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Using a Hybrid Inverter with Intellitec EMS


JohnC3
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I would like to get some advice.

I am going to upgrade to a Hybrid inverter (Victron 12V 3000VA w 2x120v) to enable me to function on < 50A but still run all my systems (within reason) as needed.

One issue I have is the Intellitec 750 EMS. My understanding is that when I am on Single Phase Pole power (15A - 30A), The Intellitec enables Load Shedding and if I am at 30A, it will shed loads if I exceed 30A. I want to be able to modify this behavior (As my inverter will be able to Load Assist up to ~55A). After some thought, I have come up with the idea of forcing the Intellitec to think its getting power from the genset. This would be done by providing 12V power to pin 2 of the Intellitec display panel. I am considering using a Switch along with an Isolation relay (like is used in Tow Vehicle Brake Light wiring kits that will take a signal from either tow or motorhome brake and pas it to the lights). My thought is that the system should then appear to be in genset mode when the "Force Genset" switch is turned on and the Inverter is turned on (I would use the 12V relay on the inverter to determine the inverter is on) .  I believe this would enable the Intellitec system to remain installed and function normally, but allow me to use the Power Assist of the Victron Inverter.

One issue I see is that in Genset mode, The EMS would not limit my power until it exceeded 8K watts (66A) and the 30A (or 15A if mooch docking) + hybrid inverter would only provide 55A total (40A if I was getting 15A from shore power) and the inverter would shut down if I exceeded this level.  I am willing to live with this as I am mostly looking to just run 2 ACs and maybe a Microwave while on 30A shore power).

I will have a large (1140AH) LFP battery bank, and understand this still has its limits. Not trying to run everything at once, but want to be able to do laundry and run an AC and not have the AC shut off if I nuke a cup of coffee (Yes the EMS will shed my front AC before my W/D!).

Do you see any problems with my plan, or have suggestions? Again my main purpose is to allow me to not be limited to 50A shore power, if I want to run 2 ACs + a Microwave or Dryer. (BTW I will have the AC soft starts installed as part of this system). My Loads are approx. as follows:

2 ACs at 15A each (once they heat up)

Convection oven at 12A

W/D at 13A

TV at 3A

Base Load at 5A

Thanks!

 

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So I have this set up currently in my coach. I left the intelitec intact. I’m not as versed as you on the ins and outs, but if you need me to try anything out, I’m will to be a test mule. 
 

On mine, the shore power and genset goto the transfer switch right to the inverter. And then the full load can pass to the panel. 
 

I’m not adept as to what the intellect is trying to do, I can read up and so I can help better. I only have 200ah right now, will goto 400ah in the spring. 
 

One issue I ran into, and not related to your question, so I apologize, is I have an Orion DC/DC 30amp to charge the lithium while traveling. I got the bright idea run the genset traveling to run an AC since our in dash needs repaired. Well I ran into a “ripple” and I still haven’t read up on it. It freaked the Multiplus out and shut it down. I guess it’s a backfeed situation where the Multiplus was sensing odd power wave from the Orion and the 2 waves didn’t jive so it shut off. 
 

Again, let me know how I can help

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This suggestion will not do everything your wanting, but is simple.

On my rig, if I turn off the circuit breaker to the inverter then the front TV, rear TV, microwave and refrigerator all switch to inverted battery power.  I have added an outlet strip to the microwave circuit, and so if the microwave/convection oven is not in use a toaster or coffeemaker are also powered from the house batteries.  If this works on your rig, then this suggestion covers your most important combination of appliances.  

I am interested to read about your large (1140AH) LFP battery bank.

 

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Let me see if I can provide some clarity to this.  I have the Victron MuliPlus 3k Inverter/Charger also.  I have the hybrid capability, but mine is older and not the dual output version.  Setting the Intelitec issue aside, let's look at what you have.

The output of your inverter is capable of 3000 Volt-Amps or 2400 Watts.  It has two AC outputs versus only one in my case.  

