Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
madsunday

Inverter and travel pack

Featured Posts

Hi,

 

Just got a new boat and I'm  trying to get my head round things. 

 

It's got a 3kw victory inverter charge, and a 3.5 beta travel pack  

 

Question is, if the inverter provides 240v from the batteries, and the batteries charge when the engine is running, what's the point of the travel pack? 

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 3kW inverter will be pulling around 300 amps from the batteries at full power use, and the alternator will probably only be able to provide 100 amps or so at boating revs, so you can kill your batteries quite quickly.

 

The Travelpower will sit there happily kicking out 3kW for hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The travel power supplies all your mains needs when engine is running and allows the 12volt alternate to supply all its power to charge domestic batteries. Vastly better system than just alternater charging batteries. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr grumpy here -

As 'usual' we only get half the story.

It's not unreasonable for me to assume that the boat has some high power needs electrical kit on board? Washing machine, microwave, kettle, fridge and more. 

For some of these the more sensible way of powering them is via a generatoe - and that's what the TraovelPower is.

While you're cruising (what on eath is that??)  you can run all the other 'necessary gizmos' at the same time

All automated - seemples......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the help all. Makes more sense now!

 

Re mr grumpy, at the moment the boat has sod all on board apart from 12v fridge :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, madsunday said:

Thanks for the help all. Makes more sense now!

 

Re mr grumpy, at the moment the boat has sod all on board apart from 12v fridge :)

 

Great!

Now you have a pretty clean sheet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slightly off topic but slightly relevant ...

would a travel power kicking out 3kv be as efficient to feed a victron combi to support the 240 and charge the batts when boating than having a separate 12v alt for battery charging ???
 

Edited by Chris-B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Chris-B said:

Slightly off topic but slightly relevant ...

would a travel power kicking out 3kv be more efficient to feed a victron combi to support the 240 and charge the batts when boating than having a separate 12v alt for battery charging ???
 

Efficiency -

No because you've got two sources of losses - that of the TP itself and that of the charger (though these losses may not be large

 

"More important it is" to have a fall back should / or when one fails..

If there's already the infrastructure (brackets, pulleys etc) to support a TP, then it's not a huge job to fit a reasonable capacity large size alternator. (That's why my engine is a Beta)

 

Upgrading the 'house' alternator is not a good idea because its drive arrangement is not solid enough.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drive a small (30amp) charger off the TravelPower to supplement the alternator during bulk charge but I would not want the TravelPower to be my only source of charging.  Some clever combi units can supplement other sources (like the TravelPower on low engine revs) but do some research before connecting such a device; the TravelPower makes non standard 240volts as its 120volts on the live and neutral rather than 240 on the live.

 

..................Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using two chargers to charge batteries is not a clever idea, one charger will knock the other off maximum charge, they will never be at the same voltage.

I had an American couple who tried this, using travel power to run a 60 A charger and expecting the alternator to throw in another 80 A .

They ended up totally confused with a blown alternator regulator and cooked mains charger, nil charge into batteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Multiple charge sources should work but you will only get the maximum from all while the batteries are at a low state of charge, once the voltages start to come up one will start to back the other off. Think solar, do you switch that off before running the engine?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used my Travelpower to power the battery charger for 6 years. I only had one set of batteries and alternator...and nothing 'cooked' ?

I would start the engine..then Travelpower..then battery charger. 

We used it for the washing machine and also an electric kettle while travelling . I also had solar , so several forms of charging at the same time.

 

Only thing that was a serious problem...not just for myself but also a neighbour ...was the way the Beta engine was set up to power it.

My engine had a double pulley on the front...one before the other. My alternator and Travelpower alternator were on the same side and the subsequent force began to destroy the pulley and end of the crankshaft. At first it begins to work slightly loose on the taper, but once it gets underway it accelerates.

 

My neighbour had a 200 hour Beta engine and this happened. Once the pulley starts to wear a shoulder into the crankshaft you're doomed.

Beta eventually gave my neighbour a new engine and paid for fitting.

Its worth occasionally getting hold of the front end of the double pulley and waggling it. If you feel a slight movement, tighten the centre bolt.

An engineer told me that its fairly common and one of the root causes is that the crankshaft taper and pulley taper are slightly different. Whether that is true..I don't know ?

Unfortunately my engine wasn't under guarantee.  I did come up with a 'fix' but it involved new style of pulley and much machining.

