PBO reader Stuart Boyd has a question about untidy battery connections. Our expert Duncan Kent has this advice…

Stuart Boyd writes: “I have a 2008 Bavaria 31 Cruiser which we’ve had from new and which remains in as-new condition.

“Through time, various service contractors have connected a number of items directly to my leisure battery terminals, which look untidy: Solar panel chargers; Powered transom lifters and Webasto heating. Do you have any opinion on the appropriateness of this kind of installation?

A boat with white hull and white sails

Stuart Boyd has a owned a Bavaria Cruiser 31 like this from new. Credit: Bavaria

“Additionally do you think I should have an isolator switch between my solar panel and the controller. At the moment we cover the solar panel if we’re disconnecting the battery for any reason.”

Continues below…

PBO electrics expert Duncan Kent replies: “It’s not good practice to have multiple connections to a battery terminal. A much better alternative is to install bus bars for both terminals, with a high-value in-line fuse close to the positive terminal before it reaches the bus bar. That way each cable has its own dedicated fixing with a proper crimped ring terminal and the bar can be safely and easily protected with a cover.

“If you also have a battery monitor shunt, then this should be installed between the battery negative terminal and the negative bus bar. It’s common to install a double-pole switch/isolator between the PV panels and the solar charge controller to enable them to be disconnected.

“Some installers fit a double pole circuit breaker but, though this does no harm, it is unnecessary as the current from the panel will never exceed its stated capacity so it will never trip.”

Enjoyed reading How do I tidy my battery connections? Ask the experts?

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