Re: a question about Integrel Lite
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I have seen that Morganscloud article I somewhat agree with the conclusion - albeit with a few different points. Here are my notes and thoughts on the system (just my opinions and open to the fact I may be wrong on items):
What is it?
A very simple description: It is essentially a 48v alternator. I believe it has a remote rectifier and it has its own proprietary regulator but other than that it's nothing special. The benefit is that when you are pumping 200 amps into your batteries from it you are doing it at 48v and not 12v, so you can pull ~9Kw.
What is the intended setup?
It's designed so that you have a 48v main house bank with a 48v inverter or inverter/charger for AC loads. You then use DC-DC chargers (e.g Victron Orion) to convert to 12v and/or 24v and charge smaller "buffer" battery banks for those specific DC items.
- Technically speaking it can render your generator useless as your main engine can generate the same amount of energy.
- Even with a large bank you can probably fill your batteries every time you enter/leave an anchorage
- It solves the problem of 12v being not a great setup on boats, especially larger ones
- Ridiculous cost. If I recall I was given an estimate of €8000-10,000 + engine-specific installation. This also did not include any other items (batteries, inverters etc.). It's basically the same price as a generator.
- Some engines don't do well when used as intended for this system (extended low rpm in neutral). Your top end will become dirtier much quicker.
- A lot of the "hype" is marketing. All the talk about how smart it is and won't everheat etc... It's very basic software that reduces output when certain conditions are met (heat at alternator or batteries, full throttle etc.) I'm a software engineer and while I haven't seen their proprietary code I know what it would take to program a device of this nature. The most "revolutionary" thing about it is that it is 48v instead of 12v or 24v.
- Additional equipment required: You'll need a new battery bank, new buffer battery banks, DC-DC chargers, new inverter etc. This adds both cost and complexity.
- You lose the redundancy of having an additional power source
- You also lose any AC power if your 48v inverter dies.
- It's a good implementation of a 48v alternator that solves the 12v problem.
- It's way too expensive
- It only makes sense to even consider if you are doing a major electrical refit (new batteries, inverter etc.) and/or your generator needs replacing
- I think the best use-case would be smaller boats that might not have space for a generator or much solar but you still have large electrical needs
- For now I think a traditional generator + 24v high output alternator is more cost effective (especially since you already have it) and a better overall solution
On Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 9:29 AM Brent Cameron via groups.io <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: