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Old 01-27-2021, 05:44 PM   #1
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2021 Factory Victron BlueSolar MPPT 150/35

We picked up our 2021 AS GT27FBT & prior to doing so had the dealer perform the AS approved (new for 2021) lithium upgrade with heated Battle Born batteries. I was told all the new solar comes with Bluetooth connectivity like the Classic which I have now determined is not true after trial & error then Google. The solar charge controller is the Victron BlueSolar MPPT 150/35. BlueSolar does not come with Bluetooth, SmartSolar does. However, it should have a plug receptacle for a Bluetooth (BT) dongle. It has a BMV battery monitor in the AS that AS managed to get without the model listed on it so I can't tell which one it is. The 700 is not BT compatible, & I'm willing to bet this is what they used. The 702 has a receptacle for a BT dongle. The 712 comes BT enabled & I'm sure I don't have that or I would be able to connect to it with my iPhone. While I am still learning how to use the BMV I don't think it is providing me all the info it should which leads me to believe AS does not install the shunt allowing for a complete info readout. I am also not confident that the dealer utilized the BMV to change the battery settings when they installed the Lithium as no one I talked to on pickup day was all to familiar with the BMV. Finally, my main two questions: 1. Is there any need for both the MPPT controller & the BMV to have Bluetooth? 2. If I install the BT dongle on the MPPT controller will that give me all the same info I would get from BT on the BMV? The main two things I want to know is my percent of charge & time to fully charge or to depletion depending on the current load. Lastly, would love to hear any confirmations or corrections on the assumptions I have made here! Boy, that was a mouth full, thanks everyone for your help!!
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:49 PM   #2
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I added blue tooth dongle bought through Amazon. It plugs into same spot that wall mount plugs into. Canít have both at least in my 2019 classic. Never had an issue with dongle since I got it.

Still trying to figure mine out as well. Went to Jackson center for work and they found issue with wiring when I brought up batteries.
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TrailDude View Post
We picked up our 2021 AS GT27FBT & prior to doing so had the dealer perform the AS approved (new for 2021) lithium upgrade with heated Battle Born batteries. I was told all the new solar comes with Bluetooth connectivity like the Classic which I have now determined is not true after trial & error then Google. The solar charge controller is the Victron BlueSolar MPPT 150/35. BlueSolar does not come with Bluetooth, SmartSolar does. However, it should have a plug receptacle for a Bluetooth (BT) dongle. It has a BMV battery monitor in the AS that AS managed to get without the model listed on it so I can't tell which one it is. The 700 is not BT compatible, & I'm willing to bet this is what they used. The 702 has a receptacle for a BT dongle. The 712 comes BT enabled & I'm sure I don't have that or I would be able to connect to it with my iPhone. While I am still learning how to use the BMV I don't think it is providing me all the info it should which leads me to believe AS does not install the shunt allowing for a complete info readout. I am also not confident that the dealer utilized the BMV to change the battery settings when they installed the Lithium as no one I talked to on pickup day was all to familiar with the BMV. Finally, my main two questions: 1. Is there any need for both the MPPT controller & the BMV to have Bluetooth? 2. If I install the BT dongle on the MPPT controller will that give me all the same info I would get from BT on the BMV? The main two things I want to know is my percent of charge & time to fully charge or to depletion depending on the current load. Lastly, would love to hear any confirmations or corrections on the assumptions I have made here! Boy, that was a mouth full, thanks everyone for your help!!
I think you have a few things confused here. Itís easy to do because most of the time the dealers donít even know what theyíre installing. First thing. The round display mounted on the wall is not a BMV-7XX battery monitor. It is an MPPT Controller. Itís just a display that allows you to see the solar charging activity and set the battery charging parameters. It does not do what you want in terms of monitoring the battery state of charge.

