Bob Nuckolls' "AeroElectric Connection"

Discussion in 'Instruments / Avionics / Electrical System' started by wsimpso1, Oct 16, 2018.

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  1. Oct 16, 2018 #1

    wsimpso1

    wsimpso1

    wsimpso1

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    Well, at the recommendation of folks on another thread, I ordered the above book. WOW!

    Talk about getting all over the topic on making an airplane's electrics work, this book is great. Yeah, it does not cover Flat Panels and the guy really does need an editor for little detail flaws, but he covers the topic of electrifying your bird, making it reliable, making it electrically quiet, and making sure your failure modes are no more than inconvenient...

    I recommend it. I was all about dual alternators and dual batteries before, but even more so now that we have low workload schemes for running all of this.

    Would I want more from Bob?

    Yeah, get an Editor! There are so many misplaced or double placed words, it is distracting and makes understanding some points tough;
    Wiring modern avionics - there are so many flat panel displays, both with and without backup batteries, that we could use some advice on;
    Design a Double Alternator Double Battery system around Vertical Power, and;
    Install of Electric Air Conditioning.

    Having devoured the book, I have to revisit Ausman's "Aircraft Wiring Guide" and go back the 'Electric Connection website. Still absorbing all of this stuff...

    Billski
     
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  2. Oct 16, 2018 #2

    BJC

    BJC

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    Bob focuses more on the power system than avionics. Follow Bob’s architecture of your choice, and you can’t go wrong. Adding the glass is then just a matter of following the manufacturer’s installation manual. The multi-function interconnect boxes, such as Advanced Flight Systems’ Control Module, make installation super simple.


    BJC
     
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  3. Oct 16, 2018 #3

    BoeveP51

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    I started following Bob back in the 1990's with V5 of his document. Currently using his Z19 and 24 to wire up my Tailwind rebuild with a Viking Turbo engine and glass panel. Great info and the forum on Matronics is OK. You need to check that out as well.

    I agree with your editor comments, but the price is right....And the knowledge provided with his document and forum discussions is fantastic.

    http://forums.matronics.com/viewforum.php?f=3&sid=a7d43c3f011b7168436a62338e875d95

    Merle
     
  4. Jan 15, 2019 #4

    stuart fields

    stuart fields

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    Having difficulty finding a 28vDC voltage regulator that also provides reverse current protection for a 60A starter generator. Any ideas? I placed and order with Zeftronics but haven't been able to receive a regulator or any communication about the order other than an order # with a ship date of 12/29/18. I surely hope the quality of their product exceeds the quality of their communication.
     
  5. Jan 15, 2019 #5

    Marc Zeitlin

    Marc Zeitlin

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    Yup. I think Bob's great, and basically force everyone on the COZY mailing list to get it from him and follow his philosophy, to the extent that I'm able :).
    So I've installed a couple of VP systems, and they're interesting things. While they have some functionality that you can't get any other way (use any switch for any circuit, reprogram switches/circuits easily, operate circuits in the case of a switch failure, display circuit info on the EFIS, get specific current circuit draw, etc.) they make me very nervous.

    Here are the things that bug me:

    1) Your WHOLE electrical system is dependent upon a single source MFG - particularly one that has made exactly zero development progress in the past <n> years, after having been bought by Ballard
    2) I'm not a big fan of auto-resetting circuit breakers - there's a reason the thing popped in the first place
    3) It's expensive - a few fuse blocks have 90% of the functionality (USEFUL functionality - not bells and whistles) for 5% of the price.
    4) As you say, you can't get a true dual bus, crossfeed system with the VP-X system
    5) There are things it can't do that you still need to run in parallel with the system (high amperage loads, etc.)
    6) With a unitary box, if it dies, the airplane is down until you repair / replace it. If one solenoid, connector, fuse block, etc. dies in my plane, it's a quick fix and I'm back in the air, if it even kept me on the ground in the first place
    7) All the advantages listed above (EFIS interoperability, etc.) are nice, but not in any way necessary, nor do they increase the reliability of the system or decrease downtime in the case of failures

    To me, this is whiz-bang without a real advantage - it's a solution looking for a problem. Reminds me a lot of the Segway - solution looking for a problem. If there were some way to implement Z-14 (dual bat/alt/bus/crossfeed) system with the VP-X, that would make it a lot more appealing, but the other issues would still be there.

