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Author Topic: Setting up Victron controller and monitor  (Read 6106 times)
Pord
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« on: November 10, 2017, 10:53:50 AM »

I'm currently on a very steep learning curve, setting up a 1kw 24v pv system and would really appreciate some guidance on the settings for my Victron Blue Solar MPPT 100/50 (and ideally the BMV700 monitor).  We have a bank of four Crown CM220s (as recommended by Scruff - Scruff, if you're reading please wade in!).

The BS has 7 presets (pic attached), none of which exactly match the charging rates recommended by Crown, which are: daily charge (absorption) 29.0; equalise 31.0; float 27.0. Scruff, you recommended charging these batteries to 29.6v (with temp compensation).  The BS manual also refers to four phases - bulk, absorption, auto equalisation, float.

How should I translate the above figures into settings for the BS?  Any other settings I should customise?

Deviation from the BS presets appears to require either a Victron USB cable or Bluetooth dongle and app (my preference). Anyone know from experience if that will definitely allow me to enter fully customised settings? I'm pretty certain it does but just looking for reassurance before coughing up 50. The intention is to use the one dongle and switch between the controller and monitor as required. Final long shot, but is the app compatible with a Kindle Fire tablet (I'll contact Victron if necessary)?


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billi
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2017, 12:36:12 PM »

Hi Pord

It would surprise me , if Victron would not  supply a method  of modyfy chargeing parameters 

10  years back  when i got my victron inverter , i had to buy a "dongle" to allow my computer  to    change and monitor settings via VE configure software ....


Pos. 4 in your photo   would be  my settings  for FLA traction batteries ...

I personally think , if   water level is watched ,  high absorbtion charge is  a good thing  (mine(PZS) are  charged at 29.8 V and now 14 years old )   and  not too much equalizing charge during the years

cause  the absorbtion charge allows  as well some bubbling in the battery  ( so a small equalizing charge on a sunny basis  Wink

Billi


https://www.victronenergy.com/live/ve.direct:mpptprefs
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Iain
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2017, 04:27:11 PM »

Hi
Quote
Anyone know from experience if that will definitely allow me to enter fully customised settings? I'm pretty certain it does but just looking for reassurance before coughing up 50

I have the Bluetooth dongle and it does allow you to customise the settings. I just used the app on my phone.

Iain
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2017, 05:10:56 PM »

i used the usb and you can change everything.
be warned if you leave the lead plugged in to the victron but not a pc or the pc goes off, when you reboot the victron it plays dead, no lights on whatsoever!!! you can modify the lead to stop this daft behavior.
also i found out the long hard way the manual is out of date for setting up inverters in paralel mode, ignore the bit about being done by switchs, you have to use another version of ve and set master and slave, on that point i assumed one was master and on all the time the other one called as required, wrong, they both are on all the time.

steve
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Pord
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2017, 11:07:22 AM »

Many thanks guys, app downloaded and dongle on the way. I'll be back with more questions about specific settings. One wee step at a time...
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Scruff
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 12:09:29 AM »

You might want to fiddle with the fully charged parameters [of the BMV] so it doesn't auto-reset because dusk conditions and PV often cause false positives and throw the SOC way out. I think the only way to do this is set the absorb. target voltage out of bounds because there's no feature to disable it. You can manually reset it using the sync feature. I run my monitor this way and it works much better.

I don't understand why you can get an external temperature sensor for their battery monitor but not their solar charge controller. The integrated one in their mains chargers don't work...well hard to say the charger doesn't work the temperature sense in the face of that is minor.

[EDIT...added text for clarity^]
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 02:49:04 AM by Scruff » Logged
Pord
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 05:56:16 PM »

Thanks Scruff. I'll have to come back to the forum for guidance on a number of settings, but on the specific issue you mentioned, could it be covered by the following setting (text copied from the online manual)?

Night and day detection
Night/day detection voltage settings can be used to adjust the detection to match the panel configuration. The day detection voltage must be 0.5V higher than the night detection level. The lowest detectable voltage is 11.4V. Set this option to 0 to use the built-in defaults which are: Night = Vpanel<11.4V Day = Vpanel>11.9V).
The default setting is 0 (use built-in default voltages)
Using the 'Delay' periods for day/night changeover avoids the system making an accidental switch when clouds pass over the panels. The valid range is between 060 minutes. These delays are disabled by default (0).Absorption time limit (hh:mm)


Also, where would a defined absorption time limit feature in this? Text again from online manual.

