Corrosion protection, electrical components - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-08-2015 Thread Starter
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Corrosion protection, electrical components

Hello,

I am about to mount my solar charge controller and windgen charge controller/rectifier in my back storage locker. There seems to be many ways for moisture to gain access to the boards in the controllers, not hermetically sealed. I was thinking about spraying down the boards with CRC corrosion protection spray. Upon second thought, I am not sure that is prudent. I plan to use dielectric grease on the connectors but not sure about how to protect the boards themselves.

Thoughts?

-craig
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-08-2015
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Re: Corrosion protection, electrical components

The boards should already be conformal coated. However if you want to take extra steps you can use CorrosionX. Here is a video of how well it works..

https://youtu.be/s4z8QMgTEA4
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-08-2015
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Re: Corrosion protection, electrical components

Unless the boards are protected from salt and water, they will not last long. Is there any way to move these components inside? It is much easier to protect connectors and wires. Personally, I like military grade Cosmoline for such applications.

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post #4 of 10 Old 09-09-2015
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Re: Corrosion protection, electrical components

CRC works great, use it all the time on my RC boats. Saved many a speed controller. Couple of them are pushing 200 amps at 14 volts.
Another option is MGChemicals spray on conformal coating.
All of these will probably void any warrenty though.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-09-2015
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Re: Corrosion protection, electrical components

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
Hello,

I am about to mount my solar charge controller and windgen charge controller/rectifier in my back storage locker. There seems to be many ways for moisture to gain access to the boards in the controllers, not hermetically sealed. I was thinking about spraying down the boards with CRC corrosion protection spray. Upon second thought, I am not sure that is prudent. I plan to use dielectric grease on the connectors but not sure about how to protect the boards themselves.

Thoughts?

-craig

Both controllers should be mounted as close to the batteries as possible and in a relatively dry area... If these controllers are both quality products, then the board should already be conformally coated. If they are cheap Chinese eBay products, good luck..
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-09-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Corrosion protection, electrical components

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Both controllers should be mounted as close to the batteries as possible and in a relatively dry area... If these controllers are both quality products, then the board should already be conformally coated. If they are cheap Chinese eBay products, good luck..
The controllers are quality products
Morningstar Tristar 45 (with wire knockout ports that need to be sealed)
Kiss rectifier (box with on/off switch)
BlueSky Solar controller (mounted in a sealed enclosure)

The locker is dry, an occasional damp fender will also be in there. The Kiss rectifier is open at both ends of the enclosure, odd. The other controllers can be sealed quite well.

I built the whole thing on a piece of Marine Plywood. Now I am trying to figure out how to reduce the flow of moisture into the controllers.


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post #7 of 10 Old 09-10-2015
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Re: Corrosion protection, electrical components

One problem with mounting near the batteries (unless somehow sealed) - from the Blue Sky manual

This unit employs components that tend to produce arcs or sparks. NEVER install in battery compartment or in the presence of explosive gases.

To the OP, I had originally thought that you could box up your assembly, leaving heat sinks external, but it looks like both boxes need ventilation. Neither is marine rated, correct?
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Re: Corrosion protection, electrical components

For what it's worth, I've had a Morningstar controller mounted in my laz for ten years of offshore cruising without any failure.. I had a smaller controller mounted next to it for 5 years before and it is still going as well...


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post #9 of 10 Old 09-10-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Corrosion protection, electrical components

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Originally Posted by ottos View Post
(snip)

To the OP, I had originally thought that you could box up your assembly, leaving heat sinks external, but it looks like both boxes need ventilation. Neither is marine rated, correct?
Thanks for the input!
I assume that you mean some type of ABYC rating? I will dig through the manuals tonight.

Ventilation, good point. The Morningstar has huge heat sink fins but the BlueSky heat sink is on the board itself. I need to research that more, it very well may need ventilation.

From the mounting board to the batteries (13 feet away) I am running 0/2 cable. I verified that that voltage drop is less than 2%. I am already running #6 cable to the mc4 connectors for the two panels. #6 is the largest cable that mc4 will accept. So I can't have a longer cable run for the panels to the controller, if so it would create a +3% voltage drop. After calculating all the cable runs my options for where to mount the charge controllers was somewhat limited.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-17-2015
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Re: Corrosion protection, electrical components

Sorry for the delay...

That is kind of in-line with what I was thinking. Electronics are usually made for low humidity environs, unless they are specifically designed for something else, IE marine electronics, ABYC, IPxx ratings, whatever. Circuit boards could absorb more humidity, circuit traces could corrode more easily, etc.

Some of the respondents above suggested spray-on conformal coat.... probably not a bad idea. just keep it off heat sinks and other areas that wouldn't be compatible.
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