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Victron - No charging from Solar


MorneDJ
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I recently installed a small Victron (Multiplus II 3KVA, 6x 365 panels) system at the office, setup with ESS as setup at my house. While it worked OK for a few days, it appears not to use the power from the sun for long periods of time.

It is currently full sun here, as it is working well at my house around the corner.

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Any ideas why or what I can check.

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@MorneDJ 
Go to Settings -> ESS 

there should be two values which is important: 

Minimum SOC
Active SOC

What are those two values?

 

If you look at your ESS Notifications it shows #1, #2
#1 = SOC Low
#2 = Battery Life enabled
 

My suspicion is that your Active SOC is very high, above 90%. Active SOC is a value that is automatically set by your GX device, if Battery life is enabled then each day your battery does not fully charged the Active SOC increases by 5%. Each day it gets fully charged your Active SOC decreases by 5%. If battery life is enabled then your batteries will not discharge more than your Active SOC. The above all happens cause your system is trying to get your batteries to 100%. 

From experience, if you change your Minimum SOC the active SOC increases with it, but will only decrease each time the battery is fully charged.

Edited by stoic
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12 hours ago, stoic said:

My suspicion is that your Active SOC is very high, above 90%.

Your answer is spot on, except for the above. The Active SOC limit cannot go above 80%., higher up you can see how this value is calculated. But that still explains his symptoms, since the picture shows 81%, and the hysteresis is 3%. A system where the loads exceed the available PV will discharge the battery up to 80%, then stop and recharge to 83%, and repeat this ad-infinitum until the loads reduce or PV increases.

 

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My Minimum SOC is set to 50%, but for some reason it appears never to reduce below 70%, even at night. My MPPT also decided now not to charge, even though there is nice full sun on the panels with no shade (no shade after around 8:30 AM). For some reason the system did not use solar power between 10:17 and 11:06 (SOC was 80%, full sun) as well as 14:47 - 15:31 (SOC was 73%, full sun). Now it started acting up again. Will continue to monitor.

 

Untitled-1.jpg

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1 hour ago, MorneDJ said:

MPPT also decided now not to charge

MPPTs that don't charge. First check the remote connecter. I've had three cases now where this thing caused a problem, and it was intermittent too, apparently changes in temperature causes the small copper wire to move just that bit...

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Also always check PV fuses. If all else fails, Victron support can actually look at the data and tell you why it is not charging. The Solar Charger reports an "Off Reason" which is also sent to VRM where support personnel can see it, so if all else fails, ask your reseller to escalate it.

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The MPPT again decided not to charge anything 10:14 - 10:59. Again 45 minutes in full sun. Really weird. Jaco spoke to me yesterday but that connector seems well connected. It is not the same as yours but a little plug.

Untitled-1.jpg

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1 hour ago, MorneDJ said:

The MPPT again decided not to charge anything 10:14 - 10:59. Again 45 minutes in full sun. Really weird. Jaco spoke to me yesterday but that connector seems well connected. It is not the same as yours but a little plug.

For goodness sake just send me your VRM url so I can look...

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Thanks Plonkster. It seems that it is more effective and did not go into that "shutdown" mode yesterday. I am stuck in the mountains in Eastern Cape this week, but will try and follow the installation when I have internet. Thanks again. 

How do one update the software/firmware of the MPPT. I could not find that point or place to do that?

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1 hour ago, MorneDJ said:

How do one update the software/firmware of the MPPT. I could not find that point or place to do that?

 

1 hour ago, PaBz0r said:

Normally via Bluetooth and the VictronConnect App, not sure if you can do it through VRM.

Make sure this is on (under VRM Portal settings):

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Then on VRM you can find it here:

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Just now, PaBz0r said:

My Firmware and VE configure options seem to have disappeared. I checked it seems the two-way communication is enabled. 

Reboot the GX. That usually helps. When it comes up it sends a special "announce" message which makes VRM do a few extra things, flushing out old state and so on. Normally it should not be necessary, but I do find that sometimes it helps.

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12 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Reboot the GX. That usually helps. When it comes up it sends a special "announce" message which makes VRM do a few extra things, flushing out old state and so on. Normally it should not be necessary, but I do find that sometimes it helps.

Thanks, worked :)

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  • 1 month later...

Today is the second day that I am back at work, having barely got back from the Eastern Cape before the lockdown started. I thought that this problem was solved, and, as no-one was using power I completely forgot about this (one of the advantages of a Victron system, it just works). However, for some strange reason I see that my system still do not change for around an hour every day, between 10 am and 11 am. I went through the settings but I just cannot find anything that could cause this. Below is the graph for the last 3 days, but, the last 40 days are similar and this is driving my crazy. Anyone have an idea how I can contact Victron direct to look at this ?

Solar generation.jpg

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Thanks for letting them know Plonkster. I see that it is down again (since 9:20 this morning) but considering the history it should be up around 10:20 ... 

Weird, I have searched the net for something similar but could not locate anything. 

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20 minutes ago, MorneDJ said:

since 9:20 this morning

Yup, our guys are on it. We updated the firmware and will look again tomorrow. It appears your PV modules have a power curve with multiple peaks (usually happens if there's some kind of shading on a few cells), and the MPPT decides to do a rescan (that is normal, it always does that every now and then) and then gets stuck on a very low peak. About an hour later, your power curve curve has changed and as soon as it does a rescan it dislodges itself and all is well again.

Maybe the update fixes it, if not... there is still some debug firmware we can load. We'll find it...

🙂

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It appears the firmware update fixed it. There were only two cases of this and both were with 150/35 controllers.

On the other hand, just look at this perfect picture of how your system applies BatteryLife. Each day cycling a bit deeper, and that one cloudy day it ticks up 5%.

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