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Old 24-07-2016, 19:34   #16
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

Well, not all of us have a big, fancy, expensive, well-planned out boat. Some of us make do with what we can afford. My boat is 34 years old and didn't originally come with an AC and there is certainly no room for a built-in generator. I use a Honda 2000 sitting up top. My only goal is to run the AC in this hot FL summer. No need for anything else, really. If I can get that working off the Victron and single Honda (I have a second one and can run the AC off both, but prefer not to deal with two) I'll be happy. Of course, if I can use the little microwave too, that's bonus.
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Old 26-07-2016, 02:13   #17
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

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Originally Posted by Obi Wan View Post
Well, not all of us have a big, fancy, expensive, well-planned out boat. Some of us make do with what we can afford. My boat is 34 years old and didn't originally come with an AC and there is certainly no room for a built-in generator. I use a Honda 2000 sitting up top. My only goal is to run the AC in this hot FL summer. No need for anything else, really. If I can get that working off the Victron and single Honda (I have a second one and can run the AC off both, but prefer not to deal with two) I'll be happy. Of course, if I can use the little microwave too, that's bonus.
Your proposed setup should work fine. The little Honda is an excellent generator used with success by very many cruisers. Just be very careful with carbon monoxide -- it's easy for the gas to be blown inside the boat and kill you if you don't carefully think through where you put it. A swim platform is good, and some people even put it out in the dinghy. A carbon monoxide alarm is a must.

FWIW, I cruised for decades in Florida waters without a generator, on a boat with a very basic electrical system, no central inverter, etc. We did have air conditioning, but we never felt the need to use it while anchored out (the way we spent most of our nights). We didn't even really use our fans much; wind scoops were enough. So we used the A/C only while in marinas (we really needed it there). I am very sensitive to heat (one reason why I now live so far North), but this was fine for me. YMMV.

I don't have any air conditioning at all on my present boat, but where I sail, we need heat 12 months out of the year! I had snow on the deck in June once, in Finland.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:58   #18
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

So I contacted Victron directly about the 'faulty wiring' issue and after several back-and-forths, he had no idea and suggested sending it back to the dealer. So in a last-ditch effort, I disconnected all the wiring, then re-connected it in exactly the same way, and viola', no more 'faulty wiring' issue with the controller. And then I successfully used my little Honda 2000 to run the AC with boost from the Victron. Mind you, it only works if the battery bank is fully charged! My AC sure is a current hog. I haven't had a chance to isolate the air conditioner wiring yet to connect it to output 2 to verify the boost works on that one (though Victron assures me it does).

However, I still have issues with the Blue Power Panel controller. Though there is no 'faulty wire' warning now, I can't get much out of it. After reading both the power panel manual and the inverter manual, I don't find much on how to set it up. As I understand it, it says the power panel is supposed to identify the inverter automatically through the VE bus and run accordingly, but it doesn't. I've been through all the setup pages on the panel and can't seem to do it manually. So I can't get the monitor page that shows all the voltages and currents, and I can't get to anything that allows changing the inverter parameters. I'm usually pretty good at figuring these things out, even without a manual, but i can't figure this one out even with a manual. I would say their manual leaves a lot to be desired.

I will write Victron on this matter too but just throwing it out here in case anyone has any experience with it and as a chronicle to perhaps help others in the future.
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Old 08-08-2016, 19:11   #19
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

