TREX: Logbook Entries

TREX: power Messages: 18 Entries..

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Entry Date Title Site Author #Graphics
262 Sun 30-Apr-2006H2 levelcentralgolubieski
232 Sun 23-Apr-2006Hydrogen replaced at Centralcentralpoulos
208 Tue 18-Apr-2006Installed Charge-Monitor, Rebootwestmilitzer
195 Sat 15-Apr-2006Reconfigured power to hotfilm tower.centralmilitzer
190 Fri 14-Apr-2006Central 2m sonic, power usagecentralpoulos
182 Thu 13-Apr-2006Update on 35W Central Fuel Cell centralmilitzer
178 Wed 12-Apr-2006Update on Central Fuel Cell / Battery Statuscentralmilitzer
174 Tue 11-Apr-2006Update on Central Fuel Cell / Battery Statuscentralmilitzer
168 Sun 09-Apr-2006Update on Central Fuel Cell / Battery Statuscentralmilitzer
159 Fri 07-Apr-2006Central Battery Statuscentralmilitzer
78 Sun 19-Mar-2006fuel cellcentralsemmer
74 Sat 18-Mar-2006central fuel cellcentralsemmer
71 Sat 18-Mar-2006Fuel Cell at centralcentralsemmer
67 Fri 17-Mar-200660 watt fuel cellcentralsemmer
57 Wed 15-Mar-2006Service visit to Central towercentralhorst
53 Tue 14-Mar-2006cylinder readingscentraloncley
38 Sat 11-Mar-2006added fuel cellcentraloncley
28 Mon 06-Mar-2006central powercentraloncley

262: power, Site central, Sun 30-Apr-2006 10:26:37 PDT, H2 level
Hydrogen level is at 900psi at 1345 local time on 4/30/06.
232: power, Site central, Sun 23-Apr-2006 19:43:02 PDT, Hydrogen replaced at Central
The H2 at Central was replaced with a full (2200PSI) container. This will last until the last day of the experiment.
208: power, Site west, Tue 18-Apr-2006 17:41:21 PDT, Installed Charge-Monitor, Reboot
18Apr06 15:05-15:15

Installed new charge-control-monitor board to get status values.
Vb,Icharge,Iload,Temp  /ttyS13
Gordon's xml worked perfectly and the plots are now available.

195: power, Site central, Sat 15-Apr-2006 12:47:08 PDT, Reconfigured power to hotfilm tower.
15Apr06, ~11:00-11:20

Took down ripple and the hotfilm system, plus central tower to
reconfigure the power distribution so that both the main tower and the
hotfilm components are being operated through the 'Iload' circuit.
This way we can monitor our 'full' consumption.

At ~13.4vdc the current peaked at roughly 10.8A when the hotfilm
system was booted up.  After that it has settled down to roughly 6.5A.
So we can expect perhaps 7-8A when the voltage drops.  I checked the
pam_reference document and confirmed the trace is rated 10A and
installed a big fuse so it won't blow.  For overnight at least I
unplugged the beacon.  It seems that we don't really need it since the
site is clost to the much taller cell tower at this location, plus FAA
requirements are 200'.

The ripple/inverter are now running off 'Aux1' on the hotfilm power
distribution panel after the fuse was replaced.  Some care will be
needed when booting up the hotfilm box.  Probably best to:
1) unplug Daisy inside box.
2) unplug Ripple/inverter from Aux1
3) turn on box and observe motors initialize
4) boot Ripple
5) boot Daisy

190: power, Site central, Fri 14-Apr-2006 15:16:23 PDT, Central 2m sonic, power usage
John/Greg visited Central at about 1230 and replaced the 2m sonic cable and confirmed working status at ~ 1425pm.
During this visit we ran a series of checks on power consumption and found the following:
The power adapter for Ripple in the Daisy box draws 0.3A
Ripple, with the screen active and the power adapter, draws ~ 1.5A but somewhat more during certain activities.
The total system draws about 1.5A pulsing to 2+ A with disk writes (includes Ripple, Daisy, hot-film motors, etherant, CTAs and the Air-adapter).

All of Central was found to draw ~6A during the day without the beacon. The 35W fuel cell continued to provide 2A. The Lind Auto-air Adapter was found to be making beeps, which we'll investigate.
182: power, Site central, Thu 13-Apr-2006 12:36:21 PDT, Update on 35W Central Fuel Cell
Central 13Apr06, 10:30 PDT
Last night we said...
(after putting 35W on main batt bank) We'll observe overnight and expect some charging for central out of this unit.  If it works, we may move the fuel cell and batteries adjacent to the rest of the stuff and use the long cable when needed to run the hotfilm system.

