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Old 04-10-2014, 21:02   #1
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Inverter charger selection problem again

Having scoured all the threads on IC units it appears the jury is still out.

As I have just lost my Statpower prosine 2.5 and now relying on an ancient but durable Newmar I need to select a new IC unit.

From what I see the choice is between
  • Mastervolt combi 12/2500
  • Victron Multiplus 12 3000
  • Magnum MS2812
  • Promariner - maybe as the Truepower 2000PS seems suitable.

If any member has a Promariner 2000PS i would like to hear your comments.

Xantrex are out based on massive evidence they are unsupported cheap stuff and the recent failure of my 60A charger after 2 months confirms that for me. They even wanted $250 to open it and check it, ie buy a new one!

The Victron has its supporters on the forum and also some who feel the DIP switch settings are a mess, having read the manual i have to agree it is very complicated and even the remote does not provide a solution to setting parameters.

The Magnum MS2812 has the right specs and has many supporters in RV and off grid users but not many in the marine industry. Good remote panel though.

The Mastervolt wants me to open up the case, whilst operating!!!!! and flick some switches to get an equalisation mode. WOW

Then of course there is Newmar who do a unit but the price is ridiculous unless it is bulletproof, twice the cost of a Victron and 4 times the cost of a Promariner........Any body using the latest Newmar unit?

Other makes like AIMS have amazing specs at super low prices but no word from the cruisers on this one?

So the perennial question is which one?
Any comments on the Promariner appreciated and also others on the list.

Need to charge 600Ah lead acid tubular flooded daily and equalise twice a week or invert to 120 60Hz at up to 2000W. All done manually ie no auto switching. Basically runs all day every day of the year.

thanks

Ramos
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Old 04-10-2014, 21:10   #2
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

The magnums have been really good to me. Installed lots. The mastervolts are probably really good too but probably 2x more? I install their chargers.

Haven't touched the others.

Why are you equalizing twice a week? You are destroying your batteries. That is a once a year thing. If ever. Most don't ever.
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Old 04-10-2014, 23:17   #3
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

Hi smac999
Thanks for the comments on Magnum, what kind of failure rate do you see?

The cells I have are XTHR17 by Ciel in one bank, Hawker in the second and Chloride in the 3rd bank. They all call for charges to be terminated at 16.4 to 16.8 volts on every charge so the only way to do that with a marine IC is to equalise to push the volts up.

One set we have had for 10 years and one set 8 years and the other is only 4 years old, they get discharged every other day by about 80% of charge (ie 20% or less left) and then recharged. Maybe the word equalise confuses the issue so I should say voltage at end of charge is 16.8 ish.

Of course as they age the voltage at finish drops slowly and now the 10 year old set cant make it past 15.8 but still has plenty of oompf so will keep it a few more years.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:57   #4
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

Have you considered Sterling?

Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter & Battery Charger

I'm not familiar with their inverter/chargers. I do have their regulators installed and they've been pretty robust. A little quick to go into overvoltage mode. But better to be safe than to have dead cells.
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Old 06-10-2014, 13:49   #5
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

Since the Xantrex charger has a 2 year warranty, why were they trying to charge you if it failed after 2 months.
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Old 06-10-2014, 18:18   #6
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

Quote:
Originally Posted by yardie View Post
Have you considered Sterling?

Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter & Battery Charger

I'm not familiar with their inverter/chargers. I do have their regulators installed and they've been pretty robust. A little quick to go into overvoltage mode. But better to be safe than to have dead cells.
Good link. I think the Sterling is the same as the Promariner 2000PS as they are reported to co-operate and they look the same in the manuals. Nice price and could buy two instead of say a Victron and have a backup spare. The only thing is they say in the specs it trips if the AC goes over 62Hz which may be often on a mechanical controlled genset that runs between 64 and 60Hz.

Pretty simple unit but does all I want - invert, charge and equalise - so on the list.

Would like to hear from any users who like or otherwise these units.
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Old 06-10-2014, 18:40   #7
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

@donradcliffe

The Xantrex people said if we return it and is working when they test it they will charge $250 for the bench test. That together with the DHL costs there and back were well over a new unit cost.

We asked them if "In transit handling causes a failed unit to become operational" was a common phenomena often found with returned products?
They still insisted the charge was appropriate even when we offered a written report by an engineer.

