MultiPlus & Quattro Inverter/Chargers: Improved Current Limits

Good news – a number of the MultiPlus, MultiGrid and Quattro Inverter/Chargers now have lower minimum input current limits for PowerAssist, particular the 120V American market models along with some of the 230V models.

A quick recap on PowerAssist

PowerAssist is the ability of Victron inverter/chargers to supply more power than is actually available from an AC supply – be that shore power for a boat in a marina, power hook-up for a motorhome, caravan, trailer tent or indeed any home, even a holiday cabin with only solar, batteries and an AC generator electricity supply.

The power available from such AC supplies is the voltage times the current rating of the supply. For example a UK marina bollard is 230V and usually rated at 16A. That gives us 3.68kW of available power – but what if you want to keep that 2kW fan heater running and boil a 2.5kW kettle at the same time, requiring 4.5kW combined?

If you tried to do that without PowerAssist you would trip the supply, but with PowerAssist your boat batteries supply DC power to the inverter side and an instantaneous fast transfer switch adds this DC to AC converted power to the marina AC shore power. Now you have this combined AC power total to run that heater and kettle, for the short time it takes to boil the kettle. Once boiled the kettle switches off, the inverter stops inverting and goes back to doing nothing – and the shore supply continues to run your AC fan heater as before.

With just the fan heater running the available remaining AC power is 1.18kW (3.68kW shore supply –  2.0kW fan heater) which can be used for DC charging of your batteries and/or any small AC consumers up to that remaining 1.18kW of available shore power. Anything over that and PowerAssist can kick back in again as you choose, up to the specifications of the inverter side.

If you don’t want to use any PowerAssist from your batteries, switch to charger only and now the AC shore supply will still be on and the inverter will be off, leaving that 3.68kW AC shore supply available for DC charging and AC  power for any small AC consumers, such as laptops, TVs, a toaster etc.

If you then set the current to zero the charger will be off, the AC supply will pass through and the inverter can’t kick in – handy if away from the boat and shore power fails, as then your batteries can’t be drained by the inverter whilst away. There’s even more sophistication and control if using a Color Control GX or Venus GX, but that is outside the scope of this blog.

Why these lower minimum current limits matter

Lower minimum input current limits means that PowerAssist is available from a lower current set-point than was previously available. Here’s an example:

Previously the 120V Quattro 12/5000/120-2×100 model had a current limit of 19.1A, but now due to a new firmware release this has been reduced to 13.0A. The maximum current supply that a standard USA outlet gives is 15A, so there was no PowerAssist as the minimum set-point was 19.1A. In other words now you can use the PowerAssist feature from a 13.0A set-point with that model Quattro – compared to not being able to use it at all previously!

Firmware upgrade required

To achieve these improvements you will need a firmware version equal to or greater than #423 – available via Victron Professional:

https://professional.victronenergy.com/downloads/firmware

Warning

As the required new firmware wipes all previous settings (back to defaults) during an update, this process is for those with expert Victron knowledge – not for end users. If in any doubt consult your Victron Energy dealer.

Firmware update instructions: Updating VE.Bus firmware, using VEFlash

Minimum shore current limits for the different models

The table below is also available as a spreadsheet via Victron Professional. See the VE.Bus (Multis, Inverters and Quattros) folder at:

https://professional.victronenergy.com/downloads/firmware

Model ID Model name Min Amps limit Firmware < 422 Min Amps limit Firmware > 423
2600 MultiPlus 12/3000/120-50 4.5 4.5
2603 MultiPlus Compact 12/800/35-16 2.4 2.4
2606 MultiPlus Compact 12/1600/70-16 2.4 2.4
2607 MultiPlus Compact 12/1200/50-16 2.4 2.4
2608 MultiPlus Compact 12/2000/80-30 4.5 4.5
2609 MultiPlus 12/3000/120-16 3.1 3.1
2610 MultiPlus 24/3000/70-50 4.5 4.5
2612 MultiPlus 24/3000/70-16 3.1 3.1
2613 MultiPlus Compact 24/800/16-16 2.4 2.4
2614 MultiPlus 24/5000/120-100 3.9 3.9
2616 MultiPlus Compact 24/1600/40-16 2.4 2.4
2617 MultiPlus Compact 24/1200/25-16 2.4 2.4
2618 MultiPlus Compact 24/2000/50-30 4.5 4.5
2620 MultiPlus 48/3000/35-50 4.5 4.5
2622 MultiPlus 48/3000/35-16 3.2 3.2
2624 MultiPlus 48/5000/70-100 3.9 3.9
2625 MultiPlus-II 48/3000/35-32 3.0 3.0
2633 Quattro 12/5000/220(-2×75)-2×100 5.8 3.9
2634 Quattro 12/3000/120-2×50 5.2 4.5
2643 Quattro 24/8000/200-2×100 11.3 10.0
2644 Quattro 24/3000/70-2×50 5.2 4.5
2648 Quattro 24/5000/120-2×100 5.8 3.9
2649 MultiPlus 24/5000/120-50 3.9 3.9
2653 Quattro 48/10000/140-2×100 10.5 10.5
2654 Quattro 48/8000/110-2×100 10.5 10.5
2655 Quattro 48/8000/110-2×100 10.5 10.5
2656 Quattro 48/15000/200-2×100 14.5 14.5
2657 Quattro 48/5000/70-2×100-S 5.8 3.9
2658 Quattro 48/5000/70-2×100 5.8 3.9
2659 MultiPlus 48/5000/70-50 3.9 3.9
2660 MultiPlus 12/500/20-16 Model does not have PowerAssist
2661 MultiPlus 12/800/35-16 3.5 2.4
2662 MultiPlus 12/1200/50-16 2.4 2.4
2665 MultiPlus 24/500/10-16 Model does not have PowerAssist
2666 MultiPlus 24/800/16-16 3.5 2.4
2667 MultiPlus 24/1200/25-16 2.4 2.4
2670 MultiPlus 48/500/6-16 Model does not have PowerAssist
2671 MultiPlus 48/800/8-16 3.5 2.4
2672 MultiPlus 48/1200/12-16 2.4 2.4
2685 MultiGrid 24/3000/70-50 5.2 4.5
2690 MultiGrid 48/3000/35-50 4.3 4.3
2702 MultiPlus 12/3000/120-50 120V 9.0 7.5
2708 MultiPlus Compact 12/2000/80-50 120V 11.1 8.4
2712 MultiPlus 24/3000/70-50 120V 9.0 7.5
2718 MultiPlus Compact 24/2000/50-50 120V 10.5 7.8
2733 Quattro 12/5000/120-2×100 120V 19.1 13.0
2748 Quattro 24/5000/120-2×100 120V 19.3 13.0
2751 Quattro 48/3000/35-2×50 120V 11.1 7.5
2753 Quattro 48/5000/70-2×100 120V 17.5 13.4

Conclusion

These MultiPlus, MultiGrid & Quattro Inverter/Chargers with their improved minimum current limits will clearly be of value to many, particularly those with an American 120V/15A supply at their camping ground or dock.

On  that note, we’d like to give a shout out to Victron aficionados Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard – in prompting/reminding us to introduce these changes for the American market. Here’s their take on boosting electrons, which even though it is dated now shows just how far Victron have been ahead of the curve over the years. You can learn more about their tech and fascinating adventures (be they by land or sea) at: http://www.technomadia.com

John Rushworth

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