Over the last few weeks we've been busy with preparing the boat and system installation. We've tried to capture every step of the progress to share with you now. Hope you enjoy it and continue supporting us on our journey!
1 - Bench tests with electric motor
We tested the electric motor in the hybrid engine assembly and it spun correctly and as expected. In the photo below you can see the diesel engine with the hybrid module mounted in place.
2 - Preparing the boat
The circuit diagram for wiring the boat has now been completed and approved by our Chief Technical Officer.
The exhaust pipe has been modified to suit the new engine set-up.
We routed the fuel feed and return lines through the boat and into the engine bay.
The steering system has been filled with hydraulic fluid and bled. This is now working correctly.
We moved the bilge pump into a slightly different position to make space for a suitable platform for the high voltage battery. In the photo you can see that this platform has been finished.
The entire electrical installation is installed using high quality tinned cables and we make sure all cables and connections are labelled to ease future modifications and maintenance.
3 - Originally, the plan was to get the boat fully prepared to receive the engine installation. However, when we tried dropping the engine into the boat in order to check the engine alignment, we found that the stringers were not sufficiently high to support the engine in the right position. To solve this problem, we've made our own tool to figure out how much we have to raise the stringers.
Our expert partner has then come along to assess the situation and suggested that with this type of boat we should strengthen and raise the stringers at the same time.
As this is something we can't do ourselves, our partner offered to collect the boat and deliver to their premises. Then they also independently checked the engine alignment using the engine instead of our tool to make their own measurements. Based on theirs and ours, we have now agreed on how much the stringers would have to be raised. The modification is currently being carried out and we expect the boat to be back at our place early next week.
Our alignment tool
The boat is now with our expert partner.
4 - New project manager and new time plan
We appointed a new project manager who together with the engineers reviewed the time plan based on the available information. Following this assessment we have determined that a more realistic (but still challenging!) target date for start of the in-water trials using the diesel engine only is the 10th of August. The first hybrid trials are expected to start on the 19th of September. The boat launch in Southampton is scheduled to take place on the 30th of September.
Another task for this week is to work on the HSCU (Hybrid Module Control System) on both the hardware and the software sides.
In the next blog post we hope to report that the boat is ready to be commissioned and launched for diesel testing.
We've recently got support from XP Power who donated a DC/DC converter part for the boat. Thank you XP Power!
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