 

When this happened, I was in constant communication with Adrian at Beta. He told me that this was a recurring problem, and that they had tried several fixes, even welding the pulley and nut to the crankshaft, but the forces always won. I 'think' that if you have this type of setup , with double pulley, It would be OK if you Beta.jpg.25e6434a81679fb894c953b49dc6d67d.jpg checked it for sideways movement. Get hold of it good and tight and wobble it. You can then catch it before it becomes serious.

 

By the way...you need to remove the pullies to tighten the centre bolt....

 

 

 

Edited by Bobbybass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Multiple charge sources should work but you will only get the maximum from all while the batteries are at a low state of charge, once the voltages start to come up one will start to back the other off. Think solar, do you switch that off before running the engine?

 

I have two alternators charging two battery banks with a VSR combining the banks, oh and solar as well so on a sunny day I manage 3 sources charging 2 banks ;)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Bobbybass said:

I used my Travelpower to power the battery charger for 6 years. I only had one set of batteries and alternator...and nothing 'cooked' ?

I would start the engine..then Travelpower..then battery charger. 

We used it for the washing machine and also an electric kettle while travelling . I also had solar , so several forms of charging at the same time.

 

Only thing that was a serious problem...not just for myself but also a neighbour ...was the way the Beta engine was set up to power it.

My engine had a double pulley on the front...one before the other. My alternator and Travelpower alternator were on the same side and the subsequent force began to destroy the pulley and end of the crankshaft. At first it begins to work slightly loose on the taper, but once it gets underway it accelerates.

 

My neighbour had a 200 hour Beta engine and this happened. Once the pulley starts to wear a shoulder into the crankshaft you're doomed.

Beta eventually gave my neighbour a new engine and paid for fitting.

Its worth occasionally getting hold of the front end of the double pulley and waggling it. If you feel a slight movement, tighten the centre bolt.

An engineer told me that its fairly common and one of the root causes is that the crankshaft taper and pulley taper are slightly different. Whether that is true..I don't know ?

Unfortunately my engine wasn't under guarantee.  I did come up with a 'fix' but it involved new style of pulley and much machining.

 

When this happened, I was in constant communication with Adrian at Beta. He told me that this was a recurring problem, and that they had tried several fixes, even welding the pulley and nut to the crankshaft, but the forces always won. I 'think' that if you have this type of setup , with double pulley, It would be OK if you Beta.jpg.25e6434a81679fb894c953b49dc6d67d.jpg checked it for sideways movement. Get hold of it good and tight and wobble it. You can then catch it before it becomes serious.

 

By the way...you need to remove the pullies to tighten the centre bolt....

 

 

 

Its a well known problem with the beta set up, however mine didnt suffer from it and was still faultless last time I talked to the owner. My present travel power is on my Isuzu and no such problems occur, a fantastic piece of kit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not the Travel Power it's the original Beta engine. Mine finally sheared the front end of the cranshaft and fell into the engine sump.

Beta were very helpful - but I still had to pay something towards it.

Later engines use an Electolux double pulley that fits the splined PTO on the front of the shaft which is less prone to chatter.

The probem was caused by boats going to slowly.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, OldGoat said:

 

The probem was caused by boats going to slowly.....

The problem is that the crankshaft was never designed by the engine maker to transmit the horsepower required on its front end and not modified properly by Beta to do so.

Beta knew this, which is why they replaced many engines . Not solving the problem at no cost to the owner is very bad, I doubt they could refuse to rework an engine if you made a forceful stand.

Edited by Tracy D'arth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

Multiple charge sources should work but you will only get the maximum from all while the batteries are at a low state of charge, once the voltages start to come up one will start to back the other off. Think solar, do you switch that off before running the engine?

 

 

I agree. They will share load in direct proportion to their relative output voltages.

 

The one with the highest voltage will take the lions share of the load, providing the various charging sources are not in current limitation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Bobbybass said:

I used my Travelpower to power the battery charger for 6 years. I only had one set of batteries and alternator...and nothing 'cooked' ?

I would start the engine..then Travelpower..then battery charger. 

We used it for the washing machine and also an electric kettle while travelling . I also had solar , so several forms of charging at the same time.

 

Only thing that was a serious problem...not just for myself but also a neighbour ...was the way the Beta engine was set up to power it.

