Keep your powder dry….electronics, too
For some months, the wife has been grudgingly patient about the Trace 2524 in the living room. Why was there an inverter in the living room?
I’ve been engaged in a multi-year evolution in my power system, so lots of new stuff has been coming in and out of service. In our Southern climate we have humidity to spare and when you add temperature swings you get condensation. Stuff sweats, especially stuff containing heavy transformers. In operation, these bits of equipment put off a little heat, so they don’t sweat. The inverter spent a couple of decades in my attic, but it buzzed along happily because it was warm.
You do not want water creeping into your electrical gear. You just don’t.
The new power room in the Solar Shed is not quite a room, yet, as there is the fantail of the solar launch where the last wall should be. That will change, with the latest expansion, but until it does there is humidity. So, I have left unused things powered up to keep them warm and dry.
The 24 volt system is almost gone, now. Only one charge controller on the control panel and a couple in the launch, and the big 24 volt inverter are running because I have not run the new 120v wiring for lights and outlets in the newly expanded shed’s 48v system…and I have to keep the boat’s electronics warm. There isn’t much solar energy for the boat inside the shed, unless it comes in by wire.
The 2524 inverter is now out there, wrapped in plastic. Each decommissioned charge controller is getting wrapped and stowed in plastic storage tubs as it comes off the old control board. Some will be used in the Solar Yacht project, others will probably be used in the barn or sold. Until then, the plastic wrap should keep them fresh and dry until the control room is closed in. The heat of the control panel equipment should keep the winter humidity low and eliminate the condensation threat once the wall is in place. (Mexico has not offered to pay for my wall, either.) During the summer, there will be an a/c in there.
Batteries sweat, too. The danger there is that the moisture creates a small current path and you not only lose a little power, you get corroded terminals and attract crud. Mine are all outside the control room, now, and the hope is that an insulated battery enclosure will keep them from cooling down and sweating during the summer months.
Unless all of your equipment is in a climate controlled environment, or Arizona, add Saran wrap, plastic bags and tape to your supply list and keep your unused electronics dry!
By: Neal Collier