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Old 22-12-2011, 20:02   #76
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I concur with Mark, except I have not yet seen another surce charge this battery bank correctly. The numbers from altenator charging also seem very low... I imagine the alternator is rated much higher than 25A ?

Also, I don't understand why it was only run for 30 minutes. When oh when is tha bank finally getting charged to 100% ?

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Old 23-12-2011, 05:39   #77
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

If the alternator is a standard small frame internally regulated one that most engines are delivered with, ~14V and ~25A is about all you can expect from it.

Mark
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Old 23-12-2011, 09:02   #78
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post
You seem to have a hard spot for the generator and transformer as being the culprits. Many times in the past 4 days of this adventure when the charger would not bring up battery voltage, it was the only AC load on the generator, drawing about 6 amps 110VAC. In the past, I could heat water AND charge the batteries at the same time for a total of nearly 20 amps 110 VAC with the generator barely even warming up. Granted when fully loading the generator with 2 A/C plants, charging results were not so good as the cycling compressors would kick off the charger.
John, I'm just trying to isolate the variables, so in a prior post you stated the HW kicked off, after charging at 39 amps a little over an hour, and you closed up the charge and went to bed.

BC I'm not there I have to depend on you if I'm going to help trouble shoot. So when I told you to charge for at least 4 hrs straight no other loads, on the AC or DC, I was trying to isolate.

We already know based on the reported voltages that the gen is not making a perfect peak voltage. We also know that you have a Auto-former feeding the VA to the Charger, we also know other loads are on that auto-former. We also know that dc loads are running.

We also know that heat affects VA of any Inductive load, as well as gens with windings and transformers with windings. So now we know that the gen has a winding, then the auto-former has a winding, and then so does the charger. We know your in at least 70 degrees ambient temperature, we know that the equipment is located below decks, so we also can assume that heat is a factor on the eff....of all the equipment, and that effects total performance ie...out-put at each level. Now we know that you are taking a hit on eff...output at the gen at the AT, and at the charger.

I spoke with the Victron Distributer/Tec here in Seattle, and they said the set-up you have is not ideal. In my opinion since I think your only 220 load is the AIR/CON you would be better served with the gen wired 120, taking one layer of eff...hits out of the system, and letting the Air/Con run from the auto-former, my guess is your total eff....would increase, and more then make up for the eff...loss on the Air/Con.



Quote:
BTW, refrigerator and freezer are DC loads, not that it changes the discussion much.
I asked a couple of times, but no response so I only could assume. Well if your charging at 35 amps, and the DC side is burning 20 amps your net charge is 15 minus eff....loses

Quote:
The fundamental reason the battery voltage would not come up is that the charger was not maintaining voltage at its output. I still don't understand why not and that is what makes me very nervous about declaring victory.

I fully intend to charge from the generator tomorrow with the local electrician present to observe first hand. If Victron behaves as it should, I'll go on my way. If not, back to troubleshooting.
John, FWIW I think your bat bank was way low in SOC, and you were expecting the gen to bring it up in an hr. A 450 amp bat bank setting at 40 SOC is going to take 4-6 hrs to get through bulk charge, and an 80 amp charge source operating in the 50% eff factor is not going to start raising the voltage above 14 v until about the 4th hr of charge, but if you are drawing amps for loads on the dc side it's going to extend the bulk charge time.

John, I still would like to know what the SPG of the bats are? I think you should run the gen as well. But make sure the gen has no other loads, on the ac side, and no loads on the dc side. I would also like to know the rms amperage AC right after the gen, then after the auto-former.

Now for the grand statement, I think the NL Gensets, are about as good as they get, I know the little Perkins driving it, and the Marathon gen head is also as good as it get's. But no gen can sustain a perfect wave, under the circumstance you are forcing it to.
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Old 23-12-2011, 10:40   #79
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
This is getting messy with most info incorrect.

First, the genset will have no trouble. Second, an autotransformer is only loaded with the inbalance part of a 120-0-120V system. Third battery acceptance is irrelevant because charge voltage is too low. Solar panels at 13V with how much amps? Think, compare.

I'm out of here and advice the OP to get that Victron dealer there involved... Or test the system with another battery hooked up to the charger for test only.

Also, try another charging source, like alternator. Does charging work with that? Don't keep repeating a procedure that leads nowhere. Finding Radio Shack to buy a screw driver?! A nail, file and 5 minutes make one!

cheers,
Nick.
Nick,

This is just for you, straight from the Northern Lights. Not only do they affect the gen, they also affect the auto-former.

