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Old 16-06-2016, 15:18   #16
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Re: New AC Panel - looking for comments & ideas

Blue Seas AC panels are not expensive on eBay less than $500
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Old 16-06-2016, 16:57   #17
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Re: New AC Panel - looking for comments & ideas

All,

Thanks for your comments regarding safety - being an Electrical Engineer I know what I'm doing and have read the ABYC requirements etc.

Regarding buy a standard panel:
- I have yet to see a blue sea panel where the panel itself is not very expensive when I remove the costs of the actual breakers/meters.
(note I do not need/want all the LEDs)

- A custom one will meet my requirements better than any of the standard panels I've found.

Here is my current plan (with the lock-out in each of it's positions).

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Old 16-06-2016, 17:01   #18
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Re: New AC Panel - looking for comments & ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffr View Post
All,

Thanks for your comments regarding safety - being an Electrical Engineer I know what I'm doing and have read the ABYC requirements etc.

Regarding buy a standard panel:
- I have yet to see a blue sea panel where the panel itself is not very expensive when I remove the costs of the actual breakers/meters.
(note I do not need/want all the LEDs)

- A custom one will meet my requirements better than any of the standard panels I've found.

Here is my current plan (with the lock-out in each of it's positions).
Wow you must have a bloody big boat to need all that for an AC panel
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Old 16-06-2016, 17:06   #19
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Re: New AC Panel - looking for comments & ideas

yes - I only need (and would populate the ones which are labeled !
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Old 17-06-2016, 09:40   #20
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Re: New AC Panel - looking for comments & ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Wow you must have a bloody big boat to need all that for an AC panel
I work for a panel builder, that is pretty light on AC circuits for a modern 40' boat. We build a panel for a 48' production boat that has 4 8 breaker columns of AC circuits.

Also to the original poster, I will say make sure you add up all the costs when you start if you have access to machine tools the price goes down a lot but one off fabrication of front panels can be expensive.
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Old 26-07-2017, 18:04   #21
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Re: New AC Panel - looking for comments & ideas

Have both the AC and DC panels finally built up (but not finished as other boat projects are keeping us out of the water.. so more important), but thought I'd share the AC pictures. Next steps are to document the costs and put the labels on...



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Old 26-07-2017, 18:50   #22
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Re: New AC Panel - looking for comments & ideas

I have purchased several panels from Great Lakes Skipper over the years they sell left over oem. This one looks like it would do what you need and barely costs more than the breakers.

https://greatlakesskipper.com/glastr...panel-025-4426
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Old 27-07-2017, 08:01   #23
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Re: New AC Panel - looking for comments & ideas

Good luck on your panel install. Sounds like it should not be too much of a challenge with your background and the ABYC standards. The standards can be very intimidating for the average sailor.

I have installed many panels for others and am just completing the installation of my new Blue Sea DC panel after completely rewiring my AC panel. Blue Sea makes very nice panels but they are expensive and if you don't want the LED's you should be fine with what you have (as you already know).

I have to admit I am not sure what documenting the costs will do for you. I keep all my invoices and I do extensive research to get the best products at the best price. But the costs expended are historical and not much use to make future decisions. Some things are mandatory and some are elective.

I got a sheet of aluminum off of eBay to my specific specs as far as size to fit the hole I had from the previous panel. If your new panel is larger than your existing hole, or you don't have one, you obviously need to cut out more of the panel you will put it in. That can be challenging and you have to be extremely careful as the margins from the breakers/meters/etc. are usually very slim and it is easy to overcut and then the panel will not cover the hole. Best to go smaller and have to cut out more rather than the other way round. (I know from sad experiences.)

I tape the whole area with masking tape before making any cuts and make all my cutting marks on it, making sure all is level compared to the counter or woodwork lines/edges/etc., and especially aligned with any other equipment around it. Your eye will be able to see even slight differences.

It is very nice to be able to open the panel with a hinge. It makes installation and future work much easier. Much! Otherwise you will be putting on wires while the panel is propped up on something and the sharp edges have a nasty habit of scratching the woodwork around the panel.

I hope you will more tidy than the previous owner of my boat. It was a true nightmare of random wires going everywhere, crossing each other, and in just in general a mess. What can really help that, and for future changes, is to put in terminal strips in the back wall behind the panel (if you have a spot) with one terminal for each circuit breaker/circuit plus meter wiring. With AC you may want to use the "European" style terminal strips where you insert the wires in to the nylon holes and screw them down tight. To be ABYC compliant you would need to use the ones with a piece of metal to comes down to secure the wire with the screws rather than just the screw holding it down. They aren't as secure as regular screw terminal strips and you can only put one wire in each hole and it is not easy to connect multiple terminals together.

