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Old 13-03-2019, 18:25   #1
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Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

Hello all.

I'm new to true sine wave inverters, our last boats were more or less KISS boats. We've used cheap square wave inverters, but not the larger, and more complicated true sine wave inverters.

How much heat can I expect this inverter to produce? It's only 90% efficient, I hope that doesn't mean that last 10% goes to heat. If it does, then 300 watts of heat (while using 3000w of power) seems like a lot. Though I doubt we'll be using that much energy for long.

Is that the right way of thinking of it? Regards heat, and efficiency?

I'm planning to have the inverter in the same compartment as the lithium batteries, so I'd like to keep the heat to a minimum. It's also within the "living space", so I don't want heat there either.

Any first hand information about the generation of heat from inverters would be appreciated. I don't remember my square sine wave inverter producing much heat, but perhaps it's because I didn't use it much, and didn't use it for high draw items.

Thank you.
Paul.
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Old 13-03-2019, 18:34   #2
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

The Victron Quattro 12/5000 or 24/5000 unit is 94% efficient so it's just a little over half of what you were expecting, but yes that 6% will be converted to heat. The unit will start a fan to help stay cool.

I keep house batteries separate for reasons like this (put them inside my keel)
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Old 13-03-2019, 19:23   #3
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

Of course, that’s only when you’re pulling 5000W from it, which isn’t likely to be very often. It should be separate from your batteries otherwise you’ll be heating them up.
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Old 13-03-2019, 19:23   #4
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

Thanks for your quick response SVJedi.

Great idea, installing them in the keel. Very temperature stable there.

That's what I thought, regards the heat. I do have a passive, ventilation system set up for the battery compartment. But it's untested, as the boat has yet to launch.

I'm a bit limited in where I can mount the inverter, though I could put it on the other side of the bulkhead, from the batteries, and possibly split the ventilation between the two compartments. I'd like to keep it close, since I'll be running 4/0 wire, times four, to power the darn thing. I imagine you've done the same. How far are your batteries from your inverter?

Thanks.
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Old 13-03-2019, 19:52   #5
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

Thanks for your input Tillsbury.

Paul.
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Old 14-03-2019, 02:19   #6
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

I have my inverter/charger mounted in the engine room and connected to the bus bars there. This is a cable run of 30+ feet in length, but the big alternators are close by again. Between the bus bars in the engine room and at the house bank, run 2x positive 4/0 and 2x negative 4/0 so thatis a crazy amount of cable
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Old 14-03-2019, 02:31   #7
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I keep house batteries separate for reasons like this (put them inside my keel)
Hi Jedi, I have a very large void space in my bilge midships that I was thinking as a better location when I switch over to Lithium, due to a smaller footprint than my 8 x 8D's AGM

My one reservation is potential seawater flooding in an emergency. Is that a concern on your installation?
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Old 14-03-2019, 03:09   #8
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

Hang on, that Victron datasheet is made by the marketing department, and notice it says "Maximum Efficiency."

In the real world, the peak efficiency on modern Victron single-toroid inverters is reached at about 25% of rated power. So, yeah, you'll make 6% * 1250W = 75W of heat at that load. But at 2500W you'll be down to something like 92% (200W heat), and at 5kW it'll be closer to 87% (650W!). Your duty cycle is obviously the biggest factor here.

Likewise, keep in mind that these Quattros also make lots of heat when charging, and their charging power is of course a lower amount and also saturates (derates) very quickly. If charging at rated maximum is something you care about, you absolutely must have a very aggressive cooling approach wherever the unit is placed. In my own system I cannot sustain more than about 80% of rated maximum charging even when the compartment is held at 80F.

Finally, I can tell you that the fan is annoying, and you will probably not want it within earshot. (Yes, it will be running pretty much all the time with typical residential loads present.)
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Old 14-03-2019, 06:02   #9
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Hi Jedi, I have a very large void space in my bilge midships that I was thinking as a better location when I switch over to Lithium, due to a smaller footprint than my 8 x 8D's AGM

My one reservation is potential seawater flooding in an emergency. Is that a concern on your installation?
We have no hull openings in the mid section of the boat because of two watertight bulkheads. If I would see raw water in my keel sump on occasion, I would rethink my house bank position, but not now
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Old 14-03-2019, 06:04   #10
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

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Originally Posted by nebster View Post
Hang on, that Victron datasheet is made by the marketing department, and notice it says "Maximum Efficiency."

