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Author Topic: Victron inverters  (Read 5784 times)
camillitech
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« on: April 05, 2009, 07:24:29 AM »

Morning Chaps,

Billi/Justme  surrender I'm upgrading my mates off grid solar/hydro system from a 2500va 24v Studer to a 3000va 48v. The Studer is a fine piece of Swiss made kit but it is a NIGHTMARE to program. This would not be a problem were it not in a holiday cottage where one misplaced finger on the remote keypad can send the whole system t*ts up. I don't want some piece of cr*p from the far east with no back up from a company that suddenly cannot speak English when their product goes pear shaped (been there got the book, video and T shirt) I was thinking of Trace/Xantrex as even George Bush could program one of those but nobody in Britain seems to sell them any more  Cry so I'm thinking of http://www.thepowerstore.co.uk/product.asp?ID=2205 a Victron or perhaps http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Outback-DC-AC-Inverter%2fcharger-48-volt-3000-w%2f45A_W0QQitemZ310075852951QQcmdZViewItem an Outback any thoughts chaps  Huh

Cheers, Paul
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
Billy
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 09:00:43 AM »

Hello Paul,

Billi uses a pair of Victrons.

I use the 24v model of the one you quoted.  Easy to program, about the only thing you can do apart from swiching off is to make it go on equalize charge by changing over from charge to inverter in a pre described manner.

I fitted mine in June 05 I reckon and it has been no problem at all.  If I manage to overload it the trip pops on the case, press and you're off again.  If it works hard then the fan comes on and makes a noise but hey.

Try Energy Solutions for a price, I got my isolation transformer from them a few weeks ago and they were the cheapest and delivery was free.  Phone if you can as they will talk, but the web prices may be ok.

I don't think you could say they were "ready for use" as they do need setting up but as long as you go through step by step and get a grasp of what they are trying to say it is not complicated.  The Dutch/English translation is slightly strange sometimes that's all.

 Grin Grin
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billi
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 09:13:29 AM »

Paul

The victron is easy  and with an adaptor and the software you can program  do lots of things from a computer

Had no problems up to now

Your Xantrex  is available here  in Germany but quite hefty on price http://solarstrom.net/xantrex-sinuswechselrichter.htm

Billi
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1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
Billy
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 09:18:09 AM »

I have no experience with the Outbacks but reading up I do rather like the sealed/salt proof idea.  The price on the link is a little high I think, BrighGreen seemed to be a bit less.  I guess it depends on where you want to put it as to whether the weather proofing is good or not.  Will stop waffling now. wackoold
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Eleanor
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 03:25:22 PM »

Hi Paul, we bought a Victron unit from Powerstore and have been impressed with their service. They seem to carry reasonable stock levels and delivery is quick if you order a standard model. We have rung both them and Victron and have never had any problems speaking to someone who knows what they are on about. You will need to order the PC interface as a separate item as it comes configured as a UPS and is a bit fussy about charging from anything that has a less than perfect output until you reconfigure it. You will also need to order a RS232-USB convertor if you haven't got one or a RS232 connector on your PC. We've managed to master it so can't be that tricky! garden
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Justme
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2009, 05:30:29 PM »

We use the victron 12 3000 120 multiplus.

The only down side to the VeConfigure software is that once you have set it up using it you then loose the ability to use the front switch to turn on & off. Very occasionaly the unit will trip when the genny is turned off (only happens when I am away funnily). You cant turn it back on unless you plug into the dongle (I guess you could do a master reset). You can set all the options without the software but it would take you for ever. Also good that you can save the settings so if you look after more than one once its set up you can save it to file.

What solar controller are you using? Might be good to stick with one brand so they interface better, that said I have the Outback fx80 solar controller with mine with no issues.


