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post #1 of 8 Old 04-25-2014 Thread Starter
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Battery charger install clearance?

I have a new 50 amp battery charger to install:

ProNauticP Series | ProMariner

and I want to keep it close to this fuse block:

SafetyHub 150 Fuse Block - Blue Sea Systems.

My boat is a Cal34 MkIII that has limited room for the install. The old charger was located above the batteries. In the search I did on Sailnet, several threads talk about (and the install instructions) avoiding installing the charger directly above the batteries. I am using wet cell batteries in plastic cases. The old charger lasted for many years, but I would like to do it to spec. I tried accessing ABYC specs...but it costs 50.00....and I am not sure I would follow it anyways. The place where I would like to use has 10 inches above the batteries to the bottom of the charger. The new charger is sealed.....I can install acrylic or lexan or....??? in an attempt to route charging gases away from the charger. A friend suggested Nigel Calder's battery box design with a computer fan inline. I do not have fiberglass skills....but if that is the best route....I can learn.
Any ideas appreciated!
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-25-2014
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Re: Battery charger install clearance?

I believe the goal is to keep the hydrogen gas that the batteries can produce away for the an ignition source. I would build or buy a battery box and vent it to the exterior. I don't think you need a fan.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-25-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Battery charger install clearance?

Thanks Steve.
The battery boxes I have now have vents on the top. They are the standard issue Attwood ones. The little I read on the subject seemed to say that that wouldn't pass the surveyor? The Promariner install notes say not to do that......is that directed to no box at all applications?
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-25-2014
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Re: Battery charger install clearance?

This may not be applicable to your boat, but when I replaced my prior junk charger from a cockpit locker, I put it inside the cabin. I thought about this as a location and couldn't think of any reason not to. It is readily visible, and since I had it hardwired to AC, I put an on/off switch with a 120V outlet inline. It is equidistant from my two batteries (one forward and one aft) and works just fine. The wood battens are to allow the recommended airspace behind the charger.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-25-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Battery charger install clearance?

Thanks. I could see how that would work for you with a battery forward.

A fisherman friend had one of his wet cells blow up and ruin his squid boat engine compartment....now he will only use agms. I used Prevailers and wet cells for years without problems, and I don't know how big an issue this really is. That is why I was wondering what the ABYC had to say....if and when I sell her I wouldn't have to rewire the charger.

Anyone know the spec?
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-26-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Battery charger install clearance?

ABYC A-31 anyone? Distance above battery box?
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-27-2014
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Re: Battery charger install clearance?

I would try to place the charger far enough away from the batteries that the corrosive gas does not shorten its life. Ideally in another compartment that is close to the batteries.

Batteries are most likely to explode when a cell in one goes and the charger keeps the voltage up thinking the battery still needs charging due to its lower voltage. As the battery boils electrolyte away it becomes hotter and eventually shorts a plate causing what is left to explode.

I have never heard of a modern charger causing a battery to explode and doubt that is possible. They are ignition protected.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-27-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Battery charger install clearance?

Thank you Brian...especially the last....that makes sense...as does your remark to shortening the charger's life. I do not want to use the quarterberth, and do not want to through-bolt into the cockpit. I think I will use Steve's suggestion and hope for the best with the surveyor. It will be directly above, but I will route the gases and have a better and more secure battery box at the far end.
Thanks for all the help.
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