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Old 02-11-2007, 09:26   #16
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Originally Posted by rleslie View Post
You want the Outback controller. We have a Xantrex and the darn thing isn't marinized. After one year the display stopped working, although the controller seems to be performing fine, but I must manually check the input, output, etc. to be certain.
I want to apologize for making the above statement. The only excuse I have is that I wasn't on the boat and my memory is fading fast!!! My controller is NOT a Xantrex, it is a Blue Sky 2000E. It died this morning. I called the manuf. to see if there is any way to diagnose what is wrong and I was met with a very apathetic attitude. My next controller will not be from Blue Sky!!

Roger
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:40   #17
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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I tried the Blue Sky controller--it may have increased the current by 10% or so, but it was definitely not marinized, and lasted less than one month.
Blue Sky is advertised as having a Full 36 Month Limited Warranty, Optional Extended Coverage Available
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:04   #18
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For those of you who have had failures...

What do you think caused, or contributed to the failure.

and do you have humidity control, or ventilation??
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:12   #19
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For those of you who have had failures...

What do you think caused, or contributed to the failure.

and do you have humidity control, or ventilation??
We have our BS 2000E mounted in a locker with our battery combiner, half of our bus bars and numerous other electronic components. Water has never come in direct contact with the controller and everything else in the locker is corrosion free.

There is no direct ventelation and when we are not on the boat we run a dehumidifier.
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:15   #20
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Blue Sky is advertised as having a Full 36 Month Limited Warranty, Optional Extended Coverage Available
Gord

Thanks for that info.....I thought it was one year. Unfortunately, my receipts are at home and we won't go back until May. I think we installed it two years ago, so I may be covered. But that won't help me now. We need a controller while we are in the Bahamas.

Thanks again!!!!!
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:16   #21
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So it sounds like humidity and corrosion are not likely causes, any ideas at all....

overloads, high temps, warranty just expired?
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:21   #22
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So it sounds like humidity and corrosion are not likely causes, any ideas at all....

overloads, high temps, warranty just expired?
The display stopped working a year ago and I have no ideas what has caused it to stop completely. Overload and high temp are not possible. The rep said that they are not marinized, so I'm guessing that it's the general humidity associated with a boat.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:44   #23
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The outback might be too small. It's maximum output is 60 amps (regardless of voltage). Your 4 200 watt solar panels have a short circuit current of 16 amps (12v 8amps 24v) * 4 and you are at 64 amps 12v. Add "edge of cloud effect" and you can be even higher for short periods of time. Granted there are a lot of other issues (voltage drop, angle of exposure to the sun, shading) which would decrease the typical output of your panels, but I would really hesitate to install anything which is being pushed to the absolute maximum of the system spec. http://www.directpower.com/products/...nersmanual.pdf
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:59   #24
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Ooops! Just checked the Xantrex and it's also pegged out at 60 amps. So, if your DC battery bank is 12v, you're beyond or at the very upper limit of system spec for either. Large solar arrays are typically supported by 24v or 48v battery banks for houses and then inverted. For boats, going down to 12volt battery banks, you're far more limited on the upper limit for the array size. I never, ever seem to bring good news.
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:18   #25
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I was advised to ensure at least a 10% higher rating than spec'd by solar panel manufacturers, just to allow for the manufactureing tolerance, you can get "lucky" and get a panel that puts out more than rated.

I actually took two panels through a controller, and left the smaller old one direct to the batteries. Since the small one could not overcharge the bank, and the controller "turned off the other two", so my smallish controller will still work.

Beware you need a big enough battery bank to make this work.
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Old 03-11-2007, 20:00   #26
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Marinizing isn't just spraying epoxy. In the business they refer to spraying a "conformal coating" which can range from a wax or tar like material to plastics and epoxy. Epoxy is sometimes simply overexpense and overkill and plain bees wax may be all that is called for (except of course that would melt off of hot components.)

But these MPPT controllers are computers. They typically operate at around 50,000Hz and at that frequency, simply spraying "stuff" on the board can actually change the value of board components, requiring a manufacturer to spray, test, sometimes redesesign, test again, etc. That's a significant production cost for a small company--as these all are. Also, once you conformally coat a board you may eliminate moisture problems but now you have heat retention--more redesign may be needed. Then there's the extra cost of the process, and if you have to do any repairs or remakes, you have to dig through the stuff. (Advantage to waxy plastic instead of hard epoxies.)

So like sailing, waterproof coating is easy. [g]

Other than that, I fully agree that marine electronics, intended for marine application, damn well should be conformally coated and whatever that adds to the cost SHOULD not matter if the vendor does their job and says "By the way, our stuff is SEALED and won't get eaten up by salt air!"

