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Old 04-02-2024, 02:23 PM   #1
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Maximizing solar controller settings

I understand that even though I have 600w of solar panels on the roof I will not receive 600w of power even on a clear full-sun day.

My Victron Solar Controller, MPPT 150/35, will limit the amount of solar power to my 4 BB lithium batteries as soon as battery voltage reaches 13.5V. The controller goes from Absorption to Float. See photo. This happens when the State of Charge is only 60%.

I have looked at the settings for the Victron Shunt and Solar Controller, but I cannot figure out how to change the settings to get the solar controller to allow more watts to my Li batteries to achieve 100% SOC.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 04-02-2024, 03:51 PM   #2
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So I am not super familiar with the charge curves the victron mppts offer, I am controlling mine over the bus from venusOS with values directly from the batteries BMS. But as far as I know, there are 3, and they are relatively dump with fixed times.
fixed
adaptive
adaptive+battery safe

I believe the fixed mode has a fixed absorption time. Once you reach the voltage, it will go into absorption for a specific time and then float.
Adaptive means depending on the time it takes to bulk charges it will set a time for absorption.
The +battery safe means it will bulk to 14.4V and then go into absorption with a ramping-up current over time. It will go into absorption once the absorption voltage is reached or the calculated time is over, regardless of voltage.
So, it could be that you never reach full absorption voltage before it switches to float because you run out of time. If it's set to fixed, I'd try adaptive to see if that gives you more time in absorption. If you use adaptive+battery safe dial it back to adaptive to see if the ramp-up costs you too much time to be cut off too early.

Have you set the correct charge voltages in the settings under expert mode?
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Old 04-02-2024, 05:17 PM   #3
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Do you have the VE.Smart networking setup? That allows all the Victron gear to exchange data and help it decide how to charge the battery.

I guess the other question would be is the shunt correct about the 60% charge.
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Old 04-02-2024, 06:20 PM   #4
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Your shunt and solar controller have vastly different readings on voltage. Do you have a connection or configuration issue.

What is your absorption voltage if your float is 13.5
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Old 04-03-2024, 06:28 AM   #5
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Attached are the settings for Victron solar controller , etc and Battleborn batteries per AM Solar, a company that sells all things Victron.
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Old 04-03-2024, 07:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wineteam View Post
I understand that even though I have 600w of solar panels on the roof I will not receive 600w of power even on a clear full-sun day.

My Victron Solar Controller, MPPT 150/35, will limit the amount of solar power to my 4 BB lithium batteries as soon as battery voltage reaches 13.5V. The controller goes from Absorption to Float. See photo. This happens when the State of Charge is only 60%.

I have looked at the settings for the Victron Shunt and Solar Controller, but I cannot figure out how to change the settings to get the solar controller to allow more watts to my Li batteries to achieve 100% SOC.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Regardless of your shunt, your MPPT believe your batteries are in float. I suspect they are...meaning...there is no capacity left to absorb the energy being available via your solar panels.

Beyond that, your shunt and MPPT should be networked together. If your cerbo is hardwired to both, this network is automatic. But since their voltages are so far off, i'd suspect an issue. So, create a Bluetooth network between to two to normalize your voltage readings.

90% of the time folks complain about their solar not giving them 'enough' under full sun, their batteries are full.
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Old 04-03-2024, 09:55 AM   #7
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Hi

Your 150/35 will limit at 500W per the Victron data sheet. As you note, that's not a real big deal if you only have 600W of panels on the roof.

The settings you need to look at on your controller are (as noted above) easy to get at via the app and pretty much impossible to deal with otherwise. I'd get that going and see what settings you have.

You want the solar controller to get up to about 14.4V before it goes into float. Dropping back to 13.5 or 13.6 for the float voltage is fine.

You want the shunt to "reset to 100%" when the charge voltage gets above 14.2V. Without doing that, it simply will drift away from reality.

There are a bunch of other tweaks you can do on both devices. Best to post what you have first.

Bob
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Old 04-03-2024, 09:59 AM   #8
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What I hear you say is that you don’t see where to change the settings. Is that correct? Depending on your MPPT controller, is it “Smart”? Does it have Bluetooth built in? If so, then the Victron app should see it. If not you can may be able to add a Bluetooth dongle. But I see you have the Cerbo GX. The other approach is through the Victron VRM. Then you don’t need the dongle. But it is a little tricky at first and requires a hot spot Fromm your phone or other source.

