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View Poll Results: Do you recommend Mastervolt or Victron?
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Old 25-09-2013, 17:33   #1
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Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

May I raise the question of experience with Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

FWIW, our ADAGIO (Morrelli & Melvin custom 52) is enjoying year 13 since we launched her in Opua, NZ. She is averaging about 10,000nm/year as we passed the 130,000nm log on our way back west across the Pacific to Hobart.

More at Adagio Journal.

We have Mastervolt 24V, 230V gear since build - three chargers, one 3500W inverter. And Panda 10kW genset. It's the Mastervolt Mass 24/3500 inverter that has just given up faithful duty. It is been running nearly 100% for 13 years in the completely dry machinery room - but has serious internal corrosion in the area cooled by the muffin fan.

We think we can get by with a modern power boost unit like the MASS COMBI 24/2500-60. We don't need the extra charging (already have 24V x 275A), but this seems the cheapest way to buy load-sharing or boost. In particular to boost typical wimpy 16A 230VAC shore power when intermittent loads come on. This is not a Big Deal but a great convenience for times when we are marina-based.

I know a few boats with Mastervolt but don't happen to know any with Victron for comparison. The pricing here is about the same for the MASS COMBI 24/2500-60 and the VICTRON 24/3000/70-16a.

Following are some comments on Victron issues - the naturally biased source is NZ Mastervolt agent who supplied all our 1999 gear, Panda genset, etc. The solid state vs. transformer design I know is correct. The rest I've not verified.

Victron: check their specs (exaggerated) - e.g., their 3000 Combi is really equivalent to the Mastervolt 2500. Mastervolt is fully solid state, lightweight. Victron is transformer-based, very heavy. NOTE Victron screaming will bug you depending on location installed.

A big one for me is that Victron no-load consumption is very high, in idle state will use about 1, 2A on a 12V system. IP rating is one step down from Mastervolt (it's an industrial inverter) so corrosion will be worse. Victron efficiency is a lot more peaky, whereas Mastervolt curve is much flatter.

I have to say that I trust my NZ source - who has always given us good advice and first-class service.
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Old 27-09-2013, 01:42   #2
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Re: Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

S&D,
Here's one suggestion,
I think Nick from SV Jedi uses Victron equipment, he may be able to help.
s/v Jedi
or PM him here on CF for an opinion.
He's not short of them [opinions], LOL, but very clear on supporting what he says.
There's a lot to admire about Adagio but I'm very partial to the 24v/230AC setup on a cat so have read your blog with extra interest. Glad to see you're sailing again.
Whatever you choose, I'm sure it will be a good solution.
Cheers,
Mac
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Old 27-09-2013, 02:32   #3
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Re: Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

I'm on my second boat with Victron Quattro charger/inverters. My current one is a 24V 5KVa and I am quite happy with the performance and use the "boost" feature when I do have a shore connection that is weak. The inverter is not noisy and my standby power drain is below 1A@24V. It provides a clean AC signal when inverting and I haven't found a device that doesn't like the power it provides.

The Victron is indeed a massive and heavy device, and the airflow from fan should not be obstructed as it does generate heat when charging the batteries.
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Old 27-09-2013, 02:50   #4
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Re: Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WombatWhiskers View Post
Following are some comments on Victron issues - the naturally biased source is NZ Mastervolt agent who supplied all our 1999 gear, Panda genset, etc. The solid state vs. transformer design I know is correct. The rest I've not verified.

Victron: check their specs (exaggerated) - e.g., their 3000 Combi is really equivalent to the Mastervolt 2500. Mastervolt is fully solid state, lightweight. Victron is transformer-based, very heavy. NOTE Victron screaming will bug you depending on location installed.

A big one for me is that Victron no-load consumption is very high, in idle state will use about 1, 2A on a 12V system. IP rating is one step down from Mastervolt (it's an industrial inverter) so corrosion will be worse. Victron efficiency is a lot more peaky, whereas Mastervolt curve is much flatter.
Long-time Victron user here.

The negatives about Victron from your Mastervolt dealer are pretty much true, that is:

1. Noisy (acoustically, not RF)
2. Very heavy
3. Exaggerated output -- power factor plus temperature derating means a 3000va inverter struggles with more than about 2300 watts of real life load (fortunately, that's enough for me).

I don't know about idle consumption; that sounds too high. The Victron has "search" feature which cuts way down on idle consumption. I left mine going 24/7 during our summer cruise this year, and had no problems despite being without shore power most of the time.

I can add one more negative: Reliability. My Multiplus charger/inverter dead failed 1 1/2 years after installation, requiring a horrible R&R job (dealer was very good, however). All of my Victron gear on board has failed at least once.

Functionality, however, is superb. Power boost is not just convenient, in my opinion it's absolutely essential.


