replacement fan for mx60

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replacement fan for mx60

Postby Karl on Sun May 10, 2009 10:23 am

Got a replacement fan for my mx60 recently from Outback. It is intolerably loud. Need to find better fan on internet. Need specifications of old (original) and new fan to find matching fan. What are Voltage, Wattage, RPM, Airflow, maybe rated Noise Level. Is there a PDF file or Spec sheet on these fans?
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby Vic on Tue May 19, 2009 9:47 am

Hi Karl,

I assume that the replacement fan makes about the same amount of noise as the original fan, when it was new. And that there is no ticking, knocking, grinding, or rubbing noises from the new fan (?) ie, Is the replacement fan defective, or working normally, and just makes the normal whirring noise that these pesky fans make ??

The internal MX-60 fan is quite small, and any replacement for it needs to also be small to fit into the existing space, inside the MX enclosure. Small fans which move quite a lot of air are noisy.

As a temporary (has become permenant) work around, have mounted an external fan, blowing air into the wiring compartment, and powered from the Aux terminals of the MX. Just removed the lower cover, and tie-wrapped the fan in place. The fan needs to run on 12 VDC at 200 Ma or less. Works well, is much quiter than the internal fan, but is NOT as effective as the internal one in cooling the MX, so, the internal fan runs at times.

And, YES, the wiring compartment cover is there for several reasons, and removing said cover is NOT code-correct.

The second addition that was made here, was to run a small room A/C unit for the Power Room. This runs when in into Asorb and Float, but at this point is manually-controlled -- a pain, but the A/C keeps the batts a bit cooler, the MX fan runs less, and all the electronics seem to smile more often.

There are couple of other approaches that can be taken to cool the MX, but this was quick, direct, and works well enough for my appllication. Good Luck, Vic
4/20/08: 18 Shell SQ 175-106 Vmpp, Stacked 5548 SW+, 1350 AH Surrette 4KS25's, MX-60, Kubota SQ-3250 25 KVA Polyphase Diesel genset. Thanks OutBack for this Forum + the great Support and Service.
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby Karl on Tue May 19, 2009 10:36 am

Thanks Vic!
Fan seems ok, just too noisy to be comfortable (wind noise). Since it only runs less than half of the time I think I could use a fan with less RPMs. I assume any 40mm computer fan running on 12 Volts would do, maybe combined with a manual speed control; but I have no information of the ratings of the Outback fans, so I'm a bit scared to do damage.
My Auxillay Relay is not available. It is used to control a latching relay which controls a bigger relay to disconnect the PV panels from the charger if the Open Voltage goes above 140 Volts.
I'm thinking of an other solution to avoid replacing fans inside the MX 60, which is not exactly fun. I think I could cut an opening into the side of the housing for an external fan pushing air into the controller where the intake vent is now. If I take out the internal fan and extend its wires to the new external fan it would work the same way like the original, except it would be easy to replace, and I could try fans with different RPMs. Is this a dumb idea?
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby Karl on Tue May 19, 2009 2:43 pm

PS.: The new fan is definitely much more noisy than the old one ever was!
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby Vic on Wed May 20, 2009 9:07 am

Hi Karl,

Sorry for the delay ...

Well, it seems that you and I are running on the high end of the Vin scale for the MX-60. Am assuming this by your use of the Aux output. As you know, this high Vin means that the MX is less efficient, and generates more heat when operating. In my case, in float the Vin is often around 120 Vdc. The internal fan will run with surprisingly small load currents, but this is the territory we experience, especially in off-grid systems that Float many hours per day.

I would be reluctant to hack into the MX's case, due to possbile warranty/service issues that might result. I had wondered about making a plenum of thin metal (perhaps glued onto the top, or the bottom of the MX case), which could usse a much larger fan, and still force air into the MX internals. If you could splice into the internal fan wiring to run this larger (but quiter) fan you might be OK. I ASSUME that the internal fan runs on 12 Vdc, as there is already this supply voltage generated inside the MX. All small fans that move substantial air are NOISY. BUt efficiently coupling a larger fan, such that air is forced to move through the restricted MX case is a challenge. Some form of plenum is most often used to encourage air to flow through restrictions. Obviously, the external fan should not draw more current than the iinternal one. It sure would be nice to have two Aux outputs, but we always want more.

