Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby immped64 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:56 pm

Tony: Those numbers do look correct.

The issue comes with the required clearance above and below the unit. 6 inches in each direction for ventilation purposes.

I do have an e-mail out to Renogy. Perhaps they will say that all this clearance is not necessary or I can install this horizontally, but that would be against their pdf recommendations.

If my tongue box is a dead end for installation I have noticed online that there is a large variety of tongue boxes with depths exceeding the assumed required 20 inches.
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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby immped64 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:47 pm

The solar setup arrived earlier this week. Everything to this point looks as expected.

Today I had an unsuccessful shopping trip. I was looking for a Tongue box replacement but couldn't find anything locally that was near large enough. I also am running into some dead ends with the notions I have in mounting the solar panel itself. I plan to start another thread in regards to mounting the solar panel. For now I will continue with what I have run into in regards to the mounting of the charge controller.

Recapping what I have stated in a previous post: I have been concerned about my tongue box not passing the requirements for storage of the Renogy rover charge controller.

I did hear back from Renogy on my question of the charge controller placement. I was told that it does not need a %100 waterproof enclosure, yet I would want to avoid rain directly falling on it. However the lady from Renogy did recommend that I maintain a vertical mounting direction as well as the 6 inch clearance on each side. I am willing to compromise slightly on this, but intend on being as close to the requirement as possible.

The constraints that I will want to work within are as follows. I wish to have the height of box between 18 and 20 inches. Maximum depth of box would be 15 inches, preferably 14 inches. I also would really like to buy the diamond plate style of box. I was wanting to replace the flat black plastic box eventually, regardless of needing to install the charge controller. If I was to put the battery in the tongue box I could have a depth greater than 15 inches but at this point I will keep the battery in the battery box. My existing box is 36 inches at the widest point and 27 at the narrowest. This is not hard and fast, but the tapered width does look reasonable.

In today's wandering I could not find anything close to fitting my requirements. There was one box that I looked at that was 15 inches tall as well as having a depth of 15 inches.

One of the people I talked with today suggested that when I do get find my box that I would likely want to have a wall that split the container in 2. The controller would be installed on this wall. I am wondering whether someone might have a good idea of how to mount the 2 vertical edges of this wall to the tongue box?

That would be the approach I am most comfortable with. Unless there is someone who has a good reason for dissuading me from going this route this is what I plan on doing. I should be able to find a reasonably shaped box online.
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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby tony.latham » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:20 pm

You can add a divider by attaching two pieces of aluminum angle on the walls you want to stick your divider to.

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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby immped64 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:09 am

Tony: This does sound like a good idea as it should be quite sturdy.

I am wanting to say that you would suggest that this be put together with adhesive both against the aluminum angle iron and perhaps wooden mounting plate for the charge controller. I am also thinking this might apply between aluminum angle iron and (what I will assume) aluminum sides of the tongue box.

If I am correct what type of adhesive would be recommended to hold this together? The seal would be the most critical between tongue box side walls and the aluminum angle iron. I am thinking that it may be possible that sealing would not be required between wooden charge controller mounting plate and aluminum angle iron.

If I can find a suitable tongue box this should work quite well.

The last item that I am debating is whether there might be an advantage to placing my battery in the tongue box. I am leaning against this, but perhaps it might allow for a larger tongue box if the battery was stored in the tongue box. I believe I have seen posted warnings in regards to setting up a greater likelihood of explosion, but I'm not sure I can understand this. On the other hand this wouldn't gain me a whole lot as I would still need to drill the same amount of holes into the tongue box.

Thanks for your help!
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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby tony.latham » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:54 am

...would suggest that this be put together with adhesive both against the aluminum angle iron and perhaps wooden mounting plate...


Attache the angle to the box walls with #10 machine screws and locknuts. Attach the divider to the angle with wood screws.

I believe I have seen posted warnings in regards to setting up a greater likelihood of explosion, but I'm not sure I can understand this.


Flooded lead-acid batteries vent hydrogen. That's the issue. (AGM batteries don't.) :frightened:

With my current teardrop, I have the battery in the tongue box. The only source for a spark would be from me messing with the cables but as soon as the lid is open, any hydrogen quickly rises.

:thinking:

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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby immped64 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:09 am

Tony:

The lock nut would be outside of the tongue box. Any idea how this should be sealed? Would JB Weld make sense here? I'm not mechanically inclined so I don't know what typically would be done. There would be a little bit of a blemish but most of it would be hidden from view by the battery box and spare tire.