Lloyd

NONLINEAR LOADING
Solid state electronic control devices (variable frequency
drives, precision motor controls, battery chargers, etc.)
utilize electronic switching circuits (thyristors, SCRs, Diodes,
etc.). These switching circuits introduce high frequency
harmonics which distort the normal wave form of the
generator. This creates additional heat in the generator
windings and may cause the generator to over-heat.
Problems which can occur are not limited to the generator.
Poor wave shape may adversely effect various loads
connected to the generator.
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Old 23-12-2011, 10:49   #80
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

I think you missed the post where he said he is on the dock now with mains supplying the charger. He still has the same problem. The generator is out of the picture, and I don't think it was ever the problem.

Mark
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Old 23-12-2011, 10:54   #81
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Nick,

This is just for you, straight from the Northern Lights. Not only do they affect the gen, they also affect the auto-former.

Lloyd

NONLINEAR LOADING
Solid state electronic control devices (variable frequency
drives, precision motor controls, battery chargers, etc.)
utilize electronic switching circuits (thyristors, SCRs, Diodes,
etc.). These switching circuits introduce high frequency
harmonics which distort the normal wave form of the
generator. This creates additional heat in the generator
windings and may cause the generator to over-heat.
Problems which can occur are not limited to the generator.
Poor wave shape may adversely effect various loads
connected to the generator.
And this from the proper manual to John's Phoenix Multi.

1.2 Location
The product must be installed in a dry and well-ventilated area, as close as possible to the
batteries. There should be a clear space of at least 10 cm around the appliance for cooling.
Excessively high ambient temperature will result in the following:
• Reduced service life.
• Reduced charging current.
• Reduced peak capacity, or shutdown of the inverter.
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Old 23-12-2011, 11:24   #82
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

John,

When your marine Electrician shows up today have him put an O-scope on the dock feed, then the boat side shore feed to the panel. Also have him take the RMS V, and Amps the same locations when charging of course.Also have him check the HZ.

Then have him do the same thing when you crank the gen and start charging. This time at the gen out, at the Auto-former in, Auto-former out, and then at the Charger in. Do this with charge only, and then loaded as you might usually use the gen

It might also be worth it to have him tac the gen, at no load and load.

If you have a thermometer take a reading of the space where the charger is located, when everything is running and closed up as usual.

Lloyd
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Old 23-12-2011, 11:33   #83
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Oh my... never listen to what the salesmen tell you. They will always advice you to buy what makes them the most money.

I see very little errors/failures with Victron. Much less than with MasterVolt and unbelievably less than with Xantrax.

ciao!
Nick.
Well, I hope you're right. I'm committed to Victron now in any case -- all major electrical equipment on my boat comes from them. We'll see how it holds up! So far the charger/inverter works brilliantly. The isolation transformer is dead.

We shall see, as they say!

Probably there is no such thing as totally failsafe marine electrical equipment. The environment is simply too harsh.
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Old 23-12-2011, 11:49   #84
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I think you missed the post where he said he is on the dock now with mains supplying the charger. He still has the same problem. The generator is out of the picture, and I don't think it was ever the problem.

Mark
It's all well and good to think, but you will never know until you test.

Being definitively right when you're wrong, is the worst kind of wrong.

Lloyd
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Old 23-12-2011, 12:04   #85
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Good news: The villanous Victron finally decided to work as advertised. Starting from battery voltage of 12.25 this morning after running on the inverter all night we initiated a charge on the generator. For about 5 minutes we observed charging at max current. Then as before, the charging current began dropping off. However, this time, the voltage stayed up over 13 volts so Chris the boatyard electrician said everything looked normal and that the unit was better than 99.9% of the ones he sees. He left without even charging me for his time. I then shifted to shore power and monitored the charge closely until just a few minutes ago when I broke off to compose this post. Voltages rose slowly and current dropped off slowly just as expected. The charger remained in bulk mode for 3 hours when the Absorption light also came on at 14.15 V, 21.7 A. It's still in that mode but I expect pure absorption shortly since battery voltage is over 14 volts now.

So either the unit had a problem that fixed itself when facing an electrician who knew what he was looking at, or there never was a problem in the first place. The numbers don't all make sense and I'm still not completely confident that it will keep working but for now I'm satisfied. Nick, it looks like we finally have a fully charged battery bank.

