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Old 19-12-2011, 12:30   #16
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Nick,
This unit has no voltage sense lead since the total cable run is only about two meters.

Couldn't find settings for "Weak AC" or "Battery Safe" in installation manual (http://www.victronenergy.com/Manuals...4000-rev08.pdf). The closest to "weak AC" is "PowerControl – Dealing with limited generator or shore side power" on page 16 of that manual. However, that setting is not applicable to the straight up Multi I have since it is a feature in the MultiPlus model.

Temperature sensor is disconnected from the unit.

Did "power off reset" you described. Will try another charge tomorrow morning.

+++++++++++++++
Lloyd,
The batteries were down to 12.15 volts this morning when I started this troubleshooting.

Allowing the batteries to rest for 24 hours is not an options since I am at anchor in St. Thomas and won't be to a dock for over 2 weeks.

Are you telling me that basically there is no problem with these new batteries and that after a break in period the charging pattern will return to normal? I sure hope you are right!
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Old 19-12-2011, 12:45   #17
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

John,

You've got some good advice from Jedi, Capt. Bill, etc.

I've also got a Victron MultiPlus and I install them professionally.

Assuming your golf-cart batteries are the flooded type, then I have two observations:

(1) new batteries do not provide anywhere near their rated output until they are exercised (charged and discharged and charged) a few times and, sometimes, until they have been equalized; and

(2) 13.6 volts is WAY too low for absorption voltage for flooded batteries. You want to be up well above 14.2, and as much as 14.6 or 14.8 is in the realm of adequate charging.

A partially charged battery will dictate how much amperage it wants to accept, no matter the size of the charging source. The only way to boost the charging amperage is to boost the voltage.

You want to keep voltage within acceptable limits, of course, but it needs to be way higher than what you've got.

My Victron is set for 14.8 VDC bulk and absorption, with the "repeat absorption" cycle set for 1/2 hour every 2 days. This regime has greatly improved the health of my six Trojan T-105s.

Remember, that to avoid sulfation and loss of capacity, you need to fully charge those batteries as often as you can. They can and will sulfate even at constant float voltages in the 13.2-13.6 range.

I'd suspect these other factors before blaming the Victron :-)

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Old 19-12-2011, 13:00   #18
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post

+++++++++++++++
Lloyd,
The batteries were down to 12.15 volts this morning when I started this troubleshooting.

Allowing the batteries to rest for 24 hours is not an options since I am at anchor in St. Thomas and won't be to a dock for over 2 weeks.

Are you telling me that basically there is no problem with these new batteries and that after a break in period the charging pattern will return to normal? I sure hope you are right!
So I can only assume that you are running the charger from a generator if you are on the hook...is that the case?

What is the size and make of the gen? Have you measured the peak sine-wave of the gen when the charger is on?

And as "btrayfors" noted looks like you need to look at the charger voltage set points to make sure that you have the proper settings to match the charge requirements of the battery manufactures specs.

Lloyd
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Old 19-12-2011, 13:13   #19
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
So I can only assume that you are running the charger from a generator if you are on the hook...is that the case?

What is the size and make of the gen? Have you measured the peak sine-wave of the gen when the charger is on?

And as "btrayfors" noted looks like you need to look at the charger voltage set points to make sure that you have the proper settings to match the charge requirements of the battery manufactures specs.

Lloyd
Also of note from the manual "When setting the charger, all connections between the battery and the Phoenix Multi must be
disconnected." this is also true when setting the ac side of things.

After just a quick review of the manual, I'd say that your settings are wrong, and bc this charger is an adaptive charge regime, which your symptoms also follow. I think you need to carefully read the manual, and go through a proper system set up.

But you need to also find out what the peak sine-wave of the generator is under load, as you will lose available charger power as the peak drops lower then 170, by the time the peak hits 150 you will have less the 50% of the charger output available.

Lloyd


Aha...just went back and re-read the original post...and see it's a generator. I'm now betting it's one of 2 things...when the new bats were installed the charge program was buggered, and or the peak sine-wave of the gen is low.

