Re: Victron Quattro charger/inverter installation

rossirossix4
 
Edited

Hi James,
You may want to consider a 3 position high capacity rotary switch.  This is what we did when we added an inverter.  Our inverter had an internal transfer switch which we did not use.  Easiest to explain by looking at photos first.   https://photos.app.goo.gl/xoac3UQCHckm7TPN8    It is pretty straight forward although it may sound a bit complicated here.  We knew what we wanted but we used a knowledgeable electrician at Manoel Island Yacht Yard (one of the best yards in Europe, IMHO) to make sure that everything was safe and correct. Where it enters the "220V white box" above the sink, we disconnected the wire that comes from the Amel automatic transfer switch--this leaves the Amel auto shorepower/generator function intact.  The wire was shortened and connected to the 3 way rotary switch--1,5 9 on the table.  The inverter was wired to the batteries at the 100amp charger with an appropriately sized 24v breaker (ABYC requirement and a good idea).  The 220V output then goes to an RCD as soon as it exits the inverter (this our electrician insisted upon even though there is an RCD at the "white box".  (RCD provides shock safety for 220V European much like GFIs in the US but by measuring current return discrepancies vs ground fault).  Then the inverter output goes to the rotary switch--3,7,11 on the rotary switch wiring table.  This gives total electrical isolation between the gen/shorepower and the inverter.  Whether you choose to switch the ground as well can be discussed with your electrician--switching the ground allows total isolation, while keeping it continuous is usually code (to guard against ground failure).  The corresponding outputs (2,6,10) and (4,8,12) go to the "white box" via 2-3 conductor wires OR, as we did by 1 wire after shunting 2-4;6-8;10-12 with a single 3 conductor exit wire to the white box.

Advantages of the 3 way rotary switch, in our opinion and experience are: 1)complete isolation between gen/shorepower and inverter  2)total disconection when switching between between sources--NO connection as you pass through 0 position, and zero connections if you place the switch in the center position--which we do before starting the generator or plugging to shore power  3)simplicity of operation 4)allows you to use devices--which we do--such as inverter powering the water heater OR washing machine.  We heat water when we have excess solar and can do clothes washing with the inverter (specially handy when motoring without robbing your battery bank--you can even do a 30 minute express wash while you de-anchor and exit an anchorage or enter an anchorage and complete anchoring) 5)controls--generator, inverter, and selector switch can be located together. 6)safety features with 24V breaker and RCD and high (63amp) capacity of switch and wire used.  Despite its capacity it is reasonably sized and selector does not look out of place.

In our case the watermaker may not be operated as it exceeds our inverter capacity and we don't run the hotwater heater and the washing machine together, or say a hair dryer and microwave.  In the future, with lithium batteries we may swap out for a larger inverter.  If capacity is exceeded  either the inverter and the 24V breaker that feeds it will shut down.

Switch is relatively inexpensive and made for this type of application https://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-Rotary-Changeover-Switch-SZW26-63-660V-63A-3-Position-Phase/233337561113?epid=1056139592&hash=item365400a019:g:DXEAAOSwAfVdxE4X
also Amazon or search for SZW26 63 660V 63A  .  Priced so that you can carry a spare.  Blue Sea makes a similar version that does not require output shunting but is significantly more expensive https://www.bluesea.com/products/9019/AC_Rotary_Switch_-_OFF_%2B_2_Positions_240V_AC_65A

The only complication we encountered was extending the length of the selector stem to go through the plywood--the guys at Manoel did not want to risk high temps by welding and used a tube and JB weld or similar as I recall.  Don't forget to cover the back of the rotary switch--even though it is up and out of the way like the generator switch and behind a baffle.

Again pics are at https://photos.app.goo.gl/xoac3UQCHckm7TPN8  one of the photos show both 24V breaker (waterproof) and RCD box (probably could have been more compact, I think it was for a double)

Let us know if you have questions.

Bob and Suzanne, SM 429 KAIMI

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