I had also considered trying to mount an external fan above or below the MX, in a U-shaped channel or box, which would direct air around the sides and front of the MX, but, most of the heat-generating parts (at least the FETs ) are mounted on an internal rail. This rali is intended to have internal air move across it to cool these and other parts. This cooling rail is not too well coupled to the external part of this casting, and therefore air moving around the outside of the case does not cool the parts as well as the internal fan.

You can look at the FM CCs from OB to see how they chose to solve this problem, without a huge redesign of the mechanicals of the product. If you had no warranty/service concerns, you might be able to carefully grind off the top of the case (while vacuuming the debris), and hack in a larger fan, which was well coupled to the guts of the MX, and still be replaceable. I have not seen or heard the any FM CC in operation, but think that its fan is probably quieter.

OK, am mostly done. Good Luck !.. All said, I think that the MX is a great box, and does very well im my application, and has a tremendous amount of flexibility. In my situation, the external fan starts at about 75 Vdc Vin, and the internal fan runs, on occasion. The power room, here is well-removed from the living space, so the noises there are not a problem. Vic
4/20/08: 18 Shell SQ 175-106 Vmpp, Stacked 5548 SW+, 1350 AH Surrette 4KS25's, MX-60, Kubota SQ-3250 25 KVA Polyphase Diesel genset. Thanks OutBack for this Forum + the great Support and Service.
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby jnh on Thu May 21, 2009 3:52 am

Here's my "Red Green" solution-- ugly, but perhaps preferable to cutting up the chassis, or disassembling it to replace the normal fan:

Image

That's a 120mm Panaflo computer fan, with fluid-dynamic bearings, which is nearly silent when running at 5-6V (important since the MX-60 is 2' from my desk), and cools the unit well enough that its built-in fan never comes on.

120mm is almost the perfect size to fit in place of the wiring compartment cover. Its top two corners match up with the MX's screw holes, closely enough for twist-ties to fit through both, and the bottom-right hole is supported by the ground lug inside. Cardboard side baffles, and copious duct tape (including over the side vent) creates a good enough seal for this fan to force air past the internal heatsink and out the small fan opening up top-- at higher RPMs this can "whistle" a bit-- though some air leaks out around the wiring.

I drove this from an extra output of an existing DC-DC converter, so it would only run during the day. If your AUX terminal is free, a small adjustable voltage regulator (e.g. PC fan-speed controller) could attach there.

Since upsizing my PV wires to accomodate 36V (vs 72V) year-round, this now stays disconnected much of the time...
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby Vic on Thu May 21, 2009 9:08 am

Hi jnh,

This is exactly what I did, but just used 20 Ga hook-up wire to tie the fan onto the wiring compartment of the MX, by using the vacant screw holes of the cover. Works well, BUT given my Vin and warm ambient temps in Spring/Summer, the internal fan still runs at times, but this has been a good tandem cooling arrangement.

Because Karl mentioned he uses the Aux output for PV disconnect at Hi Voc, my guess is that his Vin is on the high enc of the scale, BUT, perhaps, he is in a very cold climate. If he does have Hi Vin, and the MX is in a warm environment, the internal fan might still need to run at times, if he used your basic approach.

