IP65 panel connection box ... is this ok?

btmabtbtmabt Registered Users Posts: 2
I've been offered a couple of 160 watt 36 cell panels for cheap.  I notice the connection box on the back of the panel has IP65 stamped in the plastic.
Does anyone know if this IP rating is adequate for 70 mph in the rain mounted on top of the RV ?  I don't relish going up on the roof to remove them a year from now.

The NAWS RV/Marine kit uses the 160 watt Solarland panel, but doesn't state the IP rating of that panel in the specs.  Is it rated higher than IP65 or is IP65 adequate?




Comments

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,617 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wind driven rain would be a complex issue, but my understanding of IP ratings is a rating of 65 would be resistant to a lowish power spray, but not higher power (eg power washer) spray or immersion.  Marine gear designed for immersion would be IPx7 or better.

    Panels themselves are pretty watertight, but obviously the rigidity of the mount would be a factor.  A garden hose or regular wind driven rain is fine.  A pressure washer might be okay, but I wouldn't do it.

     IMHO, sustained 70mph (plus possible headwind and/or other traffic drafts, salt, etc.) is on the extreme side of the environment this gear is designed to handle, so it may not hurt to beef up waterproofing (eg epoxy coating or potting) on connections prone to failure, and make sure everthing is well secured so as to avoid flogging and chafing in the wind.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,295 ✭✭✭✭
    I'd fabricate an air foil for the front edge of the roof mounted panels. This will also reduce wind drag and potential uplift forces when driving at highway speed.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • btmabtbtmabt Registered Users Posts: 2
    Thanks littleharbor2 and Estragon.  I appreciate your taking the time to reply.

    1. I had thought that maybe some proflex around the outside of the junction box would be helpful, and your idea of potting the inside? of the junction box is worth considering. ( Hope I got that right Estragon).

    2. I also thought about installing a simple aluminum stock air dam or screen mounted on the underside of the panel, maybe angled just to deflect or disperse the direct flow around the junction box.

    If it gets too complicated or expensive, then I'm thinking I can put them on craigslist, sell to somebody more mechanically inclined and tool rich, then buy something else with a higher IP rating.


    But still hopeful......
    If anyone here has actually mounted some IP65 panels on their motorhome and either had problems  or not I'd appreciated a thumbs up or thumbs down in here from you.  

    Thanks again to all for your thoughts on the matter and to NAWS for providing this forum.


  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,617 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, potting would be inside the JB.  Epoxy is often used, but it pretty much permanently encases the potted parts.  I haven't used proflex, but it would likely work nearly as well, and it might be possible to dig it out if you ever needed to get at connections.

    I like the airfoil idea, but don't think it would need to be anything complicated.  Just something to deflect air.  A typical RV has the aerodynamics of a brick anyway :wink:
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
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