First let's understand how Inverter/Chargers work, specifically in Monaco coaches.  Anything you want to be available on the inverter circuit MUST run through the inverter.  The reason is it have to available to the inverter to supply current to that circuit(s) when incoming power fails.  For our purposes, I'll only discuss shore power, but generator power is exactly the same, to the inverter and the coach.  So, Monaco decided what they wanted to run off the inverter.  They chose the Microwave and several outlets (in some coaches ALL outlets).  The original (usually Magnum) Inverters had two basic output configurations.  They also had two different input configurations, but that doesn't matter at this point in the discussion.  Some inverters had two outputs with two circuit breakers built into the inverter.  Monaco used one to power just the microwave, and the other to power the "inverter outlet circuit" - which is all outlets that run off the inverter.  We'll ignore GFI/GFCI as they are not germane to this discussion.  The other typical inverter output was a single inverter output which went to an Inverter Sub-Panel.  This was more typical on the higher end coaches (Dynasty and above).  This Inverter Sub-Panel had several circuit breakers, typically microwave, Kitchen, Bedroom, Front Salon, Entertainment, etc.  This allowed for circuit breakers for each leg.  Ok, given all this, it really doesn't matter if your Inverter is the MultiPlus or MultiPlus 2 with 2 outputs.  I say this based upon not rewiring the coach.  It could make slight differences if you were to rewire.  The main purpose of having two outputs (and using two inputs) is you can supply more current to different circuits, when you have 50-Amp shore power available. It also allows you to better balance the loads on each of the legs, to obtain minimum neutral current.  One Input to the inverter is on one leg, along with it's respective output, and the other input is on the other leg as is it's output.  This is true only when you have 50 Amp Shore Power, which by definition is really 220 Volts - 50 Amps.  Anything less (including generator) ties both legs together, since they are only 110 Volt, and there is no advantage to having separate legs or inputs/outputs.  In summary, the dual outputs is only of real benefit when you have 50 Amp Shore Power (220VAC @ 50Amps).  

When the Inverter/Charger switches to Inverter Mode (it senses no voltage at the input to the inverter) things change.  First, within 18 milliseconds of detecting no input, the Inverter turns on and starts supplying Output #1.  This is basically an UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) and most computers and A/V equipment will not notice.  Then approximately 40 milliseconds later, it connects Output #2 to Output #1.  At this point, it's functionally the same as a single output Inverter.   

Now on to your question.  The Intellitec Load Shedding has absolutely nothing to do with the inverter or the circuits running through the inverter.  All those will continue to operate fully.  The Load shedding has to do with high current AC devices, like Air Conditioners (ACs), Washer/Dryers, Electric Water Heaters, etc. None of those are not on inverter circuits.  Also, the inverter is not subject to shedding (it won't be shed my the Intellitec).  

I suspect your question really stems from you wanting to add additional things, like maybe an AC, to the inverter.  This would require rewiring the coach.  When you upgrade from a 2K or 2.5K inverter to a Victron 3K inverter, you need to upgrade the 110 VAC lines into (and maybe out of) the inverter to support the extra power.  This isn't true with the Magnum, because the magnum is rated at 3K with NO Battery Charging, while the Victron includes Battery Charging, there requiring addition input current.  The same goes for the 12 Volt cabling if you plan to take advantage of the additional inverter power.  If you were to rewire to include an AC (I don't recommend that), that AC would now be on the inverter for as long as your batteries last, and since it's on the inverter, would not be subject to load shedding, as it's not seen by the Intellitec.  

Bottom Line:  There is no need to modify the intellitec for 30 Amp load shedding.  

As for the Hybrid PowerAssist feature, it really doesn't work as you might like.  If ALL the power used by the coach went through the Inverter, it would.  What it does is you set the maximum input current in the MultiPlus (say 30 Amps) and if something were to draw more, especially if just temporarily like an AC starting up or maybe heating a cup of water for a minute or two in the microwave, and that would have caused the 30 Amp max to be exceeded, then the inverter would supply the difference from the batteries.  In effect, you would have the inverter running at the same time as shore power.  But this doesn't work for us (as wired in Monaco coaches) because not all the power goes through the inverter.  Therefore, the inverter setting of 30-Amps won't register anything that is not going through it.  The inverter never sees the AC or Electric Water heater or Electric Aquahot element.  So, the hybrid function, without totally rewiring the coach, is of no real value.  If you did decide to run everything through the inverter, you would need an Inverter capable of supplying 12.5K Watts (which is 220 VAC @ 50 Amps).  You would need more than 4 of the inverters that you have, but that would really not be smart, you would want to purchase a much larger inverter instead.

Yes, most anything can be done, with enough time and money, but it is not always worth it.  

I know I addressed a lot here, and much of it was background so you might easier understand why what you are asking isn't important, unless you are off to rewiring the coach.

If I didn't answer your question, or didn't understand what you were asking, let me know and I'll try and help clarify.

  -Rick N.

 

 

Edited by waterskier_1
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1 hour ago, Seward G said:

am interested to read about your large (1140AH) LFP battery bank.

I’ve built 600AH 6 months ago for $1200. Have ordered 600AH of cells that will bring the price down to less than $600. …some have said “too go to be true” which I do not disagree with. With the current backlog of ships waiting to be unloaded, no telling when I’ll get the cells. The BMSs I ordered have arrived (shipped by air) and I really don’t need the cells before next June.