Justme
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Navitron solar thermal system
30 x 58mm panel 259L TS
1200watts solar 120vdc
FX80 Solar controller
Victron 12v 3000w 120a
6kva genny
6 x 2v cells 1550amp/h 5C
24 x 2v cells 700amp/h 5C
Total bank 4350 amp/h 5C
billi
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2009, 08:15:36 PM »

 Grin

Like  always said ac generators cause trouble

next live i am DC 100 % with an inverter to AC

Had no problem to adjust the Victron multi plus towards my several AC Generators   for the inbuilt charger , but donot like the non clean voltage of the generators switched through to the house ( or you have a decent generator )

Billi





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1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009, 08:32:10 PM »

There are a couple of advantages Victron's have over Outbacks:
- The victron supports generator assist, where the power of the generator can be added to the power from the inverter.  The outbacks can't do this, when the generator power is on, then that's the maximum power you can draw.
- I believe you can grid tie the victron's at a later date.  Outback only make grid tie versions for the US.
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camillitech
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2009, 05:53:29 AM »

Thanks guys,

Looks like Victron it is then, does everything it says on the tin with good support and at a reasonable price  Cool thank's for the link to Trace Billi, I'm a great fan of mine it's many functions and total 'idiot proof' programing but at double the price I think I'll give it a miss. I know I could import one from the States for considerably less but with no local back up your out on a limb  Roll Eyes The solar charger is a 'Tri Star' Justme so I'm hoping all will be peachy on that front. I do like the 'Outback' as it's made by a couple of guys that used to work for Trace and they ironed out the Trace's bugs in the design, however as the Trace's bugs seem confined to just that, bugs and corrosion in tropical environments it did not worry me. It can however (so I'm told) be difficult to interface with a genny.

Cheer's Paul
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
Billy
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2009, 08:26:05 AM »

I did set mine up by just using the dip switches and the LEDs, it is not difficult or excessively time hungry.  It is just a case of understanding what you are doing from the manual, once understood it is really simple.  I do like to turn mine off in certain situations.

I don't think you will be disappointed Paul and you mate will be delighted.

 Grin Grin Grin
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stephend
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2009, 09:30:18 AM »

I did set mine up by just using the dip switches and the LEDs, it is not difficult or excessively time hungry.  It is just a case of understanding what you are doing from the manual, once understood it is really simple.  I do like to turn mine off in certain situations.


That's another plus over the outback, which you have to program using a "Mate" device ($300) extra.
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Eleanor
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2009, 01:48:56 PM »

Billy, are you using a generator at all to charge the batteries? If not you won't have needed to disable the UPS function which I'm still convinced you can only do via the VEConfigure software. A damned nuisance if you're in the middle of nowhere and all ready to go and haven't realised which is why I mentioned it! But then again I could easily be wrong.

There is another software package as mentioned by JustMe which allows remote control of the inverter. VEConfigure simply allows you to configure via the PC and once you have unplugged you can still use all the manual switches on the front.
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The Slow Old Man
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2009, 03:01:39 PM »

Hi There
The Victron Multiplus comes with default setting of "AC sine wave check" wackoold. This means that when it detects an AC input it will check the quality of the incoming AC. If it is not a perfect sine wave as you would expect with mains then it will not go into charge mode or switch the load to incoming AC banghead. To change this you need to change the default setting "UPS" to off, it then does not perform this check.
You cannot change this setting via the dip switches, it has to be done via the RS485 converter and VEconfigure software. Once you have changed this setting and uploaded it to the Multiplus you can disconnect the patch cable and use the normal on and off switch on the front.
This is what James May would call "an inverter fact" stir
We discovered all this after we had received ours and it would not work with our genny Cry, a quick call to the nice people at Victron angel soon set us straight and another call to the nice people at powerstore angel soon got us going with the RS485 converter. Smiley
VEnet is another option but we have not as yet used it.

We are of course not connected in any way to any of the above mentioned. I just suffered days of frustration and  crack from the crusty old hippy garden till i got it sorted.

Brian
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billi
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2009, 08:55:06 PM »

Brian  thats right

I had  lots of problems to get my first genny  running to charge trough the Multi Plus   

I reckon  the VEconfigure software , the needed adaptors  and a computer/laptop is needed to select options as weak AC input ( is it 185 volt-260 ? ) and  limit the Generator Ampere input  and other options to allow a not so clean Generator to work ( still that Voltage/power of the genny is switched through to the house Tongue)

But like Brian said  Victron in Holland helpline is brilliant  , to make you understand  the whole story

Billi



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1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
The Slow Old Man
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2009, 09:35:34 PM »

Hi Billi
I agree it is a shame that it doesn't clean up the the incoming AC how ever i does have so many other good features you can set with the VEconfigure.

Brian
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