Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-10-2014, 06:16   #1
Registered User
 
chrtucke's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SW Florida
Boat: Leopard 42 Sailing Cat
Posts: 57
To ground or not to ground an aluminum arch...that is my question.

OK, I searched previous threads and found a number discussing this topic as it relates to radio installations...however that does not help me.

I am installing a couple of wind generators on my aluminum arch (with preexisting solar array) and have a couple questions in this regard for those with more knowledge than myself, please see below.

1. Do wind generators really need to grounded? Its basically a fault safety measure, correct?
2. If I ground my arch to the motors can I use the arch as my grounding plane for anything mounted to it without causing any other problems?
3. Will grounding my aluminum arch invite/cause any kind of "other problems" (like some kind of above water electrolysis and/or electronic corrosion/degradation of the arch) and cause problems?

Thank you for your input and insight. I realize my questions may seem silly to some but I have reached an age where I fully understand the limits of my own understanding of such matters and now elect to seek out knowledgeable guidance as opposed to the trial and error methods of my past. : o)
__________________

__________________
chrtucke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 06:57   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: To ground or not to ground an aluminum arch...that is my question.

There is a good chance your arch is already electrically grounded. Perhaps by the frames of the solar panels, lights or other thing mounted on it.

Technically, there should be no real issue grounding the arch (ours is, and we haven't had any issues in 16yrs). However, are you sure windgens need a case ground? I guess that was your first question! I don't know - what does your installation manual say? You could always run a case ground wire to your engine block.

DO NOT use a grounded arch as your negative return to the battery. I don't know if your second question meant that.

Mark
__________________

__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 08:28   #3
Registered User
 
chrtucke's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SW Florida
Boat: Leopard 42 Sailing Cat
Posts: 57
Re: To ground or not to ground an aluminum arch...that is my question.

Mark,

Thank you for the input and case study history. I suppose you're right...the solar array may be grounding the arch already, not sure.

I had not planned to use the arch as my negative return just a ground plane...my thought is to run pos/neg to and from each wind generator separately to the control panel but then what to do with the ground wire supplied by the manufacturer which is attached to the units. I did not see anything in the manual specifically stating that they need to be grounded but I was assuming if they supplied ground wires they expect it to be ground...maybe this is all for not. It is my understanding that the ground is really just a fault safety precaution anyway and shouldn't have any regular current on it, correct?

I was thinking of grounding the arch anyway as a general "safety item and figured if I do that then maybe I can just attach these ground wires up at the install/mounting location and not run wires all the way (about 30-35ft each) down to my engines.

Hopefully that's not too confusing. )

Chris
__________________
chrtucke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 11:47   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 1,700
Re: To ground or not to ground an aluminum arch...that is my question.

The ground wires may be a lighting thing? As the wind gens are probably commonly the highest point.
If you run a large ground wire down (4awg for lightening) from arch then just ground the wind gens to that point. Same bolt or whatever you use. You don't need wires for each
__________________
smac999 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 12:55   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: To ground or not to ground an aluminum arch...that is my question.

I would think his mast is the highest point on the boat…

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 14:27   #6
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Re: To ground or not to ground an aluminum arch...that is my question.

An aluminium boat should not be part of any electrical circuit IMHO

Dave


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2014, 17:05   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: To ground or not to ground an aluminum arch...that is my question.

Dave,

He has an aluminum arch, not boat, and he is considering electrically bonding it to ground, not making it part of the ship's electrical circuit.

Most likely, he already has it surreptitiously bonded to ground from things already mounted on it that are grounded through their cases/mounts.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2014, 09:28   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
CLady's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Seattle
Boat: C&C40T 1980
Posts: 180
Re: To ground or not to ground an aluminum arch...that is my question.

Grounding or bonding?
__________________
CLady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2014, 10:00   #9
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,330
Re: To ground or not to ground an aluminum arch...that is my question.

Don't ground the wind generators--you can cause electrolysis problems, and you don't need to.
__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2014, 00:17   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: St Michaels, MD
Boat: Cal 46-3, 46' ketch
Posts: 190
Re: To ground or not to ground an aluminum arch...that is my question.

You absolutely need to ground your aluminum arch for safety reasons. Both your solar panel and wind generators are connected to you batteries via charge controllers (all 12v), but your 120 AC power battery charger is also connected to your batteries as well. While rare, either a lightning strike, or more likely a voltage spike, or malfunction can cause a short/ issue with the battery charger (especially transformer-less 'switching' chargers) which can result in lethal 120 voltage 'leakage' into its 12v DC line. Anything that is metal on a boat that has either DC devices (or AC devices) connected/ mounted to it must be grounded to the ship's ground (usually the engine block). It is also the attachment point of your electrical panel green (ground) wire. Every solar panel, wind generator, sat/ TV/ radio antenna is designed knowing if it is mounted to metal, it is ground to the ship's ground. This ensures that all metal objects on a boat that you can touch with wet feet/ hands are electrically bonded together and at the same zero potential. Keeping everything bonded actually reduces electrolysis issues.
__________________

__________________
W3GAC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
arc

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Floating Ground on Aluminum Boat: Voltage Reading? msponer Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 15 31-08-2013 06:44
Radar Arch - Aluminum vs SST? riversandbar Construction, Maintenance & Refit 28 10-05-2012 16:57
Question is how it can be allowed , not to do or not to do ?? Wavewacker Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 24 06-02-2012 10:14
Which Pactor & whip antenna on aluminum arch Dream Maker Marine Electronics 28 30-03-2007 22:19
Custom Aluminum arch DeeDee Construction, Maintenance & Refit 0 27-03-2007 23:25



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:02.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.