auntyjack avatar image
auntyjack asked

Power factor for IP67 battery chargers

I'm looking at buying a 12/25 IP67 Victron battery charger to run off a small ( 0.7kva) inverter generator, Specs of the Victron chargers do not show input watts or current. Ive already got what I believe is a quality switch mode battery charger ( NOT a Victrton) but after running it via an energy meter its power factor is poor , around 0.54 to 0.60 . It draws 2.2 amps at 240v to output 21 amps / 12 -14 volts DC .

The Victron specs say the IP 67 chargers ard 95% efficient and comply with the EU power factor standard EN61000 -3-2.

My guess the AC current draw should be around 1.7 amps @ 240v at full 25 amps output. Has anyone measured AC current input of these IP67 chargers before?

Been really happy with my small Victron solar controllers , 75/15 & 100/20 , so I'm hoping the quality, efficiency and ease of use via the app is the same for their battery chargers.

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3 Answers
kai avatar image
kai answered ·

If Victron didn't declare a PF in the datasheet, you get what you get. Compliance with the emissions standard should mean it has a relatively high PF...

I would like to think Victron products being in a higher price bracket would provide active PFC on the AC inputs.

Buy, measure and return if not suitable? And let us know!

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auntyjack avatar image auntyjack commented ·

Have emailed Victron sales last Friday regards the PF and current draw and no answer as yet.

Far as know the EU emissions standard is for frequency harmonics , anyway if the PF is over 0.85 I'll be happy.

Funny thing is these IP67 chargers are not that expensive compared to other switch mode chargers of around the same output that have no PFC or weather resistance. Remember looking through Victrons battery chargers on their website ,Phoenix models does state it has a PF of 1 but its probably over AU$700 for the 30 amp model. So maybe these IP67 chargers only have passive PFC if going by its price and no declaration of its PFC .

Either way they have to be a fair bit more efficient than what i have now !

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kai avatar image kai ♦ auntyjack commented ·

huh. interesting. I assumed the ip67 feature was part and parcel of top of line gear, but having looked at the price maybe there's a trade off in the design somewhere.

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ripper avatar image
ripper answered ·

I have the regular Victron 12V 30A charger and run it successfully on a Honda EX7 which has only 600W continous. I remember the efficiency was as advertised. You are very likely fine.

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auntyjack avatar image auntyjack commented ·

I'm thinking I could go bigger than the 12/25 IP 67 charger, what model do you have ripper? The Phoenix has a 30amp model but its up there in price.

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auntyjack avatar image auntyjack auntyjack commented ·

You might have the IP22 model, it might be more suitable for me . Its off topic but it seems like the 12/25 IP67 only has an internal 35amp fuse , if it blew from connecting the DC leads incorrectly you cant get to it as the charger is epoxy encapsulated......

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ripper avatar image ripper auntyjack commented ·

Sorry didnt see your question. But you assumed correct..

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auntyjack avatar image auntyjack ripper commented ·

Hey Ripper, have you measured your chargers AC input watts , current , PF with one of those energy meters before? That would be at full output too.

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auntyjack avatar image
auntyjack answered ·

Got a Blue Power IP67 12/25 charger in the mail today , guessing its the same as the current Bluetooth IP67 chargers ,but can't change to a lower charge rate or monitor the battery voltage with the Blue Power model, was a fair bit cheaper than the Bluetooth model too.

Testing this charger today at full load I'm a bit disappointed with the power factor , was 0.66 , current draw was around 2.25 amps. That was with generator input of 238v AC .

On mains 251v AC the PF was 0.67 and around 2.16 amps input .

Both tests got a maximum 24 amps DC output .

On the box it shows that it is 92% ultra high efficient, that's correct going on true power watts at around 355 to 365w at full load ( what we pay for on mains metered power ) but not so if going by apparent power , which is what matters on generator power., its more like 58% efficient when considering the added reactive power, so the generator is working to load more like 535 watts.

Anyway on the upside I've heard that the inverter generator doesn't suffer poorer fuel efficiency due to the poor power factor of the load ( battery charger) but the output of the generator is down graded due to the higher reactive power and higher current, so the generator trips the overload at lower level than expected.

Also I'm getting about 5 amps DC more output with around 0.1 amps AC less input compared to old my 21 Amp charger , so that's a positive too.

Looks like you need to spend a lot more $$ to get a perfect power the Phoenix models.

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kai avatar image kai ♦ commented ·

Bit of a mixed bag result then - thanks for reporting back.

I'll have to remember at least in 1 case compliance to emission standards != high PF.

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