Second, the MPPT Controller uses the only available port on the BlueSolar solar charge controller. If you want Bluetooth, you have to unplug the MPPT Controller, rendering it useless, and plug the Bluetooth dongle in its place. You still wonít get the battery monitoring you want, but the Bluetooth dongle coupled with the Victron Connect app is much more user-friendly and useful than the MPPT Controller.

To do everything you want, I would recommend unplugging the MPPT Controller and removing it entirely from the wall. Plug a Bluetooth dongle into the BlueSolar (or better yet, just replace the BlueSolar with a SmartSolar and ditch the dongle). Then, have a BMV-712 installed installed in place of the MPPT Controller. You might be able to use the same wire to connect the battery monitor display to the shunt that previously connected the MPPT Controller to the BlueSolar, since the battery monitor shunt will likely be installed close to the solar controller.

Confusing enough? It is for the dealers, many of whom donít know the difference between the MPPT Controller and the BMV-712 because the displays look very similar. But they perform entirely different functions.
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JEB View Post
I think you have a few things confused here. Itís easy to do because most of the time the dealers donít even know what theyíre installing. First thing. The round display mounted on the wall is not a BMV-7XX battery monitor. It is an MPPT Controller. Itís just a display that allows you to see the solar charging activity and set the battery charging parameters. It does not do what you want in terms of monitoring the battery state of charge.



Second, the MPPT Controller uses the only available port on the BlueSolar solar charge controller. If you want Bluetooth, you have to unplug the MPPT Controller, rendering it useless, and plug the Bluetooth dongle in its place. You still wonít get the battery monitoring you want, but the Bluetooth dongle coupled with the Victron Connect app is much more user-friendly and useful than the MPPT Controller.



To do everything you want, I would recommend unplugging the MPPT Controller and removing it entirely from the wall. Plug a Bluetooth dongle into the BlueSolar (or better yet, just replace the BlueSolar with a SmartSolar and ditch the dongle). Then, have a BMV-712 installed installed in place of the MPPT Controller. You might be able to use the same wire to connect the battery monitor display to the shunt that previously connected the MPPT Controller to the BlueSolar, since the battery monitor shunt will likely be installed close to the solar controller.



Confusing enough? It is for the dealers, many of whom donít know the difference between the MPPT Controller and the BMV-712 because the displays look very similar. But they perform entirely different functions.


That totally makes sense, much appreciated!! Is there any reason I couldnít use the wire from the MPPT Controller? Another question you may know the answer to: Should the internal heaters on the Battle Born batteries be hooked up to a switch or is it common to just unscrew the wire from each battery to disengage the heaters while parked in sub freezing temps? Thanks again!!! I should sleep better tonight now the ai have a better understanding of what needs done!!
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TrailDude View Post
That totally makes sense, much appreciated!! Is there any reason I couldnít use the wire from the MPPT Controller? Another question you may know the answer to: Should the internal heaters on the Battle Born batteries be hooked up to a switch or is it common to just unscrew the wire from each battery to disengage the heaters while parked in sub freezing temps? Thanks again!!! I should sleep better tonight now the ai have a better understanding of what needs done!!
The wire from the MPPT Control to the BlueSolar should be compatible. The shunt, the BMV-712 display, the MPPT Control and the BlueSolar all use the same VE Direct port.

