Some interesting links

Two from the Washington State Ferry system, which has been struggling with staffing and maintenance challenges. We live on an island and depend on the ferries heavily, so it’s always interesting to us:

“It can be concluded that Captain [Redacted] lost situational awareness while standing at the helm landing the vessel. His asking, “what happened?” to his QM supports that he was unaware of his situation while navigating. Based upon the interviews and information before us, the reasons for this loss of situational awareness are unknown and are also the subject of speculation. The drug and alcohol tests came up as negative, thereby excluding these causes. Because Capt. [Redacted] refused to answer any of the questions presented to him during this process, we cannot draw a definitive conclusion as to the cause of his loss of situational awareness. However, we can conclude that his loss of situational awareness was the primary cause of this incident, and that absent this loss of situational awareness, the allision would most likely not have occurred.”

  • Viability of electric drives for container ships. I always enjoys Austin Vernon’s posts. He’s curious and starts with the basics – makes it easy to learn along with him.

In ELCI News

I have a lead from Magnum tech support. TLDR; my battery charger “Final Charge Stage” is set to “Multi”. This means it will go to float (13.7v) for four hours and then shut off, only turning back on again when the voltage drops to 12.7v. This is designed to make room for other charging systems (e.g. my solar panels). However, in the winter, when it gets cold and there’s no sun, this means that when the charger kicks on, it could be drawing very high amps to get the batteries topped up. This is exacerbated by the temperature sensor, which will increase the float voltage by ~0.7v when the batteries are cold.

This is one of the best leads I have. It doesn’t get me to a root cause, but it does get me to a potential repro case. Since I see failures both when it is very hot and very cold, I can check the charge voltage under those conditions to see if they match the specification in the manual.

For now, I have the “Final Charge State” set to float, which will maintain the batteries at 13.7v and run any DC systems while we are plugged in.

Here’s to hope.