One last thing I keep forgetting to mention, is to disconnect the solar charge when testing the gen/charger, as any voltage rise from the solar will likely confuse the adaptive charger set up.
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Old 19-12-2011, 13:45   #20
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Ah yes, I was mixing up the different models. The weak AC setting has to do with the wave form of input AC being not good enlugh to reach rated charger output... which connects to what Lloyd writes.

The main thing now, is to write down the charger output voltage and urrent and which LEDs on the unit light up. We need to verify at which voltage the charger switches to absorption and also voltage to float.

I agree with the settings as Bill wrote. Don't hesitate to go o that 14.8V.

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Old 19-12-2011, 17:10   #21
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
But you need to also find out what the peak sine-wave of the generator is under load, as you will lose available charger power as the peak drops lower then 170, by the time the peak hits 150 you will have less the 50% of the charger output available.
Can you give me some idea how to do this without sophisticated test equipment?

The generator is a 6 KW Northern Lights that puts out 240 VAC primarily for running air conditioning the wife demanded. We installed a 240/120 V step down transformer to get 120 volts without unbalancing the generator legs. The 120 V then feeds the charger through a breaker on the AC distribution panel. Because of the transformer between the generator and charger, is the sine-wave still an issue?

I have not changed any settings on the charger since it was installed because all the batteries in the boat have been flooded cell. I understand that not all batteries are created equal and may not require the same charging profile but I figured the settings would be close enough. Furthermore, a language barrier between me and the Mexican battery dealer who sold me the previous set prevented me from obtaining optimum charging voltages. How can I find out the manufacturer's recommendation for these Puerto Rican "Power Hawk" brand golf cart/fork truck batteries?
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Old 19-12-2011, 17:18   #22
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The main thing now, is to write down the charger output voltage and urrent and which LEDs on the unit light up. We need to verify at which voltage the charger switches to absorption and also voltage to float.
The big problem with doing this is that the charger never reaches absorption or float - the charge rate simply drops off to nearly nothing. The only LED's that have come on in the past several days are "Mains On" and "Bulk".

Hence my dilemma.

Tomorrow in the daylight I will try to figure out all the setpoints from the dip swith positions and get back to you.

Thanks for your patience so far.
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Old 19-12-2011, 19:09   #23
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post
The big problem with doing this is that the charger never reaches absorption or float - the charge rate simply drops off to nearly nothing. The only LED's that have come on in the past several days are "Mains On" and "Bulk".

Hence my dilemma.

Tomorrow in the daylight I will try to figure out all the setpoints from the dip swith positions and get back to you.

Thanks for your patience so far.
Ok this is like peeling an onion.

First things first. are you sure that the inverter charger is powered through the buck transformer? I ask bc this unit has a universal power connection. That avails you to connect to 240 volt, which allows the bypass of the transformer. The transformer just passes the power, so due to some efficiency loses, it may shave the peak voltage some.

I know form putting a scope on the the Northern Lights 6kw, that it does have a peak sine-wave deficiency, the 8kw holds up better, and the 12 kw holds about 165 plus.

Now on to the bats, I can find the PR distributor for those bats. I couldn't find any specs. The web site says they are manufactured by Douglas Battery, and assembled by Multi-Batteries and Forklifts PR .

Assuming they are 6-volt golf cart flooded lead acid, I would go for the charge regime as Bill stated earlier.

Now when you changed out the batteries, did you power off the the AC to the inverter before you disconnected the bats....?

Reading the Victron manual suggest that the inverter is in the factory default state, which compares to your statements regarding current charge issues. And the factory default will not be good for those bats.

Now I think that you have a couple of issues. First you need to download and print a hard copy of the Victron manual. Then you need to follow the set up procedures described.

What that means is turn the power off on the unit, then turn the ac off on the unit at the breaker, then disconnect the dc from the unit.

Then decide the on which one of the three options you want as the charge regime, and proceed as if installing the inverter new.

The manual is very clear as to how to set-up the unit to someone trained in marine electrical...but if you feel that it is unclear, I think you should go find the Northern Lights Dealer, and see if they have someone capable.

