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Victron Multiplus Hub-4 working


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Hi all,

As usual, things are still a bit messy and wires run all over the place, but basic proof of concept works perfectly. The small Multiplus feeds into the grid perfectly and (very importantly) it does NOT trip the Conlog BEC23 prepaid meter.

I tried a few different loads. Microwave oven, kettle, hair dryer. The Carlo Gavazzi current sensor shows spikes of up to 1kw going back into the grid when the kettle clicks off, but it looks as if the inverter overcompensates when it backs off so that helps to get a lower average.

In addition, I can also set a limit on the load, so it will attempt to zero the meter only up to a certain maximum value. I can set it right down to 0W if I just want it to remain in bypass.

The final target is to get it all working on the Raspberry Pi version of Venus. Eat your own dog food as we say in the software business.

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14907175_10154523152050619_4831421194391669901_n.jpg

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Two days in with this setup. There's still a few things I need to figure out.

The new test version of the CCGX firmware allows setting a maximum discharge level, which is a life-saver when using lead-acid batteries: you get more useful juice out of them if you go slower. Hub-4 arguably works better with Lithium Ion cells. I'm using this current limit to match solar production with consumption to prevent battery discharge. I'm doing it manually a few times a day, until I can concoct some kind of a plan.

I also have the charge level set to zero, so that it only charges via solar in the day.

A lot of my troubles has to do with not having a BMV in the system. It works without it, but it has no SoC to work with. You can use the SoC in the Multi, but then you must use a GTI and bring your PV in on the AC side. If you charge using a CC as I do, the BMV is essential.

Once the BMV is in place, I will be able to combine a minimum SoC with a discharge limit. Then it should be hands-off.

Efficiency is much better than it was with the old self-consumption system. I'm making around 4.5kwh with only 900W of PV.

Finally... the dreaded BEC23 meter. It doesn't trip. I watched it closely today while the iron was on (1.5kw spikes every few seconds), it pushes back several hundreds of watts every now and then, but no tripping. I think it overcompensates when it backs off and gets a better average that way. Or something. It works, that is the point :-)

A picture of a fairly mild push-back from this morning. The iron did way bigger numbers.

Selection_003.png

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14 minutes ago, TinkerBoy said:

And don't come with this it is dependable.

But that is precisely the reason. My father had a Hilux. In fact he's had 4 to date. One issue to report, he had head trouble with the 1KZTE, a well known issue, and not too expensive to repair. My sister has an 99 model AE120, it's had an Alternator replacement and that is all. My Father in law has a 2000 AE120, he's replaced a CV joint boot so far. I had a 1998 AE120, (Ex-Telkom pool car!) I replaced a clutch (wear and tear) and exhaust manifold (known issue). Except for the manifold it was factory standard when I sold at 13 years of age, down to the exhaust. My wife had a Tazz. This one suffered a bit of abuse in a previous life (more so than the ex-Telkom one), so we replaced a water pump, alternator and a clutch. Drove it 7 more years with no trouble. I now have a AE140 Diesel. I've had it almost 6 years and after solving one wiring issue (on day two of ownership) it's spent no time in the shop other than regular services.

Also, after 5 years or so they stop devaluing. The trick is to buy a good second-hand one around that age...

Admittedly the same is true of almost all the Japanese brands. I'm not necessarily pro-Toyota (our other car is a Suzuki), but I am very much pro-Japan-over-Europe.

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14 minutes ago, TinkerBoy said:

hahaha ok but when you say it is just that are you then saying my Volvo is not dependable ?

No, of course not. Even Peugeot makes the occasional good car, and Volvo >> Peugeot, at least in my mind.

I won't deny that it is a matter of brand loyalty. Scene from the first Shrek movie. A plank in the rope bridge just broke, donkey looked down and now he wants out. Shrek says: But you are already half way! Donkey replies: Yes, but I know that end is safe!

When I got rid of the BMW and went back to Toyota 6 years ago, that action could be described as running back to the side I knew to be safe.

I actually bought the first one because I liked the ride quality. Kid you not. As a student I used to drive cars to Windhoek for a dealer on holidays, so I spent 1500km long-distance driving with several brands over the years. The AE120 really was one of the best!

:-)

Edit: Jeremy hates this car... but he ends up understanding why people love it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpWPYPnZXQQ

 

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Hey, don't forget, Volvo's also came out with Ford engines ... and boy, if a Volvo breaks, you pay a fortune to fix them.

EDIT: And 2nd hand, Volvo's are really cheap for what you get. :P

My friend has 2 Volvo's ... man I laugh at his repair bills after he was so chaffed that he got them so cheap. 

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But I will admit one thing. Man.... Toyota has a way of really developing an engine properly before they move on (and by that I mean they really tend to wait too long). I mean, the 4A-FE and 4A-GE engines are brilliant, but that's like the 4th revision (that's what the 4 is for). Likewise, when everybody else was fitting direct injection turbo Diesel engines, along comes Toyota with the 1KZ (naturally aspirated 3-liter indirect injection). Man that thing was limp. Then they fixed the problem by throwing in a Turbo (1KZTE), which was a very nice vehicle, but heavy on the juice (as are all indirect injection engines). Thankfully the next engines were the absolutely brilliant 1KD and 2KD engines... if it wasn't for that I suspect the Ranger would have stolen away even more customers.

Even with the KD engines I still wonder why they have belts and not chains.

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11 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

My friend has 2 Volvo's ... man I laugh at his repair bills after he was so chaffed that he got them so cheap.

I have an even better laugh at my brother, a staunch Toyota (Land Cruiser) fan. Of the 4 cruisers (2 bakkies, 2 SW's) he's got, 50% of them required extensive work i.e. gearbox, top, etc. What makes it even better is that my Land Rover has given me zero problems over the last 15 years. (My biggest expense is oil, they use a lot of that :D.)

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Just now, cvzyl said:

Is there a difference? You need to add more, that's all I know.

Added advantage is that it is good corrosion protection for the chassis here at the coast.

Yup. An oil spill is an oil leak. Using oil, through normal combustion is generally worn rings or something else inside. An oilspil could be a hole somewhere, or broken seal or worn gaskets

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10 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

Yup. An oil spill is an oil leak. Using oil, through normal combustion is generally worn rings or something else inside. An oilspil could be a hole somewhere, or broken seal or worn gaskets

OR you just call the leak Landrover ... (cwl)

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3 hours ago, SilverNodashi said:

You're lucky. I had a ford once.... ;)

I have a Ford Ranger that has done 474 000 km and is still on its original engine. At least half that mileage has been on dirt roads and rough farm tracks. We have replaced springs, diff and gearbox. Corrugated roads just stuff suspension and drive train up. 

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3 hours ago, SilverNodashi said:

You're lucky. I had a ford once.... ;)

Joke. South African in Discussion with a Texan. The Texan says in a heavy southern drawl: Ya know, my ranch is soo big it takes me half a day to drive from the one end to the other. The South African replies: Ja I also had a k*k bakkie like that once.

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Interesting day. This morning I'm checking that the cables are all fine and things like that, and this one cable feels warm to the touch. Not good. Open up the charge controller and (this is the second time I make this mistake)... where the wire goes into the screw connector I had it stripped slightly too short and the screw actually tightened onto the insulation rather than the conductor. So it worked, but it got quite hot. Hot enough to discolour the connector. Not good.

So I cleaned up the wire, tightened it down. No more hotness. And get this...  as much as 50W extra power on the output side.

I made 5.3kwh today with my small 900Wp array. That,s almost 5.9kWh/KWp. It's not even properly summer yet...

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