Many thanks to all of you for your suggestions and for staying with me through this trying ordeal (at least for me!). I'll revive this thread if I have any more problems with this unit or find out some new info from the technical experts in The Netherlands. (Not likely since my last reply from her was "I’m sorry, it is difficult to say what the reason is, that this has happened."


BTW, I intend to have this unit fully checked out when I find someone with technical expertise with this brand.

Happy Holidays to all.
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Old 23-12-2011, 13:12   #86
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

I think the only difference is that you now gave it enough time to charge the battery. But the charger is still broken imho.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 23-12-2011, 13:46   #87
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming Yachtsman View Post
......Nick, it looks like we finally have a fully charged battery bank.......
No, John, you don't. Not yet. If your house batteries are accepting 20+ amps at just over 14 volts they're not full yet.

Keep at it. It takes a long time to top off the batteries...those last few AH are hard to push into the batteries :-)

When you're convinced that they're really really full, that's the time to recalibrate the battery monitor.

I assume that you have removed all loads from the batteries and all other charging sources (like solar).

Happy Holidays, Have a Mt. Gay and coke for me at Tickles!

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Old 23-12-2011, 14:42   #88
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

John,

Are you reading these voltages and amps off a battery monitor or directly with a multimeter? If the former, then you may have a mis-calibrated meter and the charger may be working correctly (can't tell, and you shouldn't be troubleshooting with an unknown meter). If the latter, you do not have a properly working charger unless you have gel batteries in a very hot environment.

The voltage and amperage values and combinations that you have been stating are not appropriate charging regimes for a working charger. The charger should stay at full amperage output until bulk voltage is reached, and that would be much more than 5 minutes if you are starting at 50-60% SOC batteries. Bulk voltage should be well above 14V - more like 14.4-14.8V, unless you have gel batteries, where 14.0V is more typical.

Until the charger puts out full amperage until the batteries reach 14.4V before folding back its current, it is not working properly. This is most of the criteria of a working charger - the other being that it goes into float at 13.6V when the current drops down to a very low value. I keep giving you the proper battery voltages and amperage output of a working charger and you keep declaring your charger good even though it isn't reaching this performance.

And are you still on a dock? If so, why didn't you allow them to charge overnight and why are you using the generator to charge them now?

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Old 23-12-2011, 14:51   #89
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
It's all well and good to think, but you will never know until you test.

Being definitively right when you're wrong, is the worst kind of wrong.

Lloyd
Yes, that is correct. However, given that his charger acts the same on shore power as it did on the generator, there is a higher probability that the charger is bad than the output and stability of both land mains and generator power sources are bad. Occam's razor and all that...and please note that I did not make a definitive statement (hence, application of the phrase "I don't think" it is his generator)

Not playing the odds and ignoring changes in variables is the worst type of troubleshooting.

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Old 23-12-2011, 17:25   #90
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

FWIW,

I think there are compound issues as I stated above. I also outlined how to properly trouble shoot with the post on the o-scope.

Now onto the charger, its rated out put is based on 20 degrees C, as the charger heats up it's output drops no mater the SOC. It's output will also drop as the sine-wave gets whacked.

I still believe that the charger is operating in safe mode which is 14.4 volts at 20 C, and as I said, we know it's below decks and is operating hotter then 20 C. so the best he can hope for is about 14-14.1 volts maybe even less depending on how hot the charger gets. When in default mode the charger is automatically reduced to 75% of rated out put at 20C. Also of note, when operating in safe mode the manual states this:

quote "Battery Safe Mode: The applied voltage to the battery is raised gradually until the set Absorption voltage is reached.
The Battery Safe Mode is part of the calculated absorption time."


Now add the fact that he's running DC loads at the same time he's charging. So what ever the loads come straight of the charge current, and that is going to increase the time required to reach absorption voltage.

Now lets look at his claimed overnight voltage draw down, when he started the charge this morning, the bank was at 12.2 volts, by my calculations that over 200 amp hrs in 12 hrs. That's a mother load.

If that is his normal loads overnight, he's going to need to run the generator for at least 5 hrs every morning before the sun comes up, just to stay in the 50 -80 charge regime. NAd hope he gets lots of sun, with another 100 plus amps from solar, else he's going to have to run the gen in the evineg for another 3 hrs minimum.

As Bill said in an earlier post, John needs to program the charge for higher absorption rates.

Lloyd
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