When I purchased my boat
it had a subpar DC system. One of my 6V golf cart house batteries
died which killed the remaining house bank. Before replacing the batteries
I wanted to clean up and understand the existing system I had. I discovered lots of issues like multiple power feeds directly off the battery
with no fusing, incorrect lug sizes, bad crimps, ground loops, ext. I decided at the point to do upgrade it all.
This is what I started with, not exactly up to ABYC standards:
The top right battery
failed. It was only reading approx 4V so I believe I lost
a cell. I think this caused the charger
to over voltage the remaining bank and eventually kill all of the batteries while charging
at the dock
The original batteries were AGM
. I considered a few different options but for just day sailing
and some weekend trips I couldn't beat the cost of flooded lead acid.
At 70 lbs each I choose to work
smarter not harder!
The original disconnect / selector switches had no labels and I didn't really know how they were wired. I followed some wires to try and figure it out and tag them accordingly.
Always good to have a plan especially before taking on a project
of this size. I used Vizio to draw my schematics
Bought lots of supplies and a few new tools.
Out with the old!
About half of the old wiring
I wanted my battery disconnect panel to also include 24 hour bilge
circuits and couldn't find anything I liked. I started building my own and decided to add a bilge pump
status LEDs, a counter, and an alarm
while I was at it. Here is a whole write up on it if you are interested: https://imgur.com/a/E8AHB
The old ground sub panel in the engine
room compared to the new. I think it was an original to the boat
I think the DC panel was home made and it didn't have enough circuits either.
New 24 circuit panel!
Everything looks good installed but took quite awhile with a jig saw and dremel to get just the right fit.
I've actually made some good progress in this picture but I moved the autopilot
and instrument server which makes it look really messy here.
New ground bus, can you spot which cable I haven't replaced yet in this picture?
My label maker and wire duct were great investments! Makes everything look so clean!
New batteries in place with FTZ power lugs on 2/0 cable.