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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Electrical Wiring Plan Update

After having installed the electrical conduit and crawl spaces for the main and forward salon, I find myself staring at the electrical plan. I have not given it much serious thought till now. I have had a general idea of what electrical equipment items we would have and where they will go, but not thought much about tieing it altogether. I have been planning on some sort of digital switching, and the Mastervolt system is the likely candidate.

So, to capture these thoughts, I updated the electrical wiring diagram. These are "non-essential" switchable systems (excludes always-on systems like bilge pumps). It also excludes electronics (another diagram). It includes all devices that we'd "like to have" but may not install initially, if ever.

The purpose of the plan is to indicate the general location of the devices and their wiring drops. This will aid in choosing which remote digital switches to install, and where.

Though we have decided on a 24 volt DC as the primary system, there are some devices produced in a 12 volt version only. This presents a problem with the Mastervolt digital switching system. It can switch both voltages on the same network, but there would need to be physical switch units for 24 volts and 12 volts each. The downsides are: more switch units and the need for a second 12 volt power line running alongside the 24 volt power line. Another possibility is to place a 24v-to-12v DC converter inline with each 12v device. They are not that expensive, but it is one more item that could fail.

This problem will most likely be solved by cost. Details to come later.

Westsail 42 Electrical Plan


Tate said...

What lead to your decision to go 24v instead of 12v?

Robert Sutton said...

Tate, you can push more current through the same wire at 24v over 12v. So you can use smaller wire. But the prime motivating factor was that high load devices (thruster, windlass, winches) stand less of a chance of burning up under high load cause the motor windings can handle it easier at 24v.

Most items, like pumps, are available in 24v versions. Though a special order is often required.

Kees said...

You can get cheap DC/DC converters ideal for post-switch applications in the far east.

I bought this 180W converter for $12:

So far so good, but I'm only using a fraction of the power in my app.

Robert Sutton said...

Thanks Kees, yeah, I see all sorts of DC-DC converters on the web. I don't think there will be a problem of choice.