Set the absorption time limit. Only available when using a custom charge profile.
Enter the time value in the notation hh:mm, where hours are between 0 and 12; and minutes are between 0 and 59.
The maximum duration of the absorption period is determined by the battery voltage as measured just before the solar charger begins operation each morning
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Scruff
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 07:58:06 PM »

No Pord I don't believe it will as that is a setting on the charge controller not the battery monitor. Unless they communicate with the eachother like a TriMetric 2030 does with the SC 2030 this will not resolve the issue. It's merely a load control setting.

I also find it odd that a company with the experience of Victron deem a maximum settable Tail Current time of 50 minutes sufficient to deem a FLA 100% charged. I have found experimentally it can takes 3 days to get from 95% SOC to 100% SOC. I suppose they spend more money on advertising than hardware development.

In anycase I'd verify all results with SG readings until you are happy the system is working as it should. You ought to have no reason to get lower than SG 1.275 p/c after a few days on charge no-load with your brand spankin' new tippy top battery.

Please post your findings I'm curious myself, if the controller is up to the task I'll start using them myself.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 08:00:35 PM by Scruff » Logged
Pord
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2017, 01:37:49 PM »

Thanks again Scruff (and for the edit). Your advice on the fully charged parameters will hopefully be implemented via the rest of this post. Ok, deep breath... 

Below I've listed all the Victron Connect app settings on the kit and I would really appreciate being hand-held through setting them up. They are all Victron: BMV700 monitor; Bluesolar 100/50 MPPT charge controller; Phoenix 24/800 inverter. Just as a reminder, we have four 250w 24v panels and four Crown CR220 6v batteries to complete our 24v system.

I've tried to establish as many of these settings myself through advice from this forum and other online resources. Please correct me where I'm wrong. I've also added notes/questions where relevant. Some settings I simply don't know or understand.

BMV700 MONITOR

Battery menu
Capacity - 220Ah (Crown C20 rating)
Charged voltage - either float minus 0.2 (ie 27.2-0.2=27v) or absorption minus 0.3 (ie 29.6-0.3=29.3v)
Tail current - default is 4%
Charged detection time - default is 3 mins
Peukert Exponent - default is 1.25. Online calculators give varying results (from 1.17 to 1.35) depending on which two C values I use
Charge efficiency factor - default is 95%
Time to go averaging period - default is 3 mins

Relay menu
Am I correct in thinking this relates to activating a linked genny? If so, we can ignore.

Alarm menu
Alarm buzzer - on, presumably
Low SOC alarm - does this equal the max desired DOD? 50% is what I aimed for.
Clear Low SOC alarm - presumably a value higher than the one above?
Low Voltage alarm - presumably relates to the entire bank's voltage?
Clear Low Voltage alarm - higher than above?
High Voltage alarm - what should this be?
Clear High Voltage alarm - lower than above?

Display menu
The display can show the following settings:
Main voltage
Current
Power
Consumed Ah
SOC
Time to go

Presumably SOC is critical, which others should be priority?

Misc menu
This appears to be relevant only if a different shunt is being used, which it's not. Ignore?

BLUESOLAR 100/50 MPPT CONTROLLER

Battery menu
Battery voltage - 24v
Max charge current - default is 50A
Use default charge settings - off
Charger - on
Absorption voltage - 29.6v (thanks Scruff)
Absorption time limit - ?
Float voltage - 27.2v (again Scruff)
Equalisation voltage - 31.0v (from Crown)
Auto-equalisation - off (again Scruff)
Temperature Compensation - better on than off?
Temperature Compensation value - 3mv/degC?

Load menu
Options are:
Always off
Batterylife algorithm 1 (manual says a 'self-adapting algorithm')
Conventional algorithm 1 (off when Vbatt <11.10v on when >13.10v)
Ditto 2 (<11.80v  >14v)
Always on
User-defined algorithm 1
Ditto 2

Streetlight menu
Auto control of night lighting. Ignore, unless I'm missing something...?