Here is the link to the thread I started on this: 

 

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I did rewire ours. I switched the 30 amp down to the inverter to a 20 and wired it to the microwave, and ditched the block heater circuit and it became the GFCI circuit 

Edited by JDCrow
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I just realized that I didn't fully answer your question.  IF you were to rewire one AC to the inverter it MIGHT be able to handle it and the microwave at the same time - the AC is over 15 amps, that's why it's on a 20 amp breaker, but lets go with your figures.  15 Amps(1800 Watts) for the AC and 12 Amps (1440 Watts) for the microwave and you are already way over the capacity of the inverter which is 2400 Watts.  If you want to run 2 AC 3600 Watts), the microwave (1800 Watts), a TV (360 Watts), the dryer (~ 1800 Watts), and a base load of 600 Watts (I think that is low for water pump, lights, safety equipment, but I'll use your figures).  This is 8160 Watts!  Or 68 Amps!  Note that the 50 Amp Shore Power is really 220 VAC @ 50 so you have two 50 Amp 120 Legs.  The inverter does not.  That would require at least three of the inverters you have.  I'm not even discussing the batteries, because I think you will realize that this is not really as easy at you might have thought.  If you were going to do this, then you should run everything through inverter(s), would require 12.K Watt inverter.  The largest MultiPlus 2 Inverter is 10K VA or 8K Watts.  If you are even considering this, you will need to go to at least 24 Volt and more realistic 48 Volt system for the battery storage.  You'd be looking at over 700 Amps draw @ 12 Volts, and the losses at that current would be tremendous.  

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On 10/31/2021 at 4:42 PM, waterskier_1 said:

I just realized that I didn't fully answer your question.  IF you were to rewire one AC to the inverter it MIGHT be able to handle it and the microwave at the same time - the AC is over 15 amps, that's why it's on a 20 amp breaker, but lets go with your figures.  15 Amps(1800 Watts) for the AC and 12 Amps (1440 Watts) for the microwave and you are already way over the capacity of the inverter which is 2400 Watts.  If you want to run 2 AC 3600 Watts), the microwave (1800 Watts), a TV (360 Watts), the dryer (~ 1800 Watts), and a base load of 600 Watts (I think that is low for water pump, lights, safety equipment, but I'll use your figures).  This is 8160 Watts!  Or 68 Amps!  Note that the 50 Amp Shore Power is really 220 VAC @ 50 so you have two 50 Amp 120 Legs.  The inverter does not.  That would require at least three of the inverters you have.  I'm not even discussing the batteries, because I think you will realize that this is not really as easy at you might have thought.  If you were going to do this, then you should run everything through inverter(s), would require 12.K Watt inverter.  The largest MultiPlus 2 Inverter is 10K VA or 8K Watts.  If you are even considering this, you will need to go to at least 24 Volt and more realistic 48 Volt system for the battery storage.  You'd be looking at over 700 Amps draw @ 12 Volts, and the losses at that current would be tremendous.  

Rick,

Thank you for your clear and knowledgeable responses. I would like to clarify my current and proposed setup.

Partial present power flow:

Shore/Genset->Auto Switch->Main Panel

     Main Panel 30A Inverter Breaker-> Magnum ME2012 Inverter.

Inverter has (2) 20A popup breakers that feed 1) Microwave, 2) Inverter supported outlets.

Proposed Changes for Multiplus II 2x120 Inverter:

1)      6/3 line from Auto Switch to Main panel will be now go from (AC out) of Multiplus II to feed Main Panel.

2)      New 6/3 line will be run from Auto Switch to (AC in) of Multiplus II

3)      Two loads that were on ME2012 inverter (microwave and outlets) will have new breakers in the main panel. These breakers will take the place of the 30A inverter breaker (using ½ size 20A dual breaker). There will be a junction box in the inverter bay and two new 12/2 lines run to the main panel to connect to the two loads.

4)      Since the inverter will be increasing in size from 2000VA to 3000VA, a 2nd 4/0 12V cable will be run from the batteries to the inverter. This is to meet the Victron recommendations that two 4/0 12v power cables be used if the batteries are > 15ft from the inverter.

New Power Flow

               Shore/Genset-> Auto Switch->Multiplex II

                              Multiplex II -> Main Panel feeding all 120v loads.

Hoped for results:

Since all power will be running through the Victron Multiplus II 2x120 inverter. The following power assist should be possible:

30A Shore + 25A Load Assist = 55A total possible supported load with a battery draw of about 288A

20A Shore + 25A Load Assist = 45A total possible supported load with a battery draw of about 288A

50A Shore or Genset would require no load assist. It would work in pass-through mode with the inverter.

