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Old 23-12-2011, 18:06   #91
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

You make good points, but keep in mind the charger will fold back the current, not the voltage with heat. The voltage will only be lowered by temperature compensation - meaning his batteries are hot. His batteries would need to be at 40C for the charger to compensate to the voltages he is seeing. I don't think new batteries are getting that hot no matter where he is located.

And the current is folded back severely - I don't think the charger is that hot either. To compare, my old charger (I'm currently installing a new one) would happily pump out 80-100amps living in a 43C closet. 75% of its rated output is still lots more than 25A.

As far as the power input quality goes, I run a charger on a known dirty generator output in a hot cabinet (see above) and it puts out 80-100 amps of its 100amp rating. Any derating done with these chargers to compensate for heat and power is certainly less than derating to 25A output.

He has new batteries. It is possible that they are showing 12.25V in the morning without many amp hours having been withdrawn - particularly if there was a 5-10A load on them at the time of measurement. I'm sure that wasn't a resting voltage he saw.

You are dreaming if you think he is going to find anyone on St. Thomas with an oscilloscope willing to troubleshoot marina mains power. That all is a red herring right now - particularly given that the charger worked fine up to this point and that none of his stated voltages and amps make any sense - even compensating for temperature and dirty power.

I agree that we need to know what the parameters are that the unit is set to now and where and how he is measuring current and voltage. Bill's comment leads me to believe that he may be relying on an uncalibrated battery monitor instead of direct measurements at the source(s).

John, what is it?

Mark
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Old 23-12-2011, 19:04   #92
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
You make good points, but keep in mind the charger will fold back the current, not the voltage with heat
Voltage means nothing without current, current does the work.

Quote:
The voltage will only be lowered by temperature compensation - meaning his batteries are hot. His batteries would need to be at 40C for the charger to compensate to the voltages he is seeing. I don't think new batteries are getting that hot no matter where he is located.
Not exactly, Ohms Law, and current from the source all have a say in it. For a battery to reach voltage you have to drive current. During bulk stage the voltage of the bat depending on it's SOC, and the amount of current can take hours to reach the absorption voltage. The charger output in this case is limited by operating temps of the charger, as well as the sine-wave of the source, bc it's a switch mode design, temp compensation doesn't have anything to do with temp rise of the equipment. Battery charge temp. compensation is another layer on top. SM chargers....the Achilles Heel is the junction temp. of the desceates that are used to build the power supply

Quote:
And the current is folded back severely - I don't think the charger is that hot either. To compare, my old charger (I'm currently installing a new one) would happily pump out 80-100amps living in a 43C closet. 75% of its rated output is still lots more than 25A.
Well that's what we don't know I have asked for temps in the environment of the charger, as wel as temps and SPG of the bats.

You can't happily compare your charger to his unless they are the same, and then only if they are operating under the same parameters.

Quote:
As far as the power input quality goes, I run a charger on a known dirty generator output in a hot cabinet (see above) and it puts out 80-100 amps of its 100amp rating. Any derating done with these chargers to compensate for heat and power is certainly less than derating to 25A output.
Well dirty is very subjective, and without an o-scope of the wave form, means nothing. I have seen the peak sine-wave jump from 155 to 170 at marinas just from changing the shore power outlet.

Quote:
He has new batteries. It is possible that they are showing 12.25V in the morning without many amp hours having been withdrawn - particularly if there was a 5-10A load on them at the time of measurement. I'm sure that wasn't a resting voltage he saw.
That's true, I have asked for his 24 hrs loads, still don't have an answer. So I can only work from the information I have.

Quote:
You are dreaming if you think he is going to find anyone on St. Thomas with an oscilloscope willing to troubleshoot marina mains power. That all is a red herring right now - particularly given that the charger worked fine up to this point and that none of his stated voltages and amps make any sense - even compensating for temperature and dirty power.
It's not a red hearing!!!!!! Any Marine Electrician, who is qualified, and provides true electrical service better have an O-scope. Especially if they are going to do service on a generator. The last time I checked anyone can buy a portable FLUKE O-SCOPE for about $450.00 US

Quote:
I agree that we need to know what the parameters are that the unit is set to now and where and how he is measuring current and voltage. Bill's comment leads me to believe that he may be relying on an uncalibrated battery monitor instead of direct measurements at the source(s).

