Buy all your VW California Accessories at the Club Shop Visit Shop

Built-in Inverter: what can one get away with?

I

ianm

Messages
22
Location
UK
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
I am trying to decide on the simplest way of charging an eMTB battery when not on EHU. I have seen various threads that talk about wiring in a separate inverter to the leisure battery under the passenger seat, and it may well be that will be the way I have to go. However, I have just watched the video mentioned in another post which says that the inverter on the left of the drivers seat can handle 300W (we have a 6.1 Coast from 2021) and I wondered whether that would be a simpler solution.

My battery charger (for a Yamaha PW-X2 motor) is rated at 1.4A for UK 220/240V. That, I think, is just over 300W depending on actual voltage if I have understood the conversion, which I may well not have! There is another post by @Lightning that indicates it worked for his electric Brompton with greater power usage if the engine is running. What damage, if any, am I likely to do if I plug it in and try? Is the worst that a fuse may blow or just that it will charge more slowly, or not at all? There is no 12V charger option for Yamaha motors.

I realise that I am more than likely to add solar at some point, but am trying to cut down on the extras at present: one can spend worrying large amounts even AFTER buying a Cali! Even being able to charge the bike battery whilst driving would be a start.

Thanks

Ian
 
I

ianm

Messages
22
Location
UK
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
I thought I would answer my own post, just in case it is of interest to anyone else.

I was concerned that I might damage the inverter with my eMTB charger, so I bought a plug-in energy monitor, which is designed to tell you how much it costs to run various appliances. However, they also show you the power being used.

I have now plugged in the charger having actually got out and ridden the bike to flatten the batteries a bit. The monitor didn't go above 175W. So I was happy to try it in the inverter socket on the driver's seat. All worked fine; with and without the engine on! Great. The charge in the leisure batteries does seem to drop quite quickly with the engine off, so I think use will be limited to when driving or with solar if we take the plunge.

One caveat. The eMTB battery was about 80% full, and it might draw more power initially if empty or nearly empty. I will test again after a longer ride.

So far, delighted to have found a socket I didn't know existed that works for this job! It may be worth testing your chargers; they might use less than you think.
 
A

andrewjkidd8

Messages
33
Location
Treharris
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Has anyone upgraded the inverter in the cali just bought a 2010 and like you looking to power ebikes off grid if possible and also going down the solar route so don't have to pay for power when camping?

Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk
 
kurienp

kurienp

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
2,660
Location
Newbury, Berkshire, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Has anyone upgraded the inverter in the cali just bought a 2010 and like you looking to power ebikes off grid if possible and also going down the solar route so don't have to pay for power when camping?

Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk
Hello Andrew, welcome on board.

There are some on here who have upgraded the inverter, but then you lose some functionality of monitoring the rate of consumption and state of charge over the control panel.

The challenge with the Cali inverter is that it is squared sine wave, and so not clean and can damage sensitive appliances. I only use my laptop charger via the inverter as the laptop charger can withstand a lot (or at least is cheaper to replace).

The best option may be to get an Anderson connector, and wire a higher capacity clean sine wave inverter directly to the batteries. The inverters are so small that they will occupy minimal space and you will also have the option to connect/use it only when you need it ... and not always.

If you do not mind loosing some control panel functionality, then look for Victron inverters that are similar in size to the one already in the Cali and will be a direct replacement fit. As the inverters in the Cali are fitted upside down on top of the rear battery compartment, see that the inverter is built to work upside down (i.e: needs to have relevant vents for heat dissipation).

Hope this information helps.

PXL_20210817_102027288.jpg
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Super Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
22,358
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Hello Andrew, welcome on board.

There are some on here who have upgraded the inverter, but then you lose some functionality of monitoring the rate of consumption and state of charge over the control panel.

The challenge with the Cali inverter is that it is squared sine wave, and so not clean and can damage sensitive appliances. I only use my laptop charger via the inverter as the laptop charger can withstand a lot (or at least is cheaper to replace).

The best option may be to get an Anderson connector, and wire a higher capacity clean sine wave inverter directly to the batteries. The inverters are so small that they will occupy minimal space and you will also have the option to connect/use it only when you need it ... and not always.

If you do not mind loosing some control panel functionality, then look for Victron inverters that are similar in size to the one already in the Cali and will be a direct replacement fit. As the inverters in the Cali are fitted upside down on top of the rear battery compartment, see that the inverter is built to work upside down (i.e: needs to have relevant vents for heat dissipation).

Hope this information helps.

View attachment 85572
I think you will find that the picture you have posted a picture of the Mains 12v battery charger, fitted below the fridge up until about 2012 and thereafter above the rear leisure battery.
The SE/T6 Ocean 150w inverter is a combine Inverter/EU socket installed in the base of the B pillar next to the kitchen unit. Part 23

578B04B7-AC3D-4801-BCE8-55BFA8C01237.png40E166DE-ECEF-48DD-BB78-92E1B2EA04CF.jpeg
 
kurienp

kurienp

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
2,660
Location
Newbury, Berkshire, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
I think you will find that the picture you have posted a picture of the Mains 12v battery charger, fitted below the fridge up until about 2012 and thereafter above the rear leisure battery.
The SE/T6 Ocean 150w inverter is a combine Inverter/EU socket installed in the base of the B pillar next to the kitchen unit. Part 23

View attachment 85574View attachment 85575
Thanks WG for the correction. Everyday is a learning day! I have to peek behind that panel one of these days.
 
Stu@rt

Stu@rt

VIP Member
Messages
1,176
Location
Kent
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
Anyone know if the newer 300w inverter in the 6.1 produces a better looking sine wave?
 
A

andrewjkidd8

Messages
33
Location
Treharris
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Thanks for the info guys,spending a bit of time reading through various threads and looking forward to spending time in the van.
I realise it’s a little off topic but looking to get the additional cover to go over/around the pop top any recommendations ?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Super Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
22,358
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Thanks for the info guys,spending a bit of time reading through various threads and looking forward to spending time in the van.
I realise it’s a little off topic but looking to get the additional cover to go over/around the pop top any recommendations ?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
If you are able to put the roof up to dry a wet canvas, at home, then you could consider an internal system, if not an external cover.
Check out the Forum Shop. Discounts for VIP members.
 
Y

yossarian

VIP Member
Messages
594
Location
Scotland
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
From an energy point of view a 75ah battery holds about 1kWh. Your 6.1 coast should have two of these.

You can use about 50% battery capacity before your batteries begin to degrade rapidly.

E bikes typically hold around 0.5kWh

A 100W solar panel will produce around 0.5 kWh per day in good summer UK conditions. Less the rest of the time.
 
A

andrewjkidd8

Messages
33
Location
Treharris
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
If you are able to put the roof up to dry a wet canvas, at home, then you could consider an internal system, if not an external cover.
Check out the Forum Shop. Discounts for VIP members.

Hi Welsh gas I’m trying to reply to a for sale ad on the forum but won’t let me I pay for Tapatalk access can you enlighten me at all ?
Cheers Andy


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Super Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
22,358
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Hi Welsh gas I’m trying to reply to a for sale ad on the forum but won’t let me I pay for Tapatalk access can you enlighten me at all ?
Cheers Andy


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I believe you have to be a VIP member of the Forum.
 

Similar threads

Dodge1311
Replies
9
Views
2K
Legin
L
Beachbum140
Replies
3
Views
1K
westfalia
westfalia
N
Replies
12
Views
2K
dannosail
dannosail
W
Replies
10
Views
2K
Saesneg Shaun
Saesneg Shaun
Feng Li
Replies
2
Views
449
Feng Li
Feng Li
Top