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Old 23-09-2018, 23:31   #1
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Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

Seeing other posts on the forum often just lets me know how little I know about a topic. In this case setting up a solar controller.

A couple of months ago I added a 160W solar panel to our boat. Its purpose was two fold: a) to extend the time we can be at anchor away from shore power without having to run the engine or generator. b) to look after the domestic batteries whilst the boat is left unattended and unattached to shore power over the winter.

We seem to have achieved objective Ďaí.

Regarding objective Ďbí and having seen other posts on the site I feel I could really do with a simple method statement of what if anything I need to do to tune the MPPT.

There are three sets of batteries on the boat (all 12V):
1) the engine start battery
2) a battery in the bow that serves the windlass and the bow thruster
3) the domestic batteries (2 x 260Ah AGM batteries connected in parallel)

The loads on 1 and 2 will be isolated.

Most loads on 3 will be isolated. The only load left connected will be the automatic bilge pump plus the Mastervolt panel.

The 160W solar is connected through the VictronConnect to the domestic batteries.

In installing the solar I simply connected the batteries to the controller and then the solar panel. I have not changed any factory settings or set off any tuning routine. Is this likely to be ok or are there changes I ought to be making?Click image for larger version

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Old 24-09-2018, 02:08   #2
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

The settings are for a AGM1/GEL battery bank (14.4V Absorption) You have to look up the type of your battery and download the data sheet from the manufacturer.

Look at the voltages for Absorption and Float. AGM2 batteries need 14.7...14.8V absorption on 13.8V float, GEL need 14.3..14.4V Absorption and 13.6V..13.8V Float.

Also the timings for Absorption differ between AGM and GEL, GEL needs a lot longer. But Victron does a smart charging either, so there is little to adjust.

Never turn on equalization, this will destroy your battery. It is only meant for open Lead acid batteries, where you can top up distilled water. (your setting is OK) Is there an external temp sensor on the controller? In FLA regimes the voltages need to be ajusted to the battery temp.
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Old 24-09-2018, 04:31   #3
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

A good default setup. As has been suggested, check the ACTUAL specification from your battery manufacturer for absorption and float voltages. Different AGM makers call for lightly different numbers.

What is going to happen is every morning the charger will "wake up" with the sun. It will check the battery voltage, and set the absorption time based on that.

If you have minimal draw, the battery voltage will be such that the charger will hold a bulk charge for 1/6th of the "Maximum Absorption Time" setting. With the default setting of 6 hours, that gives a one hour absorption time, every day. That should be fine for a battery with minimal ovenight discharge.
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Old 24-09-2018, 05:10   #4
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Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

Thank you, particularly for making your replies simple! I have emailed the battery manufacturer for advice on the correct voltages etc.

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Old 24-09-2018, 05:15   #5
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

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Originally Posted by KRMS View Post
Thank you, particularly for making your replies simple! I have emailed the battery manufacturer for advice on the correct voltages etc.

Attachment 177869
A minor comment on the photo... the battery temp sensor works better mounted on the side of the battery. There is an air space at the top that insulates the temperature of the electrolyte and plates from the sensor.

Like I said, minor, but details matter with batteries.
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Old 24-09-2018, 05:49   #6
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

What battery model comprises the House bank?

The SC output should be mounted near it and terminate there as directly as possible.

Do you care about the bank's longevity?
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Old 24-09-2018, 06:54   #7
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

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What battery model comprises the House bank?

The SC output should be mounted near it and terminate there as directly as possible.

Do you care about the bank's longevity?


Two of the 260 Ah batteries shown in the photo. http://www.multicell.co.uk/agm-batteries.html

The SC is about 6 foot away (which is as near as reasonably practical). Do I care about battery longevity? Yes, of course.
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Old 24-09-2018, 06:57   #8
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

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A minor comment on the photo... the battery temp sensor works better mounted on the side of the battery. There is an air space at the top that insulates the temperature of the electrolyte and plates from the sensor.



Like I said, minor, but details matter with batteries.


Ok understood. That temperature sensor is I think connected to the Balmar regulator (so is associated with charging by the alternator). Iíll address the temp sensor location next spring (which will be the next time the alternator is going to be providing energy). Than you.
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Old 24-09-2018, 07:02   #9
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

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Originally Posted by KRMS View Post
Thank you, particularly for making your replies simple! I have emailed the battery manufacturer for advice on the correct voltages etc.

Attachment 177869


Advice from Multicell was Bulk 14.8V, Float 13.8V. After a follow up call with the Multicell guy that responded to my query Iíve updated the Absorption Voltage to 14.8V. He basically said 14.4V ok when not in use but 14.8V if consuming power (but he wouldnít change back and forth so he advised setting to 14.8V).