    So let's assume that A/C takes about 1 - 2 HP in a car, and you want the same sort of cooling capacity. That's 750 - 1500 watts, which at 14V is 53A - 106A.

    You're going to need one HELL of a big alternator, or two of them. The largest alternator I know of is the Plane Power 70A model (although I THOUGHT I saw an ad for a 100A alternator somewhere - can't remember where) and with the knowledge that you should only run an alternator at 80% of capacity on a constant basis, that leaves you with 56A available. So you've now got 3A left over to run the rest of the plane.

    Yeah.... I don't think so.

    If you can mount a compressor on the engine and drive it with a belt, the power draw is not an issue. But electrically... it is. I've been looking at the aftermarket cooled seats they have for luxury cars as a possibility, with some small thermoelectric coolers and fans. The power needs are a lot smaller, but it's not clear how effective they are, and they become complicated fast.

    You got $0.04 out of me this time :).
     
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  6. Jan 16, 2019 #6

    rv6ejguy

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    100-150 amp alternators are common in cars these days and you can even get 200 amp stuff from some vendors. That being said, a/c is probably best driven right off the engine with a belt as Marc said.

    As for VP, Marc lists all the pitfalls of these. Have to weigh all that for yourself. They are pretty popular but they don't fit my needs or wants if you're looking for an opinion. Stranding the plane somewhere away from home base from a VP failure isn't acceptable and has happened to a few RV guys.

    Be aware that the engineers who designed the VP mysteriously did it around peak current values rather than average values so you need to set breaker values somewhat higher than what would be the norm on devices which have high surge currents- injectors, coils, DC motors etc. This has bitten a few folks and we posted a SB on our site regarding this aspect a few years back.
     
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  7. Jan 16, 2019 #7

    wsimpso1

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    This is kind of funny... The Original Post and first two responses went on October 16, then it sat dormant for THREE MONTHS. Then Topaz noticed it yesterday morning, and Marc and Ross posted their VERY INFORMATIVE inputs on the topic. Not quite necroposting, but close.

    As I have gotten closer to the whole topic of electricity in my homebuilt and figuring out how to do everything in it, I have pretty much come to the same conclusions about Vertical Power. VP does seem to be counter to my needs, and probably to most of us in the homebuilt community too. I have settled upon Bob Nuckolls' Z-14 architecture, and for all of the reasons stated.

    As to AC in our little airplanes, I have several observations.

    Around 2005, I was at an internal meeting (Ford) where a terrific senior technical fellow called the current state of automotive electricity "embarrassing", pointing out that a tiny TV or hair dryer was capable of overwhelming their power systems. Since then nominal 14VDC charging systems on everyday cars and trucks have grown from 60 amp to 150 amp and higher.

    Other changes in support of durable and seamless start-stop operation is driving the automakers first towards larger more powerful starters and alternators, with increasing talk of belt driven starter-alternator and starter-generator units. Belt drive and higher power in a brushless starter-generator to give quiet and quick starts means a lot more steady state generating capacity once running. And the car business is getting way more comfortable with large e-machines, having put so many in hybrid powertrains with outstanding reliability. 2 and 3 kilowatts are puny... Toyota, Ford, and Chrysler hybrid powertrains are using two 100+ kW e-machines in each hybrid vehicle they are selling right now, and burying them inside the transmission too boot.

    So, maybe I can not buy a high quality very long lived 150 amp alternator from B&C today, but I think somebody will do it soon.

    One other comment on AC. The weak link in automotive AC system durability has always been sealing the portal for power to cross from FEAD to the compressor. Engine torsional vibration and the mechanics of belt loads and resonance have always made durable long lived seals on the input shaft of a compressor a difficult task. While rotating seals are MUCH better than they were even ten years ago, rotating seals can only hope to approach the long term reliability of sending power in via electrical connections. Which is what we see in the aftermarket and hot rod AC systems available right now.

