I started moving away from the powerpole distribution fuse blocks, choosing automotive fuse boxes and marine ground busses, as a low cost alternative for our battery and solar generator projects.
Although somewhat larger, I now have a much cleaner installation in the 576 watt hour solar generator project, after removing the power pole distribution board, and replacing it with an automotive fuse box and marine-grade ground bus. One of the technical benefits of this mod/upgrade what’s the 100 amp capacity of the ground bus in fuse box. This means my solar generator can handle 3x 100 watt radios, without blinking an eye. With the powerpole distribution board, maximum current draw is 30 amps. The BMS for the lithium iron phosphate pack can easily provide 60 amps continuous current from the system. The weak link was the distribution board, creating an unnecessary bottleneck.
Another benefit of these upgrades is having a very clean installation. It’s easy to see where each wire goes, where each wire comes from, and to make changes, modifications or adjustments if necessary. The single ground bus makes installation of the system much simpler as well. Not to mention how dangerous it is running DC positive and negative lines right next to one another, in high current draw systems.
The ground bus is used to centralize all of the ground Connections in the system. In solar generator systems, It’s usually used in conjunction with a fuse block for the positive side, and a ground bus for the negative side. Heavy lines from the battery and BMS, are fed to the fuse block and the ground bus, the distribution of the individual fused DC lines happens from there. It’s an excellent way to manage all of the connections coming into and out of the system.
If you haven’t seen the solar generator project yet, please be sure to take a look. It’s a 47-minute video, but I think it’s a pretty good build and fun to watch.