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Old 16-11-2014, 13:53   #91
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

I agree with Hkalan. I would would be extremely impressed with any inverter/charger that could work reliably stuffed into a corner of an engine room. The typically very poor ventilation combined with intermittent high ambient temperatures are not conducive to reliability. I would be looking for an alternative location to mount it.
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Old 16-11-2014, 18:31   #92
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

Boats are never in a perfect environment. They are either too hot, too cold, and often in a way too humid environment and never in a perfectly level position unless you own a house boat moored to a dock on a river somewhere (with heat and AC running all year).

Engines have multiple computers, fitted with tons of electronic equipment including chargers. If they gave in as easy as these simple battery chargers we would never go anywhere.

What we need is a reliable charger that can be installed in an engine room like all the other equipment we house in our boats offering years of reliable service just charging our batteries. Anyone hurt of such a thing because I would sure like to know?
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Old 16-11-2014, 21:01   #93
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Back to the original topic --

Somewhere earlier in the thread, I wrote that every single piece of Victron equipment on my boat had failed at least once, except only the humble Victron BMV 6005 battery monitor . . .

Well, guess what?

Man am I getting sick of this!!! Am I cursed, or what?!
Doesn't sound reasonable. Here's a long shot. Check that the alternating currents running around are pure sine wave. If they're square wave or have jaggies, they'll destroy equipment.

Incidentally, here where I am, in Savannah GA USA, within a couple of hundred metres of the marina there are two board level electronic repair technicians. They're old timers. It's good to be with them. The point is, whoever says there are no electronic repair technicians around any more and you have to switch out circuit boards and scrap electronic equipment after three years is misleading.
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Old 17-11-2014, 02:05   #94
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

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Originally Posted by mlundp View Post
....What we need is a reliable charger that can be installed in an engine room like all the other equipment we house in our boats offering years of reliable service just charging our batteries.....
I think you are expecting too much from the relatively small marine industry! It's probably not economically viable to make kit that is designed to work at 70C. Electronic circuits don't like high temperatures and there are a lot of high currents flowing in a 3Kw inverter/charger, you don't get this in auto engine compartments.

Look at technical specs and Victron are designed for a max temperature of 50C, that's 122F. Zantrex tell you that the charge current output is reduced above 40C. Balmar warn against installation in high temperature locations, but still installers put an external regulator right next to an alternator that is designed to get to 100C.

RTFM!
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Old 17-11-2014, 02:17   #95
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

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Originally Posted by mcarling View Post
I agree with Hkalan. I would would be extremely impressed with any inverter/charger that could work reliably stuffed into a corner of an engine room. The typically very poor ventilation combined with intermittent high ambient temperatures are not conducive to reliability. I would be looking for an alternative location to mount it.
Well, the engine room was the original install point for all this equipment, with all the wiring led there, etc. There are two big blowers ventilating that space, and the ambient temperature in there is typically under 30 degrees. Never seen it over 40. Well within the factory spec which allows up to 50 as ambient temperature.

I don't think this is the problem.
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Old 17-11-2014, 02:50   #96
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

Gulp. Just had a 100A Victron charger installed today. Wait and see I guess.
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Old 17-11-2014, 02:55   #97
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

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Originally Posted by shufti View Post
Gulp. Just had a 100A Victron charger installed today. Wait and see I guess.
Not to worry shufti - we have 2 units for 4 years working full time on our boat ... and we could not possibly be happier with our units ... Our Victrons really are superb !!! We have the 3000 / 120 inverter chargers ... they really perform! They work hard and require good ventilation and air flow ... bottom line!
We also run a 5000 BTU aircon in our bedroom most nights from the batteries without the generator on ... all through our victron inverters ... without a glitch ... that always amazes me so I am sorry to hear some are having issues, but I would bet in the end it comes down to adequate ventialtion!
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Old 17-11-2014, 03:40   #98
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

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I hope that bumping this old thread does not cause too much "friction" but to the OP -- Dockhead I believe -- how did your issues with the inverter/charger work out? Did it have to go in for service or did you find some wiring problems?

I'm glad that a few folks chimed in late in this thread with endorsements of Victron as I was starting to get nervous reading all the problems Dockhead has had. I have almost made up my mind to get on the Victron boat and hadn't come across too much negative info about the brand before.
I have not had any more failures of Victron gear in the last couple of years. Although I admit that I just left my isolation transformer failed in place -- never bothered to fix it.

The functionality of the Victron stuff is absolutely fantastic. So good that it may even be worth the risk of failure. The Multiplus charger/inverter is the heart of my boat's electrical system, and I can't imagine being without it now.

So I wouldn't necessarily discourage anyone from going Victron -- it's the best, in terms of functionality. Just keep in mind that it might not be 100% reliable. I am not the only one to have had problems with this gear.

But before settling on Victron, you might have a look at Newmar, or even Sterling equivalents. The Newmar stuff is supposed to be the best of all in terms of quality (was original fit on my boat), but very expensive. The Sterling stuff is very cheap, and is supposed to be really excellent -- heard this from more than one marine electrician. Don't think they make any exact equivalent of the Multiplus, though.
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Old 17-11-2014, 13:36   #99
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

"Boats are never in a perfect environment."
There are harsher environments. And electronic equipment can be built to survive blissfully in them. But once you start to use milspec components, and proper heat sinking (every 10C rise in temperature cuts component life in half, you really want to stay at 68F/20C) and then throw in potting to make it waterproof as well...
The average boater is going to take one look at the price tag and collapse, guffawing on the floor.

That's a problem with mass-market goods.

Of course, if EVERY piece from a certain vendor has eventually failed in service, then you've got perfect reliability. You can rely on each piece failing, the only question is when. The best stuff is built with a criticality detector, so that it fails at the least convenient moment.
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Old 17-11-2014, 14:04   #100
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Re: I've Had It With Victron Equipment

Thing that seems to get me on the start of this article is how cramped and badly designed a M54 is to fit these things on! They must have spent more time thinking about accommodation and storage ! I am no particular fan of any brand but I will say that my Victron inverter was the only thing to survive 2 lightning strikes ! Can't be said for my sterling (bloody noisy) charger. Always amused at how much space modern even custom built boats allow for maintenance/access to mechanical and electrical items.
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