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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have been putting together our electrical build for some time now and think it is close to being complete. This was a huge learning curve and I don't expect it to be perfect so I would love some feedback (be gentle), or anyone who can point out any glaring issues.

- Yes, we're going AGM not lithium (already have it).

- Are both breakers necessary in the areas between CCP2/B2B and B2B/House Battery?

-TBD on the inverter/solar so feedback isn't necessary in those areas.


I learned on this forum (so thank you), and thank you in advance for anyone willing to take a look and help prevent a van fire.


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Pretty basic model. Seems fine.

I'd do both those breakers. I think you're less than 90A on the Renogy, though.

I prefer to have a breaker (or switch at least plus a fuse) on the output side before the inverter and before the DC fuse block. Mostly to be able to shut stuff off; but also as protection from a wiring or device catastrophe. Maybe just one switch and a large fuse with both inverter and small fuse-block coming off a positive bus bar. Or a single breaker before said bus bar. (And a ground bus bar as well.) 🤷‍♀️

That battery monitor shunt needs to be inline between the ground leg of the batteries and a negative bus bar. So you really do need a negative bus bar - or terminate all negatives to the one bolt on the shunt.
 

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Good start. A single master switch between the house battery and all loads becomes invaluable the day you smell burnt plastic. Trying to remember each breaker to trip manually if a problem comes up is no fun. This may mean adding a positive bus bar. If you take your diagram to the next iteration by adding in all wires (grounds and all feeds in and out of equipment), you'll see more clearly just how many wires need a termination point.
 

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Agree with the above, particularly about the main shutoff switch, and they're only $15 if you get an off brand from amazon. I'd also consider going with the DCC50S renogy charger as it looks like your battery can handle it and it's only a few bucks more than the DCC30S - that way you won't need to replace it later if you decide your power needs are greater.

And lastly, I'm answering a question with a question but how do you keep from keep your AGM battery from getting overdrawn? - I know the advice is to try not to go past 50% state of charge but the AGM's typically don't have a BMS like lithium batteries do so there isn't any mechanism to shut things down automatically for you. I think the simple answer would be to make sure your Victron BMV has an audible alarm set for when your battery hits that 50% (or whatever you decide is the right value) so you know to shut down loads or turn on the charger. Otherwise it can be configured to operate a relay for you to do it automatically. Not sure what your future inverter will pull but once you figure out your loads you could just then find the correct relay and install it between the battery and the loads. I'm not necessarily advocating you go buy the cheapest one you can find on amazon, but here's an 80A relay for 8 bucks, for example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Agree with the above, particularly about the main shutoff switch, and they're only $15 if you get an off brand from amazon. I'd also consider going with the DCC50S renogy charger as it looks like your battery can handle it and it's only a few bucks more than the DCC30S - that way you won't need to replace it later if you decide your power needs are greater.

And lastly, I'm answering a question with a question but how do you keep from keep your AGM battery from getting overdrawn? - I know the advice is to try not to go past 50% state of charge but the AGM's typically don't have a BMS like lithium batteries do so there isn't any mechanism to shut things down automatically for you. I think the simple answer would be to make sure your Victron BMV has an audible alarm set for when your battery hits that 50% (or whatever you decide is the right value) so you know to shut down loads or turn on the charger. Otherwise it can be configured to operate a relay for you to do it automatically. Not sure what your future inverter will pull but once you figure out your loads you could just then find the correct relay and install it between the battery and the loads. I'm not necessarily advocating you go buy the cheapest one you can find on amazon, but here's an 80A relay for 8 bucks, for example.
The 50A is probably a good call, and only a few more $ like you said. I'll probably switch those out today, thanks! For keeping the battery from going below 50% the plan was to put an alarm on the battery monitor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good start. A single master switch between the house battery and all loads becomes invaluable the day you smell burnt plastic. Trying to remember each breaker to trip manually if a problem comes up is no fun. This may mean adding a positive bus bar. If you take your diagram to the next iteration by adding in all wires (grounds and all feeds in and out of equipment), you'll see more clearly just how many wires need a termination point.
Master switch is a really good idea, do you have one that you recommend?
 

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Master switch is a really good idea, do you have one that you recommend?
You didn't ask me so feel free to ignore this but I'm personally planning to install this one, from blue sea. It has the ability to hook up two different sources as well as the "off" so the plan is that 1 would be your house battery, 2 would be one of the CCP's (CCP1 is always on, CCP2 is engine run on for the most part - I'd probably recommend CCP2) and this way if my house battery is depleted or failed, I can still fire up the van, switch this blue sea selector to "2" and still use my loads. Plus if you switch it to 'off' then everything gets shut down which was the original intent 🤣
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Pretty basic model. Seems fine.