TX Port Function menu
Options are:
Normal communication
Pulse every 0.01kwh
Light dimming (pwm normal)
Light dimming (pwm inverted)
Virtual Load output

Presumably Normal is fine for Bluetooth/app use.

PHOENIX 24/800 230v INVERTER

Output voltage - 230v
Output frequency - either 50Hz or 60 Hz.
Dynamic cut-off - on or off
Low battery shut down - ?v
Low battery restart and alarm - ?v
Charge detect - ?v
ECO mode wake-up minimum power - ?w
ECO mode search interval - ?s


...and that's all folks! Jeez, I'm away for a lie down. Thank you in advance to anyone generous enough to read this through and respond.








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Scruff
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2017, 03:11:08 PM »

BMV700 MONITOR

Battery menu
Capacity - 200Ah Err on the side of caution. They derate in cold and with age...well cold yes mine are as good as new after 4 years moderate duty 6 months a year average.
Charged voltage - absorption if you want auto, once you start to see the glitches in the matrix go manual. so absorption + temp comp +0.1V
Charged detection time - max
Peukert Exponent - 1
Charge efficiency factor - 98%
Time to go averaging period - default is 3 mins

Relay menu
Am I correct in thinking this relates to activating a linked genny?
-You'll find a use for it later.

Alarm menu
Alarm buzzer,
-I delete them with prejudice I prefer silent notifications.

Low SOC alarm 60% give yourself time to see it and change course.
Clear Low SOC alarm - 85%
Low Voltage alarm - might be more accurate might be less depends on the size of the load and meter drift since last sync. 23.8v
Clear Low Voltage alarm - 24.8v
High Voltage alarm - what should this be? 32V
Clear High Voltage alarm - lower than above? 26V

Display menu
The display can show the following settings:
Main voltage
Current
Power
Consumed Ah
SOC
Time to go

Presumably SOC is critical, which others should be priority?

-SOC will drift if you don't reach fully charged every 5 days or so. All of the above. I use powah (watts) the most, followed by SOC with reference to voltage and charger behaviour. Once you get to know your chargers you'll see them hit absorption and that often gives you a reference.

Misc menu
This appears to be relevant only if a different shunt is being used, which it's not. Ignore?
-I guess. I'm not reading your manual... Tongue

BLUESOLAR 100/50 MPPT CONTROLLER

Battery menu
Battery voltage - 24v
Max charge current - default is 50A
Use default charge settings - off
Charger - on
Absorption voltage - 29.6v (thanks Scruff)
Absorption time limit - 1 week
Float voltage - 27.2v (again Scruff)
Equalisation voltage - 31.0v (from Crown)
-You shouldn't need it. Only if there's a disparity of 0.03 SG between cells or you've brutalised your battery.
Auto-equalisation - off (again Scruff)
Temperature Compensation - better on than off?
-On if it works, uh...I dunno I think they measure the internal temperature of the controller before it starts sweating then turns off rather than measure it's own heat sinks so any changes are unaccounted for. Meh...buy a controller with an external one...and sense terminals.. tomatosplat
 
Temperature Compensation value - 3mv/degC?
-Yurp.

Load menu
Options are:
Always off
Batterylife algorithm 1 (manual says a 'self-adapting algorithm')
Conventional algorithm 1 (off when Vbatt <11.10v on when >13.10v)
Ditto 2 (<11.80v  >14v)
Always on
User-defined algorithm 1
Ditto 2

-Sounds like low voltage disconnect. 11.9> 14.7 only controls the loads on the LVD terminals so subjective.

Streetlight menu
Auto control of night lighting. Ignore, unless I'm missing something...?
-Ignore unless you have a use for it.

TX Port Function menu
Options are:
Normal communication
Pulse every 0.01kwh
Light dimming (pwm normal)
Light dimming (pwm inverted)
Virtual Load output

Presumably Normal is fine for Bluetooth/app use.

PHOENIX 24/800 230v INVERTER

Output voltage - 230v
Output frequency - either 50Hz or 60 Hz.  50hz
Dynamic cut-off - on or off  Huh On?!?  Huh
Low battery shut down - 24.2v (depends on loads, sag and how you want to use it)
Low battery restart and alarm - 24.8v
Charge detect - 26.4v , relevance to an inverter?
ECO mode wake-up minimum power - 30w
ECO mode search interval - 15s


...and that's all folks! Jeez, I'm away for a lie down. Thank you in advance to anyone generous enough to read this through and respond.