No need for a switch on the BB heaters. The BBs have an internal control for the heaters. They kick on automatically when the battery temperature drops below 35F and they likewise turn off automatically when the temperature goes above 35F. In addition, if by ďparkedĒ you mean you are storing the trailer and not hooked up to shore power, just disconnect the heater wire to avoid discharging the batteries. One last thing to rememberóif you are expecting temps to drop below -10F, remove the batteries from the tongue and store them someplace warmer. Damage to the cells can occur when temps drop to about -15F.
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JEB View Post
No need for a switch on the BB heaters. The BBs have an internal control for the heaters. They kick on automatically when the battery temperature drops below 35F and they likewise turn off automatically when the temperature goes above 35F. In addition, if by ďparkedĒ you mean you are storing the trailer and not hooked up to shore power, just disconnect the heater wire to avoid discharging the batteries. One last thing to rememberóif you are expecting temps to drop below -10F, remove the batteries from the tongue and store them someplace warmer. Damage to the cells can occur when temps drop to about -15F.
So I am in Michigan, AS is inside, given the lithium upgrade & the heaters I didn't want to leave it plugged in to shore power so I detached the heater wires after after unplugging form shore. I just realized I could have a problem if the AS was outside as sun would activate the solar. Do folks install kill switches for their solar to avoid such situations? If I upgrade to the Bluetooth setup you recommended would that allow me to kill the solar within the app? Would another option for -10 and below be to plug the AS into shore power to protect the batteries with the internal heaters or is it still recommended to bring them inside? Thanks for all your insight!!
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:52 PM   #7
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IMHO, your best to setup your own solar

the cost from the AS factory is over double from you doing it yourself
if its new ask AS factory to ship the trailer with no battery and have your Lion battery ready when it arrives. then swap out the old converter for a Victron Muliplus inverter /converter

now you can get all the solar parts you wants ( including a 712 vs the cheaper older 702 from AS)
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
IMHO, your best to setup your own solar

the cost from the AS factory is over double from you doing it yourself
if its new ask AS factory to ship the trailer with no battery and have your Lion battery ready when it arrives. then swap out the old converter for a Victron Muliplus inverter /converter

now you can get all the solar parts you wants ( including a 712 vs the cheaper older 702 from AS)
I agree if you want to do something substantial, and always like to go all in, but my current situation just does not require it. For the next 13 years most of my camping will be in Michigan. Generally it will be many 3-4 night stays with one or two 10 day trips a year. About 70% percent of the time I will have 30amp service. I dream about the system I will get in 13 years but it does not make any sense for now.

Airstream no longer supplies batteries from the factory unless you get solar. With AS upgrading their solar comments to Victron I decided it was worth it for me for my current situation. I decided to do the dealer installed AS backed lithium upgrade because my dealer worked out a deal to make the swap prior to pickup day. The did it for $2500 & they kept the new AGM's that came from the factory along with the inverter that was swapped out. I have seen people post other dealers charging as much as $4500 for the upgrade.

My sales rep honestly thought all units starting this year were Bluetooth compatible with the with to Victron. It is ridiculous that they are not. The difference on Amazon from the non Bluetooth Victron BlueSolar MPPT charge controller AS used at the factory and the Bluetooth enabled Victron SmarSolar MPPT controller is $35.

All I need to do change out a couple components to enable Bluetooth and I should be good to go. I do plan to supplement with a Titan 2.0 solar generator when it gets released this year. I currently have a Yeti 1400 lithium and it's OK but the Titan can power the entire AS. I will have 500 watts of solar for the Titan and a 2500 watt dual fuel generator as backup. That brings up another point, I usually have the AS under heavy trees so it works out well with a solar generator that allows me the freedom to move my panels out where the sun is while keep the AS in the shade.

I have definitely put a lot of thought into it. There are so many ways to go and so many different ways to use our Airstreams. I enjoy hearing everyones perspective.
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Old 01-28-2021, 06:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TrailDude View Post
So I am in Michigan, AS is inside, given the lithium upgrade & the heaters I didn't want to leave it plugged in to shore power so I detached the heater wires after after unplugging form shore. I just realized I could have a problem if the AS was outside as sun would activate the solar. Do folks install kill switches for their solar to avoid such situations? If I upgrade to the Bluetooth setup you recommended would that allow me to kill the solar within the app? Would another option for -10 and below be to plug the AS into shore power to protect the batteries with the internal heaters or is it still recommended to bring them inside? Thanks for all your insight!!
We live in more or less the same climate zone (my wife was a Chip). Your -10F question is interesting. After a long email exchange with BB, they were of the opinion that you should disconnect and remove the batteries when it gets that cold. I too wasnít sure that it was necessary if youíre plugged in and the heaters are active. But, Iím not going to chance it. If you lost power unexpectedly overnight that could be a real problem whether you had heaters or not. But other than subzero cold snaps, I plan to just leave the trailer on shore power and the heaters engaged full time.