In the real world, the peak efficiency on modern Victron single-toroid inverters is reached at about 25% of rated power. So, yeah, you'll make 6% * 1250W = 75W of heat at that load. But at 2500W you'll be down to something like 92% (200W heat), and at 5kW it'll be closer to 87% (650W!). Your duty cycle is obviously the biggest factor here.

Likewise, keep in mind that these Quattros also make lots of heat when charging, and their charging power is of course a lower amount and also saturates (derates) very quickly. If charging at rated maximum is something you care about, you absolutely must have a very aggressive cooling approach wherever the unit is placed. In my own system I cannot sustain more than about 80% of rated maximum charging even when the compartment is held at 80F.

Finally, I can tell you that the fan is annoying, and you will probably not want it within earshot. (Yes, it will be running pretty much all the time with typical residential loads present.)
A post like yours requires citations for every “fact” you show or it’s irrelevant
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Old 14-03-2019, 09:31   #11
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

Lots of information here. Thank you all.

I'm trying to keep the battery weight midships, on the bridgedeck. The sterns are already collecting equipment, and weight. And another set of 4/0 wires going from the planned battery compartment to the stern would weigh as much as the inverter itself.

It looks like I'll have to setup the inverter on the other side of the battery compartment, and insulate it for sound, as well as ventilate it to my venturi system. Lots of fun, boat building.

I'm glad you all responded to this thread. Special thanks to SVJedi.

Cheers.
Paul.
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Old 14-03-2019, 13:52   #12
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

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A post like yours requires citations for every “fact” you show or it’s irrelevant
It's counterproductive to demand cites while proclaiming yourself the arbiter of "relevancy" in a technical discussion amongst knowledgeable people. Just ask nicely if you can't find something yourself.

In my first paragraph, I'm referring to the inverter datasheets.

I'm talking about performance and thermal derating curves in paragraphs two and three. Victron has a whitepaper discussing theirs in some detail, hosted on their site. (You will find that other toroidal inverters share the same characteristic efficiency curves, if you choose to continue to explore further down that rabbit hole.)

The second half of paragraph three and paragraph four are anecdotal observation and opinion. There is no citation, but sometimes these kinds of things are worth more than all the whitepapers and theories in the world.

Please let me know when I have earned my Relevancy Badge.
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Old 14-03-2019, 15:45   #13
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

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Originally Posted by GRIT View Post
Lots of information here. Thank you all.

I'm trying to keep the battery weight midships, on the bridgedeck. The sterns are already collecting equipment, and weight. And another set of 4/0 wires going from the planned battery compartment to the stern would weigh as much as the inverter itself.

It looks like I'll have to setup the inverter on the other side of the battery compartment, and insulate it for sound, as well as ventilate it to my venturi system. Lots of fun, boat building.

I'm glad you all responded to this thread. Special thanks to SVJedi.

Cheers.
Paul.
Our experience with a Victron Multiplus 3000 may be of relevance. The unit is located in a well ventilated saloon cabinet with an additional fan and thermostat (set at 40C). The fan only operates under heavy sustained loads so noise and heat have never been an issue.
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Old 15-03-2019, 04:29   #14
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

Thank you Coffsguy.

I appreciate your comments. I'm getting a much better picture of the issues now. I like the additional fan and thermostat idea. I was designing the cabinet yesterday, and thought the same thing.

I ordered two 12v thermostats from Amazon yesterday. One to operate a fan for the inverter cabinet, and the other to operate a heat source for the lithium batteries (it's cold here ) as they don't like to be charged in temperatures below freezing. (CALB) I'm going to keep the box above 10C.


Cheers.
Paul.
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Old 15-03-2019, 05:30   #15
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Re: Heat from Victron Quattro 5000 inverter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRIT View Post
Thank you Coffsguy.

I appreciate your comments. I'm getting a much better picture of the issues now. I like the additional fan and thermostat idea. I was designing the cabinet yesterday, and thought the same thing.

I ordered two 12v thermostats from Amazon yesterday. One to operate a fan for the inverter cabinet, and the other to operate a heat source for the lithium batteries (it's cold here ) as they don't like to be charged in temperatures below freezing. (CALB) I'm going to keep the box above 10C.


Cheers.
Paul.
We have the Victron 12/5000 Quattro inverter, it gets warm under load, it has internal fans, that are temperature sensitive. It depends on your use pattern how warm the compartment will become. It also limits the power when it gets too hot on both, charger and inverter. We turn it on when we need 240V for cooking, otherwise we shut it down, it uses too much power when idling and only heats the bunk.

An additional fan and circullation is always a good idea.
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