Boogie Nights

A sweary hyperactive maritime professional, really very keen on laughing a lot, doing their best to avoid all the trappings of societies' expectations by acting on impulse to any adventurous idea that wafts by. Let's go!

bienvenu, hola, ciao!

05 May 2018

Fixing the faulty Air Breeze wind generator

This is normal operational mode.

The spinning whistling humming noisy neighbour-antagoniser sitting atop a pole at the back of Boogie Nights was out of control, it was spinning like an utter bastard.
The voltage across the domestic AGM batteries briefly flashed 16volts before Captain Calamity flicked the switch to turn it off to save the expensive Rolls batteries from being fried. It was Autumn 2017. I didn't feel very much like dismantling the turbine rig.

It stayed firmly in the off position until a little research had been done. (trots off to do some internetsing and googlesing)
This piece of kit is vital to keeping the batteries topped up and allows for engine free sailing. Some folks can't cope with the noise, but I say, huh? What d'ya say? Noise? What noise? It's definitely better than engine noise and burning diesel.
fossil power bad vibrations

It would appear that the regulator circuit board was buggered and apparently it's a common issue.
The air breeze turbine is popular and there's a fair few videos on ye old youtubular with folks doing their own home made repairs.

Well, after a little bit of looking, we found the only UK supplier who was able to order the replacement circuit board. They recommended the turbine be sent to them for testing first.
But that would be an additional £150, plus the courier, necessitating finding a big box,  then packing it, then driving to a post office. Which is a massive pain in the tits. The circuit board was £270 plus postage. That'll do for now.

utter bastard to remove from the boat

So let's just have a look and see if we can do this ourselves shall we? There's enough online info that it looks like a straightforward job. Maybe a bit fiddly.

It helps if you have access to a vice. Or a clamp. Or something to hold the slippery cast cast shape in place while you work on it.
use soft jaws in the vice to avoid damaging the powder coating

I borrowed a small corner of an engineering factory in Derbyshire. But it could have been done on the dining table with a bit of protection in place.

First the screws holding the main plate had to come out. Thankfully they had been coated in anti-corrosion paste prior to assembly so they came out pretty easily.

gently does it

Sliding off the cover reveals the winding and the spinny magnetic what-dya-ma-call-it.
The circuit board sits behind this.

So the brushes have to come out.

take a picture of where those cables go

the old circuit board, nothing visibly wrong. 

Once it was gutted and laid out on the table, it was clear to see that there was loads of small metal turnings still within the aluminium cast housing. They were all over the fekkin place. It could easily have been one of these little twats that caused a problem with the circuit board. There was a few stuck to the back of the old circuitboard. I'm guessing they crept there by static attraction and vibration over the years. 

housing emptied of all the shite. 

Whatever. no time to dwell on poor assembly practices, there's an airline and it's getting a blow job.

A bit of tapping, knocking and banging as well as blasting with air and the last of the shards of shite were removed.

shards of shite removed from housing.This isn't from anything shattered, this is milled turnings from when the original cast item was machined to create the surface to mount the circuit board. 

Now to assemble this air breeze back to working order.

With a bit of cursing. the odd terse word between The Captain Calamity and her Chief of Engineering (also known as Dad.) it all went back together like a dream.

the new circuit board. spot the difference. 

does it work? How can we know?

How about we follow the testing guidelines on the instructions? Yeah, those instructions that came with the new circuit board.
Got a cordless type screwdriver? Switch it to slower speed, put a hex bit in it and give it a wee spin with a multimeter attached to the power out. Try that again with the electronic brake activated,  does it work? Right then. 

don't forget to check your fuse, if the turbine has had a bit of a run away with a faulty board, you'll probably have a blown fuse tucked away somewhere. 

Let's call that a win shall we?

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