As for solar, Iím not sure Iím understanding the question. If you convert to Bluetooth for your solar, the Victron Connect app does have a soft switch to kill the solar charger for maintenance but I donít know that you need to use it. The conventional wisdom used to be that you shouldnít put solar panels in the sun unless they are connected to batteries or you risk damaging them. But Iím not sure that thatís true anymore. Although I tís still occasionally debated, reports of someone actually having damaged a panel by leaving it in the sun unconnected to batteries are few.
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Old 01-28-2021, 07:38 AM   #10
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You would think the one called BLUEsolar would be the bluetooth model
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB View Post
We live in more or less the same climate zone (my wife was a Chip). Your -10F question is interesting. After a long email exchange with BB, they were of the opinion that you should disconnect and remove the batteries when it gets that cold. I too wasnít sure that it was necessary if youíre plugged in and the heaters are active. But, Iím not going to chance it. If you lost power unexpectedly overnight that could be a real problem whether you had heaters or not. But other than subzero cold snaps, I plan to just leave the trailer on shore power and the heaters engaged full time.

As for solar, Iím not sure Iím understanding the question. If you convert to Bluetooth for your solar, the Victron Connect app does have a soft switch to kill the solar charger for maintenance but I donít know that you need to use it. The conventional wisdom used to be that you shouldnít put solar panels in the sun unless they are connected to batteries or you risk damaging them. But Iím not sure that thatís true anymore. Although I tís still occasionally debated, reports of someone actually having damaged a panel by leaving it in the sun unconnected to batteries are few.
I'm about a ten minute walk from the Chippewa's campus, I can her the football stadium from my condo on game days! Great info, did Battle Born confirm it was fine to leave them plugged in all winter with the internal heaters running? I like that idea. As far as the solar, I was just thinking of how to make sure the solar does not try to charge the batteries in freezing temps when the battery heaters are unplugged.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:05 AM   #12
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You would think the one called BLUEsolar would be the bluetooth model
I thought the same thing
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by TrailDude View Post
I'm about a ten minute walk from the Chippewa's campus, I can her the football stadium from my condo on game days! Great info, did Battle Born confirm it was fine to leave them plugged in all winter with the internal heaters running? I like that idea. As far as the solar, I was just thinking of how to make sure the solar does not try to charge the batteries in freezing temps when the battery heaters are unplugged.
Although the BB folks were trying to be helpful (I spoke and wrote to two different people) I couldn't get a straight answer about leaving them plugged in all the time. One person seemed to suggest that the batteries might wear out sooner over a long period of time but even that wasn't clear. He also indicated that nothing catastrophic would happen in the short run. The clearest answer I got was that you do need to bring them in below -10F. To avoid the hassle, I'm going to treat them like I did my previous batteries--let the solar controller and converter keep them charged year round--except I plan to bring them in if we start seeing subzero temps. Other than that, I don't plan to baby them.