I have not found my tongue box yet. (It will be a fairly easy process of elimination). If I can't stay within 14 or at the max 15 inches in depth I may opt to place the battery within the tongue box.

As far as chances of a hydrogen explosion I guess my thinking is that there wouldn't be a whole lot of extra chance for a spark to ignite within the tongue box that would be there inside of the battery box itself. It may be a little more sealed but it would still have a slight amount of air circulation to clear the hydrogen out. Typically when the sparks happen is when you are messing with the battery with what ever lid open.
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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby tony.latham » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:13 am

The lock nut would be outside of the tongue box. Any idea how this should be sealed?


Put the bolt heads outside and the lock nuts inside. Just bed each bolt head with a poly sealant like Lexel. But there shouldn't be much room for moisture to get in.

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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby immped64 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:11 am

Tony:

I will do as you suggest. That would be a cleaner looking install.

Thanks for walking me through this!

If I'm not too ashamed of my work :shock: I will post my finished result.
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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby immped64 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:16 pm

A little update:

I still haven't made my final decision on getting a new tongue box. I would like to get a new tongue box because I want to have the suggested amount of clearance (6" in both the up and down direction from the 8 inch tall charge controller). I also would like to upgrade the appearance from my existing tongue box to a diamond plate which would match my trailer well.)

I am surprised how difficult it is to get the size I am looking for. I have found 2 boxes that may be the same with a different face plate that would be large enough. (Northern Tool and Better Built; both are 22 inch tall and match my narrow box at 14 inches) The thing that I don't like is that they are actually taller than I would like. I almost get the picture that they may be a little unstable at that height/depth. It actually may look a little unorthodox even though the diamond plating itself would be an improvement. That would almost double the height of my existing box within the same profile.

I would be willing to skimp slightly on the height to lets say 18 inches with the same 14 inch depth, but I am not finding anything within this envelope. If I found this size I would like to go this route.

I am not completely constrained with the 14 inch depth. I could add more depth by wiping out my battery box, but I would rather not get into removing the weld patches holding down the battery tray.

I could also perhaps install a fan to allow cooling within my existing box for the MPPT controller, but I don't really want to go this route either.

Just seems hard to get a solution that makes the best sense. This isn't as easy as I was hoping.

I could also have someone weld a custom diamond plate box to a 20 inch height and 14 inch depth, but this likely would be costly.
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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby tony.latham » Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:44 pm

I didn't realize that MPPT controllers put out that much heat. I thought they were more efficient. (That heat has to be wasted energy.)

Glad I went with this little PWM controller.

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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby immped64 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:20 pm

I have been getting my stuff together and was really hoping to get it assembled this week.

I just uncovered a vital issue. The tongue box I bought does not allow for the spare tire to fit. Since there is very little difference in clearance I am now wondering whether this cleared with the previous tongue box. At most I have a quarter inch difference from front to back between old and new box.

Whatever the case the tire just won’t slide over the 2 bolts that are set at the lug nut spacing.

The battery box only could be moved forward .5 inches if I was to break the weld seal to the tongue box.

The tire mount itself is quite sturdy and welded to the tongue frame.

I will check to see whether the battery can fit in the tongue box.

Would anyone have any suggestion or question?
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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby edgeau » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:14 pm

Pictures??
And how much room do you need get the Tyre on?

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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby immped64 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:03 am

I will post a picture or 2 when I get home tonight.

It appears that I will need about an inch of additional clearance. By sliding out the tongue box I can put the tire back on the bolts and slide into position. From there I can slide the tongue box back into position. If I pull on the tire I can pull it free of the bolts, but I can’t clear the interference between rim of tire and the bolts.
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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby immped64 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:47 pm

In the below image I have the tongue box in its needed position. The tire can be pulled free of the 2 bolts. It appears from the image that there is enough clearance, yet when the tire is moved in any direction the thickness of the tire prevents it from being removed. The bolts will interfere with the rim.

159057
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Re: Solar: Trying to decide charge controller location

Postby TimC » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:32 pm

Maybe one of these. If you have a Fastenal near you they can probably get them for you. Might work if you only need an inch or so. The Ace I used to work at had them in the small drawers in the fastener section. That was a long time ago tho

Might need an backing nut or large washer on the back if the large diameter of the extension is small compared to the rim holes.
https://www.google.com/search?q=extension+bolts&rlz=1C1VASU_enUS543US544&oq=extension+bolts&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.5455j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
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