Overnight it did provide 1A charging despite the long cable and blocking diode.
Today we moved it to the main battery bank, and removed the blocking diode going into the Icharge2 circuit.

Currently the config. is the solar is charging through the prostar on Icharge1,
and 35W f.c. charging through the '8A' charger in it's box, on Icharge2

The fuel cell then began charging at ~2A, and the solar at ~13.5A
swapped tank in:
2500psi, regulator set at 15psi to f.c.
178: power, Site central, Wed 12-Apr-2006 11:37:10 PDT, Update on Central Fuel Cell / Battery Status
Central 12Apr06, 9:00-14:30 PDT
Last night we said...
"For overnight we'll run the fuel cell straight onto the battery and hope it comes to life."

It never really did get going and at most provided .5A charging.  This morning the tank has about 2400psi.  We fiddled with the controls, pressures, etc. some more but decided this '60W' fuel cell requires more effort than is advisable in the field plus since it isn't doing anything, and given the note several have made about it's 2 'questionable' internal cells, we removed it from central and brought it back to the base.

35W fuel cell put on central, ~9:50PDT
Since Greg reports no hotfilm runs are imminent, we reconfigured to put the 'happy' 35W f.c. through the central charge monitor 'Icharge2' circuit in place of the bad unit.  This is going through a long (~100') cable, and the blocking diode and then straight to the battery at the end of the chain.  We still have the 2 batteries tied directly on at the 35W f.c.   Given the voltage drop of the cable and the diode, plus the solar charging in full sun we are seeing:
.85A charging from 35-f.c.
13.4 VDC at batteries on f.c.
12.7 VDC at battery on Icharge2
1100 psi remaining in tank.

We'll observe overnight and expect some charging for central out of this unit.  If it works, we may move the fuel cell and batteries adjacent to the rest of the stuff and use the long cable when needed to run the hotfilm system.
174: power, Site central, Tue 11-Apr-2006 15:41:20 PDT, Update on Central Fuel Cell / Battery Status
Notes for 2-days regarding the fuel cell:

Central 10Apr06, 14:00-14:30 PDT
Installed New charge controller with SOAD onto /ttyS13
Swapped in new H2 bottle: 2500psi, regulated at 20psi
Current from f.c. no more than .15A

Note: we did observe a very brief time where the fuel cell 'claimed' to have provided about 4Amps charging, but only for a few minutes.  After that it stopped.

It was very very nice to finally have the SOAD reporting Iload, vbatt, Icharge1 (pv) and Icharge2 (cell).....thanks Gordon!

11Apr06, 13-14PDT
H2 bottle down to 900psi.  No charging overnight. VOC=~16
Is it simply purging the bottles??

In theory that going through prostar charge controller may be a problem, we installed a segregated set of wires through Icharge2 directly to the end of the battery chain, avoiding the controller entirely.  We also swapped in a new H2 bottle.  After restarting we observed on both the SOAD and directly on a meter ~.45A charging to the battery.

NOTE: the cell-cell voltages showed most at ~.75v, but one was at -.15 and another was fluctuating from ~.2-.75.
Possible that these 'bad' cells are draining the current exactly like a bad battery cell would do.  Need to measure their impedances.

NOTE: We did observe a slight, but noticable increase of roughly .15+ A out when we openned the lid of the electronics box enclosure.

For overnight we'll run the fuel cell straight onto the battery and hope it comes to life.

168: power, Site central, Sun 09-Apr-2006 18:36:56 PDT, Update on Central Fuel Cell / Battery Status
The Batteries at Central have been gradually charging with the full sun and the hotfilm system off most of the time.

Fuel Cell System at Central
Note: this note begins from 7Apr when I did a check after dark.

19:40 PDT, after dark.
	Fuel Cell VOC     = 14.4	seems OK
	Fuel Cell Icharge = 0		bad. despite batteries at 12.5
	Metered open ground on Icharge2
	Moved Fuel Cell to 'solar-in'
	Fuel Cell Icharge = .12A	yuck. thus the non-consumption of H2
					the last several days.
	0) Central has been running only on solar.  The solar system here is
		just enough based on manual battery monitoring the last few
		days.  The added load of daisy/ethant/hotfilm puts it on the
	1) The Fuel Cell is basically only keeping it's fans running at this
		point.  The filter masks are in place but noticably dirty.
		It's possible if I'd left the f.c. connected to the solar-in
		port longer that it may have 'started-in' but that's T.B.D.
	2) The charge monitor board isn't wired properly to allow the F.C.
		to work even if it were running ok.

