Distribution bars can be used for various purposes and to give you a good answer you should say what specifically the purpose of the distribution bus is for. If you are powering the new panel you would just need one (fused at the battery) lead to the panel. If you also want to send power to the windlass
, and to something else not powered from the circuit breaker panel, or, to take the charging
input from the alternator
or solar panels
it would be best to put a heavier duty bus near the battery (with fuses) and the one fused wire to the panel.
If you need to distribute power to various lights in the cabin from the panel circuit breaker, you would want the bus to be near as possible to the place where you need to split the wires out to both sides of the boat, overheads, or cockpit
, or wherever. Usually that is done near a panel but doesn't have to be. You do need to make sure that your circuit breaker is sized for the smallest gauge wire on that bus though, or, you have to put a fuse on the smaller wire at the bus.
If you are talking about DC negative cables/wires then those can be at the battery with a shorter big cable from the battery to the bus, or to wherever you can save the most wire away from the battery with a longer big cable from the battery to the bus.
Wherever you put a bus, make sure it is reasonably easy to get to to check wiring/terminals/screws/nuts and to put on new or take off old wires. Sometimes, in fact, you may decide to put a bus someplace just because of this even if it takes more wire sometimes. You need to be able to get a wrench and/or screwdriver readily to work on the bus. And label every single
wire on the positive and negative buses. Every time I think I will just remember I don't, or the next guy won't know for sure. Just as important for positive and negative to trace problems easily.
You may be thinking of something different than this so give more info for more feedback. Your panel, and bilge
switches, etc. looks to be DC only. If you are talking AC you need to be considerate of making sure it is someplace you can make sure you won't touch it under maintenance
situations (a cover, etc.).
Let us know more specifics if this doesn't cover it. It's a good question. I am taking great care to place the distribution buses for my large battery rewire as it makes a big difference in access and ability to run the cables
. And to make it all tidy and easy to understand later or while doing the work. I actually screwed down one big bus that I am going to move after looking at a couple of issues (no room for the big cables
to have nice runs and interference
with other gear