ac/dc panels and batteries in the same space?

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by Westerly23, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. Westerly23
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 18
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    Location: Seattle

    Westerly23 Junior Member

    Quick questions on safety here.

    My Westerly has never had an inboard installed. So, under the companion way step was the perfect place for me to mount my batteries.

    On the port side on the companionway, in the pilots birth, I mounted my ac and dc panels. The back of the panels share the same space and the batteries.

    My question is two fold,
    1 could this be a problem when the batteries gas? Is there the potential for an explosion triggered by a spark from the panel?

    2 Did I wake up in a fright over nothing? I’ve seen many boats that have shared space like this. If it is a problem, I could move the panel, I just don’t want to if I don’t need to.

    There was a fire in our marina last week and it has had me thinking a lot lately.

    PS. Terryking, you helped me with the early stages of my wiring of my cabin lights. Here are two pictures. The LEDs work like a dream, the cabin is very bright. Thanks!


  2. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
    Posts: 2,472
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    The problem here is that there may be some source of ignition in the panel boards. Ignition sources are not allowed in a space where explosive vapors can accumulate. However, if you used marine circuit breakers that are ignition protected then this should not be a problem. The battteries should be ventilated to the outside. It doesn't take much because hydrogen gas dissipates very rapidly. An opening at or near the top of the compartment would suffice, and it doesn't have to be a large opening, in fact a 1/2 hole or tow would do. If you are really nervous about it then placing some partition that separates the two would be good, or sealing the back of the panels would do it.
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