	The next day, Apr8th, we removed the charge monitor that has an SOAD
	from the fuel cell box and brought it to the base to get running.  After
	making a cable for the SOAD - NIDS we confirmed the serial 
	interface/command and Gordon began work on 'polling software' for NIDS.
	This will allow us to use the SOAD instead of fudging in a logger for
	the power monitor, plus gives another important NIDS/EVE software
	capability.  By Sunday evening Gordon had this code working on the
	test box.
	We 'fixed' the charge-monitor board so the 2nd charging supply (f.c.)
	can work and added the blocking diode.  Intend to install tomorrow.

159: power, Site central, Fri 07-Apr-2006 17:15:48 PDT, Central Battery Status
Battery voltage checks at Central today:
We have had full sunshine yesterday and today so the charging system should be running full tilt.
~ 11:30 PDT  VDC = 12.60 at 'end' battery
~ 15:30 PDT  VDC = 12.66 at 'end' battery
~ 18:00 PDT  VDC = 12.95 at battery adjacent charger
	Sun going down in sky.
	Icharge-Solar = 7.5A going in
	Icharge-F.C.  = 0.0A
	500psi on F.C. in am.
The end battery is running the daisy/motors so has had a bit higher load the last few days.

~ 19:40 PDT  VDC = 12.45  after Shutdown Daisy/Ripple

78: power, Site central, Sun 19-Mar-2006 18:35:04 PST, fuel cell
The 60 watt fuel cell was at 14.68 volts and 800 psi at 6:15pm.

74: power, Site central, Sat 18-Mar-2006 14:15:48 PST, central fuel cell
At noon the fuel cell was reading 15.3 volts and the pressure was at 1050.

71: power, Site central, Sat 18-Mar-2006 08:37:34 PST, Fuel Cell at central
I did a check on the fuel cell this morning.
At 8:20 voltage = 14.80 gas = 1100

67: power, Site central, Fri 17-Mar-2006 10:59:42 PST, 60 watt fuel cell
I checked the output of the 60 watt fuel cell around 10:k00 am. It was at about 13 volts. So just for fun I tiurned down the fan power and the cell jumped up to about 15.5 volts. I plan on going out there at sundown to monitor it.

57: power, Site central, Wed 15-Mar-2006 14:45:57 PST, Service visit to Central tower
Tom and Steve visited the Central tower after the West tower.

Check guywire tensions:

SE upper guys: upper guy = 300 lbs	325 lbs
               lower guy = 320        	315 
N  upper guys: upper guy = 280		300
               lower guy = 370		370
SW upper guys: upper guy = 300		325
               lower guy = 325		350

Second reading above is after increasing the tension on the uppermost guy wire
by one full turn.

H2 pressure = 2000 psi

Steve on tower cleaning 30 m KH2O: 12:05 - 12:20 PST
Steve on 5 m tower cleaning 5 m KH2O: 12:25 - 12:30 PST

Apparently cleaning the 30 m KH2O made little change in the output, but cleaning
the 5 m KH2O decreased the output from 0.9 V to 0.7 V !!

53: power, Site central, Tue 14-Mar-2006 18:46:37 PST, cylinder readings
When we connected the fuel cell to the full cylinder yesterday morning, it was
reading 2500psi.  This morning, the reading was 2260psi -- a normal change,
for once!

38: power, Site central, Sat 11-Mar-2006 09:07:24 PST, added fuel cell
Added the 60W to central (with rather jury-rigged cabling) at about 18:00 last
night.  Didn't seem to do much, i.e. didn't seem like the controller was 
putting a load on it, even though it was dusk.  Cylinder pressure ~1250.  Fuel 
cell voltage output 15.55V.

We'll go out now and check up on it.

28: power, Site central, Mon 06-Mar-2006 12:17:52 PST, central power
Central stayed up overnight.  Today is overcast and some drizzle.
Measured all 5 batteries (disconnected from each other, though 1 was kept tied
to the station)
1	12.32
2	12.41
3	12.43
4	12.42
5	12.45 (the one I added yesterday)
All seem reasonable, though Kurt thinks they should be stronger and is planning
to get new batteries to us sometime.