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Old 19-12-2011, 22:38   #31
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
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,
Nick.
Jedi,

Most chargers due to the transformer, and the fact that switching power supplies develop most of the their power from the peak of the waves, any clipping to the peak will work against the total output available.

Peak Sine-wave

120 US = 169.7 v

240 US = 339.5 v

230 EU = 235.3 v

Now every volt clipped from the peak, clips the total available form the charger in a non-linear way, by the time the peak v. of 120rms hits below 160 v. you have less then 50 % of available charge amps from the charger.

In other words, a charger running at 160 peak sine-wave rated at 100 amps charge will in the real world only be able to charge at just above 50 amps.

Lloyd
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Old 19-12-2011, 23:12   #32
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Those instructions are for the Phoenix charger. The OP has a Multiplus inverter/charger.

Mark
Mark,

What is the average voltage of a 120 sine-wave?

Lloyd
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Old 20-12-2011, 04:49   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937

Mark,

What is the average voltage of a 120 sine-wave?

Lloyd
Okay, as you calculate it as RMS * SQRT(2) then you mean top-top voltage. Now you start with avg voltage which is always zero for symmetrical AC. All that is nice but not relevant as I happen to know pretty sure that the Victron chargers work 100% on 6 kW Northern Light gensets. And it wouldn't explain the diminishing output power during bulk charge either.

*** still sitting in corner thinking ***

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Old 20-12-2011, 05:37   #34
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Mark,

What is the average voltage of a 120 sine-wave?

Lloyd
Yes, I missed that it was a Phoenix Multi and not the Multiplus. I don't understand your question in relation to my quote (non-sequitar?). The average voltage of mains AC power is 0.

Mark
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Old 20-12-2011, 06:06   #35
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

I am installing a new Multiplus and have had some issues with it acting erratically. Like the PO, it would at times sit in bulk mode with no current output. It would also randomly go into equalize mode, then drop to float, drop the mains then pick them back up, sit in float mode but ramp its current up and down 10-20 amps, the transfer switch would fail to work when mains were cut, and several other strange behaviors.

Yesterday I (again) cut all power to it, powered it back up and reset all parameters to factory defaults, cut power/repowered and systematically reprogrammed every parameter - even the ones not covered by the dip switches (I have a control panel for it, the OP will need to use vebus and a computer).

The unit has work like it should for 24hrs now. Although the only test is it sitting in float mode during that time and the transfer switch works like it should. I have yet to cut the charger, let the batteries run down and reconnect to ensure that the full charging regime works correctly. Also, I need to run the inverter with larger loads yet and test it on the generator.

But just getting it to stay in float is better than it was 24hrs ago!

Mark
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Old 20-12-2011, 06:24   #36
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Latest update:
Apologize for the poor timing on my postings but internet through my air card here is dicey during the day when everyone and his uncle is using cell service.

Correction to my previous post - have not yet disconnected the temperature sensor as my tiny screwdriver was stolen in PR along with most of my other hand tools.

In response to new questions:
Lloyd, I am absolutely sure the charger is powered by 120 VAC stepped down from 240 through a transformer with nameplate data: "Xantrex Model T240 120/240 VAC Autotransformer 60 Hertz 3.9KVA Continuous at 25 C Ambient". In fact, when helping Emerald Harbor Marine in Seattle design the electrical system, I suggested the transformer as a way to keep the loads balanced on the generator rather than feed off one leg for 120 V.

The inverter was off and depowered before disconnecting the previous batteries.

New questions:
Even if the charger has reset itself to factory defaults, how would that explain its behavior (i.e. rapid charging at onset but quickly diminishing to insignificant rate)? I would think it should still charge but would have a different absorption setpoint. Also, what about the 220 VAC default setting?
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Old 20-12-2011, 06:44   #37
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

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Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post
New questions:
Even if the charger has reset itself to factory defaults, how would that explain its behavior (i.e. rapid charging at onset but quickly diminishing to insignificant rate)? I would think it should still charge but would have a different absorption setpoint. Also, what about the 220 VAC default setting?
I can't answer that question, but can tell you my new inverter was doing just that until I reset it to factory defaults and then reprogrammed it again.

Mark
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Old 20-12-2011, 06:57   #38
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According to the manal you linked earlier, the charger needs 185V minimum. It's an EU version, at
least the manual is. If this is so, it will still work when you program it to 60Hz and connect it between genset and auto transformer, instead of between autotransformer and switch panel.

cheers,
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Old 20-12-2011, 11:16   #39
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post
Latest update:
Apologize for the poor timing on my postings but internet through my air card here is dicey during the day when everyone and his uncle is using cell service.

Correction to my previous post - have not yet disconnected the temperature sensor as my tiny screwdriver was stolen in PR along with most of my other hand tools.

