A while back I made this note:
“I’m still doing my research and scoping out the install; compiling a short list of ‘improvements’ I want to make. One of them is that the large fins on the back of the charge controller are in a now-wide-open enclosure above our reefer, but the fins (as installed) are horizontal *and* the controller is up tight against the ceiling. Common sense — and the owner’s manual — requires 150 mm (5.9 inches!) above and below the controller to allow for cooling. The enclosure it is in is 28″ wide, 13-1/4″ deep but only 14″ tall (at best and slopes shorter from there) and the controller is 9-1/2″ tall. This means I can only leave less than 2” above and below the controller for cooling = not ideal but certainly much better than being jammed tight up against the ceiling as it is now. The cooling fins are currently so HOT that I can’t leave my fingers on them (frowny face) and I can smell some plastic components “curing” . . . I’m thinking not good!”
So I dove into the charge controller remount today to learn that only one of two screws was even installed into that 1″ x 1″ board up next to the ceiling — which was the whole reason he mounted it that way to begin with — some people’s kids! :o) The bottom ends of the vertical 1x2s I added aren’t attached to anything but they do rest on the top of the reefer enclosure for support. Turns out there was already a good 1″ of clearance between the fins and any solid surface the controller might be attached to, so the 3/4″ clearance I added by mounting it this way likely doesn’t make that much difference, but I’m sure the charge controller will operate *much* cooler. This is what it looks like now:
Another upgrade I’ll make as soon as I get some more yellow butt splices is I found there are two wires which bring 12 volt power to the vertical enclosure I’ve been calling a hollow post. The shorter 10 gauge run over (under the floor) I want to reserve for the inverter only and put the other loads (12 volt cig lighter outlet for charging laptops/phones, a single light above the entertainment center we rarely use, and a double ceiling light on a switch which is our best light for working in the kitchen) on a different wire which comes down from the ceiling. (All of this is inside the hollow post.) Once this change is made, we’ll be even less likely to overload that one 12 volt circuit with the inverter by itself. Right now, I’m charging my cordless drill batteries with the inverter and the load isn’t enough to even turn the cooling fan on yet — gotta’ love quiet power. My drill batt charger takes two amps at 120 AC so that’s 240 watts coming from our 300 watt inverter — our biggest load yet. Below is our new inverter — mounted to the shelf inside our small entertainment center. The shelf is about 10″ above the floor so it’s convenient to plug our AC stuff in.