What would I expect to run:

With 30A Shore, I should be able to run Base load (5A), two Air Conditioners (30A), Microwave or Washer/Dryer (13A) but not both for a total of 48As. I would need to pay attention to the loads and only run what would fit in my power profile.

Issue I was Concerned about:

Since all power runs through the inverter, when the inverter gets shore power < 50A, both Legs are the same phase. My understanding is the Intelletic 750 uses this (L1 and L2 in phase and no 12v signal from the Genset) to determine the need for Load monitoring and maybe sheading. So in this situation, I would have (with a 30A shore connection) the load assist inverter able to provide up to 55A total 120 power, but the Intellitec will begin disabling loads when the power exceeds 30A.

My solution to this was to make the Intellitec think it was running on Genset; then the Intellitec would not shed below 66A 120V. I would do this by providing power to pin 2 on the Intellitec control panel. I am still working out the fine details, but want to have a switch to force the Genset mode, when the inverter is on. I would turn this on when I was on 30A or 20A Shore power.

Possible issues: I will be relying on the Multiplus II’s ability to limit output. So if I draw too much power, the inverter might shut down, with the possibility of voltage spikes, etc. (Not sure how well the Multiplus II handles an overload situation).

 

I would welcome comment on this proposed setup.

Thanks for your time.

John Crowder

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On 11/3/2021 at 9:16 PM, JohnC3 said:

Rick,

Thank you for your clear and knowledgeable responses. I would like to clarify my current and proposed setup.

Partial present power flow:

Shore/Genset->Auto Switch->Main Panel

     Main Panel 30A Inverter Breaker-> Magnum ME2012 Inverter.

Inverter has (2) 20A popup breakers that feed 1) Microwave, 2) Inverter supported outlets.

Proposed Changes for Multiplus II 2x120 Inverter:

1)      6/3 line from Auto Switch to Main panel will be now go from (AC out) of Multiplus II to feed Main Panel.

2)      New 6/3 line will be run from Auto Switch to (AC in) of Multiplus II

3)      Two loads that were on ME2012 inverter (microwave and outlets) will have new breakers in the main panel. These breakers will take the place of the 30A inverter breaker (using ½ size 20A dual breaker). There will be a junction box in the inverter bay and two new 12/2 lines run to the main panel to connect to the two loads.

4)      Since the inverter will be increasing in size from 2000VA to 3000VA, a 2nd 4/0 12V cable will be run from the batteries to the inverter. This is to meet the Victron recommendations that two 4/0 12v power cables be used if the batteries are > 15ft from the inverter.

New Power Flow

               Shore/Genset-> Auto Switch->Multiplex II

                              Multiplex II -> Main Panel feeding all 120v loads.

Hoped for results:

Since all power will be running through the Victron Multiplus II 2x120 inverter. The following power assist should be possible:

30A Shore + 25A Load Assist = 55A total possible supported load with a battery draw of about 288A

20A Shore + 25A Load Assist = 45A total possible supported load with a battery draw of about 288A

50A Shore or Genset would require no load assist. It would work in pass-through mode with the inverter.

What would I expect to run:

With 30A Shore, I should be able to run Base load (5A), two Air Conditioners (30A), Microwave or Washer/Dryer (13A) but not both for a total of 48As. I would need to pay attention to the loads and only run what would fit in my power profile.

Issue I was Concerned about:

Since all power runs through the inverter, when the inverter gets shore power < 50A, both Legs are the same phase. My understanding is the Intelletic 750 uses this (L1 and L2 in phase and no 12v signal from the Genset) to determine the need for Load monitoring and maybe sheading. So in this situation, I would have (with a 30A shore connection) the load assist inverter able to provide up to 55A total 120 power, but the Intellitec will begin disabling loads when the power exceeds 30A.

My solution to this was to make the Intellitec think it was running on Genset; then the Intellitec would not shed below 66A 120V. I would do this by providing power to pin 2 on the Intellitec control panel. I am still working out the fine details, but want to have a switch to force the Genset mode, when the inverter is on. I would turn this on when I was on 30A or 20A Shore power.

Possible issues: I will be relying on the Multiplus II’s ability to limit output. So if I draw too much power, the inverter might shut down, with the possibility of voltage spikes, etc. (Not sure how well the Multiplus II handles an overload situation).

 

I would welcome comment on this proposed setup.

Thanks for your time.

John Crowder

John,

I now understand what you are trying to do - put the whole coach on the inverter.  Here are some problems, concerns, questions I think you need to consider.

