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Old 29-12-2014, 08:35   #1
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Rewiring with Upgrades

I'm in the process of planning and purchasing parts to redo a lot of my electrical charging system. Hopefully, I'll get some answers about simple questions first and more detailed ones as I go along. There are a bunch of really experienced (and well trained) folks here that I trust.

I have a Xantrex Freedom 30 inverter/charger for shore power charging. It is connected to a Link 2000. I have three solar panels into a BZ MPPT controller. And, a Balmar series 6 alternator through a Balmar ARS-5 controller. Finally, my house bank is 3 12v Optima Blue top (D34M) batteries and my starting battery was the same but it just failed and I'll be replacing it as part of this work. I was convinced to buy a Balmar Digital Duo Charger a couple of years ago with the idea that I'd put it in to improve the charging system. So, that will be part of the final design.

The first question is: Should I wire all of the charging devices to the house bank and then only charge the starting battery through the Duo Charger? There seems to be some differences of opinion with some people charging the starting battery with their shore power charger as well, when on shore power.

Second: I am probably going to have to use at least one positive buss bar to distribute the power from my house bank. And, I will probably need two negative buss bars (connected together with 2/0 cable?) to be able to fit things into available geometries. I've seen buss bars made by Blue Sea (https://www.bluesea.com/products/cat...sBars/PowerBar and https://www.bluesea.com/products/cat.../PowerBar_1000) I think I'll only need 4 studs per Buss. And I've seen Marinco Buss Bars (Busbars | marinco) I kind of like the Marinco 5 stud version 'cause it gives a little expandability. But does anyone have any experience or suggestions on these?

This is just the start. I'll be drawing my wiring diagram soon and will post it for comments and corrections.

Thanks to everyone in advance. I hope this thread can help others who might add or rework some of their wiring.

Bill
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Old 29-12-2014, 09:09   #2
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

Wire the house bank first through a suitable fuse/holder, then to 1 positive buss.

Use only 1 negative buss.
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Old 29-12-2014, 09:49   #3
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

I had thought about the fuse. Right now I have a terminal fuse on the house bank (https://www.bluesea.com/products/5191) but on the rewire I will have room to put a Class T fuse if I want (https://www.bluesea.com/products/550..._-_225_to_400A) I'm not sure if there is an advantage. I have a Class T fuse on the DC output of my Freedom 30 Charger.

I'd obviously prefer a single ground buss but I was thinking that the start and house batteries should have a common ground and to do that I'd have two busses and connect them with a pretty hefty cable. It's a question of getting lots of wires from here to there or grounding in two places and then connecting the two busses with a single cable.
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Old 29-12-2014, 10:11   #4
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

The solar, charger, and alt should go to the house bank. The duo will charge the engine bank

You can't leave the alt on the start bank because the duo has limited current. You're not going to get much to the house bank from the alt that way. Where as the duo is enough to charge a start battery

Your inverter / charger should have its own t class fuse (probably 400a for the 3k?) near the battery and switch. Right from the battery with 4/0 cable. Or from a. Unfused bus next to battery. it should not be going through your house fuse, which would Likly be smaller.

You're need the 600a bus bars for the inverter grounds and pos. the mrbf fuses fit nice on these so you can move your house fuse onto the bus

Now would be the time to look at changing those batteries before you mount all the buses etc. those are not good house batteries. I would try to fit 4 golf carts. Especially if they are the sand age as your starter that just died. Even 2 golf carts would probably give you similar ah
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Old 29-12-2014, 13:04   #5
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

If you have a hand drill (drill press is better) you can make your own high amp fuse block. I built this one years ago with a section of bar stock and some silicone bronze bolts/ nuts (silicone bronze is probably overkill) and Starboard. Good way to get a lot of fuses in a small space. The feed from the battery switch is on the bottom and is protected by a 300 A class T fuse right at the battery switch common (< 7”).

My set up is just three sets of golf cart batteries all connected as a large house bank with no dedicated starting battery. Has worked well for us of 9 years but to each his own in that choice.

Normally you protect a circuit at its’ source. Alternators and solar panels being the exception as their short circuit current is easily handled with wire size where as the fault current from a large battery bank can be in the thousands of amperes so fuse should be on the battery bank end.
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Old 29-12-2014, 17:41   #6
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

That's a nice clean fuse block. I'll have to think about it and see if there is a good place to do something like that.

