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Old 10-01-2016, 18:56   #1
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Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

I know there is another thread going here about the "best" inverter and I was going to add to that but thought I would start my own since I have a very specific question. I've been studying Inverters pretty hard for the past couple of weeks and pretty much have it narrowed down to the two above (3000s). Goal is an inverter that will be augmented by a small generator (or vice versa really) and these both seamlessly augment.

So my question is: Does anyone have experience with both of these and if so can you offer feedback on one compared to the other. Lacking a person with experience with both, someone with experience with one or the other and an opinion on advantages of one over the other, please chime in also.

The Mastervolts seem nice too but are the most expensive of the lot.
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Old 10-01-2016, 19:37   #2
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

I forgot to include some of my own observations from studying them:

Magnum advantage: Low frequency (iron core transformer handles surges better) - I assume the Victron is not since they don't mention it.

Victron advantage(s): Has two AC outputs (one that only works when AC-in is present from shore or generator - great for keeping the AC or water heater from draining your batteries)
Handles LiIon batteries.
Slightly more efficient
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Old 10-01-2016, 20:54   #3
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

Lots of experience with Victron, less with Mastervolt but both seem well engineered.

I sold both but have 2x Victron Multi-Plus units on my boat (split phase) and no problems in 8 years of service

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Old 10-01-2016, 21:02   #4
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

About a year ago I was considering all three products (Magnum, Victron and Mastervolt) and ultimately chose the Victron MultiPlus 3000.

My reasons:
1. Magnum clearly stated in an email to me that they would not honor the warranty if the unit was installed in an engine compartment.
2. Magnum also wouldn't disclose how much noise their unit makes but admitted that it does make noise.
3. Mastervolt was substantially more expensive than the other two.

Our Victron has functioned as specified with zero problems, is quiet and was relatively affordable.

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Old 11-01-2016, 04:31   #5
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

The Victron is also a line frequency mode - in fact, it uses a toroidal transformer, so probably more efficient and reactive. Programming the Victron requires in depth knowledge of Sanskrit, while the Magnum uses common English. I think they both have two outputs. Our Victron is pretty loud when it is charging hard or under a large load - louder than our previous Outback.

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Old 11-01-2016, 16:21   #6
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The Victron is also a line frequency mode - in fact, it uses a toroidal transformer
Mark
Mark, Can you explain what that means to a layman?
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Old 11-01-2016, 16:48   #7
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

There are two approaches to inverting/charging. The first, and oldest, is to use a large, heavy transformer and some switches (transistors) as the sole stage to convert 12V to a higher voltage at the "line frequency", which would be the nominal frequency you use (generally either 120V or 240V and 60 or 50Hz, depending on your gear). This is the type used by Magnum, Outback and Victron.

The second approach uses high frequency switching to first create 12V AC at a high frequency, then convert this to a higher voltage at lower frequencies using small, light transformers. This is the type used by Xantrex and others.

The first type is heavy and large, while the second is light and small. There are tradeoffs, even though both perform well.

The Victron uses a toroidal transformer, which is a more efficient and reactive device compared to a general transformer. It is more expensive to manufacture, though, and may not present a significant difference in general usage. It would make a difference at the extremes of usage.

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Old 11-01-2016, 17:08   #8
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

Ah, OK, that makes sense. I've only seen "line frequency" inverters called "low frequency" inverters.
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Old 12-01-2016, 22:36   #9
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Programming the Victron requires in depth knowledge of Sanskrit, while the Magnum uses common English.

Mark
The Victron MultiPlus is easy to program and very adjustable. An inexpensive adaptor is needed from Victron (the dealer should have it - VE Bus to Usb) and free software from Victron as well as a laptop.

https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...nfigure-EN.pdf
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Old 26-04-2016, 06:28   #10
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

I think I read on Mainesail's blog that the victron has voltage sense on battery terminals , which makes it a better charger. He was talking about lifepo4, but I unsure if that also applies to lead acid.
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Old 26-04-2016, 07:27   #11
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

Can't compare features, but I have about 6 years of experience with Victron Multiplus 24/70/3000.

The device is THE crucial central hub of the boat's electrical system and so is mission-critical.

The Victron has all functions needed and works well, but does not communicate anything about what it is doing other than showing inverter on or off, and stage of charge. This is very poor, in my opinion, for such a sophisticated, expensive device.