Each vendor apparently also has their own ideas about charger logic and controls--so they differ in more than the question of waterproofing. In every case that information is held pretty closely--don't expect them to share trade secrets about it.

Rleslie-
If you have a serial number on that BS unit, THEY should certainly be able to confirm it is one year old not three years old, just by the number. Whether they are that organized and willing...please do let us all know.

Gord-
"Full 36 Month Limited Warranty," ROFLMAO! You know we have some federal warranty laws in the US. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, a waranty is EITHER full or limited and the very concept of a "Full liimited" waranty of any kind makes me wonder, what were those people thinking. If it ain't full--it's limited. If it is a "Limited warranty" and the only limit is 36 months...OK, they should just say "No limits to coverage except it ends at 36 months."

Small market...not many players...I suppose they have to be brave to enter it at all.
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Old 03-11-2007, 21:34   #27
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HS..."a waranty is EITHER full or limited"
LOL...
You just don't understand marketing language...what they mean is that for full 36 months, you have a limited warranty. Magnuson & Moss are turning in their graves (if they're dead!) (g)
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:05   #28
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Thanks Hellosailor & camaraderie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
...So like sailing, waterproof coating is easy. [g] ...
... Gord-
"Full 36 Month Limited Warranty," ROFLMAO! You know we have some federal warranty laws in the US. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, a waranty is EITHER full or limited and the very concept of a "Full liimited" waranty of any kind makes me wonder, what were those people thinking. If it ain't full--it's limited. If it is a "Limited warranty" and the only limit is 36 months...OK, they should just say "No limits to coverage except it ends at 36 months."

Small market...not many players...I suppose they have to be brave to enter it at all.
It appears, to me, that Blue Sky Energy could use some Small Business advice.
Solar Boost 2000E: Blue Sky Energy INC. - Solar Boost 2000E
http://www.blueskyenergyinc.com/pdf/...tyCoverage.pdf
... All new Blue Sky Energy charge controllers and accessories are provided with a limited warranty per warranty terms accompanying the product. Blue Sky Energy offers optional five (5) year extended warranty coverage for certain products which can be purchased at additional cost...

Excerpted from:
Warranties > Making Warranties Available Prior to Sale ~ Small Business Notes
The FTC's* Rule on Pre-Sale Availability of Written Warranty Terms requires that written warranties on consumer products costing more than $15 be available to consumers before they buy. The Rule has provisions that specify what retailers, including mail order, catalog, and door-to-door sellers, must do to accomplish this. The Rule also specifies what manufacturers must do so that sellers can meet their obligations under the Rule.
* Federal Trade Commission

Warranties: Titling a Written Warranty "Full" or "Limited" ~ Small Business Notes
Titling a Written Warranty "Full" or "Limited"

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act requires that every warranty on consumer products that cost more than $10 include a title which "clearly and conspicuously" indicates whether the warranty is "full" or "limited." (The Act calls these titles "designations.")

Basically, if each of the following five statements is true about your warrant's terms and conditions, your warranty is a full one:

1. You will provide warranty service to anyone who owns your product during the warranty period.
2. You will provide warranty service free of any charge, including such costs as returning the product or removing or reinstalling the product when necessary.
3. You will provide, at the consumer's choice, either a replacement or a full refund if you are unable, after a reasonable number of tries, to repair your product.
4. You will provide warranty service without requiring that consumer return a warranty registration card.
5. You will not limit the duration of implied warranties.

If any of these statements I not true, then your warranty is limited.

If the statements are true about the coverage on only some parts of your product, or if the statements are true about the coverage during only one part of the warranty period, then your warranty is a multiple warranty which part full and part limited. Special considerations apply to multiple warranties which are part full and part limited.

Titling a Multiple Warranty. In some multiple warranties, the coverage on some parts is full while the coverage on other parts is limited, or there is full coverage during one period and not during another. In such cases you can either title the entire warranty "limited," or you can use both titles in your warrant -- "full" for the full portion of the warranty and "limited" for the limited portion.
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Old 04-11-2007, 20:21   #29
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Correct Gord...and all mail order/internet retailers are required to provide an actual copy of any warranty on request BEFORE purchase, to their customers. Retail stores must keep copies on had in each store. Can usually be accessed through customer service dept.
Given the requirements it is MOST unusual to find a FULL warranty in the States. What most of us would consider a full warranty is a limited warranty under the law...So I would say, don't be put off by a "limited warranty" statement...just read it and see if the limitations are acceptable to you!
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:17   #30
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"Retail stores must keep copies on had in each store."
Cam, I think in the case of retail stores, they are only required to have copies of their own warrantees on hand. With products they don't warrant (i.e. retail goods from other makers) it is the same business of "call the manufacturer" that it would be with mail order or internet.
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