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Old 21-01-2013, 19:55   #1
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Struck by Lightning

My boat was struck by lightening last September in Puerto Vallarta while I was away traveling. Besides knocking out my Ray Marine electronics, engine hour meter (digital) on the engine electronics, it also knocked out at least the Blue Sky MPPT 3024iL Controller for my two 180 Watt Kyocera panels. The IPN-ProRemote seems to be working....... however it has only shown a "+0.04A" reading on the Battery Volt/Amp page, even after I cleaned the panels and on a sunny day.
Has anyone had any experience in dealing with what could be wrong? I'm guessing it might just be the 3024iL Controller.

The engine starts and performs as good as ever. Only the Engine Hour meter is blank. Again I'm guessing that I could just replace the Instrument/Start-Stop Panel.

Problem with all of this is finding qualified technicians to provide estimates to repair/replace the damage equipment. (the insurance company can't find a surveyor either to inspect the damage) I can't find a Solar Panel service tech nor Yanmar Service Rep to look at the Engine panel.

For the record, I had disconnected the VHF antenna from the radio, and was not connected to shore power. At least six other boats and the restaurant at end of the dock got hammered. Several had engines that wouldn't start (electronic ignitions) as well as having their electronics knocked out.

Searching for answers.....

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Old 21-01-2013, 20:48   #2
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re: Struck by Lightning

You might give some of these guys a call

Marine Facilities - Marinas - Surveyors - Suppliers - Puerto Vallarta

However, your choices are limited, and you may need to get the boat back to San Diego.

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Old 21-01-2013, 23:28   #3
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Re: Struck by Lightning

Maybe you could get the other boat owners to all chip in to fly in someone from the states?
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Old 22-01-2013, 00:23   #4
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Re: Struck by Lightning

Sorry to hear about your hit.

It's likely that the solar panels are fine and only the controler is damaged.

Measure the voltage from each panel in full sun if this is OK ( let us know what it is ) its is very likely the panel is OK.
You can also measure the short circuit current if you know what you doing, but if the voltage is fine its unlikely there is any damage.

While you are waiting for the controler to be replaced (I would not recommend repairing) you can connect the solar panels directly to the batteries in parallel.

If they are (nominally) 12v panels you will get as get much power as you did with the controller.
However you must manually watch the voltage (use a multimeter) and disconect the panels (or turn on loads) so the battery voltage does not exceed the absorption voltage of your batteries. This will happen as the batteries become charged.

Check all your electrics to make sure nothing else is damaged.

The engine hour meter and solar controler should be easy to replace.
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Old 22-01-2013, 02:41   #5
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Re: Struck by Lightning

Down here in Panama several insurance companies fly Surveyors in from the States... including Pantaenius.

We knew 7 boats down here in Central America that were struck by lightening this season and all of there insurance comapnies flew surveyors from the states.
Tom Jeremiason
Punta Gorda, Florida

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