    Sigh. Waiting on a 200 amp alternators from B&C.

    Billski
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  8. Jan 16, 2019 #8

    rv6ejguy

    rv6ejguy

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    My observations on alternators is that there is nothing more reliable than a genuine IR Denso unit. The later Plane Power (now owned by Hartzell) units are all built and assembled in China and have terrible reliability- a poll on VAF showed something like a 35% failure rate in the first 200 hours. B&C were much more reliable but they don't approach that of an OEM Denso unit IMO. Who would know more about alternators, Denso who has built tens of millions of units over decades, with billions of hours of service and field feedback, have huge engineering and testing facilities or a small company building hundreds per year and putting their own design external regulators on them?

    As far as ac compressors go, I've owned several Toyotas and BMWs which were 17-25 years old. Still on the original compressors and the ac still worked. If they could do that on early '80s designs, I'd hope that wouldn't be an issue today.

    Just my experiences playing in this field and working on these devices professionally for a number of years.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  9. Jan 16, 2019 #9

    blane.c

    blane.c

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    The thing I see about AC is the duration of time you are likely to need it. You need it on the ramp so you and your passengers don't melt and for taxiing and climb but it becomes unnecessary at altitude and in fact you may be looking to turn on the heater. So initially it is needed with the engine off and then with the engine at low power and finally with the engine at max and high power. What a difficult thing to design for? In the end you may have a 200 amp alternator at altitude not doing much. There simply has to be a better way.
     
  10. Jan 16, 2019 #10

    Vigilant1

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    There are quite a few BTUs needed to melt 10-15 lnb of ice and then heat the resulting water to 70 deg f. Those little airplane cooling units (ice chest with a fan in the lid) may not have much style, but they don't weigh much and folks say they work okay. You might even have some cold beverages inside when you arrive, and they add no weight when they aren't needed. But, the don't remove much moisture and there's the hassle factor and lost cabin volume.
     
  11. Jan 17, 2019 #11

    spaschke

    spaschke

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    The VP sounds like it is based on a matrix switch. I helped create a telecom product that used one 20 some years ago. You can do some interesting things with them. I was routing datastreams instead of power. It's kind of like the old operator switchboards (early 1900s). you have an input (pin) and tell the chip which output pin(s) to route it to.
     
  12. Jan 17, 2019 #12

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

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    I have not seen the Nuckolls book, but I am curious, does this or any other resource provide a simple "electrical system for dummies" for a modest homebuilt aircraft? By that I mean straightforward examples of systems that could be adapted to any basic VFR plane?
     
  13. Jan 17, 2019 #13

    blane.c

    blane.c

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    Bob assumes you have a brain.
     
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  14. Jan 17, 2019 #14

    Marc Zeitlin

    Marc Zeitlin

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    Yes. He has example schematics for MANY different configurations and complexity levels.
     
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  15. Jan 17, 2019 #15

    wsimpso1

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    Bob does have example wiring schematics of the basic system for several different types of airplanes, and specifics for some "special" categories, like Rotax engines, permanent magnet alternators, etc. But the object of having read the book is you can then take the basic schematic and figure out the rest of the wiring on your own. He gave up on giving detailed wiring diagrams per airplane a long time ago.

    Billski
     
  16. Jan 19, 2019 #16

    BoeveP51

    BoeveP51

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    I have been discussing with Bob the potential of holding a workshop here in Brooksville, FL on June 1/2. Since I am Pres of the local EAA chapter 1298, I am trying to set the workshop up in out chapter hangar. This way we can have lecture and hands-on plus a few projects in the works. One Tailwind being rebuilt with Viking Turbo/full EFIS panel and auto-pilot. Another is an RV10.

    No details yet on the workshop but if people are interested please PM me or maybe we should start a new thread so people can input on their interest???

    I attended one of Bob's workshops back in 95 and it was fantastic.

    Merle
     
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  17. Jan 20, 2019 #17

    pwood66889

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    Only 4 hours away... Might toss it onto the possible pile.
     

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