Is it ok to use electronics in humid damp environments?

Can someone please give it to me straight. Just wanting to know if it's ok to operate my solar controller, battery charger, inverter in open exposed damp humid conditions? Which is very common where I go camping. I have these electronics mounted in an open exposed way on a small portable battery system that lives under my awning powering my fridge and misc gear. Nothing gets wet ofcourse but it is humid. Making a self contained box was too much work and meant complicated cooling fans. I also camp in hot conditions so cooling is a big deal.
The parts I have are.
30A Victron MPPT, 50A Sterling Pro charge ultra, Victron phenoix 2kva inverter. Exposed 4s bms for my 12v Lifepo4 battery.



  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,998 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My power centers have always been outside, I live in Missouri and we tend to be somewhat humid all the time.

    The inverter in this picture has been running since 2005 or 2006 in these conditions. It's now my backup, but I used it recently while away during a rainy period. Understand that it is a better inverter and has a conformal(?) coating to help protect electronics in humid conditions.

    Many manuals will list a limit for humidity, often 80-90% for coated electronics. Less is always better.

    I don't know about charge controllers. I use Midnite Classics, and used a Trace PC250 before that. I'm not sure if they have any protection.

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former, 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,327 admin
    Looking at specifications:

    Both say 95% non-condensing...

    Depending on climate and weather--If you keep the system under a tarp/awning--Do the systems stay "dry" (non-condensing)?

    In many areas, if the systems were exposed to the sky--They would tend to cool (through radiation to the sky) and condense moisuter (dew)--Which is not good for electronics.

    "Pure" water is not usually a big issue (it is non-conductive), however, if there is dust, bugs, etc. on the circuit boards--That can be a big problem.

    Any wiring should enter the bottom of the units (with drip loops). Avoid wire entering straight from top/sides (don't want water to follow wires into the units). 

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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