BB has really good customer service. Call or email them if you still have concerns. They will respond.
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Old 01-28-2021, 09:15 AM   #14
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I recently upgraded to Heated Battleborn 100AH Lithium’s in my Interstate 19 after a year of dealing with poor performance from the factory installed 80AH AGMs. My first issue was trying to diagnose why my AGMs were rapidly discharging and this led me down the road of looking at all the components of the charging and distribution systems. Here’s is what I finally did:
1. Installed a Victron Smart Shunt. It provides good info on charge status and discharge status. It’s inexpensive, reliable and easy install. It’s Bluetooth and I use the Victron App to view and configure. It’s a great diagnostic tool. (Something to remember is it only measures draw on the supply side of the disconnect. The battery heaters are not reflected on the Smart Shunt.)
2. I removed the installed Solar Controller and replaced with a Victron Smart Solar Controller. I have 250W of solar so size accordingly. Again inexpensive, easy install and reliable. View and configure through the Victron App. I did not get the remote/display because the app is easy to use, connect and configure.
3. I installed the Victron Smart Sense which reads battery temp and voltage. It is NOT needed but I had it so I installed. Again BT.
4. Installed two Battleborn Heated Lithium’s. This was the biggest part of the project. The cradles for the batteries needed to be slightly reworked for fit and switch installed inside. It was easiest to install on the power center but that would vary depending on what you’re putting this into. If you have space I would insulate the batteries. Check with BB to determine what to use.
5. I have a Magnum Energy MMS-1012 under the passenger seat and a Victron Buck Boost DC to DC converter under the drivers seat. (In order to configure the Buck Boost you will need a windows PC, a usb Printer type cable and download configuration SW from Victron) I also have an installed 2500W generator. And of course shore power. If I had room I would look at Victron Inverter/Charger for ease and compatibility but that being said the Magnum works fine.
I gathered all the data together to determine how each component needs to be configured.
- the BBs have a Battery Management System which basically overrides any of the configurations you may have in your components. For example they will not accept a charge below 35F or above a certain temp. With the switch on they will heat. The literature says below 45. Seems a bit high but the heat function uses so little power I leave the switch on unless I anticipate I will not be able to charge the batteries by some method for days. If I had shore power available I would leave it plugged in, battery heat switch on, and either configure the inverter/charger to charge occasionally or put a timer on the shore power outlet.
-depending on installed components you will need to change the charging voltages. I am using 14.4 for absorption and 13.6 for float. For monitoring purposes you will need to change the state of discharge floor. I believe BB recommends 20%. I now have doubled my usable AHs over the AGMs.
- the smart sense, which measures temperature, is fairly useless as I believe it measures temp outside the battery.
-you will need to DISABLE Low Temp Cutoff on the solar controller. Again the batteries will not accept a charge if their internal temp is low.
I spent about 2500 on the batteries and components. Labor is about 6 hours.

“I am not an expert so any advice given and taken is at your own risk.”
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Old 01-28-2021, 09:30 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TrailDude View Post
As far as the solar, I was just thinking of how to make sure the solar does not try to charge the batteries in freezing temps when the battery heaters are unplugged.
Sorry, missed this part of your question. I would not worry about the solar trying to force a charge in freezing temps. The BBs have an internal battery management system (BMS) that cuts off charging sources below 24F to prevent damage to unheated batteries. Because your batteries are heated, they will accept a charge until you get to the point where you should probably bring them in anyway.
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:04 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by tomatwell View Post
I recently upgraded to Heated Battleborn 100AH Lithiumís in my Interstate 19 after a year of dealing with poor performance from the factory installed 80AH AGMs. My first issue was trying to diagnose why my AGMs were rapidly discharging and this led me down the road of looking at all the components of the charging and distribution systems. Hereís is what I finally did:
1. Installed a Victron Smart Shunt. It provides good info on charge status and discharge status. Itís inexpensive, reliable and easy install. Itís Bluetooth and I use the Victron App to view and configure. Itís a great diagnostic tool. (Something to remember is it only measures draw on the supply side of the disconnect. The battery heaters are not reflected on the Smart Shunt.)
2. I removed the installed Solar Controller and replaced with a Victron Smart Solar Controller. I have 250W of solar so size accordingly. Again inexpensive, easy install and reliable. View and configure through the Victron App. I did not get the remote/display because the app is easy to use, connect and configure.
3. I installed the Victron Smart Sense which reads battery temp and voltage. It is NOT needed but I had it so I installed. Again BT.
4. Installed two Battleborn Heated Lithiumís. This was the biggest part of the project. The cradles for the batteries needed to be slightly reworked for fit and switch installed inside. It was easiest to install on the power center but that would vary depending on what youíre putting this into. If you have space I would insulate the batteries. Check with BB to determine what to use.
5. I have a Magnum Energy MMS-1012 under the passenger seat and a Victron Buck Boost DC to DC converter under the drivers seat. (In order to configure the Buck Boost you will need a windows PC, a usb Printer type cable and download configuration SW from Victron) I also have an installed 2500W generator. And of course shore power. If I had room I would look at Victron Inverter/Charger for ease and compatibility but that being said the Magnum works fine.
I gathered all the data together to determine how each component needs to be configured.
- the BBs have a Battery Management System which basically overrides any of the configurations you may have in your components. For example they will not accept a charge below 35F or above a certain temp. With the switch on they will heat. The literature says below 45. Seems a bit high but the heat function uses so little power I leave the switch on unless I anticipate I will not be able to charge the batteries by some method for days. If I had shore power available I would leave it plugged in, battery heat switch on, and either configure the inverter/charger to charge occasionally or put a timer on the shore power outlet.
-depending on installed components you will need to change the charging voltages. I am using 14.4 for absorption and 13.6 for float. For monitoring purposes you will need to change the state of discharge floor. I believe BB recommends 20%. I now have doubled my usable AHs over the AGMs.
- the smart sense, which measures temperature, is fairly useless as I believe it measures temp outside the battery.
-you will need to DISABLE Low Temp Cutoff on the solar controller. Again the batteries will not accept a charge if their internal temp is low.
I spent about 2500 on the batteries and components. Labor is about 6 hours.

