Let the Fun Begin... Citroen Relay Conversion

linkshouse

Full Member
That example above is nice and neat and cabled up perfectly for a three battery setup :)
One thing I would add within the box is the fuse between the +ve Post and Battery. Nicely out the way for the catastrophic fuse.

You are right about the cost of the Victron Lynx box - it is not cheap (but for the quality of the components, not too off the mark either). Because of the current I pull, I needed heavy busbars, but for your setup there is a nice and much lower-cost option that can give you individual fuse protection per battery if you so wished.

Midi Fusebox
by David, on Flickr
Instead on the various different devices coming in the top in the example above, and then fused before hitting the +ve busbar, you could have the batteries coming in there and the cable on the left would be the feed to/from the bank.
This essentially is identical to the Victron Lynx but at around the £30-ish mark. For a lower power-draw system, I would go for this as much more economical. The only downside is the Midi-Fuses stop at a lower current rating than the Mega-Fuses used in the Victron Lynx and the busbar is rated lower than on the Lynx (would make a difference in my setup, but wouldn't matter in yours I think?).
What this has also that the basic modified Lynx distribution box does not have is LED indication for Fuse Failure (for that you have to get a different Lynx box at an higher cost (the difference being equal to the price of two of these Midi-Fuse Distribution Boxes!).

Just another option for you.
I have a similar arrangement in mind using this distribution panel -

DC9DE6DD-B083-49F4-BB6B-C78508BA1750.png


and this for the negative side -

8350796C-6F34-4705-B310-DA40CC64ADBC.png

Cabling the batteries individually will require longer and therefore heavier (to avoid volt drop) cables.

Do you think there is significant risk in the simpler paralleling per my earlier photo?

Please note that I’m not disagreeing with either of you, just exploring your views.

Thank you.

Phill
 

linkshouse

Full Member
Well, it's another very windy and wet day today here in Westray (can you see a theme developing here :rolleyes: ) but actually that's a good thing - kind of...

Yesterday was a cracking day and I managed to get a window and the toilet cassette access door fitted, so today they're getting thoroughly weather tested - no leaks so far!

IMG_2819.jpeg

IMG_2822.jpeg


I've been inside the van today bot to check for leaks as above and to make a start on fitting Dodo Deadmat sound deadening sheet -

IMG_2824.jpeg


Whilst doing this I also got first-hand experience of the need for a vapour barrier.

When I started the job the mat was sticking back to the panels a treat. After not very long, say around half an hour, I found the mat was not sticking and realised that it was because the panels were damp. As they were fine to start with one has to assume this was just due to the condensation from my breath.

I had always intended to install a vapour barrier over the insulation once it is in place and this just re-enforces why it is necessary.
 

wildebus

Full Member
....Do you think there is significant risk in the simpler paralleling per my earlier photo?

Please note that I’m not disagreeing with either of you, just exploring your views.

Thank you.

Phill
No risk at all. Having individual fuses just add a bit more ease of use going forward.

The only change to the setup in the photo I would recommend as a "should" as opposed to a "nice to have" is a Fuse (you already have that in your wiring to be added) and a Switch so you can quickly disconnect the battery bank (not sure if you have this planned?)
 

linkshouse

Full Member
No risk at all. Having individual fuses just add a bit more ease of use going forward.

The only change to the setup in the photo I would recommend as a "should" as opposed to a "nice to have" is a Fuse (you already have that in your wiring to be added) and a Switch so you can quickly disconnect the battery bank (not sure if you have this planned?)
Oops! Yes, definitely a switch it’ll go between the battery bank and the fused distribution board. I may fit a single fuse between the battery bank and the switch but as it would only be protecting around a foot of wire feeding the next fuse nowhere near any metal it does seem a bit over the top.
 

wildebus

Full Member
Oops! Yes, definitely a switch it’ll go between the battery bank and the fused distribution board. I may fit a single fuse between the battery bank and the switch but as it would only be protecting around a foot of wire feeding the next fuse nowhere near any metal it does seem a bit over the top.
That fuse is referred to generally as a "Catastrophic Fuse" and is protection for the battery (and also if something weird happens with the battery) as much as the cabling in this situation. The chance of it ever being needed is very remote, but if that very slight chance occurs you will be happy you fitted it!