You can use open terminal strips (they are much easier to use for one c/b with multiple branching circuits since you can put multiple terminals and their wires on each strip connector. With AC you will want to get covers for the strips if you use them. I would recommend this approach - highly. You can then make very tidy wiring from the strips to the panel without having wires coming out of holes on the sides of the hole all coming in to the panel.

I like to use two terminal strips for the neutrals and grounds as well rather than putting them on the panel. Much easier to wire and maintain the panel. You do have to carefully label each wire - hot, neutral, ground. Many don't think labeling the neutrals is necessary but I have always found it handy when trouble shooting or making changes later. You will ALWAYS be making future changes. Just the way it is.

Just some thoughts. You may find it helpful or not. I'm did both my AC and DC panels just like this, on two boats now. I was an ABYC certified electrician too and have had to trouble shoot many a panel and love neat and tidy panels with all wires labeled.

Have fun. I find it very satisfying to look at the significant panel upgrade.
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Old 27-07-2017, 08:16   #24
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Re: New AC Panel - looking for comments & ideas

Good luck on your panel install. Sounds like it should not be too much of a challenge with your background and the ABYC standards. The standards can be very intimidating for the average sailor.

I have installed many panels for others and am just completing the installation of my new Blue Sea DC panel after completely rewiring my AC panel. Blue Sea makes very nice panels but they are expensive and if you don't want the LED's you should be fine with what you have (as you already know).

I have to admit I am not sure what documenting the costs will do for you. I keep all my invoices and I do extensive research to get the best products at the best price. But the costs expended are historical and not much use to make future decisions. Some things are mandatory and some are elective.

I got a sheet of aluminum off of eBay to my specific specs as far as size to fit the hole I had from the previous panel. If your new panel is larger than your existing hole, or you don't have one, you obviously need to cut out more of the panel you will put it in. That can be challenging and you have to be extremely careful as the margins from the breakers/meters/etc. are usually very slim and it is easy to overcut and then the panel will not cover the hole. Best to go smaller and have to cut out more rather than the other way round. (I know from sad experiences.)

It is very nice to be able to open the panel with a hinge. It makes installation and future work much easier. Much! Otherwise you will be putting on wires while the panel is propped up on something and the sharp edges have a nasty habit of scratching the woodwork around the panel. I tape the whole area with masking tape before making any cuts and make all my cutting marks on it, making sure all is level compared to the counter or woodwork lines/edges/etc., and especially aligned with any other equipment around it. Your eye will be able to see even slight differences.

I hope you will more tidy than the previous owner of my boat. It was a true nightmare of random wires going everywhere, crossing each other, and in just in general a mess. What can really help that, and for future changes, is to put in terminal strips with one spot for each circuit breaker/circuit plus meter wiring. With AC you may want to use the "European" style terminal strips where you insert the wires in to the nylon holes and screw them down tight. To be ABYC compliant you would need to use the ones with a piece of metal to comes down to secure the wire with the screws rather than just the screw holding it down.

You can use open terminal strips (they are much easier to use for one c/b with multiple branching circuits since you can put multiple terminals and their wires on each strip connector. With AC you will want to get covers for the strips if you use them. I would recommend this approach - highly. You can then make very tidy wiring from the strips to the panel without having wires coming out of holes on the sides of the hole all coming in to the panel.

I like to use two terminal strips for the neutrals and grounds as well rather than putting them on the panel. Much easier to wire and maintain the panel. You do have to carefully label each wire - hot, neutral, ground. Many don't think labeling the neutrals is necessary but I have always found it handy when trouble shooting or making changes later. You will ALWAYS be making future changes. Just the way it is.

Just some thoughts. You may find it helpful or not. I'm did both my AC and DC panels just like this, on two boats now. I was an ABYC certified electrician too and have had to trouble shoot many a panel and love neat and tidy panels with all wires labeled.

Have fun. I find it very satisfying to look at the significant panel upgrade.
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Old 31-07-2017, 13:47   #25
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Re: New AC Panel - looking for comments & ideas

I personally like the DIN rail mount terminal blocks, common in industrial automation and now found on lots of European boats. Lots of options with those.
https://www.phoenixcontact.com/onlin...c-35cc7888a22a
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