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Power Systems photos

I have mentioned before that the new Southerly 49 has a distributed power system. I took a few photos of this the last time I was over but they didn’t come out, so I asked Southerly Engineer Ian to send me a couple of shots. Ian is has been doing the electrical and machinery installations on our new boat and as you can see from the photos he does meticulous work! Thanks for the pix Ian!

Here is a close up of one of the EmpirBus nodes. This one is in the Aft cabin so any wiring in the aft of the boat will come here instead of running all the way up to a main circuit panel. Note the sound insulation. This is a compartment just aft of the engine box and although it wouldn’t strictly need to be insulated, they have done it just to make extra sure the boat is quiet!

Now here is a close up of the wiring to the node. Main power to the node comes in the lower left with the big red wire. (negative is hidden in this photo). The individual circuits and control wires are all neatly labelled.

Here you can see the wires are all coded. Both ends of the wire are named and the codes are recorded in the wiring diagram for the boat. Note Upper left wire is “11A1” meaning Node 11, Block A, terminal “1”.

With a distributed power system the functions of each node are programmed by software. So you do need to know exactly which you have plugged into. Then you tell the system what you would like that terminal to do!

Example: Deck Flood light. On a traditional boat this would have a switch at the main wiring panel. But now we can do more than that. First the deck light is connected into a node to give it power. Then assign a switch that can control it, perhaps at the main panel. But we could also program one of the switches at the helm to turn it on. And say we wanted a kind of “Alert” switch in the forward cabin in case we had an emergency. Simply program one of the switches in the forward cabin to do a few things. It could turn on the saloon lights plus the deck flood and cockpit lights all at once. This could just as easily be done at any time. There would be NO additional wiring to do this at all.

There will be some more learning to get familiar with the new power system but the benefits will be well worth it.

Battery Bank

Ian also sent some pictures of the main battery bank installed. We have four large 185AH Mastervolt AGM batteries totalling 740AH capacity. Another neat installation and with the boat’s raised saloon they are able to install them centrally and keep the weight over the keel.

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