Alde Load Monitor

Discussion in 'Heating and Air-Conditioning' started by Geejay, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. Geejay

    Geejay Funster

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    A relative has an Alde Load Monitor fitted to his ALDE controller for the heating system in his caravan. It monitors the load so that if you're on a site with only 6 amps it cuts off the heating when you switch something on which might trip the fuse at the bollard. Seems a good idea. Has anyone come across something similar for other systems and which can be retrofitted?
     
  2. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Slightly different approach to the same problem would be the Victron or Mastervolt mass combi charger/inverter that will switch the inverter on to augment power from the bollard at times of high demand.

    Martin

    Edit. I think @eddievanbitz knows all about the Victron ones.
     
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  3. autorouter

    autorouter Funster

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    No I don't know of any ready-made system to do this. It sounds like a nice simple idea so suspect they exist somewhere though.

    A non-automatic substitute that I use is an Owl Energy Monitor from Maplin. Like the Alde LM, it has a 'clamp meter' sensor, but it's connected to a wireless transmitter unit. The receiver display unit can be set to show the power being used. A quick glance before switching on the kettle, microwave etc has saved the bollard tripping many a time.

    I was going to set up a system similar to a 'Shower Priority' unit that stops two electric showers being on at the same time, but circumstances have intervened and that's on the back burner for now.
     
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  4. sallylillian

    sallylillian Funster Life Member

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    I have the load monitor and a Victron inverter with load management. In principle you need both. The Alde will not be wired through the inverter charger's transfer switch but direct to the EHU input. The load monitor enables you to select 3 kw on the Alde panel and select the EHU post breaker limit, 6, 10, 16 or what ever, within the load monitor panel settings, it will then drop the kw in a real time monitoring of the demand load of the whole van to ensue that it does not trip the breaker, ie dropping from 3 to 2 or 1 or even no kw. If used in conjunction with a Victron inverter/charger and digital control panel for example you can set the same limit and ensure that you never trip a breaker again. For the cost of the load monitor and its ease of retro fitting its a no brainer purchase!
     
  5. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I'm sure it's a wonderful gadget, but all I do if I'm on a 6A or less EHU is set the sockets to all run off the inverter. The EHU powers the water heater and the fridge with enough left over to do a bit of battery charging. The kettle/toaster/hair drier run off the inverter.
     
  6. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    And the Mastervolt ones (y) Dometic did one but have withdrawn it as it kept going wrong :cry:

    Reich do a "cut off unit" that you preset at say 6amps and it with restrict the load to 6amps to protect the incoming supply
     
  7. rogher

    rogher Funster

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    I’m not sure that the auto-switching inverters augment the mains. Certainly, they don’t all do that. I had one that switched off the mains when the inverter kicked in, probably to avoid the need to synchronise the waveform. The net result is that you can flatten your battery bank rather quickly if you have a 3kW Alde to ‘feed’ (and a fridge/freezer) and don’t realise that the inverter has tripped into operation. I changed mine so that the Alde took power direct from the EHU, rather than other side of the inverter.

    The Alde load monitor is a great idea. You never know whether it’s using power when you switch something else on and the precaution to switch the Alde off, just in case, is removed. You will still need to check that you don’t use two hungry devices together, though. The load monitor only cuts out the Alde.
     
  8. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Both Mastervolt and Victron mass combi inverter/chargers have the ability to augment the mains

    On my motorhome for example I have a Sky Plus so If I am happily minding my own business watching TV one end of the motorhome and my wife pulls out a 2000 watt hairdryer the breakfast TV team isn't interrupted

    In essence a 2000w hairdryer is about 8 amps, add battery charging a fridge and freezer on mains, say on a 10 amp supply The Inverter/charger recognize the shortfall and will stop being a charger and inverter the missing "amps"

    Once the over load has been removed the unit stops being an inverter and reverts back to being a charger, charging slightly higher than previously to replace the power taken from the battery bank
     
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  9. Geejay

    Geejay Funster

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    Interesting... Googled Reich and got some caravan movers and something called 3rd Reich - maybe not the same thing - but no cut off.
     
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  10. rogher

    rogher Funster

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    I’ve taken a peek at the Victron offerings and like them very much. I’d have to scrap all my new stuff to install that, so will wait until I swap to LiFePo4. When I had Mastervolt (in a boat) I had a switchbox that chose the source automatically (Shore/Gen/Inverter) but no sharing was possible. Things have moved on.

    When the combi reverts to charging, it must only do so at a rate up to the difference between demand and supply, otherwise the unit would oscillate between the two states. The logic must prioritise local demand and use any residual power for charging.
     
  11. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    There are lots of ways of doing things, the trick is not to try to tell people that one particular way is better, as it rarely is better, just different lol
     
  12. sallylillian

    sallylillian Funster Life Member

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    I have had 3 Victron Phoenix installations, the largest on my boat with 2 off 3kw units in parallel (total 6kw of inversion) and 1800 amps of battery bank. They are awsome, and replaced my Mastervolt Combi of which I had 5 in 8 years all replaced under warranty. You need to go to a professional for the installation and someone who understands the kit and can program them from a PC as they are highly configurable.
     
  13. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    We were sent by MasterVolt to deal with a ship called the Mathew https://matthew.co.uk/ I thought "Goody, a Jolly!" And as I love/own/use boats I put myself forward for the trip to Bristol.

    From memory it was a 6kw inverter that provided all of the 220 vac power. The trouble was that the unit had to be mounted on a bulkhead at the back of one of the heads (WC) and as it was so heavy to pick up it took two of us really to manhandle it, let alone wall mount it

    Neither me or my colleague are small men, so the two of us jammed into a tiny compartment, trying to reach through a false wall to a bulkhead, reaching round ( Ahem!) the WC was a sight to behold and a memorable (for the wrong) reason experience for both of us. I am not sure we talked on the way back to Van Bitz HQ both feeling violated lol
     
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