High Voltage Tape on Busbars

Netsua

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My current busbars are made from bar stock copper with holes drilled for 4/0 cable exactly where I needed them. I liked the flexibility of that setup, but it's not as secured/covered as others.

Has anyone ever used this high voltage tape over an exposed copper busbar? I don't see why you couldn't tape even over the contacts. But I've never seen it done.. so feel like I might be missing something.
 

JoeHam

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Most folks just use the shrink tubing they cover terminal crimps with I believe.
 

Netsua

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Most folks just use the shrink tubing they cover terminal crimps with I believe.
I've seen giant shrink before - I imagine the outcome would be similar. I've just never (personally) even seen that done, so I was hesitant. My busbar is 1.5" wide, so I don't think even my 4/0 shrink would work on it.

But I'm glad you've at least seen this done - because for some reason I've yet to find a setup that shows it done this way.
 

JoeHam

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Here is a picture where I used it on some copper bar from my battery to the SmartShunt :
 

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Netsua

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Ever seen anyone go over the lugs/contact points? Know of any reason why it shouldn't be done?

Thanks for the pic!
 

JoeHam

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If/when I screw up and put shrink over the contact point I just use a knife to cut out the contact patch area and it works fine.

Edit: I always leave the contact area and bolt head uncovered to retighten and inspect.

I can’t imagine needing more coverage than what I’ve shown in the picture.

Not sure what the OP was thinking of doing.
 
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740GLE

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How would you retighten and visual inspect connections?

Decent electrical tape would provide enough insulation, might not look as clean but easy and reappliable
 

jwelter99

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Also liquid electrical tape can be used to paint over contacts but if something that needs to be regularly services this is a pain in the arse.

You can also mask the bus bars or lugs and dip them as well.
 

Netsua

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Needing to inspect is a valid point. I re-torqued all my contact points weekly for the first couple months. Since then, they've never needed to be additional tightening so far. I clean them with a wire brush and spray anti-ox, but I thought it might be possible that having them covered would prevent the need for a lot of this in the first place.

I could always cut away the tape or wrap for annual or biannual inspections.

Appreciate the input - still not 100% sure if I'll give it a shot.
 

Ampster

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I like to have access to the fasteners. If the issue is protection from shorting the pack, I have used plexiglas or lexan on smaller pack. My current pack is 68 inches long and once my parallel top balancing is finished, I think I am going to put a hinged plywood cover over it but leave plenty of room for air circulation.
 

Ampster

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I clean them with a wire brush and spray anti-ox, but I thought it might be possible that having them covered would prevent the need for a lot of this in the first place
What brand of spray anti-ox do you use? I use No-Alox but spray would be convenient.
 

740GLE

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Another option would be vulcanizing tape, it’s more permanent as it’s bonded to itself, but will never fray or loose stickiness.
 

Netsua

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I like to have access to the fasteners. If the issue is protection from shorting the pack, I have used plexiglas or lexan on smaller pack. My current pack is 68 inches long and once my parallel top balancing is finished, I think I am going to put a hinged plywood cover over it but leave plenty of room for air circulation.

What brand of spray anti-ox do you use? I use No-Alox but spray would be convenient.
I have 24" bus bars on either side of my 24 battery bank. I've never had problems, but never can be too safe. I'm pretty exposed at the moment.

For anti-ox... you'll laugh, but I tried several different kinds and have had far and away the best luck with "store brand" from Advanced Auto.
 

schmism

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Just limit the access to the pack. Ie put a cover over it.
This is heat shrink on 1 1/2" wide buss bars
even this photo, they have spent a lot of time and effort to cover the buss bars and the one thing you would likely contact first, the contact posts remain exposed.

So doing nothing and just covering the pack to limit access is your best long term solution.
 

BobR

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Just limit the access to the pack. Ie put a cover over it.

even this photo, they have spent a lot of time and effort to cover the buss bars and the one thing you would likely contact first, the contact posts remain exposed.

So doing nothing and just covering the pack to limit access is your best long term solution.
The studs on these will be covered with insulating caps. Nothing is absolute but if you ever work on your batteries (DIY) I want the best protection I can provide. More than one fire has been started with accidentally shorted out batteries: wrench slipping out of hand etc.
 

schmism

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accidentally shorted out batteries: wrench slipping out of hand etc.
This is the fallacy with this line of thinking. When do you use a wrench on a battery pack. When your assembling it. Can you assemble it when its covered in safety caps. No so the one time its exposed, (when assembling) is also the time in which you CANT have it covered. so yes the typical "drop the wrench on it" is always a concern. which is why the "real" pros use insulated tools instead of trying to insulate every conductive point inside your controlled access point. (eg inside the panel)

the "accidental thing fell into the battery pack at some point in the future" is prevented by controlled access. aka a cover.
 

BobR

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I also have insulated tools; perhaps I am overly cautious. I use friction tape on tools. These batteries will be used on a boat. I have seen the results from a boat fire.
 
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