As an update - I contacted Victron again directly, this time about the Blue Power Panel not seeming to work. This time they told me, simply, "Please contact your supplier for first line assistance."
Well, I certainly don't consider that good customer service.
That being said, I am using the Multiplus san's controller now using the DIP switches and am quite happy with the inverter/charger. I can finally run my AC off of one Honda 2000, or the engine alternator for a little while.
For posterity's sake, I will share some of my set-up issues so that others maybe can comment on or other installers may benefit from.
The Multiplus has a current-limiter feature that allows you to set the maximum current it will take from shore power (or generator) which is ideal for not over-taxing small generators. The first time I ran it with the Honda, it would trip the Honda overload when the compressor started, especially if the batteries were not topped off.
Even though the DIP switches for the current limiter look like it is set to 15 amp limit, it comes from the factory set to 50 amps. So you have to "enter" the limit you want.
I went right to 15 amps, the lowest setting, which seemed logical since the limit of the Honda 2000 is a little over 15 amps (I've seen it handle 20 amp surges OK).
But at that setting, it never even raised from low idle, and the AC wouldn't really run, nor would the batteries charge significantly.
So I kept upping the amperage limit, and I ended up at 40 amps, which is where the Multiplus would draw the most out of the Honda without overloading it.
Obviously the Honda is not providing 40 amps, and I haven't had the time to measure the actual current yet, but I thought that was interesting that their current limiter would be so far off.
Has anyone else any insight on this?
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Old 08-08-2016, 21:43   #20
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

I have never used the dip switches but only a control pad (the basic one with a dial). and your settings make no sense if they are working.

if the honda has a 15a normal plug then the inverter should be set at 15a. so any ac current load over 15a will be boosted. if you set it at 40a the inverter would never go into boost mode unless AC draw was over 40a. (and you'd blow the gen breaker long before that) and if you pulled other AC loads on the boat the charger would not drop back and you'd blow the gen breaker.

the 15a setting should allow the charger to pull up to 15a AC for charging. reduced when other AC loads are put on.

ether you are setting dip switches to values that are different then you think, or something is weird.

for example the one I played with. say you have a 10A AC load on (HWT) (numbers made up below but you could set the amp input setting working for load sharing)

30a shore cord.

set to 30a shore, charger puts out ~100a AC panel near 30a. (20a charger + 10a HWT)

set to 20a. shore, charger drops to 50a. 19a on AC panel. (9 charger , 10HWT)

set to 10a. charger drops to 0a, 10a on AC panel, 10 HWT, 0 charger)
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:29   #21
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post

ether you are setting dip switches to values that are different then you think, or something is weird.
I set them according to the table in the manual and worked my way up 5 amps at a time and got a gradual increase in the pull from the generator. So, as has been the install from the beginning, something is probably weird. But it is working....
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:15   #22
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obi Wan View Post
As an update - I contacted Victron again directly, this time about the Blue Power Panel not seeming to work. This time they told me, simply, "Please contact your supplier for first line assistance."
Well, I certainly don't consider that good customer service.
That being said, I am using the Multiplus san's controller now using the DIP switches and am quite happy with the inverter/charger. I can finally run my AC off of one Honda 2000, or the engine alternator for a little while.
For posterity's sake, I will share some of my set-up issues so that others maybe can comment on or other installers may benefit from.
The Multiplus has a current-limiter feature that allows you to set the maximum current it will take from shore power (or generator) which is ideal for not over-taxing small generators. The first time I ran it with the Honda, it would trip the Honda overload when the compressor started, especially if the batteries were not topped off.
Even though the DIP switches for the current limiter look like it is set to 15 amp limit, it comes from the factory set to 50 amps. So you have to "enter" the limit you want.
I went right to 15 amps, the lowest setting, which seemed logical since the limit of the Honda 2000 is a little over 15 amps (I've seen it handle 20 amp surges OK).
But at that setting, it never even raised from low idle, and the AC wouldn't really run, nor would the batteries charge significantly.
So I kept upping the amperage limit, and I ended up at 40 amps, which is where the Multiplus would draw the most out of the Honda without overloading it.
Obviously the Honda is not providing 40 amps, and I haven't had the time to measure the actual current yet, but I thought that was interesting that their current limiter would be so far off.
Has anyone else any insight on this?

Your problem is caused by the time delay of power demand versus the Honda engine spooling up.

The Victron has a special mode to deal with this, called "Small Generator Mode". You can set it using the computer interface. The manual will tell you how to do this.

Otherwise you will not get good results with a suitcase generator
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:51   #23
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

Victron are not keen on end users contacting them for technical support, they want everyone to go through their dealer network. If you press them they will eventually help you.


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Old 09-08-2016, 07:27   #24
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

Is it possible you are setting the charging current rather than the AC current?


