Come on, Marlec

So, of all the new technologies we’ve gotten to know and the new battery chemistry and the new…well…everything propulsion and steering that isn’t our sailing rig, the only one to cause us enduring frustration has been the 48v Rutland 1200 windcharger (the British way of saying wind generator, it seems).

They fairly recently got on board the high voltage train with a 48v version of the 12v wind generator we already own (see last year’s installation). They only about a year ago got some kind of support for the LiFePO4 batteries that are powering modern electric sailboats.

And their shit is not working.

We paid extra for a standard-phone-plug-to-USB cable and PC app that was supposed to let us change the charge parameters so that they’d work with our lithium phosphate battery pack. Instead, this program let me change some parameters and save the changes…it said the controller had received them…but when I disconnected and reconnected, it had all gone back to the defaults.

Why is this a problem? Well, their “return to bulk” setting (also not standard terminology as far as I can tell) is so low that we would have to nearly kill the battery before the controller would take the wind generator off standby.

Now we’re dealing with a company that’s about 3000 miles away and not jumping to fix this problem for us. We’re heading their direction but, believe me, carrying this broken system back to them for fixing is not exactly Plan A. Here’s hoping they fix us up in the next couple-few days so that we can keep our new electric motor running in the fashion to which we’d like to become accustomed.

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3 comments

  1. Actually it does work. This program was made for windows xp and you are using windows 10.
    The wind charger and controller and app both work fine if you know how to use it. Change one setting at a time. Save. Restart app, change next setting. Then you will find all your settings changed. Iv already spoken with their team about this and they are aware.

    You failed to read the on screen warning messages. As you seem to be blaming marlec for a low return to bulk voltage but that’s your responsibility to set that value the default is for AGM. If you dont know what this simple term means put your mouse over the option for more info. You want to set this value to a voltage that you want it to trigger a new bulk cycle at. It’s not rocket science really.

    I’m also sour about having to pay 40gbp for a measly 2£ wire and 4£ USB stick which should naturally have been included with the controller.

    1. Paul, hi! I’m curious how you found us and this article…what’s your story?

      We wrote up the denouement in a post called Fk. Lauderdale again?!, which explains that we had two pieces of bad gear. Since we got the replacement controller and dongle, we have been able to make our own changes and the system is working quite well.

      There are some aspects of this that you’re not getting right. Nope, didn’t fail to read the on-screen messages – even screenshotted every single one and sent them to the tech people we were working with.

      We weren’t blaming Marlec for the low return to bulk number, we were stating that because it is so low, it absolutely must be changed in order to work with LiFePO4. The blame wasn’t for the default setting, but for having paid for the gear to take that responsibility you talk about and then have it fail and getting the runaround from their tech folks.

      If you think you have more input after reading this reply and the post linked above, please do comment on it. Understand, though, that there’s nothing as simple as not knowing what AGM means going on here and be more respectful.

  2. I forgot to say,
    You should have temp compensation disabled as it’s for old battery technology lifepo4 do not need this.

    You should also enable low temp cut off to around 1 to 2 degrees Celsius allowing for sensor variation of 1 or 2 degrees. Lifepo4 can not be charged under 0c

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