What is the Can Bus and how to place the batteries on board

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can bus networkThe Can Bus is a language protocol between systems installed on a network. A machine equipped with Can Bus is basically able to self-diagnose, group all the data that must be sent “in the network” and encode them in a common language called CAN (Controller Area Network).

Can Bus and NMEA 2000

The well-known NMEA 2000 protocol is also compatible with this system from an electrical point of view. These data are then sent according to a particular protocol, called Bus, which is nothing more than the means by which they are transmitted.

The Can Bus has several advantages, first of all the possibility to install different systems on a network and receive their information from anywhere on the boat through a single cable; second advantage is that this cable can arrive directly from a control unit or directly from the machine, without having to go through the electrical panel or a server. It is a reliable system, derived from industrial uses, able to communicate at high speed and to withstand strong interference without disturbance of electromagnetic waves. It has remarkable transmission performance: up to 1Mbit (within 50 meters), to reach 50Kbps if you have to reach maximum distances of 1600 meters.

display can bus
some displays can be connected via CAN bus

Its efficiency, robustness and simplicity have made CAN bus communication a standard widely used in automotive, marine and recreational, agricultural, industrial, military…

How and where should the batteries be placed on board?

Normally the location is defined directly by the site, but you should know that the batteries must be installed in a ventilated room, because during their charging phase they release harmful and flammable gases. The most “dangerous” are the traditional or liquid ones, which produce the greatest quantity of gas among all the accumulators. Unlike gel batteries, the GM (Union Battery Service Botturi Guide, explains the difference) or lithium batteries produce a small amount of gas.

lithium batteriesFor the same reason the batteries should be placed away from heat sources and mounted at the lowest points of the boat. Also to keep the boat’s centre of gravity low. Solution that improves both the stability and the performance of the boat. The positioning of the batteries must make compromises with the arrangement of the systems on board and of course the spaces available. You also obtain a greater yield from them should be placed as close as possible to their source of charging, alternator or charger, and of course connected with well-dimensioned cables: a wrong section or excessive distance can cause voltage drops in the system.

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