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Old 12-20-2016, 06:34 PM   #1
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Magnum vs Victron inverter/charger

In a email conversation with Starlight Solar about their Elite lithium battery packages, they suggested Magnum's were a better charger that Victron's for Lithium because Victron chargers "have a 1 hour minimum timer so you will always overcharge the battery". I though Victron Multplus inverter chargers were fully programmable and a good match for Lithium? Anyone know if this is a problem? --Frank
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by fran&frank View Post
In a email conversation with Starlight Solar about their Elite lithium battery packages, they suggested Magnum's were a better charger that Victron's for Lithium because Victron chargers "have a 1 hour minimum timer so you will always overcharge the battery". I though Victron Multplus inverter chargers were fully programmable and a good match for Lithium? Anyone know if this is a problem? --Frank
Not wanting to disparage anyone's 'opinion', but I would suspect that Starlight Solar has a horse in this race.....that being the fact that they offer Elite cells on their website. They don't sell Victron products AFAIK, and I'm sure they don't have a good working knowledge of them either.

Make no mistake.......Magnum makes a fine product as does Victron. From the many mixed systems that I have installed with lithium batteries (both with AM Solar's older version of component cells and now with the Victron lithiums) I have found no issues what so ever with programming either charging source to PROPERLY charger any type of battery system.

Also remember that Victron manufactures their own lithium cells and has specific charging parameters for them that are dictated by their research and engineering folks (not to mention that they have been in business for 40 years and have a large global presence in the renewable energy field). Perhaps the folks at Starlight are not familiar with the programability of the Victrons (they do require a qualified PC to properly program them) but they certainly can be adjusted to any specific battery bank's charge requirements, as can a Magnum.

I find that either inverter/charger will work well and decide on their inclusion based on other parameters of the systems.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:04 PM   #3
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The charger function is these expensive units sold as lithium programmable (yes we sell them too) are worth about $200 on the street. There is no magic to charging lithium batteries, just the correct voltage. Why not divorce the inverter/charger program and get a decent lithium charger like the Progressive Dynamics and then you can use any good pure sine inverter like a Samlex or one of your choice and not have to worry about it if one side ever fails. Those things are a pile of money.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for both of your replies. Lew I know you've worked with both so I hoped you would weigh in. Randy I have also been considering reducing my upfront cost and getting started with an inexpensive charger while retaining my stock inverter, Just looking at all options at this point.--Frank
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:25 PM   #5
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I don't have a Victron inverter or charger, so I can't testify firsthand about those products. But based on what I've seen of Victron's solar charging products, I'd expect them to work very well.

As Lew pointed out, Victron Energy has been around for more than forty years. I've installed several of their solar chargers, battery monitors, and accessories (including the Color Control GX) in my own rigs over the past few years, and have been very impressed with their engineering as well as their tech support.

One thing I especially like about Victron's recent products is the ability to monitor and program them using a Bluetooth-connected smartphone, tablet or laptop app. I've used other solar controllers that required the use of ugly DOS-style executables plus multiple adapters and cables (Morningstar), or crude but expensive text-only LCD remote panels that forced me to laboriously click my way through multiple levels of menus (Blue Sky). With Victron, by contrast, I have well-designed apps that make it easy to monitor performance, set parameters, and look at my system's history... all without any cables or adapters to plug in. I can do it all from my easy chair, with a few taps and swipes.

This works so well from my iPhone, using a $50 Victron Bluetooth dongle (only needed with older equipment; their newer products have Bluetooth built in) plugged into the solar controller, that I pretty much stopped using my Color Control GX. I'm about to install a Victron Smart Lithium system; those batteries also have Bluetooth built in so that they can be monitored wirelessly as long as you're nearby. (A side benefit of this is that I don't have to find a place to mount yet another control panel in my rig, run wire to it, etc.)

Now maybe the MultiPlus series is different--Lew knows better than I do. But the trend at Victron is clear: they want to make all their products wirelessly controllable. The ones I've used do this very smoothly. I'm not knocking Magnum. But from what I've seen of Victron over the past few years, I think they are the most forward-looking company in this field, and their quality--both hardware and software--is very good indeed.
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Old 12-29-2017, 02:25 PM   #6
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... the programability of the Victrons (they do require a qualified PC to properly program them) but they certainly can be adjusted to any specific battery bank's charge requirements, as can a Magnum...
(the above quotation was edited by me)

So here are a few questions:

What is "a qualified PC" ?
Once a unit is programmed is a PC necessary for maintenance or system upgrades?
Does the Magnum also require a PC for programming?
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Old 12-29-2017, 03:39 PM   #7
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Howdy!

Here are the answers that you seek:

A 'qualified' PC is one that will work with the Victron CCGX in order 'program' it into a workable mode that will then work with the rest of your system. It's not a really big deal and I don't actually do it for every CCGX system that I install; only when wanted!

Once a unit is programmed, there is no need to continue with a PC to operate sucessfully. It has a micro USB card in the front of the CCGX that will operate the entire CCGX unit.

Magnums never require a PC or Apple device to program them properly. It can all be done from the ME-RC remote quite easily.

Anything else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mythbuster88 View Post
(the above quotation was edited by me)

So here are a few questions:

What is "a qualified PC" ?
Once a unit is programmed is a PC necessary for maintenance or system upgrades?
Does the Magnum also require a PC for programming?
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Old 12-29-2017, 04:52 PM   #8
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Howdy!

Here are the answers that you seek:

A 'qualified' PC is one that will work with the Victron CCGX in order 'program' it into a workable mode that will then work with the rest of your system. It's not a really big deal and I don't actually do it for every CCGX system that I install; only when wanted!

Once a unit is programmed, there is no need to continue with a PC to operate sucessfully. It has a micro USB card in the front of the CCGX that will operate the entire CCGX unit.

Magnums never require a PC or Apple device to program them properly. It can all be done from the ME-RC remote quite easily.

Anything else?
Yes but I'll start a new thread.
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