Thanks for the image. Vic
4/20/08: 18 Shell SQ 175-106 Vmpp, Stacked 5548 SW+, 1350 AH Surrette 4KS25's, MX-60, Kubota SQ-3250 25 KVA Polyphase Diesel genset. Thanks OutBack for this Forum + the great Support and Service.
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby Karl on Mon May 25, 2009 2:11 pm

Did some additional researching, encouraged by your responses. Thanks for your help!
There are some very quiet 80mm dc fans out there which run on low rpms and have noise levels of below 20 dba. I think of removing the internal fan and connecting an external fan to the wiring which now runs the internal fan. This way the mx60 still would control when the fan comes on. The fans I found run at 0.07 to 0.11 Amps @ 12volts (0.84 to 1.32 Watts). My question now is, can the fan output of the mx60 handle this load directly, or do I need to go through a separate relay which could be activated by the original feed to the internal fan?
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby jnh on Tue May 26, 2009 2:18 am

One thing to keep in mind is that brushless DC fans can vary greatly in how much air they move at a given voltage, by as much as 5:1. Usually they're rated in "cfm" (cubic feet / minute; not sure of the metric equivalent), and this tends to be closely correlaetd to the noise level-- so a quiet fan may be less effective at cooling your MX-60. Up to a point, the controller will try to compensate by just running the fan longer, but in a hot environment you could have problems.

It'd be nice to know the built-in fan's cfm number, as a rough guideline. but I don't have that. It usually isn't printed on the fan label itself...
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby Karl on Sun May 31, 2009 8:30 am

Thanks for all the feedback!
I finally got some information from Outback about the built-in 40mm fan. It is 12 volts, rated @ 0.10 Amps.
I also found a 80mm Scythe S Flex fan which runs on 12 Volts and 0.08 Amps. It delivers 21.5 CFM @ 1500 RPM. That's more than any of the small 40mm fans I could find (max was less than 10 CFM) . It has a predicted life of 150.000 hrs, and produces a noise level of only 12.2 dBA (that's barely louder than breathing). There is even a version with 4.5 dBA @1000 RPM with 14.3 CFM and only 0.04 Amps; which might be delivering enough air.
Either one seems like a perfect very quiet match. I had installed temporarily a used 80mm fan with external power supply similar to the photo by jnh on the earlier post, without any baffles or tape and with quite some loss around the sides. Yet it was enough to prevent the internal fan to come on.
I plan to power this new fan from the wires which now feed the internal fan which I will remove. Since this involves removing the back and side cover of the controller it will be easy at that time to cut a 80mm hole into one of the sides where now the intakes are, and attach the new fan there. This might give a nicer appearance of the finished modification and leaves the front in its original shape.
Replacing the internal fan with an external one (blowing in) near the bottom of the MX60 has the added advantage of simplifying future fan replacements.
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby mustang_man298 on Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:03 pm

It'd be nice to know the built-in fan's cfm number, as a rough guideline. but I don't have that. It usually isn't printed on the fan label itself...

jnh, I'm just now looking at my second fan replacement in going on 5.5 years of service out of my MX60, this time it appears the windings died. (I have a desktop fan bungeed to it (again) where the wiring cover was for tonight). I had saved my original fan from the last go-round (dead bearings), and looking it over today noticed the black label on it really wasn't, it was simply covered with a permanent marker, a little rubbing alcohol revealed the factory fan is:
Sunon
# KD1204PFS1
40x40x10mm
.106A
1.3W
7000 rpm
8.0 cfm
.19 static pressure
32 dB(A)
17 g weight
There is also an upgraded replacement available from the manufacturer, which has the same cooling ratings and better electrical efficiency/lifespan. Part # is the same except it ends with a "V1", I got the specs from Sunon's site. Maybe this is useful for some folks out there in a pinch, it seems to be readily available.
-Chris
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby Vic on Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:27 pm

Thank You Chris ! Am sure that this will help others. Both of my MX-60 are still running on the replacement fans installed by OB about 5 years ago. Fingers still crossed.