We can help, but it really is getting a little extrapolated at this point.

But I'll try.

Lloyd
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Old 19-12-2011, 19:18   #24
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Ok this is like peeling an onion.

First things first. are you sure that the inverter charger is powered through the buck transformer? I ask bc this unit has a universal power connection. That avails you to connect to 240 volt, which allows the bypass of the transformer. The transformer just passes the power, so due to some efficiency loses, it may shave the peak voltage some.

I know form putting a scope on the the Northern Lights 6kw, that it does have a peak sine-wave deficiency, the 8kw holds up better, and the 12 kw holds about 165 plus.

Now on to the bats, I can find the PR distributor for those bats. I couldn't find any specs. The web site says they are manufactured by Douglas Battery, and assembled by Multi-Batteries and Forklifts PR .

Assuming they are 6-volt golf cart flooded lead acid, I would go for the charge regime as Bill stated earlier.

Now when you changed out the batteries, did you power off the the AC to the inverter before you disconnected the bats....?

Reading the Victron manual suggest that the inverter is in the factory default state, which compares to your statements regarding current charge issues. And the factory default will not be good for those bats.

Now I think that you have a couple of issues. First you need to download and print a hard copy of the Victron manual. Then you need to follow the set up procedures described.

What that means is turn the power off on the unit, then turn the ac off on the unit at the breaker, then disconnect the dc from the unit.

Then decide the on which one of the three options you want as the charge regime, and proceed as if installing the inverter new.

The manual is very clear as to how to set-up the unit to someone trained in marine electrical...but if you feel that it is unclear, I think you should go find the Northern Lights Dealer, and see if they have someone capable.

We can help, but it really is getting a little extrapolated at this point.

But I'll try.

Lloyd
Dog gone it I forgot again....be sure to disconnect all the solar and any other source of charge, when you re-set the inverter, and run the first charge cycle. You have to run the charger thru a complete cycle to get it set.

It's going to take about 10 hours of of straight generator run time to get that battery bank chrged thru absorption. I vote that you go find a marina to tye to so that you can re-set the charger nad let the grid charge the bank so that you don't have to run the generator for ten hours.

Lloyd
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Old 19-12-2011, 20:20   #25
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Dog gone it I forgot again....be sure to disconnect all the solar and any other source of charge, when you re-set the inverter, and run the first charge cycle. You have to run the charger thru a complete cycle to get it set.

It's going to take about 10 hours of of straight generator run time to get that battery bank chrged thru absorption. I vote that you go find a marina to tye to so that you can re-set the charger nad let the grid charge the bank so that you don't have to run the generator for ten hours.

Lloyd
Ripped from the Headlines...oh I mean the owners manual...