My engine had a double pulley on the front...one before the other. My alternator and Travelpower alternator were on the same side and the subsequent force began to destroy the pulley and end of the crankshaft. At first it begins to work slightly loose on the taper, but once it gets underway it accelerates.

 

My neighbour had a 200 hour Beta engine and this happened. Once the pulley starts to wear a shoulder into the crankshaft you're doomed.

Beta eventually gave my neighbour a new engine and paid for fitting.

Its worth occasionally getting hold of the front end of the double pulley and waggling it. If you feel a slight movement, tighten the centre bolt.

An engineer told me that its fairly common and one of the root causes is that the crankshaft taper and pulley taper are slightly different. Whether that is true..I don't know ?

Unfortunately my engine wasn't under guarantee.  I did come up with a 'fix' but it involved new style of pulley and much machining.

 

When this happened, I was in constant communication with Adrian at Beta. He told me that this was a recurring problem, and that they had tried several fixes, even welding the pulley and nut to the crankshaft, but the forces always won. I 'think' that if you have this type of setup , with double pulley, It would be OK if you Beta.jpg.25e6434a81679fb894c953b49dc6d67d.jpg checked it for sideways movement. Get hold of it good and tight and wobble it. You can then catch it before it becomes serious.

 

By the way...you need to remove the pullies to tighten the centre bolt....

 

 

 

 

Beta solved this on their later engine (from 2006 onwards IIRC) by no longer cutting off the splined crankshaft extension on the Kabota engine and using the splined crankshaft extension (rather than a Woodruff key) to drive the pulleys for the domestic alternstor and Travelpower.

Edited by cuthound
Phat phingers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

Beta solved this on their later engine (from 2006 onwards IIRC) by no longer cutting off the splined crankshaft extension on the Kabota engine and using the splined crankshaft extension (rather than a Woodruff key) to drive the pulleys for the domestic alternstor and Travelpower.

I think this boat was launched in December 2008 and they have had numerous problems and still check it ever X number of hours .

This is where it all started with the boat less than 3 months old

https://derwent6.blogspot.com/2009/02/oh-no-friday-13thyou-bet.html

 

 

https://derwent6.blogspot.com/2010/10/misty-and-spooky-it-must-be-halloween.html

https://derwent6.blogspot.com/2017/12/beta-4350-bottom-pulley-loose.html

https://derwent6.blogspot.com/2017/12/running-at-last-to-30th-birthday.html

https://derwent6.blogspot.com/2018/02/an-anniversary-treat.html

https://derwent6.blogspot.com/2019/05/second-modification-to-our-beta.html

https://derwent6.blogspot.com/2019/06/onto-pangbourne-for-surprise-visit-and.html

https://derwent6.blogspot.com/2020/05/lockdown-and-crankshaft-check.html

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Using two chargers to charge batteries is not a clever idea, one charger will knock the other off maximum charge, they will never be at the same voltage.

 

 

That's not my experience. I run two Sterling (30 amp & 40 amp) pro-digital chargers combined from my generator and I see a 70amp charge when they first get going on my battery monitor. I don't think the voltages have to be exactly the same do they as long as the higher voltage is correct for the stage of charging?

 

Once the combined charge gradually drops down below 40 amps I switch the the smaller output charger off and carry on charging. I was told by Sterling that combining two chargers to in effect create a bigger charger and reduce the charge time when running from the generator was fine. 

 

When I'm on shore power I just use the 30 amp charger.

Edited by blackrose
  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Using two chargers to charge batteries is not a clever idea, one charger will knock the other off maximum charge, they will never be at the same voltage.

I had an American couple who tried this, using travel power to run a 60 A charger and expecting the alternator to throw in another 80 A .

They ended up totally confused with a blown alternator regulator and cooked mains charger, nil charge into batteries.

Bad information

11 hours ago, dmr said:

I drive a small (30amp) charger off the TravelPower to supplement the alternator during bulk charge but I would not want the TravelPower to be my only source of charging.  Some clever combi units can supplement other sources (like the TravelPower on low engine revs) but do some research before connecting such a device; the TravelPower makes non standard 240volts as its 120volts on the live and neutral rather than 240 on the live.

 

..................Dave

No reason not to use a TP to power a Combi, it makes no odds to the Combi that the supply centre tapped. We do it all the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Chris-B said:

Slightly off topic but slightly relevant ...

would a travel power kicking out 3kv be as efficient to feed a victron combi to support the 240 and charge the batts when boating than having a separate 12v alt for battery charging ???
 