1.  6/3 line from Multiplus II (AC out).  Which AC out?  Are you thinking of using L1 and L2 inverter circuits? How will you decide which circuits (in the main Power Panel) are on L1 and which are on L2.  Are you aware that only L1 has the hybrid boost function?  Are you considering using the second (Auxiliary) output which is live only when Shore/Gen power is available?  I use this on my MultiPlus to power the second electric Aquahot element for my 600D which replaces an Aquahot with only one electric element.  This would be for things that you know you don't want powered by the inverter, usually things Electric Heater elements in Aquahot (use diesel) and electric water heaters (use propane or diesel) and A/Cs (I know you want to have that on the inverter).  I understand that you want to take advantage of the hybrid function when you don't have 50-Amp Shore Power.  But have you thought through what happens when you have no Shore or Gen power.  Everything in the coach would potentially be running off the inverter.  But it's only rated for  2400 Watts (3000 VA is into a purely resistive load, like an electric heater, not a motor/compressor, like an A/C which has inductance.  2400 Watts is only 20 Amps @ 120 Volts (even if you use the 3000 VA that is only 25 Amps @120).  This shows that the inverter, when no Shore Power is available, can, at best only supply 25 Amps and you are unhappy with the 30 Amps from Shore Power not being sufficient.  

2.  You will need power entrance switch type of cutoff between the Transfer Switch and the Inverter.  Codes require that there be a means of turning off all power, which would include the inverter.  That is not difficult (just a double 50-Amp Breaker in a box) but something you didn't mention.

3.  This sound fine, but be aware that running lines from the Circuit Breaker Panel (it will no longer be the Main Panel - see #2 above) is not easy to access without cutting walls.  But electrically, this will work.

4.  Good.

HOPED FOR RESULTS:

If you plan on exceeding the 50A rating of 6/3 cable, you'll need to replace the cable from the MultiPlus II output to 4/3 cable.  Personally, I don't think it would be worth it for the extra 5Amps.  I'd set the MultiPlus up so that you would never exceed the 50 Amp max.    Other than that, what you present is correct.  But, remember this is TOTAL current.  That is, L1 and L2 will be tied together when you don't have split phase 50A shore power.  That is not a real problem, as long as you recognize that.

I think your base load is way low, at least mine is about 2X that, but I likely have more electronics running - even though most are in standby, my router and MiFi are always on. But you basic expectations are correct, for operation on 30 Amp Shore, for a finite time (less than 4 hours) before the batteries will need to be recharged.  And that would take over 9.5  hours, assuming you cut all the loads during that time low enough to let the battery charger run at it's maximum charge rate of 120 Amps.  And that will be derated when the weather gets hot.  

But you have not addressed what happens when you have no Shore Power/Generator.  To do this correctly, you will have to program the MultiPlus to shut down completely before you start to draw more than 50 Amps (it will on it own once that 50Amp limit is hit).  Note that the current to run the inverter at 50 Amps would be about 575 Amps, or less than 2 hours.  But more importantly, how will you replace that current?  Run the Generator for 10 hours?  

Lastly I can't address the Intelletic, because I don't have one.  But I recommend against forcing it to thinking there is power when there is not.  If you were to do that, I'd recommend simply removing it completely, since it would never work again as designed.  Then it will be up to you to make sure you don't exceed the maximum current.  Note that, at least through 2005, Dynasty and above did not have the Intelletic EMS or any other automated EMS.  

Possible Issues:  From a design point, you should NEVER rely on a devices internal protection to be the only protection.  So, you will need to make sure that the output (and inputs) are properly fused or circuit breakers such that the device's internal protection is never needed.  In many devices (I haven't reviewed how Victron does it) the shutdown is not graceful, that is, it may blow a protection device to save itself, and have to be repaired to regain functionality.  The protection built into the device is a last resort protection.  You should already have some sort of Surge Protection/Energy Management on your coach to protect against over/under voltage, bad neutrals, along with voltage spikes.  If you don't, that should be a priority of your modification, to protect your MultiPlus, if not the entire coach.  Again, the input voltage spike protection, if it has it, is likely a destructive protection, meaning that the protection device is sacrificed during protection, and will require replacement (not generally user replaceable). 

I'd really like to hear more about how you plan on connecting the output L1 and L2 to the Breaker Panel ( as far as which circuit go on which breaker) because that will be required to balance the load on the split phase 50 Shore Power, but it will inhibit some things on one leg from being "boosted".  I'm sure it can be done, and I can see you have put a lot of thought into this.  I'm just pointing out some things that you may not have considered.  

  -Rick N.

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