DESCRIPTION
Technology
The Phoenix Charger is a fully high-frequency
switched battery charger. The input is
electronically powerfactor corrected by the first
powerstage.
The next stage gives provision for galvanic
isolation and a perfect DC voltage at the output
terminals.
A very accurate charging state of the battery is
guaranteed because the charging process is
microcontroller regulated.
The internal electronic parts are protected against
moisture and dirt by means of a special coating,
which assures a long lifetime of your battery
charger.
Two high-capacity batteries and an additional lowcapacity
battery can be charged with this charger.
Adaptive Charging
The new Phoenix Charger uses the Adaptive
Charging Characteristic. The Adaptive Charging
Characteristic distinguishes from other charging
characteristic on several topics. The main 3 topics
are Rapid Charging, Battery Safe Mode and All
Season Mode.
Generally speaking the Phoenix Charger will
adapt to the connected batteries.
Rapid charging
In the first stage, the bulk phase, of the charging
cycle the batteries are charged with higher current
then traditional charging methods. The bulk phase
will stop at the point where the battery voltage will
be 14,4V or 28,8V. From here the absorption
phase will start.
Based on the measured bulk time the length of the
absorption time will be calculated. For this the
charger micro-controller will monitor several
parameters of the battery.
BatterySafe mode
But what if your battery needs a higher absorption
voltage? The charger will gradually raise the
applied voltage to the battery until it reaches the
set absorption voltage. This phase we call the
BatterySafe Mode. It will safe your battery from
destruction by overcharging.
The Phoenix Charger is temperature
compensated. The charger will recalculate
different values based on the battery temperature.
All Season mode
For periods were you do not use your batteries
and the mains is applied to the charger, the
Phoenix Charger will reduce its float voltage. By
doing this we reduce the gassing in your battery
so they will not run dry after a longer period of not
using your battery.
To keep your batteries in shape the Phoenix
Charger will raise the applied voltage once a
week. This we call the repetitive absorption.
Operation
The battery charger charges the battery with a 4-
stage adaptive charging characteristic,
see
specifications at the back for details. It can remain
connected to the battery continuously, without
increased gas formation, caused by overcharging,
taking place.
The charger can be used for different types of
batteries but the default settings are for
Sonnenschein A200 dryfit gel batteries.
See
specifications for other pre-programmed battery
types.
For use with other types of batteries please
contact your battery supplier to inform you about
the right charging voltages. If necessary let the
Phoenix Charger be readjusted.
The full charging current of the Phoenix Charger is
divided in two main outputs.
An extra output with limited charge capacity is
available to charge a starter battery for example.
The charger is protected against short-circuit at
the outputs and too high ambient temperature
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Old 19-12-2011, 20:26   #26
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Those instructions are for the Phoenix charger. The OP has a Multiplus inverter/charger.

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Old 19-12-2011, 20:50   #27
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No, I think he has a Phoenix Multi, not the plus.

I have the same genset... there are no problems with that, it can feed 4 of these units at full rated output. But if the charger can do 240V input, it should be onnected to 240, instead of 120V, but that is not the problem I think.

Also, the charger is always in bulk mode with voltage low and current going down. It never reaches absorption phase. I'll sit quietly in a orner and think for a while...

cheers,
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Old 19-12-2011, 20:56   #28
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

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No, I think he has a Phoenix Multi, not the plus.

I have the same genset... there are no problems with that, it can feed 4 of these units at full rated output. But if the charger can do 240V input, it should be onnected to 240, instead of 120V, but that is not the problem I think.

Also, the charger is always in bulk mode with voltage low and current going down. It never reaches absorption phase. I'll sit quietly in a orner and think for a while...

cheers,
Nick.
Jedi,

quote"The charger can be used for different types of
batteries but the default settings are for
Sonnenschein A200 dryfit gel batteries.
end quote"
I think that it went into default mode.

I have tested 3 different NL 6w's. and all were below the 170 peak. Now factor that the gen is wired 240 and thru a buck transformer, and I'll just bet once the charger is programed out of default mode....it's still going to be a very in-efficient charge source....I'm talking hrs on end.

Lloyd
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Old 19-12-2011, 21:19   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937

Jedi,

quote"The charger can be used for different types of
batteries but the default settings are for
Sonnenschein A200 dryfit gel batteries. end quote"
I think that it went into default mode.

I have tested 3 different NL 6w's. and all were below the 170 peak. Now factor that the gen is wired 240 and thru a buck transformer, and I'll just bet once the charger is programed out of default mode....it's still going to be a very in-efficient charge source....I'm talking hrs on end.

Lloyd
What do you mean? That a NL 6kW genset jumpered for 240V outputs a top-top voltage of less than 170V? If so, you have been measuring on three broken gen-ends. I only understand top-top and RMS as I'm of the EU type myself

Also, here is no buck transformer. There is a regular dual or more windings 2:1 transformer to make 120V from the 240V genset output.

Then the battery setting... That changes nothing. The charger must output max current until absorption voltage is reached. It doesn't do that.

cheers,
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Old 19-12-2011, 21:25   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi
Also, here is no buck transformer. There is a regular dual or more windings 2:1 transformer to make 120V from the 240V genset output.
well okay, let's make sure... can the OP describe th transformer used? Brand and model ?

If this is the Victron autotransformer than it can be a problem. Connect charger to 240V if it is rated or that.

cheers,
Nick.
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