I'd do both those breakers. I think you're less than 90A on the Renogy, though.

I prefer to have a breaker (or switch at least plus a fuse) on the output side before the inverter and before the DC fuse block. Mostly to be able to shut stuff off; but also as protection from a wiring or device catastrophe. Maybe just one switch and a large fuse with both inverter and small fuse-block coming off a positive bus bar. Or a single breaker before said bus bar. (And a ground bus bar as well.) 🤷‍♀️

That battery monitor shunt needs to be inline between the ground leg of the batteries and a negative bus bar. So you really do need a negative bus bar - or terminate all negatives to the one bolt on the shunt.
Really good suggestions for the inverter... have honestly been putting that portion off because it seems like the most daunting and don't need it right away (driving to the OBX for October). But that advice will definitely be useful when we decide to add that in. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You didn't ask me so feel free to ignore this but I'm personally planning to install this one, from blue sea. It has the ability to hook up two different sources as well as the "off" so the plan is that 1 would be your house battery, 2 would be one of the CCP's (CCP1 is always on, CCP2 is engine run on for the most part - I'd probably recommend CCP2) and this way if my house battery is depleted or failed, I can still fire up the van, switch this blue sea selector to "2" and still use my loads. Plus if you switch it to 'off' then everything gets shut down which was the original intent 🤣
That is the one I had in mind, so I appreciate the confirmation! Also just went through the process of returning the AGM and going to switch to lithium (the alarm for 50% had me thinking about it even more).
 

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An easy way to visualize a power system is to imagine every (+) connection going to a bus bar, including the battery pack.

Basically every connection coming off of it should have a fuse or breaker, including treating the fuse block as a load.

Of course it is possible to eliminate this bus bar, but assembly, maintenance and edits are far easier and safer with it in place. Edits and changes are almost certain in a van.

The negative side is essentially a mirror without the fuses. (although some people suggest it I am not yet convinced)

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On the battery side, consider to use 2 each 100 amp -hr AGMs instead of a single 200. Much easier to lift into place and often able to provide more total current.

Honestly I would do the solar first and add the battery to battery charging as an upgrade later unless there is a really good reason to do it the other way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
An easy way to visualize a power system is to imagine every (+) connection going to a bus bar, including the battery pack.

Basically every connection coming off of it should have a fuse or breaker, including treating the fuse block as a load.

Of course it is possible to eliminate this bus bar, but assembly, maintenance and edits are far easier and safer with it in place. Edits and changes are almost certain in a van.

The negative side is essentially a mirror without the fuses. (although some people suggest it I am not yet convinced)

__

On the battery side, consider to use 2 each 100 amp -hr AGMs instead of a single 200. Much easier to lift into place and often able to provide more total current.

Honestly I would do the solar first and add the battery to battery charging as an upgrade later unless there is a really good reason to do it the other way.
Thanks for the info. Am I off the mark, or does the bus bar act as a breaker?

Going with the B2B charger first since we have the second AGM starter battery and the first trip in a few weeks has us driving every day so charging shouldn't be an issue. Will probably add the solar after this first trip.
 

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Thanks for the info. Am I off the mark, or does the bus bar act as a breaker?

Going with the B2B charger first since we have the second AGM starter battery and the first trip in a few weeks has us driving every day so charging shouldn't be an issue. Will probably add the solar after this first trip.
The bus bar (+) side is just a mechanical and electrical attachment point for the electrical wire connections.

A typical battery has one attachment point for the (+). Imagine instead that it had 10 of them. That is a bus bar.

Basically you just screw it down to something stable like a wall and attach all of the wires to it.

Example bus bar that is about right for your van if you stay with a 12 volt system.


and a place to buy it:


or a lighter duty version if you stay with a 1 kW inverter:


 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The bus bar (+) side is just a mechanical and electrical attachment point for the electrical wire connections.

A typical battery has one attachment point for the (+). Imagine instead that it had 10 of them. That is a bus bar.

Basically you just screw it down to something stable like a wall and attach all of the wires to it.

Example bus bar that is about right for your van if you stay with a 12 volt system.


and a place to buy it:


or a lighter duty version if you stay with a 1 kW inverter:


Awesome, thanks!
 