John, what is it?

Mark
To properly trouble shoot anything, you have to follow the right protocol, and then document your findings. Anything else is just WAG...ing. Much like what we typically find on internet forums, and shops where they have more an interest in selling you something new, then actually repairing, or finding the real fault involved.

In this case...I'm not making one red cent, I'm not selling one thing, I am just trying to provide a fellow boater with some insight on how to find the fault, so that he doesn't become victim to the guy selling him new parts.

Lloyd
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Old 23-12-2011, 19:22   #93
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Floyd,

You obviously have never been out here. Believe me, electricians do not have scopes here. They don't even have electrical ground testers.

Also, changing a marina outlet does not change the wave form. You keep implying that there is something wrong with the input AC waveform and will not relent until somebody is going to post pics from a scope... even though I have told a couple of times that I have the exact same genset and my Victron loves it's AC. Power transfer is the surface area of the waveform. Your top-top voltage story for switched-mode devices holds some ground but only if that device needs a minimum input voltage that is prevented by a bit of AC distortion. This is not the case here, the Victron takes a nice input range and will output full power for that whole range.

I have still not seen numbers for fully charged batteries. I want to see a 13.2V float with max. 6A current. Then, when the charger is switched off, a bit inverter for a little battery discharge, and charger back on, I want to see a very short (seconds or minute or so) bulk phase with voltage rising to 14.4 - 14.8V before switching to absorption. If battery further discharged, I want to see the charger in bulk phase with full rated output. If the charger overheats, it will show that with a status LED.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 23-12-2011, 20:23   #94
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Floyd,
That would be Lloyd to you just like it is to everyone else.

Quote:
You obviously have never been out here. Believe me, electricians do not have scopes here. They don't even have electrical ground testers.
If that is true, and you know it before ya go, then it seems prudent to carry your own aboard, juts like a true rms multi-meter, about the same costs for a fluke. As a matter of fact I have had mine on a number of generators between here and Alaska, while I was on vacation...on my own boat.

Quote:
Also, changing a marina outlet does not change the wave form.
If you go back and read you'll see I didnt say anything about wave form.... I spoke only of peak voltage.

Quote:
You keep implying that there is something wrong with the input AC waveform and will not relent until somebody is going to post pics from a scope... even though I have told a couple of times that I have the exact same genset and my Victron loves it's AC.
DUDE.... First you are not presenting your gen through the the Xantrex T-240, second, you are not presenting with the same parameters....the only way you could is if you un-installed your I/C and then installed it aboard John's vessel.

Quote:
Power transfer is the surface area of the waveform. Your top-top voltage story for switched-mode devices holds some ground but only if that device needs a minimum input voltage that is prevented by a bit of AC distortion. This is not the case here, the Victron takes a nice input range and will output full power for that whole range.
DUDE, go read the manual, you have to choose the voltage in the set-up. But like anything that is one size fits all, it's master of none...quit along the lines of a motorsaler.

Besides the manual clearly states the the that it is of SM design, and can and will affect the wave form.

Quote:
I have still not seen numbers for fully charged batteries. I want to see a 13.2V float with max. 6A current. Then, when the charger is switched off, a bit inverter for a little battery discharge, and charger back on, I want to see a very short (seconds or minute or so) bulk phase with voltage rising to 14.4 - 14.8V before switching to absorption. If battery further discharged, I want to see the charger in bulk phase with full rated output
Nick, I have been asking to see the same numbers, but I want to see them temp compensated, that's why I asked the OP if he had a hydro, and a bat temp. thermo. Go back and read what I have said since day one that I got involved.

Quote:
If the charger overheats, it will show that with a status LED.

cheers,
Nick.
The charger will only show overheat, when it's out of range, now since the charge is built on discretes, and coils, it would take a meter to show the declining output capibilities, and another layer of programing to show you the decline in a linear output. Instead it waits unitl it hits the wall and then lights the lights. It's going to take a scope to see the ramp down.


and cheers to you, and all who have stayed this late in the game.

