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Old 09-06-2016, 16:49   #1
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Lithium Ion System problems

Could use some assistance from the community. I recently installed a complete Victron Lithium Ion system including the following items.

Victron Isolation Transformer.
Lynx Ion Internal shunt 600A
Quattro 24/3000
Color Control GX
2 each Lithium Ion Batteries 24/3000w/70-50/70

As you can tell this was a very expensive system that was promised to be both well developed and functionally superior to other systems on the market. Again let me stress this was not a piece purchase, do it yourself affair but a system purchase from a certified installer in the Netherlands.

The system has been plagued with system malfunctions relating to its ability to continually charge which has manifested first with a bad Shunt and later with transient drop outs of the charger causing the system to run the batteries down to the point they switch off requiring a restart.

Has anyone else dealt with these components and had similar problems and most importantly has anyone had any success fixing these problems. Thanks for any help you might be able to give.
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Old 09-06-2016, 17:04   #2
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

There has got to be a good joke about a kite and lighting with and electrical question from Ben Franklyn.

Ben I am sure you don't find your situation funny and it surly isn't. I wish I could be of help. All I have for you is Mainsails website Welcome To MarineHowTo.com Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com He has a ton of info in Lithium batteries.
I have read that he is not a fan of drop in systems. He does like and use lithium batteries as house bank and is a well respected professional in the industry. He might be well worth the coin to pay as a consultant for your sytem problems or at least a great spot to find information that can help you trouble shoot yourself. It is folks like you that jump on new tech so the rest of us can enjoy after all the quirks are worked out. I really do appreciate that. Best of luck and I would guess some one with actual knowledge will show up soon.
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Old 09-06-2016, 17:25   #3
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

Thanks Waterrat,

I'm really Not interested in troubleshooting or having another outside company or person troubleshoot a commercial system still supposedly under warrantee which the company has fallen down on. Introducing another guy who has no idea of the programming and particulars will get none of us anywhere. What I need are people who may have had a successful resolution come from Victron. Its a shame that systems that are supposed to be well developed are in fact such poor performers. Thanks for your message.
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Old 09-06-2016, 18:01   #4
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

Ben

It sounds like to me it is the programing that is your problem. Again I have only read about this stuff and know squat. I would guess that Mainsail is quite familiar with your components of your system and the programing. He is very generous with his time and knowledge and might be able to point you in the right direction.

Regardless I do understand not wanting to pay anyone to help with a system that should already be under warranty. I would be ticked off at the lack of support. Have they given any suggestions of possible fixes or are they totally not responding? I can almost feel your frustration. I will try to occasionally write posts that don't help, so you get bumped to the top of the list making it more likely that it is noticed by someone with actual knowledge. Good luck.
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:28   #5
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

Agreed with Waterrat10 that it's very likely a programming problem. The installer or whoever did the programming needs to carefully review the settings and test each level of functionality.

The networked systems like Victron & Mastervolt "usually" work. However this is an example of why we prefer independent yet paralleled battery banks that are dual-channel and fully protected no matter what the integrated chargers/etc. try to do. Or don't do...etc.
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:36   #6
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

I would not go with Li-Ion Batteries because if they should go bad, they give off HF gas that if very deadly, can kill in less than a minute.
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:39   #7
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdwcheney View Post
I would not go with Li-Ion Batteries because if they should go bad, they give off HF gas that if very deadly, can kill in less than a minute.
Yes, and the hydrogen gas explosions from gassing Pb batteries (probably happening somewhere in the world, every day) are of no concern...;-)
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Old 10-06-2016, 09:29   #8
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdwcheney View Post
I would not go with Li-Ion Batteries because if they should go bad, they give off HF gas that if very deadly, can kill in less than a minute.

Hf along with benzene, toluene, and other noxious gases all get released with runaway cells that catch fire. Any halfway competent installer will quickly realize that more then one system should be utilized to prevent runaway cells. If a person on a boat has their cells release all of there energy in a runaway scenario they have a lot more to worry about then HF gas. H gas that is always released when charging lead acid batts. is obviously more of a hazard.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:21   #9
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenFranklyn View Post
Thanks Waterrat,

