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Old 14-06-2014, 03:48   #1
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Properly Securing Batteries

What are the requirements for secure installation of batteries?

I have a house and starting bank, located on either side of the ship. In short I'd like to relocate the house bank to the same side as the starting bank. I've made some other changes to the boat so there won't be an issue of weight distribution, but I'm having trouble relocating the house batteries because of space limitations.

The starting batteries are installed in a compartment under a quarter berth. I could locate the house and starting together in the same compartment, but only if they're installed without being in boxes. I'm just not sure if there are reasons other than keeping the batteries secure for having them in the boxes. I could secure the batteries in the compartment with straps, would that be enough for a proper installation? (I do realize there are ventilation issues to consider as well but I've already taken this into consideration.)

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Old 14-06-2014, 04:07   #2
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

ABYC "Storage Batteries" Standard E-10 requires in part that batteries be vented outside of accommodation spaces and that batteries be secured so as not to move more than one inch in any direction, that neither battery chargers nor inverters be mounted directly above batteries, have a means of containing spilled electrolyte, that positive terminals be protected by dielectric material, prohibits wing nuts as a means of securing conductors 6AWG and larger, prohibits the use of spring clamp connectors and requires positive conductors be fuse protected within 7 of the battery or 40 if the conductor is fully enclosed with the exception of conductors running to engine starter motors. It is the surveyors opinion that all battery positive conductors be fuse protected.
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Old 14-06-2014, 13:25   #3
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

if they are flooded acid batterys you need the boxes. if they are agm's you can ditch them.

but I prefer boxes as it protects the terminals.

depending on the type of batteries you can get plain square boxes with nothing sticking out which take up less space, and then secure as needed yourself.
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Old 14-06-2014, 13:33   #4
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
if they are flooded acid batterys you need the boxes. if they are agm's you can ditch them.
Not if you want to be ABYC compliant.
I'll try to dig it out but somewhere in my files I have a photo of an exploded AGM.
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Old 14-06-2014, 13:37   #5
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

So, you can't just drill a couple of 1" holes down through the battery and use lag bolts to secure it to the keel?
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Old 14-06-2014, 13:48   #6
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

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So, you can't just drill a couple of 1" holes down through the battery and use lag bolts to secure it to the keel?
Only if you use silicone bronze bolts.
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Old 14-06-2014, 14:03   #7
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

for flooded: sturdy plastic boxes with lids .. then strapped or bolted down. heres one for 2 golf cart batteries.

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Old 14-06-2014, 14:09   #8
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

The vast majority of battery installations I see look more like this ....
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Old 14-06-2014, 16:36   #9
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

So are boxes required by the standard? Just looking at it I don't see why the storage space couldn't meet the standard while ditching the boxes. Any exploding batteries would be contained within, there just needs to be a lining in the entire compartment that will handle the leaking electrolyte. What am I missing?

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Old 14-06-2014, 20:06   #10
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

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ABYC "Storage Batteries" Standard E-10 requires in part that ...have a means of containing spilled electrolyte...[/I]
Other than eletrolyte containment, I don't see what in the quoted standard actually requires a box?

In my installation for example, the house bank is contained in its own fiberglass compartment which would contain any spills. It meets all the quoted requirements...except for being vented outside (I can think of only one I've seen that meets this one). No box(es), although they could be accomdated.

Would you still interpret that installation to require a box to be compliant?
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Old 15-06-2014, 04:17   #11
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

What constitutes chargers or inverters being "directly above" batteries? My installation will have the batteries in a compartment below the quarter berth, with the charger and inverter installed at the far end of the birth about 3 - 4 feet away. Would that be considered "directly" above?

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Old 15-06-2014, 05:42   #12
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
The vast majority of battery installations I see look more like this ....
They all look normal to me heh heh
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Old 15-06-2014, 07:40   #13
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

ABYC are not "rules" and there is no requirement to be compliant with them for recreational craft. They are useful as good practice guidelines for most things, but one should use common sense in applying them in particular situations. For example, on most boats, it is almost impossible to fuse the battery within 7". Does having that fuse 14" away make you a dangerous boat?

Venting to the outside vs. interior has been discussed here many times. Hydrogen gas does not collect, is not flammable in low dilute quantities, and is the most easily and readily dispersed gas possible. To have an explosions, your entire bank would need to be boiling out of control, in a closed container, and with an active spark/flame source present.

Batteries venting hydrogen gas into a normal living space is neither dangerous (health) nor flammable. The hydrogen vent rate of normally charged undamaged flooded batteries is very, very small.

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Old 15-06-2014, 12:48   #14
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Other than eletrolyte containment, I don't see what in the quoted standard actually requires a box?

In my installation for example, the house bank is contained in its own fiberglass compartment which would contain any spills. It meets all the quoted requirements...except for being vented outside (I can think of only one I've seen that meets this one). No box(es), although they could be accomdated.

Would you still interpret that installation to require a box to be compliant?
sounds like you already have a big box.
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Old 15-06-2014, 14:41   #15
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Re: Properly Securing Batteries

belize-
"Other than eletrolyte containment, ...except for being vented outside "

If you take on sea water and if gets into the batteries, chlorine gas will be released. Which will promptly chew out the eyes and lungs of anyone anywhere that it is vented to.

So...unless you've got sealed batteries, venting *outside* the hull could be a good thing. Just in case the ocean gets to the batteries.
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