Good Luck, thanks again Vic
4/20/08: 18 Shell SQ 175-106 Vmpp, Stacked 5548 SW+, 1350 AH Surrette 4KS25's, MX-60, Kubota SQ-3250 25 KVA Polyphase Diesel genset. Thanks OutBack for this Forum + the great Support and Service.
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby mustang_man298 on Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:32 pm

No problem Vic, I just ordered 2 of the upgraded fans from Digikey,(so I'll have a spare for next time) we shall see how these hold up, hopefully better than that last one. I guess I can't truly blame the fans though, the poor things work all the time, I can't run a climate control system in the power room since I'm off grid, and the summers here get brutal.
-Chris
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby Robert Stelling on Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:35 pm

I just found out that my MX60s have been cycling off for a large percentage of the day because of MX 2 HOT. I wondered why my power dropped 20% -30%

I found the printout for replacing the fans, and figure I could order more, but why is it so HARD?

It would be far easier and just as efficient to be able to plug in a biscuit fan OUTside the enclosure with a plug outlet beneath the fan: 4 screws, one plug.

By the way, I bought a $6, 6" fan, clipped on to a simple bracket in front of the MXs that keeps the heat sink (aluminum enclosures) cool.

I hope someone relays to some engineer that this fan replacement project could be a lot simpler by putting the fan outside the exhaust hole. We have many machines in our lab that use small biscuit fans, and many have started using external fan placement for this very reason.

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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby LeighC on Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:52 pm

Hi all,
This new fan arrangement sounds promising.
http://prod.sandia.gov/techlib/access-c ... 100258.pdf
My MX60 has been working perfectly for 7 yrs now, fan still not noisey.
Cheers - Leigh
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby ActualReverend on Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:58 am

Sorry for digging up an old post... but my fan went out earlier this year...
So I had two questions:
- Would an "external" fan like https://www.solar-electric.com/outback- ... g-fan.html fit a "normal" FX60?
- I saw how to replace the fan, and it is surprising to me too, that it all has to come apart. Has anyone taken it apart, put then drilled some holes in the case, ran the wires and mounted the fan on the outside for later easy replacement? I did this on a computer once, was tired of taking apart a power supply in a dusty environment every few months..... plus could put a larger fan in too!
I figured if I had to take it apart, perhaps it is just better to mod the case so I don't have to do it again.

Lastly, I found the "latest" versions of the fans noted in this thread.... but for a few more bucks, can upgrade from a sleeve bearing to a ball one, with a bit more airflow too: Digi-Key Part Number 603-1004-ND @ under $10
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby Vic on Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:00 pm

Hello, A..R..,

Assuming that the FM-60 and the MX-60 wiring compartments are essentially identical, a 120 MM square, 12 V van should fit onto the outside of the FM wiring compartment, just as one of these fans does on the MX-60.

In this case, why not try one of these fans:
http://www.allelectronics.com/item/cf-5 ... fan/1.html

If the Aux output on the FM CC is available, just run the fan from the FM Aux, and use the PV input voltage as the trigger to turn on/off the Aux output.

Reserve the wiring compartment cover, if you ever do get the fan fixed, or sell the FM. As you know, the FM-80 CC has an easily replaceable fan.

Read this entire Thread, as there is a pic from jnh, etc, above. FWIW, VIc
4/20/08: 18 Shell SQ 175-106 Vmpp, Stacked 5548 SW+, 1350 AH Surrette 4KS25's, MX-60, Kubota SQ-3250 25 KVA Polyphase Diesel genset. Thanks OutBack for this Forum + the great Support and Service.
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Re: replacement fan for mx60

Postby shastatodd on Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:11 am

i see others have done similar modifications to fix the Outback poor repair designs for cooling. see the picture for my MX60's fan assist. using this, the internal fan run time has been reduced by over 75%, greatly increasing its life.

i am going to remove my gvfx inverter off the wall AGAIN to replace its failed internal fan (another very poor cooling design). this time i plan to try to modify the case to allow changing this fan from the exterior with only removing the incoming dc cables. i hope i can cut a rectangular slot over the fan air inlet will allow r/r from the exterior.

come on outback... making it this onerous to change a fan (which will often fail) is a VERY poor design.
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