ďI am not an expert so any advice given and taken is at your own risk.Ē
Great post, thank you! There is very similar to where I am currently at to avoid any difficult wire runs. Install the smart shunt and swap out the BlueSolar for the SmartSolar charger. The way I read it you should be able to get a battery temp reading from the smart shunt by running two wires from the shunt to the battery. Then, in the app you can create a network to allow the smart shunt to communicate with the SmartSolar MPPT. That way the MPPT knows the temp of the batteries which is recommended. I am also my no means an expert and am learning tons as I go. All part of the fun I suppose
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by TrailDude View Post
Great post, thank you! There is very similar to where I am currently at to avoid any difficult wire runs. Install the smart shunt and swap out the BlueSolar for the SmartSolar charger. The way I read it you should be able to get a battery temp reading from the smart shunt by running two wires from the shunt to the battery. Then, in the app you can create a network to allow the smart shunt to communicate with the SmartSolar MPPT. That way the MPPT knows the temp of the batteries which is recommended. I am also my no means an expert and am learning tons as I go. All part of the fun I suppose
I too worried about the battery temp but for Lithiumís there is no temp compensation for charging. The only important parameters is whether or not the batteries will accept a charge below(or above) certain temp possibly damaging the battery. According to BB the BMS takes care of this. But for the ease and cost is installing thereís nothing wrong with more info!
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:27 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by tomatwell View Post
I too worried about the battery temp but for Lithiumís there is no temp compensation for charging. The only important parameters is whether or not the batteries will accept a charge below(or above) certain temp possibly damaging the battery. According to BB the BMS takes care of this. But for the ease and cost is installing thereís nothing wrong with more info!
There is another important parameter. From what I read in the BB FAQs, you can damage the batteries if you try to draw power when the internal temperature is below -4F. This is probably a bigger concern for their unheated batteries.
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Old 01-28-2021, 05:38 PM   #19
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Put a small 12v heater/fan (Amazon has them) with a 12V temperature controller to turn the fan on/off. Heat up your battery compartment as needed.
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Old 01-28-2021, 06:40 PM   #20
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The BMV-712 says that it has Bluetooth built in. If so, do I need to spend the extra $325 to swap my BlueSolar for a SmartSolar to get the same functionality and access to the app on my phone?
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