM437


ngtnewington Newington
 

Hi Alan,

Thanks for your input on this. I have just had a long conversation with the Leece-Neville distributor here in the UK. 

I described all the symptoms you know about, and that I have raised over the last six months on this forum. He said that, he has seen this before on Leece-Nevilles and in his opinion there would probably be one diode not working properly and at low rpm the Alt would not work as it was kind of missing a beat but as the rpm increases the alternator gets over the missed beat and starts to charge but probably only at 50% of its potential output running on the remaining diodes.

 As for the leak, he agrees with your opinion that it would not be from a faulty diode and that most likely one of the insulating washers had perished or a build up of some debris was bridging from the negative side to the frame. He advised me to consider a brand new alternator that he had in stock that is exactly the same as the old and would throw in the smart regulator set for AGM's and wire it up for me prior to shipping for free.. The double pulley is the same, I only must check the rotation for the fan as it is clockwise as you look at it from the pulley end. If necessary I can take the fan from the old one, but I think they are exactly the same.

So this is what I will do, after all the old one is 12 years old, and then get the old one checked and serviced and keep for spare.  He completely agreed that the bridging to the frame would not stop it working and that also a defective diode would not stop the alternator from working all be it at higher rpm and at a lower output but the bridging could cause  galvanic corrosion problems.

So in conclusion to other Amel owners if your 24v alternator only works at higher rpm you should check that it can put out it’s full rated output. If not have it serviced you may have a dodgy diode, and frankly if there is a bad diode it is likely there may be other damage too as with mine.



Nick




On 20 Jun 2018, at 08:31, divanz620@... [amelyachtowners] ahoogroups.com> wrote:

Hi  Nick,


Agree you found the "fault". 
It is the alternator.
BUT I very much doubt that it is a diode "leaking" to the frame.
It's more likely to be a breakdown in the insulation somewhere...it could even be something as simple as salt crystals around the negative terminal providing a circuit from  -ve to the alternator case.

Good luck
Alan
Elyse SM437