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Mike

Pics of Imeon 3.6 failure

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Here are some pics of an Inverter that was in a garage in Dynefontein.....Warning graphic content!!!!

Don't install within 8km's of water...this is what condensation does to Imeon...or just a pretty poor build product, Sadly the client threw it out......so i have spares...

 

Imeon chose not to honour their 5 year warranty and opted to charge the client for a new one....Needless to say he told them what to do with the product and would pursue the legal route with the SA Distributors

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I think what bothers me most is the amount of rust specifically on the little screws that attach the various components to heatsinks. Those look like normal galvanised screws, probably not very good ones. From the bit of research I did over the years, galvanised steel is suitable as a fastener where aluminium is involved BUT... they do have differing galvanic indexes and the zinc will suffer corrosion faster because of this combination, which means you have to use a good quality screw.

On the other hand though, such galvanic corrosion is only a problem when there is an electrolyte present, aka moisture, so it might also be accurate to say these were simply not made to handle any of that.

I've seen 5-year old computer power supplies with similar screws with less rust than that...

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I know that Centurion Systems spray their coastal gate motor pcb's with a product that coats the board excluding moisture/oxygen thereby preventing rust. Considering that most of the worlds population lives near an ocean somewhere you would think that companies like Imeon would do the same.

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On 6/16/2017 at 9:21 PM, plonkster said:

what bothers me most is the amount of rust 

My initial thought as well.  Looks almost if the inverter got some (salt) water into it and onto the pc board...

On 6/16/2017 at 1:27 PM, Mike said:

20170616_122831_resized.jpg

 

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this client has gone thru 2 Imeons and finally is changing to an IP65 Goodwe. these IP20 type inverters have zero chance close to the sea.... all that moisture in the air is SEA water... they were warned.. but still Imeons service sucks told them directly just wish i could have said it in French....

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12 minutes ago, Mike said:

these IP20 type inverters have zero chance close to the sea

I'm not sure if it is solely down to the rating of the case. As @pilotfish said, there are ways to protect the electronics themselves so the case itself is less of an issue. The Vickies are IP21 (so one tiny step up, it can handle dripping water from above) and those things live on boats! It doesn't get any closer to the sea than that.

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3 hours ago, gabriel said:

hi @Gnome , can this coating be done on a diy basis and if so how and where do we get it? must the axpert still be 'in the box' or can it be a operational unit?

When I read that, I actually googled to find out. You can buy conformal coating in an aerosol can for DIY use. You'd have to disassemble and evenly coat everything, then re-assemble.

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5 hours ago, gabriel said:

hi @Gnome , can this coating be done on a diy basis and if so how and where do we get it? must the axpert still be 'in the box' or can it be a operational unit?

Yep. There are a few videos showing the process.

 

 

2 hours ago, plonkster said:

When I read that, I actually googled to find out. You can buy conformal coating in an aerosol can for DIY use. You'd have to disassemble and evenly coat everything, then re-assemble.

Would actually recommend this type instead: http://za.rs-online.com/web/p/conformal-coatings/0494714/

The silicon type is rated at higher temperature

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8 hours ago, plonkster said:

When I read that, I actually googled to find out. You can buy conformal coating in an aerosol can for DIY use. You'd have to disassemble and evenly coat everything, then re-assemble.

That stuff works very well! And on a smaller scale, you could use potting resin. Easiest way is to use clay (kids playing clay) and build a "dam wall" around the PB to be potted and then pour the resin in. This is typically used on LED lights' PCB and other PCB which need to be exposed to the elements. Commonly used in vehicles as well. 

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6 hours ago, Gnome said:

The silicon type is rated at higher temperature

Yeah, after I wrote my post I decided to click the other link and also noticed the temperature difference. Then I figured that 1) 125 is probably good, and 2) you can always click around on the RS site and look at the others too... then I went to bed. This morning I was thinking, hang on... 125 on a hot FET... of course they shouldn't run at 125, but why spare a few bucks if you can cater for it? :-)

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3 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Yeah, after I wrote my post I decided to click the other link and also noticed the temperature difference. Then I figured that 1) 125 is probably good, and 2) you can always click around on the RS site and look at the others too... then I went to bed. This morning I was thinking, hang on... 125 on a hot FET... of course they shouldn't run at 125, but why spare a few bucks if you can cater for it? :-)

^tonge in cheek^: At 125 degrees centigrade, you'll have other problems. Most components on the PCB would probably have popped / melted / etc. I think most components are standard, i.e. rated at 80 degrees.

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19 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

At 125 degrees centigrade, you'll have other problems.

I think semiconductors can get that hot and survive, but I also remember there is a rule of thumb that says for every 10 degrees centigrade above 100 you're halving the life of the component. I also recall a triac I worked with in the last year that had a maximum temperature rating of 125 (at the junction). That sort-of makes 125 the minimum spec for your coating :-)

I think the more important bit is the material itself, the cheaper one is acrylic, the other one is silicon. If you ever need repair work done on the board, go with acrylic: Easier to strip. If you are concerned with salt water or heat, use the silicon one.

(And since the inverter in question is half-likely to need new FETs somewhere in the next ten years... *evil grin*).

(Another question: Perhaps the inverter already has some kind of coating?)

Google produced this.

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