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Electrical safety when using 12 volts.
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mikepepler
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2778
Location: Rye, UK

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Adam. The fuses are a bit like this one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/220950525782

I think what I'm going to do is reorganise the area under the stairs over the coming weeks, and see if I can find a better place to site the electrics, then I can get on with moving the fuses and make a hinged door for the battery compartment. Finally after that I can look at what type of battery I should get - though it sounds like you think there shouldn't be much of a hydrogen issue with the two I have at present, so it's not urgent.

What makes of batteries do you recommend as alternatives to that Rolls 12V one? They don't make any smaller 12V ones in their 5000 series, the best I could do would be to get three 4V batteries - the 6V are still 100kg! But maybe another manufacturer does other sizes?
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 4996
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The use of the fuses illustrated within a battery enclosure is not ideal since the fuse element is probably not enclosed and will spark when it fails.
The risk is minimal IMHO with two relatively small batteries and reasonable ventilation.
It might be better to use a main fuse in the enclosure (mains rated non sparking type) and a fusebox outside the enclosure, this would facilitate adding any extra circuits when needed.
I have used cheap domestic fuseboards for small 12 volt systems, choose one with generous internal space to allow for the thick cables often needed.
A basic install that I did recently, consisted of a 60 amp main fuse in the battery cupboard and a cheap 8 way mains fuseboard outside the cupboard.
Cables into the fuseboard were 35mm.
Outgoing circuits were 2.5mm on 10 amp fuses for lighting with 6.0mm on 20 amp fuses for sockets.
If heavy power circuits are contemplated, then provision for at least a 100 amp main fuse, and subcircuits up to 45 amps needs to be considered.

Presuming that you dont intended moving the battery once installed, then I would go for the Rolls battery, obtaining extra labour or plant to put it in place.
Options include slinging the battery from a piece of heavy timber, and carrying this by 4 men, or use of a trolley, or an engine hoist.
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