LLOYD
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Old 23-12-2011, 22:16   #95
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

This Victron unit allows an input voltage of 94-128V AC at 60Hz without the need to select anything. Also, overheat has a warning phase where the LED indicators pulse instead of steady on. The 120A charger output is for 25 deg., not 20. When the temperature is 35 deg. C. which is likely in this case, the output is reduced to 88% continuous, meaning the 120A gets reduced to more than 105A. Practically, this means his charger should stay above 100A until absorption phase. (http://www.victronenergy.com/Technic...efficiency.pdf)

An auto-transformer only works for the 120V part of 120-0-120V installations that is out of balance (it is a single winding with center tap, not in the path of 240V circuits). It does not distort the waveform nor reduce peak voltage at all. It's efficiency is BETTER than 99%.



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Old 23-12-2011, 23:38   #96
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
This Victron unit allows an input voltage of 94-128V AC at 60Hz without the need to select anything.
2.3 Inverter Settings
Inverter Voltage
The inverter voltage can be set at between 94Vac-128Vac.
Set the DS 3-7 Specify the voltage Example
DS-8
DS-7 on
DS-6 on
DS-5 off
DS-4 off
DS-3 off
DS-2
DS-1
Specify the required voltage Vq.
Determine the setting number:
scale=1V
offset=94V setting
number=(Vq-94)
Determine the LED indication.
Press the pushbuttons until the
required LED indication is displayed.
Required: voltage is 119V.
Setting number = 119-94 = 25.
LED indication =
0 0
0 1
0 2
2 2
2 5
Increment size is 1V.
NOTE: for setting the voltage of the Phoenix Inverter a voltage meter is to be used, because the
Phoenix Inverter has only 4 LEDs

Quote:
Also, overheat has a warning phase where the LED indicators pulse instead of steady on. The 120A charger output is for 25 deg., not 20. When the temperature is 35 deg. C. which is likely in this case, the output is reduced to 88% continuous, meaning the 120A gets reduced to more than 105A. Practically, this means his charger should stay above 100A until absorption phase. (http://www.victronenergy.com/Technic...efficiency.pdf)
Nick,

Clearly you need to read the link you post thoroughly.
NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT the OP'"s manual clearly states 20C .

Iout = K x √(Tmax – ΔTo - Tamb) (7)
where Iout is the output current; K is a constant; Tmax is the maximum heatsink
temperature; ΔTo is the temperature rise of the heatsink due to the no-load power
dissipation; and Tamb is the temperature of the cooling air flow.

Formula (7) shows that when ΔTo + Tamb = Tmax, Iout = 0.
In other words: when the ambient temperature is so high that the no load power dissipation alone will cause the heatsink to reach the maximum temperature limit, the output current of the circuit is 0. Any output current would increase the temperature of the heatsink beyond the maximum and result in shut down of the circuit due to
overheating.

Quote:
An auto-transformer only works for the 120V part of 120-0-120V installations that is out of balance (it is a single winding with center tap, not in the path of 240V circuits). It does not distort the waveform nor reduce peak voltage at all. It's efficiency is BETTER than 99%.
A perfect transformer operates at the proverbial 100% eff at 25 C.

A torrid transformer operates at about 90-95 % eff, at 25 C.

Well, let's see the Xantrex is an E-core, the site shows the T-240 3.9KVA operates 75-80% eff at 25C, and falls flat after 135 F.


Quote:
cheers,
Nick.
Your generic chart shows nothing in relation to the OP equipment or issues.

Go have a look at addendum page 4 & 5 of the OP's actual manual, which shows, both the charge curve, and the temp curve be fore correction.

If you want, I'm more then happy to send you a PDF on Transformer Design

Lloyd
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Old 24-12-2011, 05:02   #97
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What part of input voltage isn't clear? Because the inverter voltage you mention is output voltage and has nothing, nothing to do with charging.

The rest, I supplied links with graphs and tables, from Victron, that show the 88% etc. And I am not talking about the inverter part there either because his inverter works fine.

