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View Poll Results: Victron MultiPlus vs. MasterVolt Masscombi
Victron MultiPlus Charger/Inverter 15 75.00%
MasterVolt MassCombi Charger/Inverter 1 5.00%
Victron Charger with separate Inverter 2 10.00%
MasterVolt Charger with separate Inverter 2 10.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 29-12-2008, 16:17   #1
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Victron MultiPlus vs. MasterVolt Masscombi

Two different marine electricians and two different opinions: one feels Victrons mentioned above are far superior while the other feels the latter Mastervolts are better.

What they have in common is they are both "bloody expensive"! ;-)

Then there is the other issue of installing multis or combis vs. separate chargers and inverters. I'm in 230v territory now (NZ), but intend to eventually travel to 110v land as well.

I also need at least 150amp charging capability (for my 660amp-hr 6 battery house bank, which I will probably install Toyama hybrids), something I intend to achieve by placing in parellel my current 60amp battery charger with whatever I install.

Looking for opinions from experienced blue water yachties which of the above would you go with and why?

Thanks in advance.

William aka 'The PIRATE'
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Old 29-12-2008, 23:39   #2
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I am a big fan of Dutch marine products as they have this inherent respect for the sea and being a small country they can network problems and solutions quicker than anyone else I know…. That is why they seem to be so proactive in developing better products. We can all learn a lot from them.

I know both companies well and personally chose Victron products a few months ago as I think they have a more rugged product that installs better in a marine environment.

I went with the Multiplus and kept my stand alone 24v/50a Skylla Charger as a supplement. That is a very flexible solution with a small footprint and good shore power management.

Despite the Skylla being over 25 years old, it still works great and they have available a download manual that tells me how to program the dip switches for an AGM charging profile. (that impressed me)

If the old Skylla ever died I would buy a 2nd 24/70/3000 Multiplus to put in its place and synchronize the 2 for complete flexibility


Mastervolt are attractively packaged but seem to be to me more suited for off-grid land solutions, (but I am not an electrician)

I don’t think you can go wrong with either choice so it would just boil down to which installation works better for you.
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Old 30-12-2008, 03:29   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSovereign View Post
Looking for opinions from experienced blue water yachties which of the above would you go with and why?

William aka 'The PIRATE'
Have a look at Sterling Power Products: High Quality Advanced Marine and Automotive Digital Power Products
Good down to earth products at very reasonable prices. I have been using their Battery chargers & Alternator regulators for many years. Whilst they are now producing Combi units I have decided to go for seperate charger(s) & inverter to replace my 12v 50A/1500 watt Victron Combi. Will add second Sterling 1250CED 50 amp charger to be run in parallel with present one (providing redundancy) & their 1800 watt quasi sine wave inverter with three way rotary switch to select AC source.

Incidentally this saves a huge 11Kg in weight (no transformer) as well as allowing the easier installation of two smaller units.

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Old 30-12-2008, 10:59   #4
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Have no experience with Mastervolt but on my boat had Victron:
2 x 12/200 Centaur Chargers
2 x 12/2500 Phoenix Inverters
Isolation Transformer 3600W 115/230v 32/16A
Based on my past experience Victron will be my first choice for any future equipment.

Have never heard/read any negative experiences with Victron products not so for Mastervolt. Believe the Dashews at first used Mastervolt in their new 80+ FPB but not being able to resolve problems with the equipment eventually replaced it with a different brand.
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Old 31-12-2008, 16:22   #5
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I have Victron very happy. Mastervolt is very good too. Really couldn't go wrong with either. Victron seems a little more price competitive in the US.

The combined inverter/chargers from both companies offer two advantages. (1) They will reduce the charger amperage automatically to avoid overloading a shore power cable during high AC usage (2) Under very high AC usage - such as a A/C compressor surge - they will use the inverter to augment the genset/shore power. This can allow you to install smaller gensets and/or pay for lower amperage shore power.

I believe that the Victron offers a higher "pass through" amperage where more amps can go in and come out from the external supply than the Mastervolt but not sure.

The Victron (may be true of the Mastervolt too - don't know) can be connected to a laptop for much easier setting/changing of the parameters. Much better than fooling with dip switches.

Check if your current 60 amp charger can be set for a "minimium absorbtion time". If it can't, it will probably instantly go into float mode when the other charger comes on line.

The biggest challenge between 230v and 110v is that you are also changing from 50hz to 60hz. Transformers don't change hertz just voltage. Many electric motors - specifically AC compressors - really hate the wrong hertz. You can easily overheat the motor and burn out the windings. One solution when you come to 110v land is to use an auto-ranging charger that accepts both voltages - many do. Plug the charger into 100v 60hz and use the inverter/charger as only an inverter to make 230 50hz power for the boat. If you don't have any hertz sensitive motors, you can just use an inexpensive transformer but be careful as many of the cheap 230-110 "tool transformers" are not rated for continuous use.

With this much charge amperage make sure there are temperature sensors on the batteries for all chargers.

All of the above wiring requires expertise and care. Don't fool with these voltages and amperages if you don't know what you're doing.

Carl
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Old 05-01-2009, 18:19   #6
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...The biggest challenge between 230v and 110v is that you are also changing from 50hz to 60hz...Carl
Not really - just use inverters to provide all AC onboard, simplifies everything.

