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SVCarolena 02-28-2011 12:25 PM

AC Electrical Panel
 
Let me start by saying that I've searched the forums, read the recent thread on shore power, and looked over Mainsail's website. I have Calder's book, but I forgot it on the boat this weekend and I'd like to order the necessary parts to complete our project next weekend. That said, here is our current AC system:

30A shore power to standard panel with 30A main breaker (includes reverse polarity indicator) and two 15A branch circuits. Currently, one branch serves the three AC outlets in the boat (on GFI in galley, with one in the head and one in the main cabin, all protected by the first GFI in the circuit); and the second branch serves the hot water heater. This is it for the current AC system. There is no room to add an additional branch circuit on the current panel.

This weekend I as wiring up our new battery charger (boat didn't have one) and realized that we may need to upgrade the panel. It seems that the charger should be on its own branch/breaker, which means we need a panel with at least three branch circuits (outlets, charger and water heater). However, we are also adding air-conditioning, which Iím assuming should also have its own circuit.

So here is the dilemma - upgrade to a new panel with at least four branches? Blue Sea makes a 4 branch panel, but due to the shape (horizontal install approx. 10.5 inches wide) it won't work in the existing space. If we go with a 6 branch Blue Sea panel, it is orientated vertically and we have space in that direction. But, 6 branch circuits is overkill for us on a 30ft. boat. The other option is a 3 branch panel (from either Blue Sea or Sailor Solutions), but that means doubling up at least two items on one branch (remember, outlets, charger, air-conditioning, and hot water).

So, is it OK to double up on a 3 branch panel, or do we need to go with the larger 6 branch to keep each circuit on its own breaker? Also, please let us know if any of you have come across a manufacturer for a 4 branch AC panel that is approximately 5.25 in. wide.

PS - I've seen Mainsail's comments on adding ELCI protection as per new ABYC standards, but the panel offerings are pretty limited as of right now. That said, I think it would be a worthy upgrade in the future.

mitiempo 02-28-2011 04:10 PM

2 Attachment(s)
If you have space you could keep the existing main breaker + 2 and add the panel below(8058). That would give you a total of 5 circuits and be the least expensive route.
The only other choice in Blue Seas is the 8027, also shown below. That would give you 6 circuits total and replace your existing panel.

nolasailor 02-28-2011 04:23 PM

i just installed the blue sea 8027 and am very pleased with it. I like the extra circuts to be there if i ever need them. If you do install the new 8027, you will need a 12 volt circut to the new panel for the back lights.....

sailingdog 02-28-2011 04:27 PM

I'd say go with the six-switch panel. There's always a chance you may need to add another circuit in the future. For instance, you may add a hot water heater and refrigerator at some point...that would require two more circuits. :D




4arch 02-28-2011 04:45 PM

The Paneltronics 9972305B is similar to the Blue Seas 8027 but is available a little cheaper and comes with 4 installed circuit breakers compared to the 8027's 3.

http://www.paneltronics.com/atimo_s/prods/9972305B.jpg

If money is not an object, Paneltronics and Bass Products will both customize panels in almost any configuration you want.

sailingdog 02-28-2011 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 4arch (Post 703420)
The Paneltronics 9972305B is similar to the Blue Seas 8027 but is available a little cheaper and comes with 4 installed circuit breakers compared to the 8027's 3.

http://www.paneltronics.com/atimo_s/prods/9972305B.jpg

If money is not an object, Paneltronics and Bass Products will both customize panels in almost any configuration you want.

Bad idea. The AC panel needs to have a double breaker for the incoming power, so that you can break both the neutral and hot lines. If you don't have this and have a reverse polarity situation, you end up with live 110 AC wiring on the boat because the neutral line wasn't interrupted.




mitiempo 02-28-2011 05:11 PM

Dog, it does but with one switch. I wasn't sure so I looked at the schematic on Paneltronics site.

I prefer both Blue Seas products and find their website a lot easier to navigate. I think the Blue Seas panel looks better as well but not everybody might agree. The 8027 is available for $185.16 at Jamestown Distributors.
Blue Sea Systems AC Main 6 Position Circuit Breaker Panel

sailingdog 02-28-2011 05:29 PM

Ah, so it has a double breaker behind the panel. I prefer the ganged standard breakers, since they're a lot easier to find if you need a replacement.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mitiempo (Post 703433)
Dog, it does but with one switch. I wasn't sure so I looked at the schematic on Paneltronics site.

I prefer both Blue Seas products and find their website a lot easier to navigate. I think the Blue Seas panel looks better as well but not everybody might agree. The 8027 is available for $185.16 at Jamestown Distributors.
Blue Sea Systems AC Main 6 Position Circuit Breaker Panel




SVCarolena 03-01-2011 05:26 AM

Thanks everyone! The discussion has basically confirmed what I thought - each AC item should be on a separate branch circuit, which means four branch circuits (one each for the charger, air conditioning, water heater, and outlets). I think we will go with the Blue Seas 6 branch panel - I like the layout, and the two extra slots will give us the option of installing another circuit if ever needed, as well as upgrade to ECLI ground fault down the road.

nolasailor 03-01-2011 06:53 AM

Blue Sea Systems AC Main and 6 Position Circuit Panel from Wholesale Marine

145 plus shipping, i used this price and west marine did price match,,,,


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