ESPcat Hot Air MPPT-7210A

Before I get into the technical bit, I have to report that we are back in lockdown after 100 days of virus freedom.  My guess is that someone working in one of the isolation hotels caught the virus but was asymptomatic and didn’t realize they were spreading sickness everywhere.  On the positive side, I see that Putin has released a coronavirus vaccine without first doing large scale trials.  If the vaccine works it will be great and will save thousands of lives. If it fails and kills tens of thousands of Russians including Putin, that will be even better.   It’s a win-win situation.

And the good news just keeps pouring in.  Biden has chosen Kamala Harris as a running mate.  Since Biden is even older and more frail than I am, then he is unlikely to last two terms so Kamala is in with a good chance of becoming President.  Kamala is cute and smart and tough and kind and young and honest.  Compare that to Trump who is ugly, stupid, weak, nasty and a liar.  As for Biden, being old is his main problem which will likely take care of itself in no time at all.  All good news!

And one more thing, I simply have to say something about New Zealand’s upcoming elections before I get to the technical stuff.  New Zealand has its own rock star Prime Minister who appears on the cover of Vogue.**  In addition, Jacinda is cute and smart and tough and kind and young and honest.   Her opponent Judith Collins is fat, nasty tempered and somewhat dishonest. ***   I’ll be voting for Winston Peters who is as old and ugly as I am and appears certain to lose.  Jacinda is so far ahead in the polls that the election is shaping up to be not particularly interesting.  Good news!

Now for the good bit.  With all the high tech gadgetry around these days one thing remains the same; cooling fans.  Your computer has a fan, your microwave has a fan the stove has a fan.  Unfortunately, fans also have something in common, they are rotary, mechanical thingies and they are not particularly reliable.  When I used to make computer controlled ink dispensing machines for a living (someone had to do it) I discovered that the most unreliable part of the whole dammed thing was the fans so I found a supplier who, at huge cost, could supply fans with stainless steel ball bearings.  These ball bearing fans lasted forever but were too expensive for most applications.

A solar charge controller is the box that goes between the solar panels and the lithium batteries to ensure that the batteries are charged efficiently and without damage.  So when I chose the MPPT-7210A solar charge controller, I noted straight away it had a cooling fan which runs all the time that the sun is shining and I wondered how long it would last.  Well I soon found out.  Two fans have failed already on Borderline.  I replaced them before they actually stopped turning but they were making lots of noise.  If fact, they were noisy right from the start.  Noise is particularly noticeable on a quiet boat when you are trying to have your afternoon nap.

For anyone using these nifty little solar charge controllers, I suggest that the first thingDSC_1509

you should do is replace the fan with one from Ceramica which has ceramic bearings.  Don’t worry about the extra white wire.  Just cut off the white wire as it is a pulse generator not used in this application. The order code is FAN4010C12M-II, see the link below.*

Ceramic bearings claim to last much longer (we will see) and are definitely much more quiet at least at the start.  Yes the hot air is blowing both in politics and in the solar charge controller.  Long may it continue.





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