I think I'm done here, transformer book?! You don't want to go there with me as I actually designed and built custom transformers both power and HF.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 24-12-2011, 05:22   #98
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Hey multi-hull man, long time no hear. Where are you guys, we hit wall off Madagascar and are now in Richards Bay. Boat did well but bought fittings were under spec. busy up grading. Hope your haveing a good xmas.
dirk

Quote:
Originally Posted by impi View Post
I didn't want to put my paddle in the water again too early since I thought ti would be good to see how the old hands do at this ....

The woman I mentioned to you who has extremely good technical skills in Holland, is Denise.

I searched high and low until I found the piece of paper with her name on it.

In South Africa there is also a top notch guy called Andre du Randt ... His number is +27836001761.

I'm sure he could assist you is you sent him an email with the problem and things you have tried to correct it.

Between Denise in Holland and Andre (who is Victron representative in South Africa) they were able to assist me pronto on some very technical issues.

Unfortunately I am one of those modern day sailors who likes to involve the manufacturer viz. Satellite comms if necessary, until the problem is solved.
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Old 24-12-2011, 05:36   #99
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

After thinking about how my last post may have been received by you loyal friends, I decided I needed to apologize for the somewhat unceremonious and sudden departure yesterda. I was actually in a hurry to get to the airport to pick up my brother and his wife for two weeks of cruising. Their imminent arrival was also the primary reason I was so panicky about the Victron not working correctly. Had I been on my own with no deadline to meet, I probably would have taken a more methodical approach to troubleshooting and perhaps not accepted the "fix" that occurred without any component replacement, etc. Sorry for ditching the correspondence yesterday.

I see that the discussion after I left remained quite lively and even a bit contentious so I would like to answer a few questions and comments without getting into a long discussion again. Please do not be offended if I skip over yours. I hope to be underway soon and have a few details to take care of before then. Comments in order since my last post yesterday.

Nick,
You may be correct in saying that the charger is still broken but it is working much better now than it has in a week. The long charge yesterday appears to have topped off the batteries and held them at 13.6 V float through the night. My remaining concern is that the absorption mode did not last as long as the profile described in Appendix C of the installation manual but I am a bit suspect of my interpretation of that description anyway (see comments below to Mark).

Bill,
DC loads during the charge were limited to periodic cycling of freezer and refrigerator, about 5 Amps for each load.

Mark,
Most of my voltage and current readings have been with my Extech RMS clamp-on ammeter and digital multimeter. However, a few were from the installed digital voltmeter which reads within 0.05 volts of my Extech. I verified that correlation early on in this ordeal. The installed ammeter reads only current supplied by the main engine alternator so was used only for the few readings I took during my 1/2 hour engine charge here at the dock.

Also, your assertion that "The charger should stay at full amperage output until bulk voltage is reached" was my impression as well. Yesterday while taking voltage and charge current readings every 10 minutes for four hours, I looked closely at the description of the 4-stage charging process in the manual - "Bulk-mode: Entered when charger is started. Constand current is applied until nominal battery voltage is reached, depending on temperature and input voltage, after which constant power is applied up to the point where excessive gassing is starting (14.4V temperature compensated)." Key terms here include "nominal battery voltage" and "constant power". The graph above this passage shows bulk current decreasing at 12 volts, which I assume them to mean is "nominal battery voltage". "Constant power" does NOT mean constant current when voltage is increasing. I have not done the math to see if the many (V) x (A) readings are constant. I may plug the numbers I have into a spreadsheet when I have time just to check.

We remained at dock overnight and as I mentioned earlier, the batteries charged overnight and are now floating at 13.6V. I started the charge yesterday on the generator only to simulate as closely as possible the original scenario and to rule out the generator as being an issue as Lloyd keeps insisting.

Lloyd,
I don't believe high temperatures in the space around the charger is an issue. The unit sits horizontally on the aft end of the upper level of my starboard engine room about a foot above the waterline. Unless the starboard main engine is running, that is one of the coolest places on the boat. Obviously if running the ME, I would not be charging through the Victron.

