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Peter Kennedy has been in  business since 1991 designing, installing and servicing marine electrical systems. The purpose of this blog is to offer support to both professional installers and  do-it-yourself boat owners who wish to undertake this work themselves.

Peter Kennedy has been in  business since 1991 designing, installing and servicing marine electrical systems. The purpose of this blog is to offer support to both professional installers and  do-it-yourself boat owners who wish to undertake this work themselves.

Using the Victron Energy Autotransformer in a US 120/240 Volt system

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 1/28/2019 to Victron MultiPlus and Quatro
The Victron Energy Autotransformer is the one item we sell that causes the most confusion. Read about how it gets used in a US 120/240 volt system here

Camper Van and RV Electrical Systems

Posted by Mike Hobson on 1/22/2019 to Camper Vans
Camper Van and RV Electrical Systems
Camper van and RV electrical systems comprise charging from the engine, shore power and solar panels. From these sources we can charge batteries or power AC and DC systems directly allowing for extended time off grid and away from shore power.

Blue Sea Systems fire recovery update

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 1/22/2019 to News
As many of you know, on November 10, 2018, a fire broke out at the Blue Sea Systems Bellingham, WA facility resulting in a total loss of the building including the production area, office space, product, assembly fixtures and test equipment. Since then, a lot of work has been done to aid in the recovery plan. Read an update of the progress that has been made.

How to test a galvanic isolator that doesn't have a monitoring system

Posted by Liam Kennedy on 1/21/2019 to Corrosion
Galvanic isolators are a bit difficult to test.  Current ABYC standards require that galvanic isolators be self testing.  For testing older isolators without this feature there are a number of methods that can be used, the one that follows is one that I found most useful.

What is a galvanic isolator and why should my shore power system have one?

Posted by Liam Kennedy on 1/21/2019 to Corrosion
A galvanic isolator is a device used to block low voltage DC currents coming on board your boat on the shore power ground wire.  These currents could cause corrosion to your underwater metals; through hulls, propeller, shaft etc.

Installing a High Power marine alternator on your boat.

Posted by Liam Kennedy on 1/21/2019 to Alternators
Arguably, there is no more worthwhile electrical project you can undertake on your boat to improve comfort and convenience than the installation of a high power alternator.  Having a high power alternator will provide you with a substantial improvement in the availability of electrical power on board. 

Why is my Amp Hour Meter giving strange readings after its winter break?

Posted by Liam Kennedy on 1/21/2019 to Battery Monitoring
Amp hour meters do a great job at assisting the boat owner with battery management.  They provide an accurate reading of voltage and of amps going in and out of the batteries and by keeping track of these readings over time they can provide a reading of "amp hours" or the state of charge of the battery as a percentage.  They also often maintain a record of historical data and can use that to figure out battery efficiency.

How big a battery bank do I need?

Posted by Liam Kennedy on 1/18/2019 to Batteries (Conventional)
For most people to answer to this is "as big as possible".  Charlie Wing's book the "Boatowners Illustrated handbook of Wiring"  has a very good explanation of how to calculate the capacity you need. The calculations start by working out what your daily load will be both at anchor and while underway.

Should I hook up batteries in Parallel or keep them in separate banks?

Posted by Liam Kennedy on 1/18/2019 to Batteries (Conventional)
There may be some disadvantages to hooking up batteries in parallel but there are also considerable advantages. The main disadvantage as I see it is that as the batteries get old one will fail first, quite often by getting a shorted cell.

How do I charge two battery banks on my boat and still keep them separate?

Posted by Liam Kennedy on 1/18/2019 to Batteries (Conventional)
The simplest way, if you can remember to do it, is to turn your battery switch to "BOTH" when charging, and turn it back to 1 or 2 when you are finished.  This solution is unsatisfactory for those who sometimes forget and then end up with a flat battery from time to time.

Using Victron Energy equipment with other brands of Lithium Ion batteries

Posted by Peter Kennedy` on 1/14/2019 to Batteries (Lithium Ion)
Victron Energy offers a suite of equipment for use with their own brand of Lithium Ion batteries. Can that same equipment be used with other brands of batteries? See here what works and what doesnt.......

Upgrading the Firmware in your Victron MultiPlus or Quattro

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 1/2/2019 to Victron MultiPlus and Quatro
This Blog post explains why you might want to update the Firmware in your MultiPlus or Quattro and how to go about it