Mr Squirrel says he likes Idiot lights ... the Fuse box picture he posted is the same box as in my photo but shows the cover you get and the full size it is. I would recommend those over the fusebox you posted TBH. The one you showed is decent and I have fitted quite a few of those and have them in my own van, but the one with the clear cover and LED lights have a definate advantage with the indication plus the built-in 0V Busbar which is a nice feature - and I have tended to move to those boxes now as they are better value than the one you shown + the extra Busbar.

As a separate fusebox, this is a nice unit ...
1580745094166.png

This has an LED for two seperate fuses (so one input and two outputs and supports a much higher current than the Midi-fuse fuseboxes and larger cable gauges (this one is an ANL-Fuse Fusebox). What it also has is a built-in Voltmeter, which is pretty novel.
 

linkshouse

Full Member
That fuse is referred to generally as a "Catastrophic Fuse" and is protection for the battery (and also if something weird happens with the battery) as much as the cabling in this situation. The chance of it ever being needed is very remote, but if that very slight chance occurs you will be happy you fitted it!

Mr Squirrel says he likes Idiot lights ... the Fuse box picture he posted is the same box as in my photo but shows the cover you get and the full size it is. I would recommend those over the fusebox you posted TBH. The one you showed is decent and I have fitted quite a few of those and have them in my own van, but the one with the clear cover and LED lights have a definate advantage with the indication plus the built-in 0V Busbar which is a nice feature - and I have tended to move to those boxes now as they are better value than the one you shown + the extra Busbar.

As a separate fusebox, this is a nice unit ...
View attachment 2003
This has an LED for two seperate fuses (so one input and two outputs and supports a much higher current than the Midi-fuse fuseboxes and larger cable gauges (this one is an ANL-Fuse Fusebox). What it also has is a built-in Voltmeter, which is pretty novel.
I do like the look of that but have already bought the other (bad weather might stop me working but it doesn’t stop me shopping, ha ha)

I understand the need for a “catastrophe” fuse I’m just concerned with the spacing. Given how close together I see the battery and this “primary” distribution board will be, if I add more fuses I won’t have room for cable! I’m anticipating something like a 10-15cm cable from the battery to the switch and another 10-15cm cable from the switch to the fused distribution box.

I value your opinion.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Had a quick hunt and can’t find this in the usual places - 12v Planet, Altec etc. Sorry to be a pain, but where are they available?

Hope that works
 

MarkJ

Full Member

Hope that works
Thank you! I was going to use one of these:
But I like the lights. The older I get, the more of an idiot I become (so I'm told)
 
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wildebus

Full Member

Hope that works
That is an excellent price for that!

Thank you! I was going to use one of these:
But I like the lights. The older I get, the more of an idiot I become (so I'm told)
Those are good. Usually available at a bit better price, but the one SquirrelCook posted is defo better value.

I do recommend you use Ferrules for the cable ends on that one though. If you have not used them before, this is a typical kit -
https://amzn.to/2uhxVxd
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
I do recommend you use Ferrules for the cable ends on that one though. If you have not used them before, this is a typical kit -
https://amzn.to/2uhxVxd
[/QUOTE]
I had one turn up Monday, the six jaw version.

 

wildebus

Full Member
I had one turn up Monday, the six jaw version.

Nice. But those are limited to 6mm2 cable - the 4 sided ones tend to go up 10mm2 :)

I use the little Ferrule crimpers for upto 10mm2, but for 16mm2 and 25mm2, I have to use another pair (you can get pretty cheap crimpers with exchangable jaws and usually one set will do big ferrules).
 

MarkJ

Full Member
And that changes when?

Mark
I’m behind you guys, still planning my first conversion. I was ok about it, with hours of thought, browsing etc and I’ve looked at dozens of vans..... yesterday I borrowed a demonstrator from my dealer and while I had it I looked underneath and tried to imagine myself making holes, fixing gas cylinders and so on. gulp!
 

wildebus

Full Member
I’m behind you guys, still planning my first conversion. I was ok about it, with hours of thought, browsing etc and I’ve looked at dozens of vans..... yesterday I borrowed a demonstrator from my dealer and while I had it I looked underneath and tried to imagine myself making holes, fixing gas cylinders and so on. gulp!
This is a great advantage of Electric vs Gas...
Electric Fridge - no external ventilation needed. Gas Fridge - vents behind (both top and bottom I think?)
Calofier/Electric Water Heater - same as Electric Fridge. Gas Water Heater - vent holes
Diesel Space Heater and Gas Heaters - both need some holes

So basically a lot less holes :)
 

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