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Siting the battery chrger


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Bought the 30a Fairstone/Electroquest ABC-1230D charger, now need to wire it up to the 3 x 110Ah batteries sitting on the swim at the rearmost point of the engine bay.

The 240v end is fine, but worried about the 12v end -

1. Should I take it right back to the battery terminals, or will it be OK to connect to the bus in the electrics cupboard in the cabin?

2. If I do go right to the batteries, can I leave the charger in the engine bay, or fit much longer cables to reach inside the cabin?

3. Advice seems to be to throw away the croc clips (fine), and fit a fuse to the +ve, but not sure what type or capacity.

Help much appreciated...

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1 minute ago, Capnbob said:

Bought the 30a Fairstone/Electroquest ABC-1230D charger, now need to wire it up to the 3 x 110Ah batteries sitting on the swim at the rearmost point of the engine bay.

The 240v end is fine, but worried about the 12v end -

1. Should I take it right back to the battery terminals, or will it be OK to connect to the bus in the electrics cupboard in the cabin?

2. If I do go right to the batteries, can I leave the charger in the engine bay, or fit much longer cables to reach inside the cabin?

3. Advice seems to be to throw away the croc clips (fine), and fit a fuse to the +ve, but not sure what type or capacity.

Help much appreciated...

Your battery charger SHOULD be connected directly to the batteries (an special allowance is made in the BSS), but it must be fused 'as close as possible to the battery'.

If you have a 30 amp charger, ideally use a 30 amp fuse

If you connect the 12v side to your 'electrics cupboard' every time you turn off your 'master switches' you turn off the battery charger.

Crocodile clips are a BIG No-No, correctly sized and correctly crimped terminals are required.

Assuming your engine bay is dry no problem to install it there - keeping the 12v leads as short as possible (but allowing a decent / tidy cable run)

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I would be concerned about putting the charger in the engine bay even if it is normally dry. The unlined steel can drip with condensation under some circumstances and typical mains equipment doesn't like getting damp. I would put the charger in the cabin and extend the 12V side cables to the batteries. Connections, fusing etc as Alan said.

 

Jen

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19 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

I would be concerned about putting the charger in the engine bay even if it is normally dry. The unlined steel can drip with condensation under some circumstances and typical mains equipment doesn't like getting damp. I would put the charger in the cabin and extend the 12V side cables to the batteries. Connections, fusing etc as Alan said.

 

Jen

I 'sort of agree' but if you have a 'drippy' engine room then it is possible to put a 'shelf' above the battery charger (making sure no cooling vents are covered).

As you say, if the 'electrics cupboard' is just on the other side of the engine room bulkhead, then install it there - keep the 12v wiring as short as possible, otherwise you will get volt drop and end up with a low voltage arriving at the batteries.

Battery charger leads, as supplied, tend not to be on the 'generous side', My charger is about 5 feet from the batteries and I replaced the leads with 25mm2 cables.

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If you use nice fat cables from the charger to the battery then voltage drop won’t be an issue. It’ll only occur at the beginning of the charge cycle anyway (when the current is high) so for the majority of the charge cycle there won’t be any appreciable voltage drop. Keep the charger somewhere warm and dry for long life. 

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5 minutes ago, WotEver said:

If you use nice fat cables from the charger to the battery then voltage drop won’t be an issue. It’ll only occur at the beginning of the charge cycle anyway (when the current is high) so for the majority of the charge cycle there won’t be any appreciable voltage drop. Keep the charger somewhere warm and dry for long life. 

Agreed - but how many folks that need to ask the questions about croc-clips etc, have the knowledge to know to replace the supplied cabling.

It may offend, but I'd rather treat a questioner as knowing very little and 'teach them to suck eggs' than assume they know everything eggscept (intentional spelling) the question they have asked.

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To be fair I didn't ask about the croc clips - I already know about that. Agree with your general point that assuming ignorance is a good fail safe...

 

I was hoping that siting the charger in the utility room would be a goer, because opening the engine cover to check the charging LEDs would be a pain. I also get voltage drop, so if 25mm2 cable would be ok over a run of about 2.5m then I'm very happy to go with that.

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4 minutes ago, Capnbob said:

To be fair I didn't ask about the croc clips - Sorry - was more of a generalisation.I already know about that. Agree with your general point that assuming ignorance is a good fail safe...

 

I was hoping that siting the charger in the utility room would be a goer, because opening the engine cover to check the charging LEDs would be a pain. I also get voltage drop, so if 25mm2 cable would be ok over a run of about 2.5m then I'm very happy to go with that. That'll do the job nicely.

Just check 'inside the charger' to see how the output cables are connected and that larger cables will fit.

It may be that the cables have ring terminals so no problem - alternatively it may be that the charger just has 'small choc bloc' connectors. for the output.

 

Good luck.

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You could connect the negative cable output from the charger to the negative bus bar in the electrical cupboard. That will give a nice day thick cable back to the battery for that side. The positive can be connected to a thicker cable and fuse to run back to the batteries positive or to the battery side of the master switch. Similar effect, but saves some cable.

 

Jen

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2 hours ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

You could connect the negative cable output from the charger to the negative bus bar in the electrical cupboard. That will give a nice day thick cable back to the battery for that side. The positive can be connected to a thicker cable and fuse to run back to the batteries positive or to the battery side of the master switch. Similar effect, but saves some cable.

 

Jen

Yup, no need to have separate big thick cables running to the same battery terminal if you've already got one that would do the same job for you whilst complying with BSS and not being interrupted by the isolation switch. :)

 

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3 hours ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

You could connect the negative cable output from the charger to the negative bus bar in the electrical cupboard. That will give a nice day thick cable back to the battery for that side. The positive can be connected to a thicker cable and fuse to run back to the batteries positive or to the battery side of the master switch. Similar effect, but saves some cable.

 

Jen

Agreed but many older boats have a single isolation switch in the negative. f the OP's boat is like this then change the wording to reflect this.

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On 13/08/2018 at 09:12, Jen-in-Wellies said:

I would be concerned about putting the charger in the engine bay even if it is normally dry. The unlined steel can drip with condensation under some circumstances and typical mains equipment doesn't like getting damp. I would put the charger in the cabin and extend the 12V side cables to the batteries. Connections, fusing etc as Alan said.

 

Jen

I agree. Sometimes it's bone dry in my engine hole and sometimes dripping with condensation. A warm charger will help to create that condensation in a cold environment and even if a charger doesn't get wet directly it won't like operating in a damp environment and won't live as long. 

 

Gibbo used to advise against installing chargers and inverters in cold uninsulated engine spaces. 

Edited by blackrose
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