-de nada.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 03:28:06 PM by Scruff » Logged
offthegridandy
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2017, 05:20:31 PM »

Hi Pord, well you've have been a busy boy and read all the manuals too by the look of it.

I'm loath to comment on many of these settings as I run my batteries rather differently and so far after 15 years have no complaints.  I discharge my batteries down to 22.4V. My batteries are generally receiving input from PV and wind some of the time and I have a genny set up to auto start to support a load of greater than 3 Kw and or run a full charge cycle up to 29.9V.  Our consumption is in the order of 10Kw per day so with no RE input my genny will run every couple of days for around 10 hrs. NB the genny actually ran 6 time in 6 months from April to Sept.  I have my max charge rate set at 100 amp.  This mode of charge/discharge is what fork lift type deep cycle batteries are designed to work on.  FYI my first set of batteries (1000A) were replaced after 13 years.

It is generally  considered that the max charge rate for batteries should be in the order of 10 to 12% of max capacity so in your case 20 to 25 Amps would be the sort of setting for 220AHr battery. I'd start of by trying 1 hr for absorb. On absorb the charge rate should taper off and below  a few amps charge rate I don't worry.  I never worry about SOC, because our batteries are constantly being charged and discharged or used as we say,

You'll note a fair degree of variance from Scruffs settings and mine and as my batteries lasted  well over 10 years I'd argue that neither are right or wrong.  It probably depends on what your battery use or loads will be.  Hope I'm not confusing you.

Good luck.

Andy
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Scruff
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 10:25:21 PM »

To be honest Andy my battery has the life of Rielly. I'm undergoing an overhaul to double my generators and loads to accommodate electric refrigeration because I reckon I'm not pushing them and they've more to give.

Regarding the 10% charge rate it's a rule of thumb. I've been using between 2% and 20%.
Clicky

Second that, neither are wrong.

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Pord
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2017, 12:57:53 PM »

Huge thanks to you both for your advice. Immensely helpful.

Sounds like settings will vary according to circumstances, so it would make sense for me to roughly describe our proposed useage.  We're living rurally on our own land in an offgrid static while we build a house (strawbale and offgrid, but that's another story). We've been here for a year, and expect another 18-24 months before the house is complete.  Estimated power consumption is 650wh daily, which will be fairly consistent through the year. Our 24v system has 1kw panels and 220ah batteries.  Would this alter your choices for settings?

I also had a couple of questions on some of the specific settings discussed earlier:

Scruff, you advised a Peukert exponent of 1. That will disable the Peukert compensation on the battery monitor, is that the intention?

Max charge current - default on the controller is 50A. Based on our circumstances and your advice Andy, should I be setting that to 20-25A (if yes, which?).

On a slightly different but relevant subject, I need to get power to the controller, charger and inverter to use the Bluetooth dongle and customise the settings via the Victron Direct app. Would this involve taking power from the solar panels? Or should I use our portable inverter generator? Presumably the batteries would remain disconnected from the system until all settings are entered? (PS I'm being helped out by an electrician with some of this, so have at least some support on hand).

Thank you. Again...
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Scruff
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2017, 01:07:44 PM »

Puekert exponent is an imperical number that only makes sense on discharge-recharge cycling. The battery efficiency is non-linear. When you are deep discharge micro-cycling your battery will live in the efficiency belt naturally; between 65% > 85% SOC where those batteries are 100% efficient at C50. Rather than having a computer compensating and then you not knowing what the damn is going on. I set them 1:1 and compensate for SOC proportional efficiency myself.

Do not connect the PV before the battery. There will be smoke. Fuse the battery appropriately then use that as your power source.

Slower charging is healthier for the battery but takes longer. Faster will shorten it's life but you can factor that as a "cost of doing business".
I wouldn't push over C5.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 01:10:51 PM by Scruff » Logged
Pord
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2017, 01:55:28 PM »

Thanks Scruff, makes sense. I like this uber-practical approach.

Just to make sure I understand, when you say not to push over C5 that would equate to setting the controller to a max current charge of 18A, ie 10% of the Crown's C5 rating of 180Ah?

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