question

dzl avatar image

Real world experiences with Multiplus or Phoenix Idle Power Consumption (no load)

Recently I was talking with someone, who seemed to have a pretty strong and emotional bias against Victron and higher end inverters in general, who asserted that Victron Inverters--specifically the Multiplus--exceed the idle consumption listed in the spec sheet by about 50% (~30W for the multiplus 3000/24).

I'm hoping those of you who have bothered to check, can provide some data points. Has the idle consumption you have observed (excluding power save modes), been higher, lower, or spot on, when compared to the datasheet?

MultiPlus Quattro Inverter Chargerinverter current draw
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3 Answers
iand avatar image
iand answered ·

There have been multiple reports on this forum (a search will find them) of this behaviour for the bigger Multiplus/Quattro inverters, specifically 48/10000 models which are rated at 55W idle in the data sheet but (some of which -- not clear how many) measure around 100W.

Victron said that this was due to unit-to-unit variation and not something that could be fixed for a "high-power" unit, and that customers should "contact their dealer to find a solution" -- though it's not clear what this solution would be.

See here, for example...

https://community.victronenergy.com/questions/92644/quattro-4810000-high-idle-power-consumption.html

https://community.victronenergy.com/questions/6893/no-load-idle-consumption-victron-quattro-481000014.html

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Thanks, I did search and did see a few reports of this with the higher power Quattro units.

But (1) the cases seem limited to higher powered quattro units, I haven't come across mention of similar issues with Multi or Phoenix units, and (2) what gets volunteered/reported will tend to be negative or out of the ordinary experiences, and probably not reflective of the norm. By asking, I'm hoping to get answers from a more representative cross section of people, than would take the time to post about it on their own.

It's always possible that these reports are "out-of-the-ordinary" but I can't see how you can confirm that on the forum -- even if you did some kind of survey or poll (how many people have each model, was the idle power in spec or not), it's quite likely that more people with problems join the forum to try and find a solution and those without a problem don't, so the membership is self-selecting...


Given that the internal architecture of all the members of a given family (e.g. Multiplus/Quattro) is common and just the power components are scaled up and down, whatever causes the idle power variation (e.g. switching transistor or driver speed/delay variation) is also likely to be common -- maybe the problem has only been reported for some 8000W and 10000W (and 15000W) units because the idle power is higher anyway so any out-of-spec increase is more obvious compared to the attached loads?


I did look in the Victron data sheets to see if there were any weasel words saying "typical characteristics, not guaranteed" but I couldn't find any, so if a unit is out of spec there would presumably be a good legal reason for rejecting it -- but unless this gets you one which is in spec, this wouldn't be much of a victory since you then don't have an inverter :-(


>It's always possible that these reports are "out-of-the-ordinary" but I can't see how you can confirm that on the forum -- even if you did some kind of survey or poll (how many people have each model, was the idle power in spec or not), it's quite likely that more people with problems join the forum to try and find a solution and those without a problem don't, so the membership is self-selecting...

That is true, but asking for reports is definitely better than *just* going off of negative reports/complaints alone. Also since there are installers and distributors here, there are some with experience with many units that could possibly provide general impressions (potentially biased, but you see some pretty open and objective answers from many here).

Some data is better than almost no data.


edit: and also re: paragraph 2, that is a good point, and a possibility. But the multi is decades old, I would think there would be reports if it was consistently out of spec by a sizeable margin.

shaneyake avatar image
shaneyake answered ·

From my experience using Multiplus-II 48/5000/70-50 230V
Idle is around 20W +-5W, bounces around a little.
Low load like 80-100W, the inverter will around 60W itself.

I have installed quite a few 48/5000 and have never seen close to the 100W+ some people are reporting.

This is measured by the Battery BMS which is probably only +-10W accurate.

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The 100W was for the Quattro 48/10000 (80W for the 48/8000), so would expect maybe 60W for a "bad" 48/5000 compared to zero-load spec of 35W. Multiplus II zero-load power is specified as 18W/29W/38W for 5000/8000/10000, so your 20W agrees with this.
rslifkin avatar image
rslifkin answered ·

My Multiplus Compact 12/2000/80-50 120v is right around 9 - 10 watts at idle with no load. Spec is 9 watts, so I'd say it's close enough.

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