So I have had to rig up my own set of 3 volt/amp meters showing volts and amps of AC power INTO the Victron, volts amps AC OUT of the Victron, and volts amps of DC in and out. Only now do I have even basic information like how much the inverter is outputting, how much DC power is being consumed by the inverter, what is the rate of charge of the charger, and DC system voltage.

This is fundamental information without which you can't really manage what's going on so I think it's poor that this is not given.

I have had one dead failure of the inverter/charger, and I have had other failures in Victron gear, and know plenty of others who have had them. The gear is beautiful and heavy and appears to be high quality, but I doubt that it is the most reliable unit you can buy. I bet Outback or Magnum are more reliable than Victron, but I can't say anything about functions. If you do go Victron, I suggesting installing two of them in a gang (they are easy to connect that way; they're designed for it) so you have built in backup, and/or at least install it in a very accessible place (not like mine!) so you can bypass it and swap it out easily when, umm if, required.



By the way, and a bit off topic -- I have switched to a Merlin SmartGauge battery monitor from a Victron conventional shunt based monitor after seeing overwhelming evidence that it gives a more accurate assessment of battery state of charge.

That is after three years of simply watching system voltage, assuming that without any heavy loads the state of charge will be slightly better than what the open circuit voltage indicates.

Guess what? The SmartGauge is giving me EXACTLY the same data which I got from simply watching system voltage, just instead of looking up open circuit voltage vs % charge in a table, the SmartGauge reads out the % charge directly. Hah. I wonder if that's all it does?
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Old 26-04-2016, 07:52   #12
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

Quote:
Originally Posted by isaacchacon View Post
I think I read on Mainesail's blog that the victron has voltage sense on battery terminals , which makes it a better charger. He was talking about lifepo4, but I unsure if that also applies to lead acid.
You also want a device that can monitor battery temp as this is critical to prevent overcharging and excessive evaporation.

A good battery monitor/controller should give you battery voltage, amp charge or discharge, state of batteries as well as indicate cycles at a minimum. The ability to equalize lead acid batteries is also desirable but I think this is pretty common.

Good Hunting.
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Old 26-04-2016, 08:00   #13
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

I got a Magnum largely based on it being KISS. I am not a programmer and I like simple, intuitive interfaces, which the remote for the Magnum has, The remote should be sold with it as without the remote you can't program it and don't know what is going on, but the remote does tell you number of amps being drawn and number of amps going into battery, battery temp etc.
I too use the Smart Gauge and until very recently thought the world of it, but just very recently it started acting weird and not reading correctly, I don't know if this will repeat or not.
Anyway my Magnum is mounted out in the open, under my nav desk and at first this concerned me thinking of the cooling fans, but unless it's working harder than I almost ever work it, the fans stay off and even when on, they are about as loud as a desktop computer cooling fan, as that is what it uses.
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Old 26-04-2016, 20:06   #14
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Can't compare features, but I have about 6 years of experience with Victron Multiplus 24/70/3000.

The device is THE crucial central hub of the boat's electrical system and so is mission-critical.

The Victron has all functions needed and works well, but does not communicate anything about what it is doing other than showing inverter on or off, and stage of charge. This is very poor, in my opinion, for such a sophisticated, expensive device.

So I have had to rig up my own set of 3 volt/amp meters showing volts and amps of AC power INTO the Victron, volts amps AC OUT of the Victron, and volts amps of DC in and out. Only now do I have even basic information like how much the inverter is outputting, how much DC power is being consumed by the inverter, what is the rate of charge of the charger, and DC system voltage.

This is fundamental information without which you can't really manage what's going on so I think it's poor that this is not given.
Most inverters do not give you much if any information without a remote panel. Victron has 2 that work with the Multiplus.

https://www.victronenergy.com/panel-...ntrol-panel-gx

and

https://www.victronenergy.com/panel-...-net#datasheet

https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...r-Panel-EN.pdf
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Old 26-04-2016, 23:28   #15
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Re: Magnum Energy MSH versus Victron Energy MultiPlus

Dockhead quite right it is the hub. After adding some solar last week with Victron controllers and linking the multiplus and the solar to the color controller I now have instant view of everything going on with the power, very useful. I now turn off the multiplus more zealously when not in use, then switch it on to boil the kettle.....which chews around 1750 watts but the inverter consumes just over 2Kw. Running up the engine or my little DC genset the display has nice graphics showing the power movement, also the solar coming in. Happy I went with Victron to allow this integration of power info and hardware. My multiplus now around 6 years old and never given trouble. I am on the second isolation transformer though. Some settings still need to be adjusted and I am still finding my way around the menus etc.
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