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Victron SCC.


Chris Hobson
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@plonkster and @The Terrible Triplett can rub their hands in glee.

I am going to definitely look into charging my batteries via a Victron SCC. There are a myriad of advantages and only a couple of drawbacks, other than the paint peeling off the walls from the fallout of having both Voltronic and Victron product mounted on said surface.

  1. The Axpert's Solar Power Balance will no longer be active but with a potential 75A going to the batteries it does not matter.
  2. ICC does not cater for Victron and I would lose some production data. (I am sure this can be easily remedied.)
  3. ??????

I cannot think of any other negatives. So the Victron boys what am I overlooking?

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11 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

2. ICC does not cater for Victron and I would lose some production data. (I am sure this can be easily remedied.)

Yes, it is easy to remedy ... the developers have the docs already for the variables, uses the exact logic as BMV.

If the developers are going to accept "the colours coming off" in their software, now THAT is a different thread to discuss. :D

3. ????? ... Remember the data cable. For reading the data and the subsequent introduction into HOW device firmware updates are supposed to be done by Voltronic. 

In your case, you would need the VE-Direct software (free), to do that when there is a firmware update. It is painless ... really, it is.

O, which model are you contemplating?

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6 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

Blue Solar and Smart Solar range?

Smart Solar has Bluetooth and option to add a display.

Plonkster to confirm.

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51 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

MPPT 150/70 

What is the difference between the Blue Solar and Smart Solar range?

The SmartSolar has bluethooth already built in, which allows you to see your generation and consumption on the VictronConnect App, also change MPPT settings etc.

You can however give the same functionality to the BlueSolar but then you have the buy a VE.Direct to Bluethooth dongle at around R700+-

 

Or so I have it, Plonkster can confirm like TTT said :)

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Just now, PJJ said:

VE.Direct to Bluethooth dongle at around R700+-

Just the VE.Direct USB cable to read data for his software monitoring. It is cheap nowadays compared.

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1 hour ago, Chris Hobson said:

What is the difference between the Blue Solar and Smart Solar range?

Smart Solar has Bluetooth built in as others said.

 

1 hour ago, Chris Hobson said:

ICC does not cater for Victron and I would lose some production data. (I am sure this can be easily remedied.)

Same protocol as the BMV, just slightly different items. Should be easy...

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  • 1 month later...
On 2018/06/07 at 6:58 PM, Chris Hobson said:

@plonkster and @The Terrible Triplett can rub their hands in glee.

I am going to definitely look into charging my batteries via a Victron SCC. There are a myriad of advantages and only a couple of drawbacks, other than the paint peeling off the walls from the fallout of having both Voltronic and Victron product mounted on said surface.

  1. The Axpert's Solar Power Balance will no longer be active but with a potential 75A going to the batteries it does not matter.
  2. ICC does not cater for Victron and I would lose some production data. (I am sure this can be easily remedied.)
  3. ??????

I cannot think of any other negatives. So the Victron boys what am I overlooking?

Chris, I take it this is on your Axpert inverter?

Just my opinion: If you're going this route, how will you charge the batteries at night, or are you running completely off-grid?

3. Apart from ICC not reporting properly, the axpert now also don't know what state it's in, so in effect you would run everything through the batteries, which might tax the batteries a bit more than necessary

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3 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

Chris, I take it this is on your Axpert inverter?

Just my opinion: If you're going this route, how will you charge the batteries at night, or are you running completely off-grid?

3. Apart from ICC not reporting properly, the axpert now also don't know what state it's in, so in effect you would run everything through the batteries, which might tax the batteries a bit more than necessary

I have canned the idea. The Vicron kit is just too expensive. I would need a 250V 100A unit which is north of R10k. I will go with doubling up the home run and two combiners. As soon as I complete  my additions I will be totally off-grid. I will still be able to charge via the gennie but my battery bank should be large enough to go through the night with 30-40% SOC on Lithium's which is going to be a wonderful experience.

If I had gone through with the Victron SCC the Victron, Axperts and battery bus bar would in effect be the same node so on would be using Solar rather than battery during the day. I would lose the Axpert's Solar balance capability but with the Lithiums able to accept 100A it would not be a major consideration as my loads would invariably  be below 5000W. 

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31 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

The Vicron kit is just too expensive. I would need a 250V 100A unit which is north of R10k.

Looking at prices (just sommer) of other brand name controllers this morning I saw that Victron compares very favorably (the CA price list), even exceeds if you add factors like warranties, firmware updates, after sales support etc.

Way back I lost sealed maintenance free batteries because of cheap controllers, for MPPT's at that time where just simply unaffordable.
Later years I lost a brand name MPPT due to overheating, therein my aversion today to install anything in a closed space.
And Paul007, on some pushing and thrown down challenges, did a test comparing the two main makes used here on the forum, and it was not overwhelming in favor of either of the 2 makes he tested.

And I do understand that it is a whole new ballgame to justify brand name prices, as they are not cheap compared to alternatives.

