PO Box 667 Moss Vale NSW 2577 Contact Us

CAMPING - POWER & LIGHTING

PROJECTA'S MULTI-SOURCE BATTERY CHARGERS
A complete vehicle power management solution that we're evaluating.

 

Projecta’s Intelli-RV range of power management systems for caravans and recreational vehicles has received some significant changes, but better after-sales support is needed.

 

 

After finding wide interest with caravan builders when initially launched, ongoing customer feedback and response to competitor offerings has resulted in a number of upgrades being implemented across the Intelli-RV range. 

(OTA’s testing has also shown that improved after-sales support, in addition to the current phone-in and email service, is required. Read our initial test results below.)

Maximum charging current has been increased from 20A to 30A for PM200, PM300 and PM400 units. This means that even the entry level PM200 can charge a 300Ah lead acid or lithium battery in around 10 hours.

The 100A VSR has also been updated to ensure compatibility with lithium batteries and DC to DC charging systems, allowing a wider range of application across different vehicle setups. 

The LCD screen PM300 and PM400 models benefit from optional password protection and error codes have been optimised for ease of use and installation.

The Projecta Intelli-RV product is designed to be a complete vehicle power management solution, offering installers significantly reduced electrical footprint and installation time with neater, direct wiring to a single location,” said Projecta RV Category Manager, Sheridan Lee.  

“The all-in-one units encompass multiple charging functions, including 30A mains charging with 35A power supply, 100A VSR, 30A solar charging, excluding the PM100, plus advanced battery protection and 10-14 fused outputs across the range.”

A major benefit for the end user is remote monitoring of water tank levels, battery capacity/load/charging and solar input from the LED (PM200) and LCD (PM300 and PM400) screens that also allow remote switching of water pump and load.

The PM400’s additional programmable switch panel allows Bluetooth access via smartphone/tablet app for remote control of lighting and power, inside or outside the vehicle.

In July 2020 the new PM300-BT, Bluetooth-compatible model was added.

Formerly available only on the range-topping PM400, the Bluetooth feature allows users to control and monitor key electronics from the comfort and ease of their smart phone using the official app.

Like the PM400, the PM300-BT came with a remote LCD screen that offered information on battery/solar charging (Volts, AMPs, SOC, time remaining), up to four water tank level inputs with pump control, a load switch, night /silent mode for quiet operation.

The main wiring unit features 14 fused outputs for wiring up 12V appliances and lighting, WAGO terminals for easy installation, plus a host of protection features and sensors to ensure easy, safe operation and monitoring of electricals. The all-in-one power management solution offers 30A (12V) 5 stage charging, 35A power supply, 30A MPPT solar charging and 100A DC VSR.

The most significant late-2020 upgrades can be seen on Intelli-RV PM300-BT, PM400 and PM435-BT models.

At the request of customers, models that include a remote LCD screen now feature a single press select function for ‘Silent’, ‘Pump’ and ‘Load’ on and off, while there’s also new on-screen ability to revert to an old configuration where the confirmation press or double press is required.

For faster and more efficient charging, Intelli-RV systems have been upgraded to accept a charge from both VSR and solar panels (if available) at the same time where previously it could only accommodate one or the other.

To ensure that reliable power is always on hand, Projecta has also increased the voltage threshold for when the battery is in float charge. This upgrade helps get the battery in bulk charge faster, ensuring it is at maximum charge all the time.

Across its versatile PM400 and PM435-BT models, the dimming frequency has been improved to provide greater compatibility for this feature across a wider range of L.E.D lights. As many caravan and RV owners will know, not all L.E.D lights can be dimmed, but the adjusted frequency may assist.

For greater control, the dimming feature can also be turned on or off via the App that comes with Bluetooth-enabled models.

Additional changes which follow customer feedback include the removal of the ‘beep’ sound when the phone connects to the LCD screen. Whilst this is a minor change it is one that will be well received by some users.

Owners of earlier Bluetooth variants (PM300-BT, PM400 and PM435-BT) can access the latest enhancements by downloading and installing firmware updates via their phone or tablet app.

 

 

Intelli-RV PM300 on test

 

 

At OTA we began testing an Intelli-RV charger in April 2023, in our slide-on camper, but we experienced difficulty in installing it correctly. Our usual auto-electrician, who is also a Redarc distributor, found it much more complicated than expected.

He did his best, but we discovered that alternator charging wan’t working properly and sought advice from Projecta’s help desk. Despite several emails with photos of the installation going back and forth between Moss Vale and Melbourne, we couldn’t resolve the issue.

It emerged, during this process, that we needed a shunt, despite the fact that the installation manuals didn’t specify it. Projecta kindly sent us one.

Even with the shunt installed and some two grand in auto-electrical labour charges later, the system wasn’t working properly and the Bluetooth app didn’t display any useful info.

We contemplated driving from Moss Vale to Melbourne, so that Projecta’s techos couldn’t inspect it, but instead, enlisted the aid of an electrical engineer mate, who spent six hours going through the manuals and the installation.

We were lucky to know this Sydney-based lithium-savvy electrical engineer, who is the go-to person on a prominent global yacht forum, advising people fitting lithium batteries into recreational boats.

He re-connected some wires, ran a ‘jumper’ wire across two of the Intelli-RV terminals and redid the two-battery connections with heavy cables of exactly the same length. It all worked, but did cost us the price of a pretty flash bottle of Scotch!

In our opinion, what Projecta needs is the type of backup provided by companies like Victron, Redarc and Enerdrive. These companies have dealers and representatives around the country, who can view installations and provide physical assistance.

Advertisements

 

 

 

Advocate For Dogs and Cats - Discounted Online Prices.