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Old 23-05-2022, 08:01   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: New Jersey
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40.3
Posts: 138
How Can I Tell if My Inverter Charger Is Dead?

Boat is still on the hard, but getting ready to launch hopefully in 3 weeks. I was at the boat cleaning and prepping yesterday and noticed I have an AC problem.

Two questions:

1. How do I determine whether the inverter charger is actually dead?
2. Any recommendations for replacement?

The boat has dual 30-amp inlets, one that powers the air con unit only and one that powers the panel, a/c outlets and the Xantrex PROSine 2.0 inverter charger installed around 2004 by the previous owner. It is installed in the seat under the nav station (terrible location!) and accessing either end requires the unit to be unbolted. It has a remote monitoring panel. I am connected to the correct inlet and the circuit breaker at the inlet is not tripped. The main electrical panel shows shore power was connected. I verified I had 120 v at the inlet using a multimeter. The remote panel for the PROSine also indicates it saw 120v AC, but it showed ZERO amps coming in and zero amps going to the batteries. The batteries are all 3 year old AGMs which are now dead and showing less than 7 volts at the PROSine panel and probably now need replacement. I had no power at any AC outlet either with the inverter (no surprise with the batts that dead) or without the inverter just using shore power. The remote panel has a switch that disables or enables the inverter. In the past, I have had AC power with the inverter disabled when connected to shore power.

I do not have a bypass for the inverter charger, so I cannot easily isolate it. I also have not yet installed the Balmar battery monitor I have which is still in its box.

I'm not sure it's relevant, but I have 3 battery banks - one house and one starting, both set up for charging through both the alternator and the inverter charger, and one in the bow which is charged by shore power only.

How can I troubleshoot the inverter charger to determine whether it is working or is now just so much useless weight?

If it's dead and needs replacement, any recommendations for replacement? Boat is a 12 volt system and spends most of its time on a mooring with no shore power. Shore power is connected while on the hard in the winter (only while on the boat, not full-time as required by the marina/yard) and while visiting other marinas on occasional overnights. 18 years for the PROSine seems like a decent life span, so I would consider a new Xantrex charger. I have a Victon MPPT solar charger for my single solar panel (solar upgrades are still in the planning stages), so I would also consider a Victron, especially if it had Bluetooth like my MPPT controller. Are there others worth considering?
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Old 23-05-2022, 21:29   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Vancouver
Boat: Ericson 27
Posts: 134
Re: How Can I Tell if My Inverter Charger Is Dead?

Definitely consider the Victron inverter/charger. Just installed one on our boat as part of our major electrical upgrades, and it's a thing of beauty. They don't do Bluetooth, but Victron has an entire ecosystem that integrates things. The nice thing about their system, though, is you don't need to go whole hog at first, you can do it piece by piece.



Your MPPT now, another few in a couple of years, the Inverter/Charger, the SmartShunt to monitor your batteries, a Cerbo GX to monitor the whole thing. Just add these piece by piece, and grow your system over time. It all works together, and all gets frequent software upgrades and improvements.
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Old 23-05-2022, 22:41   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 3,997
Re: How Can I Tell if My Inverter Charger Is Dead?

It’s possible it will not charge the battery’s at 7v. Or pass through.

I would get a cheap clamp on charger to bring them up. Then try again.

It’s also Posible the charger is turned off on the screen. Though it should still pass through if the charger is off.

Which screen do you have?
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Old 24-05-2022, 06:40   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: New Jersey
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40.3
Posts: 138
Re: How Can I Tell if My Inverter Charger Is Dead?

Smac,

The screen is the standard PROSine remote display (see attached). The display and controls are reasonably idiot proof with a clearly labeled "Enable/Disable" switch for the charger, which was set to Enable, and a similar "Enable/Disable" switch for the inverter. Each switch has its own set of lights, Standby, Ready, Charging and Equalize for the charger and Standby, Inverting and AC In for the inverter. No matter how the switches were set, only the AC In light next to the inverter switch was lit.

Good idea on the plug-in charger. I should have thought of that.

Tom
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