It would be interesting to see how others cool their equipment, inverters, batteries etc. I guess it would have been better to post this question in mid December when pretty much the entire SA is scorching hot.
I assume if your installation is in a big room or garage it’s not too much of a problem and a cabinet with maybe a couple case fans do just fine to keep the temperature more or less in check.
However if the installation is in a small space I’d guess rising temperatures become a bigger issue?
Then of course there are those who go all out and install aircons, I always wondered how energy efficient this is? Of course keeping everything at a constant 25 degrees is the ultimate, but at what cost in terms of running a aircon 24/7? I’m sure some of the very clever guys did the math already and would be able to tell us whether it’s really energy efficient
Where ever I experience heat issues when we installed in a cupboard or small rooms, we only use extraction fans just to bring in new air at ambient temperature. This was done for 6 of my clients. Never needed to cool the rooms.
I just used a well-ventilated area. It was a bit of covered stoep that I was able to burglar bar in and add a lockable gate.
I can run the inverters at full tilt (6.5kVA) on 8kVA quattros continuously.
An issue I did see was in Winter the battery bank got direct sunlight ( as the sun was low enough). This resulted in some wild daily temperature swings.
Those batteries were on their way out anyway, but I won’t repeat that mistake when I get Lithiums.
My inverter and batteries are in the garage. Batteries are in a server cabinet with fans. So nothing extra needed. I have seen in the middle of summer my inverter reaching 75 ~ 80c though. But this is due to it under load using the panels and charging the batteries.
My setup is installed in my garage and my garage door gets full sun during summer and causes the garage to get uncomfortably hot. I installed a roof mounted wind turbine ventilator with foil ducting down to the garage ceiling. This helped but wasn’t as effective as I would have liked so in addition I installed a temperature controlled extractor fan to exhaust additional hot air into the turbine.
This now works perfectly and keeps the garage temperature the same as ambient despite the baked door.
My impression with RE equipment it that it is designed to run in ambient temperatures. So no big A/C requirements as in server farms.
Having said that no electronic equipment likes running at high temperatures.
Even server farms are pretty warm nowadays. There is no need to cool servers to sub zero like the old days. You just burn electricity without much an improvement in performance or lifespan. My services in Teraco sit at around an ambient 27 degrees.
Interesting! These servers must have a more steady load than RE inverters.
The big guns of industrial automation equipment try to eliminate fans due to their unreliability.
I’m a believer in forced cooling on demand. With the intermittent power profile of RE equipment this makes even more sense. (I notice my SB inverter has one of these)
The switching of the fan is also a diagnostics indicator of the inverter…
Yeah for the most part loads are steady and most machines shouldn’t be overworked. Fans last a long time as its a dust-free environment.
Jaco installed my system in a spare room, right next to a window. In winter, we close all the windows and use the heat generated by the inverter and the batteries as an additional heat source in our snake room.
During the summer, we just open up all the windows and if needed, just switch on the ceiling fan. Not yet had any issues with heat build up around the unit or batteries in their cabinets. I did get a nice set of 48v miniature fans, in case I had to pull air through behind the inverter, but have not yet had to install them.