Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Victron Install - we have power

The Victron system is up and running.

We have power! The last few steps in installing the Victron Multiplus 12v 3000w 120v Inverter Charger were completed yesterday and we were able to reconnect the Boat's batteries. 

The last item of the install was connecting the Battery Temperature sensor to the -ve House battery terminal and connecting the Shunt power and the Main DC power line to the +ve terminal of the House Bank. With that done, the Victron started showing signs of life. The Cerbo GX showed that the Blue Tooth link was active. The GX Touch 50 showed that the system was starting up. No sparks, no smoke, no smell of anything burning, things were looking good.

We quickly checked that all of the boat's electrical systems were working, I had done a lot of work behind the Main Electrical Distribution/Control panel, I had looked closely at every connection on each of the DC and AC Circuit breakers, they all looked secure. Of course, there are several wires that have no attachment left over from previous work by others before me, they are on my list of additional projects on the Electrical system.

Today we installed the USB Charging station (to the left of the GX Touch 50 ) and completed the securing of the panels.

The long term plan is to replace all three of those panels with just two, one for the DC Power Selector and the other, an 'L" shape panel, to hold the GX Touch, the USB power and the AC  /  DC selector panel.

That's another big project, but one that is quite a way along the planning stage. Probably going to keep the existing selector panel but make it part of the larger panel.

Of course we had low level panic when the GX Touch 50 going dark when I changed the Multiplus switch from Off to On !! Returned the switch to Off, nothing. As the Touch 50 is powered from the Cerbo GX I figured I would reboot the Cerbo. Pulled the power cord out (it's on the lower edge of the Cerbo) gave it a coffee break, plugged it back in and a few seconds later the GX Touch rebooted.
Continuing the review of the state of the system, a few minutes later the GX Touch went dark again.  Peggy suggested that it might be a screen saver! Duh! Just touching the screen woke it up. I guess that's one reason they call it a 'Touch' screen.

We turned on the Solar Power and a few seconds later, the display showed that the battery was being charged - Woo Hoo!

Next I connected the Shore power. First we checked that the new Shore Power Disconnect switch was in the Off position and that the 'Shore Power Available' lamp was illuminated. Good so far. The Reverse Polarity lamp was not lit, I checked the lamp worked by flipping the Momentary switch and it worked fine. So power was available and the correct polarity. I flipped the Disconnect switch and almost immediately the GX Touch showed we had power to the charger and were charging the Batteries. It automatically diverted the Solar Power. Seeing the display indicating the flow of power from the Charger to the Batteries is pretty cool, definitely much clearer than the simple digital display of the old Heart Interface Control panel.

Time to check the Inverter. I plugged a fan into one of the 110v outlets, switched the outlets on ( see the left side of the power control panel in the pic above) the fan ran fine. Then I switched the Disconnect switch to off to remove the shore power and the Inverter took over without any delay.

So far we're looking good.

The GX Touch  ( I'll call it the system display ) showed that there was no AC In power, which was not the case as the Charger and the Fan obviously had AC Power. I found in the settings an option to show which AC power would be displayed ( Shore Power, Generator, PV alternator) so I set it to Shore Power and when back at the system display page, it now showed the shore power voltage and the power in.

The T-Mobile Sim card had arrived yesterday, we plugged it in and in a few seconds the GX 4G LTE Modem showed it was connected to the internet. I setup my laptop to my phone's HotSpot and visited the Victron VRM added the ID of the modem and it connected right away and within a couple of seconds, we ( Peggy was with me) could see the system on the internet. 

I noticed that the Max AC current was set at 50Amps, but our shore power is only rated for a 30Amp power source. On the system display I found the setting for the Max power draw and changed that to 30amps, rebooted the display and, again, a few seconds later the Internet VRM showed we were now limited to 30amps.

During the test of the AC In, we had the Air Conditioning turned on, and the system display showed our power consumption as well as the Battery Charging. Total draw was 850 watts.

Things are looking good. I do need to figure out how to change the battery charging parameters, the Default are for AGM or FLA, but I want to make sure the parameters are within specs for our batteries. 

Other than a few settings changes, I think we have completed the system upgrade. I'll post some more pics and the wiring diagram of the Disconnect switch box ( thanks to Amazon the parts were easy to obtain )  My primary reason for that switch box was to allow disconnecting the shore power without having to hop out of the cabin and jump ashore to flip the circuit breaker on the power pedestal, just incase anything had a run away in the electrical system.

So our procedure for applying Shore power is:
  • Ensure the Disconnect switch is in the Off position
  • Connect the shore power cable to the SmartPlug on the Boat
  • Connect the shore power cable to the Shore Pedestal
  • Down in the cabin check that the Green Shore Power Available lamp on the disconnect box is on.
  • Flip the 'Test Reverse Polarity Lamp" switch to make sure that lamp is working
  • Switch the Disconnect to On.
  • Check that the Multiplus is in the On or Charger Only position as needed.

Before heading home there was time to replace the Engine Heat Exchanger Zinc, the old one came out and definitely needed replacement, it's been about 9 months since the last change out. But for the life of me I could not get the new Zinc to screw in. So tomorrow I'm removing the Heat Exchanger to do a complete service and put in the new Zinc. A 20 minute job, right :)

Thanks for reading, I'll post some more pictures of the Victron Install in the next few days.

See you on the water.

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