In response to new questions:
Lloyd, I am absolutely sure the charger is powered by 120 VAC stepped down from 240 through a transformer with nameplate data: "Xantrex Model T240 120/240 VAC Autotransformer 60 Hertz 3.9KVA Continuous at 25 C Ambient". In fact, when helping Emerald Harbor Marine in Seattle design the electrical system, I suggested the transformer as a way to keep the loads balanced on the generator rather than feed off one leg for 120 V.

The inverter was off and depowered before disconnecting the previous batteries.

New questions:
Even if the charger has reset itself to factory defaults, how would that explain its behavior (i.e. rapid charging at onset but quickly diminishing to insignificant rate)? I would think it should still charge but would have a different absorption setpoint. Also, what about the 220 VAC default setting?
Hi John,

Have you read the manual, and do you understand it? The factory default is 200 amp hr sized bat, a gell cell bat that max bulk/absorption voltage is 14.1.

Next these are adaptive chargers, they adapt to the circumstances at hand, in that they self adjust absorption time based on the time in bulk charge. Bulk time is a voltage reached state, so if you have solar going in while running the gen it's going to confuse the adaptive state of the charger.

Mark, you symptoms also suggest the adaptive charge is being confused by the solar input.

John, can you confirm that your unit is universal voltage? Do you have the original owners manual on-board?

Lloyd
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Old 20-12-2011, 11:32   #40
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

John and mark,

Read this link on Adaptive Charging by Victron.

And here what do all the lights mean Trouble Shooting by Victron.

Lloyd
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Old 20-12-2011, 11:33   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937

Hi John,

Have you read the manual, and do you understand it? The factory default is 200 amp hr sized bat, a gell cell bat that max bulk/absorption voltage is 14.1.

Next these are adaptive chargers, they adapt to the circumstances at hand, in that they self adjust absorption time based on the time in bulk charge. Bulk time is a voltage reached state, so if you have solar going in while running the gen it's going to confuse the adaptive state of the charger.

Mark, you symptoms also suggest the adaptive charge is being confused by the solar input.

John, can you confirm that your unit is universal voltage? Do you have the original owners manual on-board?

Lloyd
Lloyd, you must have missed that the charger never leaves bulk mode, never reaches any bulk/absorption voltage.

cheers,
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Old 20-12-2011, 12:22   #42
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Lloyd, you must have missed that the charger never leaves bulk mode, never reaches any bulk/absorption voltage.

cheers,
Nick.
Nick,

Here's what I believe. The charger program is scrambled and needs to be set up as new, which means hold the 2 buttons for 3 sec. Then one of the three available programs need to be chosen, and the dips set.

The last I heard the batteries were setting at 12.1 volts which is near a dead battery. The bats have a solar charge connected which is adding to the confused state of the Adaptive charge. He is trying to recharge a large bat bank from near flat from a generator, it's going to take at least 10 hrs of generator run time to charge all the way through absorption into float. This needs to be done to allow the Adaptive charger to program it's self initially before any solar is added back to the mix.

There is question as to the AC power running to the inverter through the auto-former, we believe this to be a universal voltage unit, but are not sure, we don't know what the voltage at the ac inlet is. We don't know what other loads he is trying to run from the gen, when he also trying to charge. It is very likely the the Multi is in load shaving mode, when it should be in battery charge mode only.

Like I said earlier this is like peeling an onion, I'm not sure that the OP completely understands how to set this unit up.

If it is in factory default then it's in 50hz 230 v mode trying to run on 60 hz 120.

I think the the OP needs to get to a marina where he can connect to shore power and do a complete set up, starting with the proper AC, the the DC. Then let the shore power cycle the batteries all the way through bulk, absorption, and into float. To do this the inverter must see all the AC power it needs, and there should not be any other charge source connected to the bat bank, nor should any dc loads be drawn from the bank during this initial charge set up.

If he doesn't get this straight very soon his new batteries are going to be injured.

Lloyd
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Old 20-12-2011, 12:36   #43
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Lloyd,

Yes, I agree with that. My current thought is a 230V unit connected to 120V...

Also, the thinking in my corner has had a little result. I think that maybe the new container-scanning radars in use by customs agents worldwide are so powerful that they zap flash memory. Mark's unit works okay after a complete reset to default settings and re-configure of every setting.

cheers,
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Old 20-12-2011, 14:19   #44
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Nick,
Like I said earlier this is like peeling an onion, I'm not sure that the OP completely understands how to set this unit up.

If it is in factory default then it's in 50hz 230 v mode trying to run on 60 hz 120.

