Charge controller on roof?? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-12-2016, 10:00 AM   #1
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Charge controller on roof??

Thank you to everyone that helped me with my antenna questions. I have one more question. ETI will install a solar panel on the 21 model that I purchased but they will permanently install the controller on the roof. Is that something that is normally done? It doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:17 AM   #2
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Laurah,
You're right, that does not make sense. The solar panel is permanently mounted onto brackets bolted through the roof. The controller is flush-mounted within the trailer. Here's a statement from the Samlex controller manual:
" The Charge Controller should be installed indoor only in a well ventilated, cool, dry environment. • Do not expose to moisture, rain, snow or liquids of any type "
Here's what our install looks like:
http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/me...cture1673.html
Here's the solar on the roof:
http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/me...cture1666.html
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:17 AM   #3
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Unless they're installing some sort of different and waterproof charge controller (haven't heard of one) for after sell installs, there should never be a charge controller mounted outside.

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Old 10-12-2016, 02:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurah View Post
Thank you to everyone that helped me with my antenna questions. I have one more question. ETI will install a solar panel on the 21 model that I purchased but they will permanently install the controller on the roof. Is that something that is normally done? It doesn't make sense to me.
If the solar panel "you purchased" has the controller mounted to the panel then it would be on the roof with the panel. Are you asking them to mount a portable panel?
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:18 PM   #5
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Solar

Hello David,
I bought the 21' model and I'm just asking them to now install the standard solar panel.
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:00 PM   #6
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Accepted practices call for the controller to be installed within 1 meter of the battery(s) using the heaviest gauge wire the controller will accept. The controller should not be installed inside the battery box. One more reason for a no.
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:10 PM   #7
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I got another email saying it would be installed inside. Not sure what is going on there
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:04 PM   #8
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Any idea what the reason is for not having the controller in the battery box? I bought a water-tight box to keep my controller in, but then I was wondering about heat building up. In the battery box would prevent that and keep it dry.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:08 PM   #9
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Controller

The last email said it would be mounted above the fridge. I'm not sure why it's not by the batteries.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:28 PM   #10
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There are a number of reasons for not having the controller in the battery box. The first is the electrical danger. Flooded batteries may off gas, namely hydrogen, during the charge process and any chance of a spark could result in an explosion. Such events as a runaway charger or poorly programed charger can cause this as well.

Second, it is just good practice to isolate batteries from something you are adjusting or connecting in case of a dropped tool. So that slipped screwdriver does not create a light and sound show. Keeping non essential things out of the battery box and keeping the box closed while working is an important safety practice.

The third reason is the gas that is present in the battery box can cause a premature failure in the electrical components of a charger/controller, it is just plain hard on electronics. So keeping that controller outside eliminates that problem.
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