Is it better or worse than Mastervolt? No idea; never tried Mastervolt.
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Old 27-09-2013, 04:13   #5
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Re: Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Long-time Victron user here.
[snip]
I can add one more negative: Reliability. My Multiplus charger/inverter dead failed 1 1/2 years after installation, requiring a horrible R&R job (dealer was very good, however). All of my Victron gear on board has failed at least once.

Functionality, however, is superb. Power boost is not just convenient, in my opinion it's absolutely essential.
Thanks heaps for your real-world experience. The comparative reliability is danged hard to discover. There are so few marine units sold, while most of those boats are weekending. Of course nearly none of that small population of owners report their experience.

I've not done a spreadsheet - but the reliability anecdotes I've found so far add up to more Victron failures. One possible explanation is market share - if there are 5x Victrons for every Mastervolt and we found 3x more Victron failure reports, then Victron may actually be more reliable.

Does anyone have any estimates of market share?
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Old 27-09-2013, 13:58   #6
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Re: Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

Regarding the idle consumption: According to the manual, the Mass Combi has have a search mode that uses only 0.5 W. But it also seems that the load needs to be at least 40 W to activate from the search mode. That is more than most modern laptops use for example. So the search mode seems to be impractical, at least for some. The idle consumption without search mode on is 9 W.

The Victron has a search mode that uses about 5 W and uses 15 W when always on. But it seems that the search mode can be used with smaller loads for the Victron, so it may be more practical to use. Apparently the load limit to turn on is adjustable, but the manual does not mention a lower limit for this value (the default is 40 W).

I have not used either inverter, so would love to hear real world feedback on the search modes.
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Old 27-09-2013, 14:28   #7
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Re: Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BjarneK View Post
Regarding the idle consumption: According to the manual, the Mass Combi has have a search mode that uses only 0.5 W. But it also seems that the load needs to be at least 40 W to activate from the search mode. That is more than most modern laptops use for example. So the search mode seems to be impractical, at least for some. The idle consumption without search mode on is 9 W.

The Victron has a search mode that uses about 5 W and uses 15 W when always on. But it seems that the search mode can be used with smaller loads for the Victron, so it may be more practical to use. Apparently the load limit to turn on is adjustable, but the manual does not mention a lower limit for this value (the default is 40 W).

I have not used either inverter, so would love to hear real world feedback on the search modes.
Hi Bjarne

I have a Victron installed on my boat and I love it. As you know it hasn't yet been to sea but I've been using it a lot during the refit and very happy with it. Since I usually have the generator running to keep the batteries charged and run the AC (it has been a really hot summer in Gainesville) so haven't messed with the standby/search mode. If I get time next time I'm out there I'll test that feature or you're welcome to play with it next time you're in town.

So far no reliability problems and I've been running it with pretty dirty power from a cheap standby generator. Looked inside when I was hooking it up and was very impressed with the quality of construction.

Skip
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Old 27-09-2013, 15:23   #8
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Re: Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BjarneK View Post
Regarding the idle consumption: According to the manual, the Mass Combi has have a search mode that uses only 0.5 W. [snip] The idle consumption without search mode on is 9 W.
Thanks heaps. I get the same values you quoted from the docs. I have placed an inquiry with Enertec/Auckland for clarification on the no-load power. The claim is that Victron specs are written by sales rather than engineering - so I want to know if they have made actual measurements, easy to do given access to the gear. Excerpt

Quote:
Victron multi no-load power: what are your best estimates for their idle current, and what is the source of the numbers?

Mass Combi No-load idle power:

1. user manual says default mode inverter is 9W and charger is 15W. Does the 9W mean the idle current at 26VDC is around 0.4A?

2. what does the charger no-load 15W mean to me? I expect the charger to be "Off" unless there is VAC present on the combi input.


Does anyone have an estimate of market shares in the US? There are more failure incident reports on Victron - possibly due to larger market share in the US. There seem to be a lot more Victrons deployed in US based on comments - but I have no market share info.
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Old 12-10-2013, 23:04   #9
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Re: Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

Have bad experience with Mastervolt in General. Victron works. Started out with Mastervolt, but have changed it all to Victron.

11kW Onan genset
1000 Ah/24V AGM battery bank.
2 x Victron Eagle Multi Plus 24/3000/70 Combi Inverter, linked.
225 Amp Alternator on main engine, with Balmar Max Charge MC 624 Controller.
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Old 12-10-2013, 23:16   #10
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Re: Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

So what were the specific problems you had with mastervolt??
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Old 13-10-2013, 05:38   #11
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Re: Mastervolt vs. Victron Combi inverters?

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So what were the specific problems you had with mastervolt??
First i had a 24V MV charger for my Engine battery, that just short circuitét. Out of warranty, so fitted a new one. Then i was never happy with the way my charger charged my batteribank. Only got capacity up to about 80%. It turned out that the Problem was the way the chargers Software where compensating for temp rise i batteribank, and since it was not adjustable, the Problem remained.
Switched to Victron, Problem solved.
I have one MV 24/12V reducer for my underwater lights, and that have never caused me any Trouble.
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