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nb Tanya Louise Heating Upgrades – The Pumps

 

Pierburg WUP1
Pierburg WUP1

With some recent upgrades to the boat’s heating system, the hot water circulation pumps we’ve been using are becoming far too small for the job. After the original Johnson Marine circulation pump died of old age (the brushes wore down so far the springs ate the commutator) some time ago, it was replaced with a Pierburg WUP1 circulation pump from a BMW. (As we’re moored next to a BMW garage, these are easily obtainable & much cheaper than the marine pumps).

WUP1 Cutaway
WUP1 Cutaway

These are also brushless, where as the standard Johnson ones are brushed PM motors – the result here is a much longer working life, due to fewer moving parts.

The rated flow & pressure on these pumps is pretty pathetic, at 13L/min at 0.1bar head pressure. As the boat’s heating system is plumbed in 15mm pipe instead of 22mm this low pressure doesn’t translate to a decent flow rate. Turns out it’s pretty difficult to shove lots of water through ~110ft of 15mm pipe ;). Oddly enough, the very low flow rate of the system was never a problem for the “high output” back boiler on the stove – I suspect the “high output” specification is a bit optimistic.
This issue was recently made worse with the addition of a Webasto Thermo Top C 5kW diesel-fired water heater, which does have it’s own circulation pump but the system flow rate was still far too low to allow the heater to operate properly. The result was a rapidly cycling heater as it couldn’t dump the generated hot water into the rest of the system fast enough.

The easiest solution to the problem here is a larger pump with a higher head pressure capability. (The more difficult route would be completely re-piping the system in 22mm to lower the flow resistance). Luckily Pierburg produce a few pumps in the range that would fit the job.

Pierburg CWA-50
Pierburg CWA-50

Here’s the next size up from the original WUP1 pump, the CWA50. These are rated at a much more sensible 25L/min at 0.6bar head pressure. It’s physically a bit larger, but the connector sizes are the same, which makes the install onto the existing hoses easier. (For those that are interested, the hose connectors used on BMW vehicles for the cooling system components are NormaQuick PS3 type. These snap into place with an O-Ring & are retained by a spring clip).
The CWA50 draws considerably more power than the WUP1 (4.5A vs 1.5A), and are controllable with a PWM signal on the connector, but I haven’t used this feature. The PWM pin is simply tied to the positive supply to keep the pump running at maximum speed.

Once this pump was installed the head pressure immediately increased on the gauge from the 1 bar static pressure to 1.5 bar, indicating the pump is running at about it’s highest efficiency point. The higher water flow has so far kept the Webasto happy, there will be more to come with further improvements!

CWA-50 Pump Teardown

CWA50 Cutaway
CWA50 Cutaway

Above is a cutaway drawing of the new pump. These have a drilling through the shaft allows water to pass from the high pressure outlet fitting, through the internals of the pump & returns through the shaft to the inlet. This keeps the bearings cool & lubricated. The control & power drive circuitry for the 3-phase brushless motor is attached to the back & uses the water flowing through the rotor chamber as a heatsink. Overall these are very well made pumps.

Impeller
Impeller

Here’s the impeller of the pump, which is very small considering the amount of power this unit has. The return port for the lubricating water can be seen in the centre of the impeller face.

3-Phase Driver
3-Phase Driver

Inside the back of the pump is the control module. The main microcontroller is hiding under the plastic frame which holds the large power chokes & the main filter electrolytic.

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DIY SMPS Fan Speed Control – The Controllers

Finally, after a couple of weeks wait time, the fan controllers for the power supplies have arrived. They’re small boards, which is good for the small space left inside the case of the supply.

Controller Boards
Controller Boards

Here they are. I’m not certain what the pair of potentiometers are for – there’s no mention of them in the documentation. Possibly for calibration.
Beepers are supplied so an alarm can be heard if the fan fails – very useful for this application.

Controller Closeup
Controller Closeup

Here’s a closeup of the PCB. Options are set with the DIP switch bank on the left, details for that below. The main IC is a STM8S103F3 flash microcontroller.

Temperature Probe
Temperature Probe

The only issue at the moment is that the temperature probe leads are much too short. I’ll have to make a small modification to get enough length here.

 

 

Here’s all the details on the boards, more for future reference when they undoubtedly vanish from eBay ūüėČ

Specifications

Working voltage:DC12V

Circuit load capacity: maximum current per output 5A, the bus currents up 9A

Output Range: The first channel 20% -100%, or 40% -100% (TFL = ON)
The second channel and the third channel 10% -100%

(Note: Above range only for PWM range, the actual control effect will vary depending on the fan.)

Temperature probe parameters: 50K B = 3950

Thermostat temperature zone error: error depending on the temperature probe, generally 3-5%

Stall alarm minimum speed: 700-800 rpm

 

Function setting switch Description:

TFL (No. 1): The lowest temperature channel PWM setting, when ON state FAN1 PWM minimum is 40%, when OFF the minimum PWM of FAN1 is 20%.

TP1 TP2 (No. 2,3): Temperature channel control temperature zones are interpreted as follows (need to used with the temperature probe):

 

TP1  TP2 Accelerating temperature Full speed temperature
OFF OFF 35‚ĄÉ 45‚ĄÉ
ON OFF 40‚ĄÉ 55‚ĄÉ
OFF ON 50‚ĄÉ 70‚ĄÉ
ON ON 60‚ĄÉ 90‚ĄÉ

 

When the temperature lower than the accelerated temperature, then output at the minimum rotation speed; when it exceed over the full temperature, then always output at full speed.

BF1 BF2 (No. 4,5): corresponds FAN1 FAN2 stall alarm function switch, when the corresponding open channel fan break down, the controller will alarm with soundand light (works with buzzle), alarm will automatically eliminated when the fan is rotated recovery . If BF1 and BF2 both are open (ON), the FAN1, FAN2 have any one or both stops, the controller will alarm!

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Power Supply Cooling Update

While I’m waiting for the fan controllers to arrive for the new cooling fans, I figured I’d get them fitted into the cases of the supplies & just have them run at minimum speed for now.

Fan Fitted
Fan Fitted

After removing the original small fan, I cut a larger square hole in the panel to fit the 60mm version. These fans only fit with some minor adjustment to the top & bottom mouldings, but the look isn’t too bad once the covers are back on. The wiring is routed through a small hole next to the fan itself.

I’ve also upgraded on the fans again – these are PFC0612DE, with a higher airflow of ~70CFM at 12,000RPM.

To get the fans to run at minimum speed, the PWM control wire is connected directly to GND.

More to come when the controllers arrive!