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Old 12-01-2010, 14:36   #1
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Another Circuit Protection Question

Does this mean that I should have a fuse at the alternator and charger as well as at the battery?

“Each ungrounded conductor connected to a battery charger, alternator or the charging source shall be provided with over current protection within a distance of 7" of the point of connection to the DC electrical system or to the battery.”
—American Boat and Yacht Council E-11.12.1.1.1
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Old 12-01-2010, 21:52   #2
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From the 2009-2010 ABYC Standards:
Quote:
E-11.10.1.1.1 Overcurrent Protection Device Location - Ungrounded conductors shall be provided with overcurrent protection within a distance of seven inches (175mm) of the point at which the conductor is connected to the source of power measured along the conductor.

E-11.10.1.1.2 In addition to the provisions of E-11.10.1.1.1 the ungrounded conductors to a battery charger, alternator or other charging source shall be provided with overcurrent protection within the charging source, or within seven inches (175mm) of the charging source, based on the maximum output of the
device.

EXCEPTION: Self-limiting devices.
As Rick pointed out in a previous thread, alternators are, by their nature, self-limiting so no OCPD is required at the alternator. An OCPD is required at the other end of the conductor where it attaches to the source of power.

Many high end battery chargers are designed to be "self limiting" so no OCPD is required at the charger output. Some chargers do not advertise that they are "self limiting" so I would install an OCPD in their output. In both charge cases E-11.1.1.1 requires an OCPD where the conductor attaches to the source of power.
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Old 13-01-2010, 00:17   #3
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Putting a breaker "at the other end of the conductor" is just the same as putting it at the alternator isn't it ?

Alternators are self limiting ...they don't need a breaker in the conductor alt->battery.

In fact its a BAD idea to have one in that circuit...if it's a resettable thermal breaker and it gets accidentally unset and you start your engine you'll blow all the diodes in your alternator !
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Old 13-01-2010, 06:47   #4
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Albro349- Here is a link to a 50+ posts thread on this very subject:What Size Alternator Fuse ? - Page 4 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums, the summary of which is in my post #2 in this current thread.
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Old 13-01-2010, 07:36   #5
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Charlie:
Did you ever get a specific interpretation of this rule from the ABYC?
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Old 13-01-2010, 07:52   #6
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I will have a face-to-face next week. Will let you know.
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Old 13-01-2010, 13:28   #7
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Thanks Charlie,

I think I'm safe then until my next electrical overhaul, but maybe I'll stick on of those terminal fuses on the back of the alternator.

John
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Old 14-01-2010, 07:08   #8
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I realize that this borders on blastrimony (sp) but howcome a simple small breaker panel from Lowes with a high amp breaker in front of the marine panel would not suffice? A breaker is a breaker and a panel is just a box. Is this AYBC group made up of Yachtie snob engineers that have no eye to cost? Tinned wire is another example of this BS. I use aircraft mil spec teflon coated (yeah I got it free) for additional and replacement wire for my boat. Better than AYBC approved but not "approved".

Illustration: Mercedes Benz front ends were the product of over zelous engineers before year 2000. The front end was so complicated and expensive that when it wore out the car was pretty much disposable because rebuild cost was $8k or so. That changed when the powers within Mercedes changed from engineers running the place to a more common sense approach. The front ends did not last any longer than they do now, nor was handling any better. Do we suffer under the iron fist, (giving insurance co.'s an excuse?) of AYBC from the same syndrome?

Just a thought.

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Old 14-01-2010, 07:34   #9
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The standards are written in order to have a standard. Meaning if we did not have standards the builders and owners would do what ever they felt like. In the marine business it is a common understanding that ABYC standards are written in blood. That meaning the standard was written because of injuries and deaths. You should not use the Lowe's breaker because it was designed for a house not a boat. It is not ignition protected, it is not made to withstand the marine involvement and would likely fail when needed due to corrosion. Your aircraft wire might be fine for airplanes but has it been tested in a salt water environment? Air craft generally speaking receive much better maintenance than most boats. I am always surprised that so many boat owners seem to think they know more than the experts that spend years testing and studying these things before writing a standard. Bottom line if I come and survey your boat for insurance or any other reason I am going to write up your aircraft wire. Maybe it is fine maybe not how do I know for that matter how do you know?

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Old 14-01-2010, 07:46   #10
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Quote:
Is this AYBC group made up of Yachtie snob engineers that have no eye to cost?
I just posted this in a parallel thread:

Quote:
The ABYC standards are constantly evolving. E-11 and most of the more heavily used standards are reviewed, and changed, every two years by a committee made up of the USCG, industry organizations; e.g., NMMA, ABYC, equipment manufacturers, boat builders and industry professionals. The committee is balance and the standards that evolve are consensus standards...no one individual or group predominates the proceedings.
Quote:
Tinned wire is another example of this BS. I use aircraft mil spec teflon coated (yeah I got it free) for additional and replacement wire for my boat. Better than AYBC approved but not "approved".
ABYC Standard E-11 does not require tinned wire. It does require either Type 2 or Type 3 stranding, however.
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Old 14-01-2010, 08:10   #11
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I by no means know it all, there too much to keep up with, but after being burned too many times by "associations", commissions, counsels that set standards, often standards that are more economic based for the regulated than based on common sense makes me a skeptic.

Texas (as does the Federal Government) has a number of the quasi regulatory bodies in place just to protect the big guys in their respective fields, to keep small time operators out, inflate cost and give them an under the table monopoly at great cost to consumers; there by the skeptism. Generally the bodies are made up of the very ones being "regulated" with NO consumer unbiased review. The ones that should be reviewing are lining their pockets with campaign contributions from the "regulated".

So I have an attitude of "Whose guarding the guards", even when the regulatory group might be legit.

Both of the above were good answers. Thanks.
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Old 14-01-2010, 08:21   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
.. I am always surprised that so many boat owners seem to think they know more than the experts that spend years testing and studying these things before writing a standard. Bottom line if I come and survey your boat for insurance or any other reason I am going to write up your aircraft wire. Maybe it is fine maybe not how do I know for that matter how do you know?
Alexander Pope, in a 1709 An Essay on Criticism, said:

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."

There are 4 stages of skill progression that apply to most anything:

Unconcious Incompetence (I don't know I can't do it)
Concious Incompetence (I now know I can't do it)
Concious Competence (I can do it but I have to think about it)
Unconcious Competence (I can do it without thinking)

Unfortunately, #4 can often loop back around to #1 when someone gets complacent.
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Old 14-01-2010, 08:23   #13
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Mule be assured ABYC is made up of industry leaders and engineers. the committees are made up of mostly volunteers who only want to try and protect boat owners from dangerous practices. They may end up with some seemingly unreasonable recommendations but this is because like any comity you sometimes have to appease many. But over all they are the best we have and I think do a very good job. This is not another useless government agency and it is supported fully by it's members.

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Old 14-01-2010, 08:56   #14
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I accept your answers on these issues and about ABYC, but I feel sure ya'll can understand why I am a skeptic.
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Old 14-01-2010, 09:45   #15
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Contact the Technical Department of the ABYC and ask to be put on the mailing list as an "Interested Party" for the Standards that you are interested in. You will receive the standard being reviewed and will be asked for comments. These comments will be resolved.
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