Victron chargers, probably others also, input can be switched between 115v and 230v AC at 45hz to 65hz and also accepts 90 - 800 VDC. There inverters input and output can be set for 115v or 230v and in additon output can also be either 50hz or 60hz.

My gensets output 240VDC and boat also has a HVDC distribution panel with a rectorfier that will take 240VAC and output 240VDC. Therefore I set the Isolation Transformer to output 240V and plugged it into the HVDC distribution panel. The HVDC panel feeds 240VDC to the charger. The inverter output is set for 120VAC at 60hz. All I had to do was switch the Isolation Transformers input appropriately as I moved from place to place.
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Old 05-01-2009, 19:37   #7
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gosstyla, I agree (and did not say clearly enough in my post) using inverters for all AC is a good solution to maintaining consistent voltage and frequency.

It sounds like you have a great setup. I don't understand the switch from 240V AC to 240VDC. I think you're right that the standalone charger (versus the combined charger/inverter) can take 50 or 60hz AC input. The isolation transformer has other advantages but why not feed AC into the charger?

Carl
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Old 05-01-2009, 21:10   #8
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Not really - just use inverters to provide all AC onboard, simplifies everything.
My design is similar but with a Mastervolt charger and inverter. I thought the same but couldn't get anyone to bless 100% power off a battery charger and inverter. I don't have a genset but the only other difference is that we are specking a 120/240 50/60 primary air conditioner directly connected to shore power. The rest is driven off the inverter.

Tim
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Old 06-01-2009, 00:43   #9
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The Sterling Pro-Digital range of battery chargers I mentioned in earlier post on this subject accept AC input from 80-300 volts at 40-400Hz, see Sterling Power Products: ProDigital Technical Information

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Old 02-09-2009, 17:06   #10
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Hi Gosstyla,
I am intrigued by your description of the system on your boat. Do you really have a 240Vdc panel? What do you do with 240Vdc?
If you have a direct rectifier from 240Vac you will get a peak voltage of 339Vdc (240VRMS x 2)

The idea of using multi voltage chargers and then inverters to give you “home port” power wherever you are is good and mimics the effect of a shore power converter used on larger yachts (see Asea, Atlas, and Mastervolt for examples). One bit of advice I would add is to arrange the system with a bypass switch so that the boat, when in a port with the same power as your home port, can be supplied with direct shore-power for the times when the inverter(s) need to be off for changes, repairs etc.
You should also remember that the chargers and inverters have inefficiencies (typically good brands are around 85% efficient) so conversion to DC and back to AC loses you around 30% of your energy. Besides any “green” issues, this has the effect of losing this wasted energy as heat inside the boat. (could be OK if cruising Iceland or south pole!). It can also be a nuisance if shore-power is being taken from a limited source as this loss limits it still further.
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Chas
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Old 02-09-2009, 17:55   #11
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Both Mastervolt and Victron are Dutch products so that's a good start ;-) I prefer Victron because they design and build everything themselves. I have seen Mastervolt inverters that were really re-labelled Taiwanese inverters (but good ones).

Sterling doesn't come close to Victron where quality is concerned. May be Outback is comparable but I don't know them well enough.

ciao!
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Old 02-09-2009, 18:25   #12
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Mastervolt have part of their product range made in China, (the ChargeMaster series) but I have yet to see any other manufacturer selling the product under a different name.
Victron also have part of their range made in Asia, in their case India.
In both cases it is not really a question of where it is made but rather HOW it is made and how much quality control goes into the process.
(at this point I will declare an interest. I am a mastervolt dealer in Spain)

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Old 02-09-2009, 22:53   #13
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Capblanc,

Oh, everybody manufactures in the far east nowadays. What I mean is that Mastervolt didn't design it, they re-labeled it and was sold by the original manufacturer too. The one I saw was years ago and not a current model. The original brand is Sinergex and although they have newer models now, this is the exact one I saw being sold as Mastervolt at twice the price: PureSine 600 Pure Sine

I have the one I linked to plus the new series 1500W. They are good inverters, the best I managed was to blow the internal fuses in the 600W version but only after years of trying with 1200-1500 watt loads. Normally it just switches off-line with an overload alarm. I don't think you can break them. After so many years I had to replace the fan.

I agree that it doesn't matter where it's made. Some stuff made in China is already better than the same from the west.

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Old 03-09-2009, 11:47   #14
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Originally Posted by capblanc View Post
Hi Gosstyla,
I am intrigued by your description of the system on your boat. Do you really have a 240Vdc panel? What do you do with 240Vdc?
If you have a direct rectifier from 240Vac you will get a peak voltage of 339Vdc (240VRMS x 2)...
2 x 25KW 240VDC gensets provide the power.

It is used directly to power:
2 x 35 hp electric motors for propulsion
40 gal/hr watermater
electric oven
electric stove hobs
instant hot water heating element
battery chargers
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Old 03-09-2009, 14:13   #15
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Hi Nick
I have represented Mastervolt since their inception, although my company is not directly linked to it, or do I have any shares in it.
Over the years Mastervolt has sold a varied mix of products, some of its own design, some just rebadged and others of their own manufacture. For a while they had an agreement with both Trace and later with Heart Inverter to sell their products, semi rebadged, in exchange for the same in the US zone of influence. The takeover of these two companies by Xantrex put paid to that collaboration.
At no time have I seen a Sinergex unit on the Mastervolt catalogue, and I still have most powerbooks going back many years. Curiously the main importer of Mastervolt for Spain also imports Sinergex.
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