Thanks again,

Keith
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Old 24-09-2018, 07:11   #10
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

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Two of the 260 Ah batteries shown in the photo. http://www.multicell.co.uk/agm-batteries.html
Please locate the detailed charge profile information, specifically

(Edit, already have the top Absorb voltage setpoint, and )

the endAmps spec, IOW as trailing amps decline, what is the point where you know they are 100% Full?

You may need to call the maker's tech support for that. If you do, see if you can get their chart that compares avg DoD to lifetime cycles.

For example, many AGM want .005C, which for a 520AH bank would be 2.6A

Have you got an ammeter?

A battery SoC monitor?

Just out of curiosity, what did the bank cost, delivered?
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Old 24-09-2018, 07:14   #11
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

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He basically said 14.4V ok when not in use but 14.8V if consuming power (but he wouldnít change back and forth so he advised setting to 14.8V).
OK call that Absorb (CV) setpoint. Bulk / CC stage is earlier, while "striving" to reach that.

Actually it is common to change settings from cycling mode to storage, if that isn't inconvenient for you.
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Old 24-09-2018, 08:04   #12
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Please locate the detailed charge profile information, specifically

(Edit, already have the top Absorb voltage setpoint, and )

the endAmps spec, IOW as trailing amps decline, what is the point where you know they are 100% Full?

You may need to call the maker's tech support for that. If you do, see if you can get their chart that compares avg DoD to lifetime cycles.

For example, many AGM want .005C, which for a 520AH bank would be 2.6A

Have you got an ammeter?

A battery SoC monitor?

Just out of curiosity, what did the bank cost, delivered?


So this is the info form the manufacturerís tech support:

Keith,
As you are primarily using solar as a backup system the parameters shown are suitable, however to optimise the performance of our AGM batteries, any other form of charging needs to bulk at 14.8 and float at 13.8 volts.

Regards

Tony Whitehorn
Multicell International Limited
Swannington Road
Broughton Astley
Leicester
LE9 6TU
Tel: 01455 283443
Fax: 01455 284250
Email: tonywhitehorn@multicell.co.uk
Web: www.multicell.co.uk

Not very detailed but I guess I didnít ask the right questions.

Iíd be delighted to get what is needed (but might need help in framing the question(s).

Re your other comment about changing the parameters dependent on use. Yes Iím ok with doing that (it is really easy using the iPhone app). At the very least I could change between summer (in use) and winter (simply covering losses).

Yes thereís metering. It a Mastervolt panel giving V and A (charge/discharge), charge status %, Time remaining (in batteries at current use rate), Capacity consumed (Ah).

Iíve also got a separate multimeter.

Re cost I donít know off hand, it was a few years back. Iíll be back at home in the U.K. in a week or so so could look out the invoice (or get a quote as if I wanted new).

Thanks,

Keith
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Old 24-09-2018, 08:18   #13
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

Well, I try it to explain.

you have 2 charge sources, solar and land line charger.
Both have their own profiles.

Lets say, your land line is set to 14.8V and your solar is set to 14.4V.

What happens is, solar and land line will charge together to 14.4V and then solar will turn off (switch to float), while the land charger continues to charge to 14.8V, then it goes to float.

So even if your solar is set too low, your batteries will be fine, charged to the 14.8V absorption by your primary system (land line).
Setting is not perfect, but it does not hurt.

That is what the guy is trying to say, but it is unclear how your shore chargers are set up in the first place. If they are set up wrong, lets say 14.2V, they would turn off before the solar and the solar will continue to charge to 14.4V, but never reach the desired 14.8V causing your battery slowly to sulphate and degrade in capacity.. It would be worse then without solar, but still not perfect.

Quintessential is, you have to check the parameters of each charge source to be sure they meet your needs. You can on purpose set some to a lower level if you want to achieve a specific goal - this would be a different discussion- but you should at least know what your setup is.
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Old 24-09-2018, 15:12   #14
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

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Ok understood. That temperature sensor is I think connected to the Balmar regulator (so is associated with charging by the alternator). Iíll address the temp sensor location next spring (which will be the next time the alternator is going to be providing energy). Than you.
Purchase a temp sensor for the Victron controller.

https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2...olar-chargers/
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Old 24-09-2018, 16:48   #15
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Re: Setting up a new VictronConnect MPPT 75/15

Pretty sure the smaller Victrons only do internal temp sensing, why I said put close to the bank.
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