Mark again,
The 12.25V starting voltage yesterday was in fact with no DC loads but I don't know how soon before that reading the fridge/freezer may have been running to artificially depress the resting reading. Given the problematic beginning state of charge and the long duration of the ensuing charge, I suspect it was a reasonbly good number.
See above for comments on instruments.

Nick again,
The charge we did yesterday is very close to what you asked for in your last paragraph. Did not experience a high temperature indication or preliminary warning.

Bottom Line: I am not fully confident that this charger is working 100% as designed but I am confident enough that I can get underway for two weeks, relying primarily on 520 watts of solar panels and perhaps motoring more than normal in case it fails again. When I get back to Puerto del Rey Marina I'll have plenty of time to sort out the charging issues. I know trying to meet deadlines is what gets most cruisers in trouble but the last time my brother and wife came to visit, we were pinned down by weather in El Cid Marina, Puerto Morales, Mexico (20miles south of Cancun), for almost the whole time they were there. I really want them to have a better time this visit.

BTW if anyone wants to see the charge data at 10 minute intervals, send me a PM.

Again, thanks to all of you for your help. If I can ever return the favor, please ask. This is what makes this forum such a great place to be.
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Old 24-12-2011, 06:31   #100
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Voltage means nothing without current, current does the work.

I didn't say otherwise. I was just correcting your statement that the charger would decrease its voltage as it gets hot. It decreases its current. And it is very easy to have voltage without current - most electronics wouldn't work otherwise.

Not exactly, Ohms Law, and current from the source all have a say in it. For a battery to reach voltage you have to drive current. During bulk stage the voltage of the bat depending on it's SOC, and the amount of current can take hours to reach the absorption voltage. The charger output in this case is limited by operating temps of the charger, as well as the sine-wave of the source, bc it's a switch mode design, temp compensation doesn't have anything to do with temp rise of the equipment. Battery charge temp. compensation is another layer on top. SM chargers....the Achilles Heel is the junction temp. of the desceates that are used to build the power supply

A working charger would have only gone into absorption when the voltage is much higher than the 13.5V his reached. Given John's stated voltages, amps and state of operation the charger relayed to him, the temperature of the charger is not an issue and the voltage will only be limited by temperature compensation. He was charging at low voltage and low current - none of that makes sense no matter what state of charge, input power or environmental conditions you throw at it - without going into unlikely extremes.

Well that's what we don't know I have asked for temps in the environment of the charger, as wel as temps and SPG of the bats.

You can't happily compare your charger to his unless they are the same, and then only if they are operating under the same parameters.

But I can relay an expected range of operating conditions for similar, if not somewhat lower quality charger and actually worse input source. And given the performance of his, it is well below expected operating function.

Well dirty is very subjective, and without an o-scope of the wave form, means nothing. I have seen the peak sine-wave jump from 155 to 170 at marinas just from changing the shore power outlet.

The manufacturer of my generator calls it dirty power, as most small, 2-pole, capacitor contolled ones are.

That's true, I have asked for his 24 hrs loads, still don't have an answer. So I can only work from the information I have.

It's not a red hearing!!!!!! Any Marine Electrician, who is qualified, and provides true electrical service better have an O-scope. Especially if they are going to do service on a generator. The last time I checked anyone can buy a portable FLUKE O-SCOPE for about $450.00 US

Oh man, you haven't been out here, have you? I suppose one could carry their own scope, but even then, you would not get a marina to let you near their power or have time to teach the electrician how to use it. This statement alone brought a lot of your responses into context for me.

To properly trouble shoot anything, you have to follow the right protocol, and then document your findings. Anything else is just WAG...ing. Much like what we typically find on internet forums, and shops where they have more an interest in selling you something new, then actually repairing, or finding the real fault involved.

I'm not taking WAG's here. I am suggesting a different troubleshooting protocol based on my experiences with these systems in actual usage. And you don't seem to have caught on that both Nick and I actually have the OP's inverter/charger, and Nick has his genset. We are familiar with their installations, usage and performance in tropical environments using 3rd world power. We aren't selling anything either - just passing on our experience with the same, or close to the same system as the OP and in the same operating environments.

In this case...I'm not making one red cent, I'm not selling one thing, I am just trying to provide a fellow boater with some insight on how to find the fault, so that he doesn't become victim to the guy selling him new parts.

