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New DC Main Panel Has Arrived

posted May 19, 2011, 7:48 AM by Christopher Hubbell
I received the new panel yesterday, and spent a little time last night positioning the breaker labels.  I'm very impressed with the solid feel of this panel.  I also spent a little time ripping out the old CS Teleflex panel from Ravat and test fitting the new one.  As expected, the Blue Sea panel nicely covers the original fiberglass cut out.  Unfortunately, the mounting screws are in a bad position as the old cutout is oversize.

Since there is virtually no structural load on this panel, and nothing will show, I'm going to take an easy path.  I have cut a luon panel that is one inch larger than the panel all around (2" larger in each dimension).  I then cut out the opening required by the panel and tested it for fit (excellent!).  After a brief sanding to ease the edges my next step will be saturating this panel with un-thickened epoxy on all surfaces.

Having sufficiently water-proofed the panel, I will install it behind the current fiberglass cut out (probably with thickened epoxy), and then roughly fair it so all surfaces are level.  I'm not worried about scarfing it, just trying to get a nice level mounting surface.  At that point I should be able to mount the DC panel in the modified cutout and [1] have a solid mount, as well as [2] not see any of the modification I did.

While it's a little bit of extra work, I think that the Blue Sea #8385 panel is a perfect retro fit for the CS27.  I'm getting around the small number of circuits by using a sub-panel for the instruments and electronics.  I'll need a little extra discipline to make sure nothing gets left on, but that's a much easier price to pay than finding space for a panel that can handle individual breakers for every device I will have installed.