Re: a question about Integrel Lite


Alex Comer-Crook
 

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.

Pros
- 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

Cons
- 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.

Summary
- 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 <brentcameron61=icloud.com@groups.io> wrote:
If this is Nigel Calder’s company (they went by Integrel as well), the excellent resource called Morgan’s Cloud (Attainable Adventure Cruising) did a two part series on it and wasn’t impressed (they wanted to be).  I’m not a subscriber at the moment but you can see a preview of the articles here:
https://www.morganscloud.com/category/electrical/integril-review/

The net of it as I recall was that it added a lot of complexity, cost and significantly reduced the redundancy of your systems to the point where it could actually cause you issues with your main propulsion system.  John is a nut for simplicity and redundancy (as am I) so you may have a different risk/reward calculation but in any case, it is probably worth getting a subscription for those two articles alone if you are really interested in it as they did a pretty deep dive on it.  I quite liked that site as they had good takes on a lot of things we do as long term cruisers although after 4-5 years, I found it was getting repetitive so I let my subscription drop until I get another sailboat (definitely an Amel!) again.

Brent
On Apr 30, 2021, 10:45 AM -0400, Alex Comer-Crook <alexcmrcrk@...>, wrote:
I haven’t installed one personally but I have done quite a bit of research into it and spoken to one of the engineers that developed it. 

I might be able to answer your questions and if not I can try forward them to the engineers.

On Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 8:40 AM Aktan Temiz <aktantemiz@...> wrote:
Hi All,
Does anyone have an idea and/or experience on Integrel Lite (https://integrelsolutions.com) ? I will be grateful for your advice.
Thanks in advance...
Cheers...

--
Aktan TEMiZ
SV YAKAMOZ
SM2K #469
aktantemiz@...


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Brent Cameron

Future Amel Owner & Amel Owner Registry Moderator

Oro-Medonte, Ontario, Canada

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