Lloyd

Lloyd, I'm really not picking an argument with you. Rather, I find unlikely and improbable the operating extremes required to fit your troubleshooting regime and have offered John some simpler and more directed guidance on how his charger should be operating. Right now, running down the power is a red herring because he has operated on two separate and independent power sources - both of which have worked fine up until his charger stopped working. Additionally, I can run the same charger with a known filthy source with no problem, not to mention I am hooked into mains right now with a RMS of 106V and the charger puts out full power.

Mark
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Old 24-12-2011, 06:42   #101
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Okay, this is an aspect not yet discussed... your unit is 120V, 2000W, 12V, 120A. What you're looking at is a 120V 2kW inverter and a 12V 120A charger. Do not assume that the charger is 2000W because that isn't how it works (although 2 kW will be it's maximum output).

Your maximum bulk voltage for the batteries we use is under 15V. When we multiply that with 120A, we get 1,800W. In bulk mode (look carefully at the graph I posted, there are two lines and scales: voltage and current... the Victron and every other smart charger has the same graph by the way)... so, in bulk mode, the current is constant, a horizontal line, at 100% of charger rating, which is 120A at 25C, let's say 105A in your temperature. This is called de-rating because of environment factors, but for calculations with levels of power output in %, we keep using 120A because 100% output becomes de-rated to 105A and that is 100% of the charger power in that environment. The charger has forced air cooling and the fan will switch on (does it???!!!!) to keep the unit cool enough if ventilation is ok. During this phase, with the current at 100%, the voltage starts at where the battery was before charging was started, let's say 12V. This means that the charger puts 12*120=1,440W into the batteries, well below it's power rating. At the end of the bulk phase, the voltage has come up to let's say 14.6V so output is 14.6*120=1,752W which is still well below the unit's 2 kW rating (it mostly uses the same circuitry for charging and inverting). The derating means that you replace the 120A with 105A but percentages stay the same.

So what changes during the bulk phase is both the voltage and the power transfer, while the current is fixed. That "current=fixed" is the identification of a proper bulk phase.

Now, if the unit's fan does not start, or if the unit is in an enclosed space that heats up quickly, the de-rating of the unit will change while it is charging, which can lead to the bulk phase current decreasing. When you look at the graphs in the Victron docs that I linked to, you will see that it goes to zero at 60C.

If the fan is working and the space around the unit doesn't become hot, this problem is not there. To go a step further, open the top of the unit and inspect around the air vents for dust blocking the air flow.

Keep in mind that this worked fine for all those years, so there is nothing wrong with the design like using the transformer etc. Something has changed suddenly, which normally indicates a failure somewhere.

I have a Quattro 3kW unit and a Victron torroidal autotransformer. Same genset. The only difference is that my Quattro connects to the 240V part instead of 120V. I am in a hotter environment than you (Panama) and my charger outputs 90-95% of rated capacity with no change between shore power or genset. Just like it always worked on your boat.

Stop using that electrician, make your way to St Maarten (Dutch side) and visit the representative there. Talk with Victron Holland while doing that so that they direct the local dealer on what to do (yes even there it's the Caribbean and guidance is needed).

If it ever comes to replacing the unit, go for a 230V 50Hz (EU version) Quattro and possibly even an isolation transformer that can be configured to create 240V from 120V input (so that you can always make 220-250V even if all you get from the dock is 110V). The EU version of the Quattro can be programmed to do 60Hz and 240V plus it has separate inputs for shore power and genset. The rest is pretty much like what you have now but a more modern design.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 25-12-2011, 06:53   #102
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

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..... The charger has forced air cooling and the fan will switch on (does it???!!!!) to keep the unit cool enough if ventilation is ok.
.......

Now, if the unit's fan does not start, or if the unit is in an enclosed space that heats up quickly, the de-rating of the unit will change while it is charging, which can lead to the bulk phase current decreasing. When you look at the graphs in the Victron docs that I linked to, you will see that it goes to zero at 60C.