I think the the OP needs to get to a marina where he can connect to shore power and do a complete set up, starting with the proper AC, the the DC. Then let the shore power cycle the batteries all the way through bulk, absorption, and into float. To do this the inverter must see all the AC power it needs, and there should not be any other charge source connected to the bat bank, nor should any dc loads be drawn from the bank during this initial charge set up.

If he doesn't get this straight very soon his new batteries are going to be injured.

Lloyd
Lloyd,
I must say that I feel more than capable of understanding and following the installation manual. Twenty years in nuclear subs taught me a few things about electricity and batteries. This Victron is way less complicated than your typical reactor protection system, for example.

BTW, default settings as listed on page 8 of MY original hard copy Installation manual are in part:
System frequency - 60 Hz; (Different from the manual linked to earlier)
Inverter Voltage - 120 Vac; (Different from the manual linked to earlier)
Charger characteristic - Adaptive with battery protection mode;
Battery Type Presets - Type 1
Absorption voltage - 14.4 / 28.8
Float voltage - 13.8
Plus a number of less significant settings. Even with the default settings, we should see a better charge profile. I am beginning to suspect a component failure.

I agree that this problem needs to be sorted out promptly. However, here in St. Thomas you don't just drive your catamaran up to a marina and expect to find a slip. I have inquired around but have not found room yet. I maintain a very close eye on the battery voltage and as a last resort, will recharge from the main engine.

This afternoon I dug out my hard copy original installation manual, looked closely at the Victron unit to locate the dip switches and buttons, and made myself a script of switches to throw and buttons to push to do what Mark on S/V Reach (colemj) did: reset the unit to default then reprogram it appropriately for the new batteries.

I just tried charging again with the same disappointing results (charger output jumped to 13.6 V initially, stayed there for a couple of minutes, then dropped off to 12.8). It is now at 12.6 V charging 20 amps with the "Float" LED burning. Obviously the power off reset I did yesterday did not solve the problem. My plan is to disconnect the charger from the battery and execute the script developed this afternoon.

Until this is sorted out, I'll be in the minimize amps mode with only the bare minimum loads in service (fridge, freezer, stove to heat soup, and lights - including anchor light - only when absolutely necessary).
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Old 20-12-2011, 14:39   #45
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

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Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post
Lloyd,
I must say that I feel more than capable of understanding and following the installation manual. Twenty years in nuclear subs taught me a few things about electricity and batteries. This Victron is way less complicated than your typical reactor protection system, for example.

BTW, default settings as listed on page 8 of MY original hard copy Installation manual are in part:
System frequency - 60 Hz; (Different from the manual linked to earlier)
Inverter Voltage - 120 Vac; (Different from the manual linked to earlier)
Charger characteristic - Adaptive with battery protection mode;
Battery Type Presets - Type 1
Absorption voltage - 14.4 / 28.8
Float voltage - 13.8
Plus a number of less significant settings. Even with the default settings, we should see a better charge profile. I am beginning to suspect a component failure.

I agree that this problem needs to be sorted out promptly. However, here in St. Thomas you don't just drive your catamaran up to a marina and expect to find a slip. I have inquired around but have not found room yet. I maintain a very close eye on the battery voltage and as a last resort, will recharge from the main engine.

This afternoon I dug out my hard copy original installation manual, looked closely at the Victron unit to locate the dip switches and buttons, and made myself a script of switches to throw and buttons to push to do what Mark on S/V Reach (colemj) did: reset the unit to default then reprogram it appropriately for the new batteries.

I just tried charging again with the same disappointing results (charger output jumped to 13.6 V initially, stayed there for a couple of minutes, then dropped off to 12.8). It is now at 12.6 V charging 20 amps with the "Float" LED burning. Obviously the power off reset I did yesterday did not solve the problem. My plan is to disconnect the charger from the battery and execute the script developed this afternoon.

Until this is sorted out, I'll be in the minimize amps mode with only the bare minimum loads in service (fridge, freezer, stove to heat soup, and lights - including anchor light - only when absolutely necessary).
Hi John,

Didn't mean to impune your knowledge...just stating didn't know if you understood, now that we have that cleared up...good

Do you have a true RMS multi-meter on board? What meters are you using to measure voltage and charge amps? If you really have 20 amps coming from the charger, then certainly the voltage should be above 12.6 unless you have DC loads near 20 amps running.

I'm pretty sure you are not getting a true re-set with the unit still connected to the bats.

I'm glad you found your manual so that we now know that it is not a EU universal Voltage unit.

If you have an rms multi-meter on board, it would be good to measure the ac voltage at the gen, then at the auto-former both sides, and finally at the inverter charger, while the charger is powered on and showing some sign of charge amps.

Also one last Q' when running the generator, have you tried putting the inverter charger in charge only mode, to make sure it's not peek shaving?

I think you are on the right track with you stated plan. Keep us informed.

Lloyd
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