Here is a note from AM Solar that helped me get to the MPPT Controller settings:

You can certainly check the setting in the solar controller so long as it is connected to the GX and the GX and VRM account have been setup and connected to wifi. Once done you will want to open the Victron Connect app. You will see two main tabs for devices. Select the VRM tab. This will show any smart devices connected to the CerboGX as if you have a local bluetooth connection. If the connection works you will get a MQTT-RPC error code this is normal. Click ok then the back button then click on your GX device again. You should now see your list of devices.”

From there you select your MPPT controller and you can get into your settings. From settings, you can choose battery type and set custom settings if needed.

Hope that helps!
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Old 04-03-2024, 04:29 PM   #9
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Make sure you have your battery manufacturers recommended settings programmed in the MPPT.

This might help
https://explorist.life/how-to-progra...ge-controller/
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Old 04-03-2024, 08:46 PM   #10
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Battle Born Response

So I asked Battle Born Support for their suggested settings for the Victron shunt and solar controller. Below is their response.

Most Recent Victron BMV-712 and SmartShunt Settings:
Battery Capacity: Total AH of your bank of batteries
Charged voltage: 14.2v
Discharge Floor: 0%
Tail Current: 4%
Charged Detection Time: 3m
Peukert Exponent: 1.05
Charge Efficiency Factor: 99%
Current threshold: 0.10A
Time to go averaging period 3m
Battery SOC on reset- clear (if you ever see - - as a state of charge that means you need to fully charge the batteries for it to calibrate
State of Charge: leave alone
Synchronize SOC to 100%: Leave alone, this device will sync itself at the top of the charge
Zero Current Calibration: Leave alone
(Note these settings do not effect how your system performs)

Here are the MPPT settings:

12 Volt - Victron MPPT
Battery Voltage: 12V
Max Charge Current: Varies By MPPT Model.
Charger Enabled: Switch should be to the right and blue.
Battery Preset: User Defined.
Expert Mode: OFF (Switch should be to the left and gray)
Absorption Voltage: 14.4V
Float Voltage: 13.6V
Equalization Voltage: 14.4V or Disabled.
Automatic Equalization: Disabled.
Manual Equalization: NEVER PUSH BUTTON.
Temperature Compensation: Disabled.
Low Temperature Cut-Off: Disabled.
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Old 04-04-2024, 01:01 AM   #11
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I appreciate your sharing this info. I’ll have to confirm how I set my, as I have both Battle Born and a Victron shunt.
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Old 04-04-2024, 07:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wineteam View Post
So I asked Battle Born Support for their suggested settings for the Victron shunt and solar controller. Below is their response.

Most Recent Victron BMV-712 and SmartShunt Settings:
Battery Capacity: Total AH of your bank of batteries
Charged voltage: 14.2v
Discharge Floor: 0%
Tail Current: 4%
Charged Detection Time: 3m
Peukert Exponent: 1.05
Charge Efficiency Factor: 99%
Current threshold: 0.10A
Time to go averaging period 3m
Battery SOC on reset- clear (if you ever see - - as a state of charge that means you need to fully charge the batteries for it to calibrate
State of Charge: leave alone
Synchronize SOC to 100%: Leave alone, this device will sync itself at the top of the charge
Zero Current Calibration: Leave alone
(Note these settings do not effect how your system performs)

Here are the MPPT settings:

12 Volt - Victron MPPT
Battery Voltage: 12V
Max Charge Current: Varies By MPPT Model.
Charger Enabled: Switch should be to the right and blue.
Battery Preset: User Defined.
Expert Mode: OFF (Switch should be to the left and gray)
Absorption Voltage: 14.4V
Float Voltage: 13.6V
Equalization Voltage: 14.4V or Disabled.
Automatic Equalization: Disabled.
Manual Equalization: NEVER PUSH BUTTON.
Temperature Compensation: Disabled.
Low Temperature Cut-Off: Disabled.
Hi

Like any generic recommendations, there are going to be things that still would get tweaked to make it "right". After a while you might well play with the Peukert Exponent setting. It might well be lower than that for your setup.

Bob
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Old 04-04-2024, 09:50 AM   #13
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What I need to get my head around is the difference between charging via solar vs shore power/generator. When I do not have sufficient solar, I have been able to take my State of Charge from 50% to 100% in about 1.5 hours using a Honda EU2200i generator. The Victron shows I am pulling/receiving ~1,950 watts from the generator.

Where my confusion lies is that the solar controller seems to limit the watts going to the batteries even when the SOC is less than 100%. Once the Absorption time limit hits, my system was moving into Float mode although my SOC was only 60%. Bright sun and way more watts being generated than the ~65 watts floating into the batteries.