I'm really Not interested in troubleshooting or having another outside company or person troubleshoot a commercial system still supposedly under warrantee which the company has fallen down on. Introducing another guy who has no idea of the programming and particulars will get none of us anywhere. What I need are people who may have had a successful resolution come from Victron. Its a shame that systems that are supposed to be well developed are in fact such poor performers. Thanks for your message.
I understand that you expect the damn thing to work as advertised. Me, besides taking Victron to task hard, I would also want to know why, in detail, a brand new system install wasn't working correctly after the contractor said it was ready to go. And besides requiring the installer for fix the problem, I would also employ some independent troubleshooting of the problems - I've seen smoke and mirrors by contractors before. If only so when at sea or after the warranty is up, I'm not at a loss in understanding a system I depend on daily.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:56   #10
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

It is really a shame that Victron refuses any support to end users. Excellent products but the trouble goes on letting the buyers helpless.
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:33   #11
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

I have had plenty of problems with Victron equipment on a handful of boats.

I do not have any ready made solution as every system is different. My advice is to review the whole set-up: first the components one by one, then the system and how it all interfaces.

Very often one interfacing mistake or one component malfunction will wipe out the whole system in interfaced systems. Once you identify and correct that one thing, the system will work OK and be reliable for years on end.

If it was set up by a company, go back to the company before the warranty expires. If you did all the work, read all manuals again while inspecting the fine points of the interfaces. An additional pair of independent and experienced eyes can at times spot things obvious, but otherwise 'hidden' from the original fitter.

Have fun & good luck!

Let us know what it was when sorted out!!!

b.
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Old 10-06-2016, 13:12   #12
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

I have very little idea of how lithium systems work but I do own one albeit in a hybrid car.
It's a Toyota Camry now 6 years old that's worked flawlessly. Toyota claim a battery life of 10 years minimum. Bigger but same system as they use in the prius.
From my experience I'd be surprised if electrically driven boats aren't offered as a standard propulsion system for new boats in as little as 5 to 10 years.
I realize my automotive system probably isn't the bees knees for a boat at the moment but that will change as soon as Tesla's new home systems come on line. They will be expensive to start with but I'd expect mass production will see prices plummet within a year or two.
What's not to like having a battery system that'll last 10 years.
My cars petrol engine kicks in to charge the battery when required. I haven't timed it but would guess it takes about 3 to 4 minutes to fully
charge (80%). The battery will go to 100% if you find a long enough hill to coast down as the inertia of the car charges from the wheels.

It's not difficult imagining the prop on a boat charging the system when moored in a current or when under way sailing.
I apologise for going off topic and I hope you get your system working well asap.
These are exciting times.
Imagine having only a generator aboard or for the more frugal no traditional engine.

Tony
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Old 10-06-2016, 14:53   #13
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

I don't think Victron is the problem here. It's the installer who told you it would work, charged you for the installation and I presume took a cut of the equipment sale. It would be different if Victron had somehow signed off on the design and programming - but I don't know any marine equipment manufacturer who does this. It would certainly be expensive.

I've used Victron equipment for over 20 years. I've found them quick to replace defective equipment within the fairly generous two year warranty. While I've had my share of problems, I've found their reliability above average -- admittedly "above average" is a low bar in the marine electronics industry.

It seems obvious in retrospect, but it's always good to ask an installer if he's done the same proposed system on another boat and might you talk to the owner. I can only think of one activity where people say it's good to be someone's "first time" - and I'm not so sure about even that

I would inform your installer that it is not operating correctly. Either he fixes it or you will have Victron recommend another installer and send him the bill (which won't ever be paid but might at least get his attention). Copy Victron on the letter. Chalk it up to bad luck of picking the wrong installer.

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Old 10-06-2016, 17:48   #14
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

I get a bit fed up by those who have never even seen these batteries telling everyone the world will end if they use them.
I've had LiFePO4 batteries for 3 years with no problems.
Hair hasn't fallen out, dog is still alive, no dead fish behind my boat etc etc.
Sorry but I have no Victron system to help advise you though.
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Old 11-06-2016, 00:56   #15
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Re: Lithium Ion System problems

I drop in in order to follow up

I am sorry for you.

Point is, battery mgmt. Has become as unreliable as nautical electronics..

e.g. my brand new wind station for masthead is B&G. Actually sending no signals out.

It took us days of trials, and a few more hours, at 40eur/h, to check it out thoroughly, and finally send it back to purveyor.
As to its own comments, it seems to be an ordinary likely event!!!, they dont even check it and replace.
B&G may have a cemetery for these made-in-Mexico funky stuff

Again, it was all for free, yes, but after hours of puzzling tests, discomfort, interrogations, boat on hold...indirect costs.
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