AC and DC combo exterior electrical panals

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by rasorinc, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    I have one 3 1/2" thick wall where I could put a recessed electrical panal on and it
    would be on the exterior wall (under a roof) with a closing panal door that can be locked with a padlock. Basically a small residential recessed panal Waterproof and built to Marine standards for AC power. Would love a combo for DC also but I may be asking for to much there. I do not want one with a meter set hole.
    I've spent 3 hours on the computer to no avail...Anybody have a USA link to such an animal??? Thanks much, Stan
    PS My power supply will be shore power, generator, and battery bank.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

  3. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

  4. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    Thanks gonzo and Landlubber, maybe I'm going at this in the wrong way. All I'm seeing looks like just a finished face plate with no way to lift up an exterior panal door out of steel or aluminum and then unscrew the inside plate to get to the breakers, the main and all the wiring clamps and so forth. At least I can find no pictures of the outer box, the lift door, the locking clasps, and the metal plate covering the circut breakers with their heavy up/down switch. I'm trying to find a house electrical panal and all I'm seeing is what looks to me to be an inside switch panal with the guts somewhere else.
    Are marine systems that different from residential systems in size of breakers etc? I know wire is different and extra waterproof measures and materials may be different but these pictures of panals just do not look substantial. Where am I going wrong on this? Thanks, Stan
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    What do you mean by substantial? They are thick aluminum plate with the breakers screwd in. If you want easy access, the panel is commonly mounted with hinges. I don't understand where is the problem.
     
  6. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    Go down to your local electrical wholesaler, the place where electricians buy their gear for domestic and commercial electrical equipment. What you need is a switchboard. You could also ask for a sub-board - which is a miniture switchboard.

    Inside you can mount all your circuit breakers on a rail or in modules. This is way electricians install this kind of gear professionally - forget all the "marine" switch plates as linked by landlubber - they are over priced recreational use rubbish. The commercial circuit breakers cost $4 each, available in any size and in any town, and the switchboard / sub-board enclosure will cost you about $50-100 depending on which style, brand, and size you get.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    groper, thank you, a picture is worth thousand words. I was going to do what you suggested and visit a commercial supply house. I just could not visualize the pictures posted on the web. I really appreciate your assistance. Stan
    I also want to thank gonzo and landlubber for their postings.
     
  8. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    No worries... They are also known as "distribution boards".

    If you use this type of gear, you can mount Residual Current Devices along side the circuit breakers - which you most certainly should. This is required by law in australia. This way you can protect circuits from accidental faults to ground, ie current flowing through a person to ground and it will trip the power in less than 30msec...

    So inside you would mount all your AC breakers and RCD`s, then on another clearly labelled level, you might have your DC grouped rail with all the DC breakers on it.

    The good thing with this stuff is anything is possible, every kind of switch / circiut breaker, timers, relays, contactors, whatever you could dream of is available in a standard size and mounting - everything is compatible. And its all minimum price as your not shoppping at a 'marine' merchant...

    [​IMG]
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Are you installing this in a house or a boat?
     
  10. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    On a boat.
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It is convenient to use equipment certified for marine use. If there is ever a problem, the manufacturer is responsible. Any power source over 50V will require GFI protection. Also, if the switches or any other electrical equipment are in an area that may contain flammables, including fumes, they need to be shielded or explosion proof. Most home equipment won't be up to that standard.
     
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  12. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    rasorinc, yes, my first thought is that you are going about this the wrong way. I don't know what boat you are building, but if this is for a shore power connection, and you don't have a large generator that has a capacity bigger than the shore connection, the shore pedestal pretty well determines everything downstream (and carries a high current interrupt rating, allowing smaller onboard protection devices with lower ratings) . Since these are standardized into two common sizes, there are two common size requirements for onboard distribution. I have no idea why you would even consider mounting it on an external wall. The pedestal is external, on the dock. You need an interior panel with fused branch switches for load management.

    How many separately fused ac circuits do you need?
    1 for battery charger.
    1 or 2 for a/c, if you have it.
    1 for an appliance circuit, if you have appliances.
    1 for a bombproof courtesy outlet for running big tools via a big extension cord. This saves having to run an extension cord over to the dock. Good idea to put this outside, where women can run a hair dryer. (the two things women most want on a boat - ice cubes and a hair dryer :p )


    A panel this size is the size of a paperback novel.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
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  13. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    What I've been looking for was the box to hold the main electrical AC stuff. I had always planned on using marine approved componets and wire within. The 3 1/2" wall is the aft wall of the cabin opening to the rear deck. I had wanted to put the 50 amp main there, battery on/off and controller, my 3 power feeds being shore power connection plug and protecting devises, and ground faults.house Battery bank after converter and generator feed. Then run a sized sub main to a sub distribution panal inside. However gonzo set me straight when he mentioned flamable liquids in the area. Standing in front of this panal on the rear deck you would be standing right over the 97 gallon fuel tank(gas) so on to a new plan. Thanks very much gonzo and to you phil Sweet. Now to find a new location INSIDE..........Really appreciate the help, Stan
     

  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Glad to keep you from blowing yourself up ;)
     
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