If the fan is working and the space around the unit doesn't become hot, this problem is not there. To go a step further, open the top of the unit and inspect around the air vents for dust blocking the air flow.
I have not noted the fan coming on during this episode but it has in the past with a heavy load, such as the toaster or microwafe so I think the fan works. Furthermore, the compartment where it is located remains comfortable except when the main engine is running as explained in my post above.
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Keep in mind that this worked fine for all those years, so there is nothing wrong with the design like using the transformer etc. Something has changed suddenly, which normally indicates a failure somewhere.
Agree 100%, which is sort of why I started this brutal thread in the first place - it wasn't displaying normal operating characteristics.

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Stop using that electrician, make your way to St Maarten (Dutch side) and visit the representative there. Talk with Victron Holland while doing that so that they direct the local dealer on what to do (yes even there it's the Caribbean and guidance is needed).
Certainly, if I note any more problems with the unit in the near future and probably will otherwise when weather and schedule permit just for peace of mind.
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If it ever comes to replacing the unit, go for a 230V 50Hz (EU version) Quattro and possibly even an isolation transformer that can be configured to create 240V from 120V input (so that you can always make 220-250V even if all you get from the dock is 110V). The EU version of the Quattro can be programmed to do 60Hz and 240V plus it has separate inputs for shore power and genset. The rest is pretty much like what you have now but a more modern design.

cheers,
Nick.
Thanks for the explanation and recommendations. I will definitely consider them when I reconfigure my electrical system next hurricane season or sooner if necessary.
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Old 25-12-2011, 07:10   #103
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Ok, I think the fan is broken then because it isn't so quiet. It should switch on within seconds of starting a 100+ amps bulk charge.

I do not write nor invite you to do the following... There are lethal voltages in there!

A qualified electrician (putting gloves on increases qualifications...) could open the unit and attach a multimeter to the connection of the fan and thus find out if the fan is indeed broken. The meter will also show the oltage and type of the fan (AC/DC)

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 25-12-2011, 07:23   #104
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Ok, I think the fan is broken then because it isn't so quiet. It should switch on within seconds of starting a 100+ amps bulk charge.

I do not write nor invite you to do the following... There are lethal voltages in there!

A qualified electrician (putting gloves on increases qualifications...) could open the unit and attach a multimeter to the connection of the fan and thus find out if the fan is indeed broken. The meter will also show the oltage and type of the fan (AC/DC)

cheers,
Nick.
Nick,

Having been a technical writer for 15 years in one of my past careers, I know how written words, regardless of how clear they seem to the author, can be misinterpreted. Thus I chose my words very carefully, "I have not noted the fan coming on ...". Because I wasn't watching or listening carefully for the fan at the time, I cannot state for a fact that it did NOT come on during the few initial burst charges at 75-80 amps, just that I didn't notice it on.

When I get back on shore power again in a sheltered marina with very little wave action, I may be able to do the test recommended. At the moment, I am very much enjoying the warm sun and cool breezes at Christmas Cove, waiting for the St. Thomas YC Christmas party to start.

Hope you enjoy your holiday, too.
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Old 04-01-2012, 13:12   #105
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Re: Is My Victron Multi Dying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Ok, I think the fan is broken then because it isn't so quiet. It should switch on within seconds of starting a 100+ amps bulk charge.

I do not write nor invite you to do the following... There are lethal voltages in there!

A qualified electrician (putting gloves on increases qualifications...) could open the unit and attach a multimeter to the connection of the fan and thus find out if the fan is indeed broken. The meter will also show the oltage and type of the fan (AC/DC)

cheers,
Nick.
Nick, you may have nailed this one. Today with my brother watching the unit while I turned off AC power to it after another abortive charge, he noted the "temperature" light flashing for a few seconds immediately after the "Mains on" light went off. This implies that the charger was hot and possibly self limiting itself. I have an e-mail in to Denise at Tech Support in The Netherlands to confirm this analysis and to get more information about the fan. I was surprised that the temperature light doesn't indicate for the charger as well as the inverter.

We are now at a dock in Puerto del Rey Marina, Fajardo, Puerto Rico, where I intend to stay until this issue is completely resolved.

Stand by for Round 2.
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