New Electric Panel...

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by missinginaction, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    I haven't posted in quite some time although I spend a lot of time reading here. I guess I figure if I don't have something to add then we would all be better off if I stayed quiet.

    I thought I'd post a picture of an electrical panel I've been working on. I've never done this type of work before so it takes me a while to plan things out and get things right.

    I did my best to install the best parts I could afford and to design a safe and reliable electrical system. I will finish my wiring when I install the panel in the boat later this spring.

    The only thing that some might notice that is out of the ordinary is my use of a used but serviceable battery switch as an emergency disconnect for the inverter.

    Thanks to all who post here as I've picked up much valuable information.

    Missinginaction
     

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  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Nicely done
     
  3. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Electric connections and electrified metal ,such as bus bars, must be covered to prevent ZAP !!!!!!! short circuits when a man with a 13mm spanner or metal Rolex on his wrist, is poking around. Plastic Junction boxs with wire glands sheild the connections inside, help keep moisture away and allow you to vaseline cover, or product of your choice , the joints. .. If you have AC components in the panel remember that the metalic chassis of AC equipment must connect to earth to aviod electricution. .
     
  4. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Michael, look more closely. That bus bar is a negative bus bar. No coverage is necessary. Coverage is necessary on the positive side only, as he has done with the fused cable between the inverter battery switch and the positive input to the whole panel.
     
  5. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    You need negative and positive to make a ZAP. On class inspected vessels I never see any uncovered terminals , unprotected terminals. Its Your choice.
     
  6. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Oh, OK. I believe ABYC requires fuses and covers on positive only, but I may have that incorrect.

    Since your entire engine is also on the same potential as the negative bus, usually in the States, we see no need for covering up the negative.
     
  7. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    My engine doesnt have the same potential as the negative bus !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Why bother covering the negative wires with insulation if the termanls and bus bars are left exposed ?

    As a workman I have no idea what polarity a terminal has , I only know that it is electrical . Covered, hooded or boxed connections make it safer for guys like me..
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    As a workman you can tell the positive because it is red. Only the positive terminals need to be covered.
     
  9. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Michael, your boat is set up very badly if you don't immediately know what polarity a terminal has. Just as Gonzo says, positive is always red and always sealed up and covered.

    This is the rule, from ABYC. I suggest you get your boat into compliance for your own safety as well as those of any crew or workmen.

    11.16.2. WIRING IDENTIFICATION

    11.16.2.1. FOR DC SYSTEMS

    11.16.2.1.1. Each electrical conductor that is
    part of the boat's electrical system shall have a means
    to identify its function in the system.

    Also, in general, your boat is set up incorrectly. You need to tie negatives to the engine. You boat appears to be set up much worse than the original poster's electric panel. His panel is correct and meets ABYC standards for insurance/survey. Your setup is not.


    11.18. DC GROUNDING AND BONDING

    11.18.1. DC Grounding - If a DC grounding
    system is installed, the DC grounding conductor shall
    be used to connect metallic non-current-carrying parts
    of those direct current devices identified in E-
    11.17.2.3 to the engine negative terminal or its bus for
    the purpose of minimizing stray current corrosion.

    11.18.2.5. DC Grounding Bus

    11.18.2.5.1. The DC grounding bus shall be
    connected directly to the engine negative terminal or
    the DC main negative bus.
     
  10. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Colour may be used to identify plus and minus or labels identifying the cable as 1 or 2 or 4 or whatever in conjunction with the wiring diagram. Virtually every dc conductor on the boat is BLACK .

    And with all marine electric systems that I know... "the DC negative terminal on the Engine " is an isolated terminal ...not the engine block.

    Covering all electrical junctions is recomended.
     

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  11. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Well it certainly wouldn't hurt anything to cover that DC bus bar. Blue Sea Systems does make a cover for it.

    Michael, since I'm wiring the entire boat from scratch I decided to use wire with yellow insulation to identify the DC negative. This eliminates any possible confusion with AC hot lines that will also be in the boat. I'm unfamiliar with European wiring standards but here, on AC circuits, the hot or current carrying wire is black. If you have AC and DC on the boat and DC black wire is ground and AC black wire is hot.....well, I'm sure you can see the potential for a novice like me to screw that up. :confused: I used Nigel Calders "Boat Owners Mechanical and Electrical Manual" as my primary resource as it's very well regarded by folks that know a lot more than I do about wiring a boat.

    This panel isn't finished. I need to add boots to the inverter DC cables, the inverter and charger chassis need to be grounded, the ACR needs to be wired in and the charger disconnect needs to be wired in. I also need to run a feed (AWG #6) to my DC panel at the helm and then wire all the house circuits, the AC circuits and make sure everything is grounded correctly.

    I'll run my grounds from my various DC loads to a secondary, smaller bus at the lower helm. From the lower helm I'll run a yellow AWG#6 back to that big primary DC bus in the photo. You can see a couple of AWG 00 ground cables in that photo. Those two cables ground the start battery and the house batteries. I need to make one more AWG 00 cable as the grounding cable back to the engine block from the bus bar that you see there. The AC ground needs to be addressed as well.

    Regards,

    MIA
     

  12. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Another detail that I see many people omit is the " service loop" . An extra length added to the wire and formed into a tidy loop so that electrical equipment can be moved or new crimp connections can be installed.

    Nothing worse than a expensive 10 meter long battery cable that becomes 2cm too short three years down the road when you upgrade a battery charger and its cable feed geometry is different , BUMMER
     
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