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Old 09-08-2016, 15:33   #25
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Your problem is caused by the time delay of power demand versus the Honda engine spooling up.

The Victron has a special mode to deal with this, called "Small Generator Mode". You can set it using the computer interface. The manual will tell you how to do this.

Otherwise you will not get good results with a suitcase generator
I would say that's a pretty sweeping statement...

While that may be an issue, and I will certainly look into it, at the higher amp settings, the Honda, even when set to auto-idle, ramped up to full power. The inverter seems to - nicely - ramp up the demand, not ask for it in an instant.

The manual says:

"Dynamic current limiter
Intended for generators, the AC voltage being generated by means of a static inverter (so-called ‘inverter’ generators). In these generators, rpm is down-controlled if the load is low: this reduces noise, fuel consumption and pollution. A disadvantage is that the output voltage will drop severely or even completely fail in the event of a sudden load increase. More load can only be supplied after the engine is up to speed.
If this setting is ‘on’, the MultiPlus will start supplying extra power at a low generator output level and gradually allow the generator to supply more, until the set current limit is reached. This allows the generator engine to get up to speed.
This setting is also often used for ‘classic’ generators that respond slowly to sudden load variation."

So I believe it comes with this setting already on, as this is exactly how it behaves (once I set the input limit current higher).
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Old 09-08-2016, 15:35   #26
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

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Is it possible you are setting the charging current rather than the AC current?
Yes, they have four settings: 25, 50, 75 an 100%

It also comes with a temperature sensor that it adjusts the current by.
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Old 10-08-2016, 01:16   #27
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obi Wan View Post
I would say that's a pretty sweeping statement...

While that may be an issue, and I will certainly look into it, at the higher amp settings, the Honda, even when set to auto-idle, ramped up to full power. The inverter seems to - nicely - ramp up the demand, not ask for it in an instant.

The manual says:

"Dynamic current limiter
Intended for generators, the AC voltage being generated by means of a static inverter (so-called ‘inverter’ generators). In these generators, rpm is down-controlled if the load is low: this reduces noise, fuel consumption and pollution. A disadvantage is that the output voltage will drop severely or even completely fail in the event of a sudden load increase. More load can only be supplied after the engine is up to speed.
If this setting is ‘on’, the MultiPlus will start supplying extra power at a low generator output level and gradually allow the generator to supply more, until the set current limit is reached. This allows the generator engine to get up to speed.
This setting is also often used for ‘classic’ generators that respond slowly to sudden load variation."

So I believe it comes with this setting already on, as this is exactly how it behaves (once I set the input limit current higher).
The problem you described, sounds exactly like this. I would suggest just being very sure that this mode is "ON". My Multiplus did not have this feature activated as delivered, and I'm not sure it can even be set with the DIP switches. I think you need the computer interface. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that this is your problem.


Another thing worth checking is what another poster above mentioned -- are you sure you're regulating power boost/power limit with DIP switches? I am only aware of CHARGER current regulation this way. The power boost/power limit feature on my unit is regulated with the Digital Multi Control.
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:07   #28
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

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Is it possible you are setting the charging current rather than the AC current?
Sorry, I misread your question. That is a seperate setting that I have also set, so no, I have it set correctly.
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:13   #29
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
... are you sure you're regulating power boost/power limit with DIP switches? I am only aware of CHARGER current regulation this way. The power boost/power limit feature on my unit is regulated with the Digital Multi Control.
Although the manual is not great, it is adequate for this feature at least. I can assure you that I have set it, with the DIP switches, for limiting input current to 40 amps.

My next step is to measure the actual current.
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:43   #30
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Re: Victron Multiplus AC-out-2

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Although the manual is not great, it is adequate for this feature at least. I can assure you that I have set it, with the DIP switches, for limiting input current to 40 amps.

My next step is to measure the actual current.
Yes, I've now looked at my manual and see this.

I note also that the "Dynamic Current Limiter" can also be set with the DIP switches (DS4). N.B. that the default setting is "OFF". This is the function for suitcase generators.
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