Hopefully the updated settings on both the shunt and solar controller will allow more solar watts to pass through to the batteries. I will update this thread when it finally quits raining and we have sun again.

Separate thread will detail my trials and tribulations using my new F250 Pro Power instead of my Honda as a power source to charge the batteries. Fun times and lots to learn.

Thank you for all your suggestions.
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Old 04-04-2024, 10:52 AM   #14
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There should be no difference charging from any source if the source if configured correctly. If you have multiple they kinda work together and if you have the VE.smart network setup they will work together.

Please post about your F250 with pro power. I'm thinking about getting one.
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Old 04-05-2024, 07:00 AM   #15
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I spoke with Battleborn as well regarding settings, etc. I’m no expert regarding all of this but after speaking with Battleborn I trust AM Solar and their specific experience in this area more than Battleborn. They know how the Victron components work with all different kinds of batteries. As I think Bob suggested, Battleborn is giving generic advice. AM Solar is telling you the specific settings to use with the Victron components they sell and Battleborn batteries from my previous post.
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Old 04-06-2024, 07:25 AM   #16
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Hi

Each of the settings has its own little empire of decisions associated with it . They are specific to your setup and possibly to your use case.

In a more global look, you have some decisions as well. Do you want the shunt to always tell you there is *less* left in the battery than there really is? If so by how much?

That sounds like an easy decision. It really isn't.

The shunt is "on its own" when the battery is below the "full charge" voltage. Let's call that 14.2V. It could be something else. It resets to 100% when it gets to that point.

If you are on solar for a week, the battery will wobble between (hopefully) 13 V and something a bit above that. If it never gets to 14.2, it never resets to 100%. You have at least 7 (one a day) "wobble cycles" as the sun does its thing and the solar panels respond.

Each day (and night) you also get a discharge cycle. There's no avoiding that ....

Maybe you say "I want to be safe by 10%". Say each of those charge cycles is off by 10% and the discharge cycles are off by 10% the other way. By the end of the week, you will be off by a *lot* more than 10% on the magic number. No, it's not going to be 70%. It could be 30 or 40%.

Most folks start out with the "let's be safe" approach. They then hit the 7 day (or however long) accumulated error issue. Then they get a lot more interested in getting the numbers as close as possible.

With a shunt accurately measuring voltage at the battery terminals (they are way better than that typical gizmo on the wall). You can get a good idea of where the battery is at. It's not perfect. However it will tell you that the battery is at least 50% charged when you are at this or that voltage. When your shunt says you are at 20% (at the same voltage) ... time to look at those settings.

Bob
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Old 04-12-2024, 03:38 PM   #17
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Connecting the shunt...

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
With a shunt accurately measuring voltage at the battery terminals (they are way better than that typical gizmo on the wall). You can get a good idea of where the battery is at. It's not perfect. However it will tell you that the battery is at least 50% charged when you are at this or that voltage. When your shunt says you are at 20% (at the same voltage) ... time to look at those settings.
As Bob mentioned, shunts do a great job in measuring the voltage and state of charge of the battery bank, but I would add ONLY IF all charges and discharges are properly connected to it.

When we had the original 1000W inverter it was used sporadically and lightly; when we replaced it with 2000W inverter it became part of how we camped (boondocked or dry camped). Since the 1000W inverter (which we used for 5 years) had not been connected to the shunt, nor was the 2000W inverter which replaced it.

The discrepancy between what the shunt displayed and reality wasn't too large with the 1000W (we didn't notice) but significant with the 2000W inverter. In other words a lot of power was being pulled from the battery bank but the shunt was not aware of it (since it was being bypassed).

We noticed this when the inverter alarm went off once indicating low input voltage when the battery bank monitor was not indicating this at all. A bit of quiet (very) early morning pondering generated the conclusive diagnosis. This has been corrected in addition to a proper resizing of the shunt-battery bank cable (-) to accommodate the draw of the 2000W inverter.

In closing I would add that my battery bank monitor (which feeds off the shunt) indicates the state of charge of the battery bank by keeping tabs on the input amps and output amps to the battery bank (called amp-hour counting) and is reset when the MPPT charge controller fully charges the battery which initializes the amp-hour counting.
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Old 04-14-2024, 09:29 AM   #18
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I really appreciate your thoughts and experiences on this thread. I have implemented new settings and your comments will have me asking some questions of my dealer who set up the bigger inverter, batteries and solar panels.
I can already tell the new settings have positively impacted the solar performance and I have a better understanding of the entire system.
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