Still, I am not going to trust a +-10 year "investment" on the lowest priced controller I can buy ... again ... because for me batteries are blerrie expensive and could last 10 years+.

For that reason alone I will justify more expensive brand names.

On top of that, brand name MPPT's are all supposed to:
- contribute to the +-10 year lifespan of the bank, 
- are expected to outlast the bank's lifespan,
- have a lot of settings to adjust to "fine tune" to ones particulars ito charging, float and absorption - and equalizing where required.
- and opens up more options ito types of batteries one can use.
- have excellent after sales support with firmware updates and all that.

Still, I do understand the above is all hot air compared to hard cash as nothing is really tangible ito do the brand names actually do give a better ROI long term, or not.

As the jury is out on this one, until their return, I'm betting my cash on the above motivations.

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3 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Looking at prices (just sommer) of other brand name controllers this morning I saw that Victron compares very favorably (the CA price list), even exceeds if you add factors like warranties, firmware updates, after sales support etc.

Way back I lost sealed maintenance free batteries because of cheap controllers, for MPPT's at that time where just simply unaffordable.
Later years I lost a brand name MPPT due to overheating, therein my aversion today to install anything in a closed space.
And Paul007, on some pushing and thrown down challenges, did a test comparing the two main makes used here on the forum, and it was not overwhelming in favor of either of the 2 makes he tested.

And I do understand that it is a whole new ballgame to justify brand name prices, as they are not cheap compared to alternatives.

Still, I am not going to trust a +-10 year "investment" on the lowest priced controller I can buy ... again ... because for me batteries are blerrie expensive and could last 10 years+.

For that reason alone I will justify more expensive brand names.

On top of that, brand name MPPT's are all supposed to:
- contribute to the +-10 year lifespan of the bank, 
- are expected to outlast the bank's lifespan,
- have a lot of settings to adjust to "fine tune" to ones particulars ito charging, float and absorption - and equalizing where required.
- and opens up more options ito types of batteries one can use.
- have excellent after sales support with firmware updates and all that.

Still, I do understand the above is all hot air compared to hard cash as nothing is really tangible ito do the brand names actually do give a better ROI long term, or not.

As the jury is out on this one, until their return, I'm betting my cash on the above motivations.

This is all good an wel, arguing that brand names would be better than non-brand names. Yet, over the years, in different markets a new / younger brand often shows that it's not just the expensive brands that make good products, and can last for many years. 

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3 hours ago, SilverNodashi said:

... , in different markets a new / younger brand often shows that it's not just the expensive brands that make good products, and can last for many years. 

I forgot to add that to my post, for it is most definitely the case.

But to be fair, there also good products failing, or taken off the market, for whatever reason.

Each to our own, with the newbies reading it all, to then think of things we never though of.

 

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In my case Victron and Voltronic are accepted partners for Pylontech. From discussion it seems the Victron is also prone to overvoltage (something that I know the Voltronic does). My solution is to run the Pylons 0.2V below the recommended 53.2V - a trick I learnt from our favourite Blue Goto Guy.

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3 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

From discussion it seems the Victron is also prone to overvoltage

Only really happens when the battery is very full and we're feeding the excess into the grid. And there is a fix for this on the latest candidate release. Essentially we run the batteries at 98% soc, it avoids the problem and is also better for the battery in the long run. 

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1 hour ago, plonkster said:

Only really happens when the battery is very full and we're feeding the excess into the grid. And there is a fix for this on the latest candidate release. Essentially we run the batteries at 98% soc, it avoids the problem and is also better for the battery in the long run. 

"There is a fix for this on the latest release ..." ...  no stress, no worries, sit back and relax ... update will be automatically done once released for general use. B)

Versus ...

1 hour ago, Chris Hobson said:

same as what I experienced with the Axpert and AGMs and Axpert and Pylons.

What can I say. 

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1 minute ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

There is a fix for this on the latest release

I typed that bit while sitting in a local restaurant in Springbok. Let me expand a tiny bit.

When used on its own, without the fancy ESS feed into the grid stuff, there is no overvoltage issue. It works perfectly fine. When you start feeding the excess into the grid (in other words you're running ESS, you have a CCGX/Venus-GX/etc), then there is a certain battery regulation loop that holds the voltage down by feeding into the grid, and on really full lithium batteries that advertise high charge voltages (eg pylontech asks for 53.2V, and raises an alarm at 54V, giving a mere 0.8V to work with) combined with some external issues (grid codes with ramps, feed-in limitations), we found that sometimes it overvolts.

So there is a fix in the latest candidate CCGX firmware that holds the voltage down a tiny bit to give a bit more cushion. It's only operational if you enable DVCC (distributed voltage and current control), which is the algorithm that distributes the BMS charge voltage and current requests across multiple inverters and MPPTs.

It is also better to keep the battery at a lower SoC, which makes it rather easy to justify this little quirk. Interestingly, the advice used for pylontech (basically, clamp it at 52V) is partly from this forum, partly from a contact at pylontech, and partly from testing to see what SoC it reports when we do this. With all batteries, the trick is always to use a voltage that is high enough so that the balancer can do its job.

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