Contacted the Oceania rep and repair facilities and they were not confident we could get a replacement. So filed it under X for dont go there again as many others have done.
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Old 06-10-2014, 21:21   #8
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

Hi Ramos, I have seen one bad magnum in over 50 put in. it happened within a few months. and was fixed without issue from magnum.
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Old 06-10-2014, 21:34   #9
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

Mulligan has 2 inverters onboard. The Magnum 2812 has been perfect for charging and normal AC loads like the microwave, ice maker and power tools for over 2 years. The 2nd unit an Aims 4000 watt industrial inverter has just been installed and its sole pourpose in life is to power our 2 16k BTU air conditioners. We had our Northern Lights 6 KW AC genset fail recently and have decided to go with a DC genset instead. So far the inverter powers both ACs without a problem and the new genset should be installed this week.
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Old 07-10-2014, 00:33   #10
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

smac999 - 1 in 50 is pretty good or even very good. Do you know if they are low frequency units with a transformer or one of the hi freq types like a power supply module?

Shaktisboy the vote for the 2812 is handy especially as you run a microwave etc on it.

Also interestd in the AIMS as those units seem great value. It seems a lot to ask it to start a 16K BTU AC when the other one may be running - have you tried it yet. Like to hear your feedback on how that goes. Also what is your setup as 2 AC units will use a lot of battery power - do you plan to run the DC genset to supply the DC load as well as the batteries.

Intriguing system.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:33   #11
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

Have you considered Outback ? Outback Power Inc. - Mobile/Marine If you need more power than one can provide, They are stackable (you can add more in parallel, they switch in and out automatically)

I have been using their equipment in off grid solar installations for around 6 years, Very robust, Field serviceable (3 internal boards, Change em all in an hour) , 5 year guarantee (A call or mail, the board is in the post that day)
"Good kit" As they say

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Old 07-10-2014, 18:33   #12
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

Magnums are stackable, also. One nice feature for the money is the ability to pass two 30A or both sides of a 50A/240V shore power feed when not inverting. The 2812 when inverting will bridge both L1 and L2 into a single 30A output.

The drawback, however (unless newer vintages have fixed it), is that when fed by two 30A shore power feeds, the two neutrals are always bridged, which is a no-no by ABYC standards. Allowable in land in an RV, but not in marine environments.

I don't know off the top of my head if that's the case for the larger MS4024...

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Old 07-10-2014, 19:34   #13
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

In 19 years of selling and installing:

These are all good:

Victron (use the software to config, friends don't let friends use dip switches)
Mastervolt (same, use the software)
Magnum
Outback

All great great. Canteen is Chinese crap with terrible service, wouldn't install one if a customer asked....


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Old 07-10-2014, 22:06   #14
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

Thanks for the link to Outback Tim, they seem quite robust, trying to get a user manual to see how it would work in our case. Like the swap out service and 5 year warranty.

Beausoleil - the pass thro relays do not affect us as we have 240 shore power and a 120 v boat. We use a 240 charger to hold the batteries in float whilst running the inverter to supply 120 to the boat. Works fine but does put hours on the kit. I would probably think about pulling the neutral/earth link out when inverting as that can cause problems. The genset is 120 and runs with a floating neutral held down to earth by some resisters.
If any thing starts to seep voltage like a water heater element it shows up on the neutral and can be fixed early before it fails properly.

Thanks Scott - nice to get some feed on the good ones, may be favouring a Magnum 2812 at the moment.

Always seem to wonder why companies design a really complex piece of kit like a Victron and complicate it with the way it operates and then do not supply a universal remote to control it!!!

For some reason my list now covers Magnum, Mastervolt, Victron, Promariner, Sterling, Aims and Outback. Wow
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Old 07-10-2014, 22:56   #15
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Re: Inverter charger selection problem again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramos View Post
smac999 - 1 in 50 is pretty good or even very good. Do you know if they are low frequency units with a transformer or one of the hi freq types like a power supply module?

Shaktisboy the vote for the 2812 is handy especially as you run a microwave etc on it.

Also interestd in the AIMS as those units seem great value. It seems a lot to ask it to start a 16K BTU AC when the other one may be running - have you tried it yet. Like to hear your feedback on how that goes. Also what is your setup as 2 AC units will use a lot of battery power - do you plan to run the DC genset to supply the DC load as well as the batteries.

Intriguing system.
Yes both air conditioners will run on the Aims but they have to be stagger started about a minute apart. I have a 900 hour life-line AGM bank and the plan is to run one of the air conditioners overnight on battery after the initial cool down supplying cool air to the 3 cabins while we sleep. If both air conditioners are running the DC genset will have to be running to keep up with demand. Both the Magna and the Aims have the Auto generator start function so Ill be hooking that up as well for overnights when I don't feel like getting up and checking the battery SOC.
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