Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Welding stuff

Welding stuffI've finally got my act together and sorted out my power issues, so I can at last weld on board.

There is quite a bit of history to this:

Originally, in December 2004, Lady Jane was moved to Fareham so Robin could use shore power to do some desperately needed welding jobs, as Lady Jane could not produce the power for herself.

In March 2005, I fitted a 16Kva alternator to the donkey engine. For some reason the alternator was not capable of producing enough power to weld, though it would power pretty much anything else I needed. It is true that the donkey engine is in need of an overhaul, but still that was a pretty disappointing experience.

In May 2006 I then tried buying a new 7Kva generator - this was a complete debacle, as it turned out that I ended up with a cheap Chinese made generator, an imitation of the genuine item, which was made from inferior materials and did not last. The crank case itself cracked, the last in a long list of issues I'd had with it. Fortunately Ecotrax, the company who sold me the generator, kindly refunded my money.

Last week, I got around to having another look at the alternator on the donkey, as part of a renewed effort to weld using the boat's own power, because shore power is not an option available to me.

Initially I tried using some proper 6mm electric cable between the alternator and a newly fitted 13amp socket. I had previously used an extension lead that was lying around, so the suspicion was this was insufficient for the current the welder was drawing. Anyway that didn't work.

Ok, I know I really need a distribution board, properly fitted instead of the 13amp socket, but I'm waiting for my dad to help me with that!

Next, I replaced the drive belt with a different type, and this time used two belts. Ta da... I could weld using the donkey and alternator at last.

I'm not sure how to go about getting the most out of my 16Kva 3 phase alternator, or even how to test that it's capable of producing the power it's supposed to, but for now I'm happy that it's now producing the power I need to weld.

The picture shows the first welding job I've done on board, my previous welding jobs were done at home, with an inset showing the new alternator drive belts.

I still need a modern, silent, diesel generator though. That donkey is pretty noisy when you are inside.

No comments:

Post a Comment