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Old 18-07-2014, 17:58   #1
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My 12v set up

I dont want to continue to hijack other threads with randon questions about my wiring project so I thought I would start my own thread to post a few questions on.

First one. My shore power hook up is about 15 feet from the distribution panel so I want to put a breaker and box near the shore power attachment. Will a plastic water proof 120v box from a local hardware store work, or should I spend the $400 for a "marine box"?
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Old 18-07-2014, 18:06   #2
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Re: My 12v set up

good quality waterproof box from any electrical distributor will be fine. On European boats where this is common, the box is beside the shore cable entry point usually in a cockpit locker

Since your doing this new installation add a whole boat ELCI while you're at it

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Old 18-07-2014, 18:55   #3
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Re: My 12v set up

I would think a two pole breaker is best here?
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Old 18-07-2014, 18:58   #4
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Re: My 12v set up

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Originally Posted by Matt sachs View Post
I would think a two pole breaker is best here?
and a ELCI yes
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Old 19-07-2014, 06:04   #5
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Re: My 12v set up

I went with Blue Sea SMS Surface Mount System Panel Enclosure 120/240V AC/50A ELCI Main 1 Blank Circuit Position. I's going in the wheel house where I'll have to look at it, so I went with something that looks better than the plastic box from Lowes. Thanks for the advise. The type of wire, insulation and size is well described in the ABYC guidlines, so Ill go with that. Thanks again.
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Old 19-07-2014, 08:05   #6
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Re: My 12v set up

I also have a Blue Sea distribution panel that will feed to several DC bus bars. From the bus the circuit goes directly to a fuse then to the appliance. All negatives are yellow, all circuits are balanced. Is this still the standard?
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Old 19-07-2014, 09:36   #7
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Re: My 12v set up

Another question.
The lap top will be a big chunk of my daily power budget (around 35-40 AH daily ) Is a cigarette lighter type outlet the best way to keep your lap top charged? It doesnt make sense to convert house DC to AC then plug your lap top in and have it convert back to DC.
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Old 19-07-2014, 10:00   #8
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Re: My 12v set up

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Originally Posted by Matt sachs View Post
Another question.
The lap top will be a big chunk of my daily power budget (around 35-40 AH daily ) Is a cigarette lighter type outlet the best way to keep your lap top charged? It doesnt make sense to convert house DC to AC then plug your lap top in and have it convert back to DC.
A laptop is not a large current draw. We use a cigarette lighter 300W fan cooled inverter to keep 2 laptops charged while underway.

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Old 19-07-2014, 11:16   #9
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Re: My 12v set up

ELCI.

English Language & Culture Institute?
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Old 19-07-2014, 11:24   #10
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Re: My 12v set up

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ELCI.

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Equipment Leakage Current (or Circuit) Interrupter. It's kind of like GFCI but standard is slightly higher current to trip than the GFCI
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Old 19-07-2014, 19:58   #11
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Re: My 12v set up

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ELCI.

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A full boat GFCI really - 30mA trip current instead of the 5 mA a single circuit GFCI trips at.

ELCI Main 30A Double Pole + 1 Position - Blue Sea Systems
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Old 19-07-2014, 20:00   #12
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Re: My 12v set up

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Another question.
The lap top will be a big chunk of my daily power budget (around 35-40 AH daily ) Is a cigarette lighter type outlet the best way to keep your lap top charged? It doesnt make sense to convert house DC to AC then plug your lap top in and have it convert back to DC.
You are correct it doesn't make sense and can be 20 to 30% less efficient to use an inverter for laptops. Best to use the laptop manufacturers dc adaptor or a generic one.
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Old 22-07-2014, 09:59   #13
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Re: My 12v set up

Another question. Assuming a daily cruising power budget of 300AH, 900 in the bank and 150 amp alternator, am I correct to assume I need to run the engine 2 hours a day to charge the bank (minus any input from wind and solar)

Do I need to monitor the temperature of the bank when using a high output alt? It seems the more I learn about 12 set ups, the more I dont know.
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Old 22-07-2014, 10:13   #14
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Re: My 12v set up

Here is the distribution panel and some britework. Sanded and sealed 6 times to get the shine. Lots to do, but getting there one step at a time.
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Old 22-07-2014, 10:22   #15
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Re: My 12v set up

Looks very nice. Well done. Yes, it is recommended that you use temp. compensation so the regulator can adjust the output to suit the temp. of the batteries.

The time you will need to run the alt. depends on your usage and the output of your solar panels. It is often advantages to run the engine for a short while in the morning to supply most of the easy bulk charge that the batteries will accept and then let the solar top them up during the day. If you run into some days with little solar input then you may have to run the engine longer to make up the deficit. You don't have to top them up every day but I would suggest every week or two at the least.
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