question

camcairney avatar image
camcairney asked

How to keep Victron equipment cool in hot Aussie summers?

simple question - what can I do to bring the temp of my inverter/reg and batteries down (running easysolar 48/5000 w/ 10kw BYD lithium). Can I bring the inverter units fans on prior factory setting? other options?


Cheers


EasySolar All-in-Onetemperature
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5 Answers
Rob Fijn avatar image
Rob Fijn answered ·

Or maybe use a 9k BTU split unit airco ... will take about 350 Watt to cool a small room (6m2 or something)

Rob.


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camcairney avatar image
camcairney answered ·

I run a 100m2 newly built off grid home, we have a heat wave and my system is running at 850w constant which is creating excessive heat in the unit (easy solar 48v) as the aircon is running 18hrs a day, batteries are a little warm reaching 36 degree max but its 50 outside in the shade, my fans only seem to come on when I pump out some more power from the inverter.

how do I turn the fans on????

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sirslarti avatar image
sirslarti answered ·

Coonabarabran NSW. EasySolar overheats on any day over 35 (lots of those out here). Couple of things have helped but still pretty disappointed. Remove top cover. Made a slide in ‘air box’ that slide into the bottom of the EasySolar and has 2 x 240v cooling fans. This forces more air thought the EasySolar and is controlled with a digital thermostat. Lastly I have a small evaporative cooler running below it. 45 today and overheats and restarts every half an hour or so. Looks like Victrons aren’t designed for proper Aussie summer.

3 comments
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JohnC avatar image JohnC ♦ commented ·

Maybe it's faulty? 47C here yesterday and my Easy 5000 was out in that. Not confined in a box, but no external fan-forced cooling either.

Never dropped out once in almost 3 years. Not like the junk I was using before I installed it.


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Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) avatar image Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) ♦♦ JohnC ♦ commented ·

The load profile and installation conditions will make a huge difference between two system.

How hard the MPPT is operating to recharge batteries (as it is inside the EasySolar case).

If batteries are going to be certainly full anyway by the end of the day, it might be worth reducing the output power of the MPPT to reduce the amount of heat it creates early in the day. Spread out 35A all day and into the afternoon, instead of 70A in the morning till the middle of the day.

If the Easy is outside on a verandah, even though it is the same ambient temperature, there is plenty of airflow, compared to being inside a small shed, where the waste heat can't escape.

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JohnC avatar image JohnC ♦ Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) ♦♦ commented ·

Quite so. All good info that most of us can live with (under the strain).

I was picking up on the reported 'restarts', that I've never experienced, nor would expect to happen.


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Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) avatar image
Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) answered ·

Victron Equipment is designed to continue to operate in hot conditions, but will derates the output as temperature rises to try and keep the equipment below 65 degrees. The equipment has been designed to run in marine environments, which often involves very hot conditions inside ship services rooms.

The easiest thing to do first is to reduce any unnecessary loads. Just run the essentials. This will mean the unit isn't creating as much heat itself, and also is far less likely to overload (which will be more likely to occur than in normal temperatures of up to about 30 degrees).

Airflow over the unit makes a huge difference. Set up external floor fans pointing at the equipment. Especially with MPPTs that are passively cooled.

Install an exhaust fan at the top of the room to remove the hottest air, and air inlets at the bottom of the room/floor will also help to reduce the ambient temperature of the room.

Shade any exposed exterior walls, especially those to the west to reduce ambient heat gain in the room from the sun.

If the unit is in a box, or some other confinement, open it up as much as possible to allow as much air to flow over it as possible.

The superior and long term solution is proper climate control with an air conditioner, in a well insulated room (especially the roof). You will get best performance if you can maintain 25 degrees celsius.

Even though you might notice reduced performance or an unexpected overload/overtemp cut out from an inverter, or reduced maximum current output from an MPPT, the real damage from the heat is being done to your batteries. For every 10 degrees over 25 degrees C, battery life is halved!

If you are experiencing reduced inverter performance over time, there may be a build up of dust inside the unit on the heat sinks. This is quite easy to get to, though as it's a delicate and dangerous place inside an inverter, i'd suggest contacting a trained technician to do any cleaning safely as part of a general system checkup and service.

A bigger inverter will also help. Oversize the inverter for your needs, or adequately size the inverter based on your expected load and the expected temperature derating.

This derating information is available in the datasheets for the inverters. For example a 3 kVA MultiPlus will derate to 1700W at 65 degrees. If you have 2kW of loads, and can expect more than 40 degree conditions where your inverter is running then a 5 kVA unit would be required.

Multi's also create a lot of heat when they are charging from AC power. So limit charging from the grid, or generator, or an AC solar inverter.

Using DC MPPTs will be a lot more efficient for charging the batteries, and allow the Multi to use it's heat dissipation for inverting.

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kai avatar image kai ♦ commented ·

re: airflow makes a huge difference - I'd like to add a qualifier - "fresh airflow" for future reference.

Recirculating hot air will very much limit the benefit of air flow.

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jimbjamn avatar image jimbjamn kai ♦ commented ·

Does the Centaur product line have an ouput or relay that can switch on/off an external fan, or at least start the fan when the unit is started?

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mdbrown avatar image
mdbrown answered ·

I agree with your assessment. I had overheating problems with the Orion Tr Smart Charger, even in a cool (60F; 14C) environment. The case got too hot to touch, and the output current would fold back 20%. I added a 80CFM computer fan, which lowered the case temperatures by 10C, and ended the foldback. Forcing additional air movement over heat sinks helps a lot!

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