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Technical Day: Auxiliary power systems

06 February 2020 - Jakob Jordaan
The LROC Auxiliary Power Systems Technical Day was held on Saturday 1 February 2020 at Base 4. It was attended by a whopping 26 people and was so oversubscribed that we unfortunately had to place 13 members on a waiting list. Its never an easy task trying to explain to eager members that they will have to be accommodated in a second round, but unfortunately the Lapa facility at Base 4 can only accommodate so many people. However, with so much interest shown for the subject a strong case was definitely for a repeat of the presentation, and we will definitely organise another one during the year!

We began the day by measuring the battery voltage after start-up and then took voltage measurements as we increased the electrical load, first by switching on the lights, then adding the aircon and then adding the fridges.  Although the voltage drop, resultant from the increased load, seemed insignificant, the effect that that has on battery recharge time, as determined by a detailed set of charts, showed surprising results.  This exercise provided a detailed explained as to why many of the attendees had huge frustrations with their auxiliary power systems, or batteries.  If you have a concern with your auxiliary power solution, it might be a good idea to attend the next Technical day on Auxiliary Power Systems. You may be very surprised on how much there is to learn.

Another area of tremendously valuable and well received information was the discussion on battery chargers, both 240V to 12V, as well as 12V to 12V and what a difference different chargers has on the life expectancy of your batteries, and how much more power you can get from your batteries with a little know how. A tremendous eye opener enjoyed by the attendees during the day’s training!

We covered different types batteries, including which is the preferred type for Auxiliary work. We covered the expected difference a solar panel makes when included in the configuration, as well as the associated costs for the different auxiliary power components. We even covered the type of fridge to buy.  There was so much to learn, and the attendees were able to absorb huge amount of very useful information!

This was the first time that such a detailed session was provided regarding Auxiliary Power Systems and it came as no surprise that positive informative feedback was received from the attendees which will be incorporated into future planning for presentation on this topic. This will include more detail on supply cables and sizing, fitting connectors, fridge drawdown, battery sulphasion, winching drawdown, typical pitfalls and much, much more.

We ended the day socially with a braai and continued to share our Landy experiences and stories with one another. There is always a story to be told and a lesson to be learnt!



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