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Old 31-07-2015, 12:52   #1
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Battery Placement

Hello everyone,
I have a 31' Harstad Aft Cabin Ketch. (think Clipper Marine 32 same mold)
I'm equiping it to live aboard full time for 2 - 3 years while my wife and I do the Great Loop. My problem is that I am upgrading my battery bank to 4 - 6 6 volt golf cart batteries with solar panels and a gas generator as a backup. The location where the batteries were located was in the engine compartement with the only access from a deck hatch, 3' below decks. I have another location that will span Port to Starboard in front of the engine but it will also be near the 40 gallon diesel fuel tank. My question is how close can I put the battery bank to the fuel tank, or should I move the battery bank somewhere else in the boat? Not a lot of room on this boat 31.7' length with an 8' beam.
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Old 31-07-2015, 14:00   #2
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Re: Battery Placement

The batteries need to be secured so they can't move in a knock down and protected from salt water spray from engine leaks. Your main cables should be secured so they cannot contact the fuel tank in any way. Maybe run them inside of hose. I'd say the battery/diesel tank problem is less dangerous than gasoline.
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Old 31-07-2015, 16:05   #3
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Re: Battery Placement

Ours are less than 4" from the fuel tank......and have been for an exceptionally long tome


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Old 31-07-2015, 22:53   #4
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Re: Battery Placement

I don't know about proximity to the fuel tank, I can imagine arguments that it is a safety risk or not, but don't forget trim in all this. I got a nice improvement in trim when I moved our batteries from the stern to midships plus balancing the rather port side heavy galley. This was simply good fortune as a thousand other factors suggested the move anyway, but worth keeping in mind.

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Old 31-07-2015, 23:01   #5
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Re: Battery Placement

Battery compartment should be separated from other compartments and have independed ventilation so it won't matter where the tanks are..
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Old 01-08-2015, 00:20   #6
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Re: Battery Placement

The only requirement is ventilation but this is for the batteries benefit. Being close to diesel is not an issue due to the nature of the fuel.

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Old 04-08-2015, 10:51   #7
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Re: Battery Placement

Nothing to do with fuel, hydrogen and possible ignition source is not a good combination..
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:59   #8
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Re: Battery Placement

All other things being equal (access, ventilation, ability to secure the batts) I would put them outside of the engine room. Nothing wrong in putting them next to a fuel tank. But especially if they are flooded wet cells you want to make sure the ventilation is adequate to keep corrosive fumes from damaging anything near by - electrical connectors, switches, other sensitive metal). And - you need to have a way to catch any liquid spills with a container around the batteries with some air space around and between each battery. I.e. don't let them touch each other nor sit on the bottom of the container or space nor tight against the sides. 1/4" wood or plastic strips are good for that. And they need to be secured so they cannot move if the boat heels over. The engine room is not the best (although doable) because of the heat alone. But it is done all the time. And you do need to anchor the battery cables within inches of the terminals to a non-movable part of the boat.
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Old 04-08-2015, 17:19   #9
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Re: Battery Placement

Free yourself of the notion all four or six batteries need to be installed "together" and the task of location may be much simpler. Two here, two there..., keeping wires as short as possible to reduce costs for wires and connectors. Dry locations are preferred.
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Old 18-08-2015, 11:10   #10
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Battery Placement

With that narrow beam you might want to consider weight distribution. My boat had a slight list to port because of the stuff on that side..frig, galley stove, AC etc. when I added 260 lb of battery to the starboard side, the list went away.

I also agree with Wrong. While it would be nice to keep them altogether, they can be separated. If you do separate them, you might have to use a bit larger wire gage depending on distance.

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