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Example bus bar that is about right for your van if you stay with a 12 volt system.

https://www.bluesea.com/products/2107/PowerBar_600A_BusBar_-_Eight_3_8in-16_Studs__
and a place to buy it:

or a lighter duty version if you stay with a 1 kW inverter:

https://www.bluesea.com/products/2126/MaxiBus_250A_BusBar_-_Six_5_16in-18_Studs
I'm curious why you are recommending a 600A or even 250A bus bar for a 200AH AGM battery bank where the charge rate will be 50A max and discharge (probably) around 80A max (say a 600w coffee maker/80% efficient inverter + 20a other loads) Wouldn't a 100A bus bar be sufficient for this system. All of the breakers in the system are less the 100A (other than the TBD inverter) https://www.bluesea.com/products/2315/Common_100A_Mini_BusBar_-_4_Gang_with_Cover

Looks like a 1kw inverter on a 90A breaker would be suitable for the AC loads.
 

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Master switch is a really good idea, do you have one that you recommend?
I'm using a blue sea mini on off switch rated for 350 amps continuously. If you go to a multi position switch it has to be a one, off, two pattern. This breaks the contact between loads when switching. Avoid off, one, both, two configurations typical in boats. These work with two batteries feeding a starter motor or being switched when running and not interrupt the alternator output. This feature may present problems with loads that could be incompatible, as both would be energized at the same time. Check the specs. regardless of manufacturer.

I couldn't source blue sea buses when I was looking so I went with Pike Industry 400 amp covered buses. Better price point IMO but not as nice as BS. Those BS 600 amp bars must be gold cored.:unsure:
 

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I'm curious why you are recommending a 600A or even 250A bus bar for a 200AH AGM battery bank where the charge rate will be 50A max and discharge (probably) around 80A max (say a 600w coffee maker/80% efficient inverter + 20a other loads) Wouldn't a 100A bus bar be sufficient for this system. All of the breakers in the system are less the 100A (other than the TBD inverter) https://www.bluesea.com/products/2315/Common_100A_Mini_BusBar_-_4_Gang_with_Cover

Looks like a 1kw inverter on a 90A breaker would be suitable for the AC loads.
The line between 100 amp and 250 amp bars gets crossed, in my mind, above a 1000 watt inverter if that inverter has 1.5 to 2x surge. Add your maxx air and 12 volt refrigerator and your carrying a load that shouldn't be focus on a light metal bar. The other factor is wire and terminal size. Some of the light bars don't handle terminals needed on heavy gauge wire. Really depends on your planned needs and it is a pain to upsize in the future.
 

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The line between 100 amp and 250 amp bars gets crossed, in my mind, above a 1000 watt inverter if that inverter has 1.5 to 2x surge. Add your maxx air and 12 volt refrigerator and your carrying a load that shouldn't be focus on a light metal bar. The other factor is wire and terminal size. Some of the light bars don't handle terminals needed on heavy gauge wire. Really depends on your planned needs and it is a pain to upsize in the future.
The rating of the bus bar is 100a continuous. I don't see any load a/c load that would cause a surge for any period of time. Only high load is a resistance heater, no big motors. Terminal post size is a good point on the smaller bar that I did not consider. No doubt upsizing to 250a would be a nice thing, just wanted to point out necessarily a requirement based on the sizing of everything else in the system, especially in light of the suggestion that it is the lighter duty compromise (compared to a 600a one). I am was not trying to be argumentative and genuinely interested in @harryn's perspective on this, as he does have a lot of experience in this area. As to planning for possible future expansion vs creep of scope ... I am struggling with that right now.:)
 

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I couldn't source blue sea buses when I was looking so I went with Pike Industry 400 amp covered buses. Better price point IMO but not as nice as BS.
BEP / Marinco (I think they are the same) makes some bus bars (and other components) that look to be high quality.
Home | BEP If you Google the part numbers in the catalog you get both brands of the same item from on line sellers. The BEP branded ones seem to be a priced a bit less.
 

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Between your alternator and two battery banks, install one of these: https://www.bluesea.com/products/category/35/Automatic_Charging_Relays Installing one of these will isolate your house battery from your start battery when the engine is off. When you're driving, the alternator will charge both battery banks automatically. If you want to get really fancy, you could put a disconnect switch to allow you to parallel the house / start bank... should your start bank get drained while out adventuring.

IMPORTANT: fuses are there to protect the wiring, NOT the consumer. They should be located as close to the source as possible. The only consumer that 'technically' doesn't have to have a fuse is from your start battery to your starter motor... but all other conductors should be protected. Blueseas makes some nice high amperage terminal fuses that will bolt directly to the terminals on your batteries, keeping your install cleaner.

Calculate your voltage drop to include the roundtrip length of the conductor; from battery to consumer to battery. It's always better to size up your conductor. Biggest source of DC fires is in loose / improper terminated conductors.

The definitive source for wiring methods is American Boat & Yacht Council... ABYC.
 
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