I knew I'd end up with more things to think about. I did a little reading on Golf Cart batteries. I don't think I can get 4 in my battery box. Three will fit but that doesn't help. The other thing is that the battery box is under the berth in the aft cabin. Not the greatest air circulation. I wonder how serious that is?? But with the little I've read, golf cart batteries sure seem to have some advantages.

I've got 2/0 cable from my charger to a switch to a Class T fuse and then to the batteries now. It's about 3-4 feet. Do you really think 4/0 is required? That's some heavy cable and it's going to be a real bear to get it in the area. I suppose I should do some kind of current calculation.

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Old 29-12-2014, 17:44   #7
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

Should be wired battery/fuse/switch, with the fuse as close as possible to the battery.
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Old 29-12-2014, 18:55   #8
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

2/0 should be OK for any normal main feed (stay out of engine compartment).

One of those ANL fuses feeds the starter on my 3GM Yanmar. Another personal choice items.

Most of the high amp charge sources (alt/ inv) have a temperature sensor to keep the battery temp in the mix. Assuming that your high amp loads will be of short duration (microwave popcorn) battery heating not likely to be a problem.

While you are running all the variables around in the cement mixer think about battery compartment ventilation (hydrogen not heat). Recent ABYC requirement.
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Old 29-12-2014, 20:46   #9
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

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Should be wired battery/fuse/switch, with the fuse as close as possible to the battery.

doesn't really mater if they are both close. safer to change fuses if switch is first.
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Old 29-12-2014, 20:49   #10
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

It does matter. The switch can fail.
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Old 29-12-2014, 20:51   #11
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

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Originally Posted by Bill_E View Post
.

I've got 2/0 cable from my charger to a switch to a Class T fuse and then to the batteries now. It's about 3-4 feet. Do you really think 4/0 is required? That's some heavy cable and it's going to be a real bear to get it in the area. I suppose I should do some kind of current calculation.

Bill

you can take a look at the manual. the magnum 2800 wants 4/0 with 400a fuse for less then 5'. so I'm just assuming your 3000 probably does too. if you only have 2/0 then your fuse should only be 300a. and you may get nuisance blowing if you ever try to pull the full 3000 watts out. but normally you probably aren't maxing it out. with 2/0 at 3' I wouldn't be too worried about voltage drop. but possible to have ocasual fuse blowing since you might be limited to a smaller fuse then it wants.
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Old 29-12-2014, 20:52   #12
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

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It does matter. The switch can fail.

and what difference would it make if it was after or before the fuse? in either case you have a non working inverter / charger. and nothing else. or one you can't turn off.
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Old 29-12-2014, 20:56   #13
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

"The ABYC requirement is for a battery bank fuse to be within 7 wire inches of the battery bank."
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Old 29-12-2014, 22:18   #14
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

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"The ABYC requirement is for a battery bank fuse to be within 7 wire inches of the battery bank."
Unless it's in a conduit, or similar. By the way a convoluted sheath, counts if it meets fire/smoke code UL listing.

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Old 29-12-2014, 22:31   #15
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Re: Rewiring with Upgrades

There are a couple of ABYC exceptions to the 7” rule (starting circuit, and extra insulation coverage). As a more practical matter, if there is physical separation between the battery positive cables before the fuses and anything connected to the negative side then a fault/ short circuit is not possible. Overloads can only happen at the load so fuse anywhere ahead of the load will take care of this condition.

Blue Sea has come up with a fuse that attaches directly to the screw stud on the battery. This would meet any 7” rules. I have had problems in high amp situations with the screw stud so prefer to connect directly to the lead post.

My personal preference is battery(s) directly to switch and then fuse the switch output (common) PDQ. I connect bilge pumps ahead of battery switch but that is it, BP circuit breakers close by switch, and split loom for good measure.

300 Amp class T fuse will carry 150% for almost 10 minutes. Don’t know what you have in mind with that 3000 watt inverter, but you will have to have a serious battery bank if you are planning anything like that and battery heating will rear its ugly head under these conditions.
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