Probably yes. There are obviously some losses in the TP and Combi but there are much less losses in a TP and Combi than there are in a 12v alternator, as evidenced by the fact that a 12v alternator working hard gets very hot, whereas a TP and Combi producing the same current at 12v remain cool. However there is more to go wrong than with a 12v alternator since I don’t think it would be advisable to have that as your only 12v supply.

7 hours ago, Bobbybass said:

I used my Travelpower to power the battery charger for 6 years. I only had one set of batteries and alternator...and nothing 'cooked' ?

I would start the engine..then Travelpower..then battery charger. 

We used it for the washing machine and also an electric kettle while travelling . I also had solar , so several forms of charging at the same time.

 

Only thing that was a serious problem...not just for myself but also a neighbour ...was the way the Beta engine was set up to power it.

My engine had a double pulley on the front...one before the other. My alternator and Travelpower alternator were on the same side and the subsequent force began to destroy the pulley and end of the crankshaft. At first it begins to work slightly loose on the taper, but once it gets underway it accelerates.

 

My neighbour had a 200 hour Beta engine and this happened. Once the pulley starts to wear a shoulder into the crankshaft you're doomed.

Beta eventually gave my neighbour a new engine and paid for fitting.

Its worth occasionally getting hold of the front end of the double pulley and waggling it. If you feel a slight movement, tighten the centre bolt.

An engineer told me that its fairly common and one of the root causes is that the crankshaft taper and pulley taper are slightly different. Whether that is true..I don't know ?

Unfortunately my engine wasn't under guarantee.  I did come up with a 'fix' but it involved new style of pulley and much machining.

 

When this happened, I was in constant communication with Adrian at Beta. He told me that this was a recurring problem, and that they had tried several fixes, even welding the pulley and nut to the crankshaft, but the forces always won. I 'think' that if you have this type of setup , with double pulley, It would be OK if you Beta.jpg.25e6434a81679fb894c953b49dc6d67d.jpg checked it for sideways movement. Get hold of it good and tight and wobble it. You can then catch it before it becomes serious.

 

By the way...you need to remove the pullies to tighten the centre bolt....

 

 

 

As I understand it, the problem is mainly caused by running the engine at idle with a heavy load on the TP. It will produce at least 2kw at idle but this puts a large force on the pulley. We always try to keep the revs around 1200 with the electric kettle or tumble drier on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Bad information

No reason not to use a TP to power a Combi, it makes no odds to the Combi that the supply centre tapped. We do it all the time.

No problem driving it as a battery charger, but in inverter mode does your combi provide an "assist mode" to top up a 240 supply that cant meet the load requirements? I'm a bit out of my depth here as I have no hands on experience of combi devices. Thinking more I suspect it all goes through some sort of transformer which should make it all ok.  I think the Travelpower connects its transistor things direct to the live and neutral, there are two very big inductors but I think they are some sort of smoothing rather than isolation, will look more next time I take the dog hairs out.

 

..............Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

 

Interesting, that 2008 engine is still using a Woodruff key to secure the pulleys, yet my 2007 Beta uses the splined crankshaft extension to drive the pulleys.

 

I wonder if their engine was "old stock" when fiitted? Or perhaps the build time was exceedingly long?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, dmr said:

No problem driving it as a battery charger, but in inverter mode does your combi provide an "assist mode" to top up a 240 supply that cant meet the load requirements? I'm a bit out of my depth here as I have no hands on experience of combi devices. Thinking more I suspect it all goes through some sort of transformer which should make it all ok.  I think the Travelpower connects its transistor things direct to the live and neutral, there are two very big inductors but I think they are some sort of smoothing rather than isolation, will look more next time I take the dog hairs out.

 

..............Dave

Yes it does, although we don’t use it. However even if we did I can’t see what the problem is. We are just talking about the L and N voltages relative to earth. Whilst in pure inverting mode a relay operates in the Combi which does the NE bond thing, in pass-through or power assist mode the Combi L and N are floating relative to earth so there will be no issue with the TP tying the mid point of L and N to earth.
 

Even when not in power assist mode the Combi is tracking the incoming frequency and phase of the TP ready to take over instantly and seamlessly without any interruption in frequency or phase. The only thing that will change is the NE relay operating, but since appliances are not related to earth they won’t notice the change in reference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.