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Old 02-01-2022, 13:34   #1
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Victron Multi setup/config questions

I'm installing a Victron Multiplus 12v/3000 and I am unclear on some of the setup/config issues.

My first question is about battery capacity. My current/old IC unit (Xantrex SW2012) requires you to configure the total battery bank capacity, in AH. The Victron does not appear to have that setting. Why is that? What was the Xantrex using that information for which is not required by the Victron?

Second, it seems like you either have to use the DIP switch config, or the software config option (via some sort of USB/RJ45 cable which I do not have) - but I do have the Digital Multi Control Panel. But the manual for that indicates you can only set a few config options via the control panel. Is that correct? So, either DIP switch or software, there is no way to configure all the options via the control panel? However, section 3.4 of the manual (titled "3.4 Configuration with a VE.Net panel") says "With VE.Net all parameters are accessible, with the exception of the multi-functional relay and the VirtualSwitch" - which seems to imply that the digital multi control panel could be used to configure all the options and avoid the dip switches (the reason I am going on about this is because once wired up and mounted, access to the circuit board and DIP switches is going to be super difficult.

Third, Absorption time and Adaptive Charging Characteristic. It seems like the Victron has 2 options - fixed absorption time (4 or 8 hours) or "Adaptive Charging" absorption. Is this right? I'm thinking the fixed Absorption time could lead to disaster, keeping the batteries at 14.4 for 8 hours, regardless of SOC? So I'm thinking to enable Adaptive Charging. This leads to my question - how does it determine Absorption duration when the Adaptive option is enabled? Also, the fine print says if you enable adaptive charging, then the abosorption setting is the MAX - my assumption is I should set this to 8 hour max to give the system the most flexibility, with the assumption it will end absorption sooner if its algorithm supports that.

Fourth, "Converter Voltage" - DS2 (other settings) has 2 options, 115vac and 120vac. Which should I choose? My boat is strictly US wired - shore power is nominally 120v and my genset also puts out around 120v (118 more realistically). I am assuming I should set this to 120v. But the fact that this option even exists makes me wonder why? Why would anyone want to set the inverter to output 115v instead?

Fifth, current limitation AC Input and how it interacts with the potentiometer on the remote control panel. Supposing I config the AC input current limit to 30a which is what we get from shore power. Does that mean I can then use the pot on the control panel to dial that down to 25 or even 20amps? (I'm not going to get into the reason why I might want to do that for now) - but my assumption here is that this is how it works. I could not raise the limit via the dial on the remote control above 30amps (since that is what I will set via the dip switches) but I can dial it down lower. Is this correct?

Sixth, AES (Automatic Economy Switch) - should I enable this or not? I cannot find much info about what this does, except it only works with a stand alone multi (I will have only 1, so stand alone) - and I understand that it basically reduces power usage, which sounds like a good thing. But there have to be some drawbacks or there would be no option for this! What is the downside?

I will note, typically when not at the dock, anchored out or sailing, I will leave the inverter off to reduce power draw, unless we are actually going to use an AC appliance, of which we have few like a microwave oven, a vacuum, a coffee grinder, a rice maker, and a couple of other small appliances. So, I find it no problem to just leave the thing off unless it is needed. I find my current inverter uses about 2 amps when enabled, when no loads are being used. I don't know what the Victron "overhead" is, but it can't be zero, so I will probably continue to disable it in practice when not in use. The reason I describe all this is because I wonder if the AES option has something to do with load sensing and whether this setting will be relevant based on the way I use the inverter.

Thanks very much, I know there are some experienced installers here who work with Victron regularly and I really appreciate your input.

I have been disappointed so far with the Victron documentation, I find it is less than thorough, compared to the Xantrex documentation (of course, I am replacing my Xantrex with the Victron, so obviously I have concluded a good manual is no substitute for a quality piece of equipment).

Also, I have not been able to find any Victron forum - does such a thing exist?

Thanks again for your help, everyone!
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Old 02-01-2022, 14:20   #2
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

Canít help with your questions, but looks like the forum is here: https://community.victronenergy.com/index.html
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Old 02-01-2022, 15:30   #3
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

We recently replaced our boatís original electronics with Victron Energy - SmartShunt, Cerbo, Quattro 12/5000. So the following are my general observations based on our install and last 8 months of using the system full time.

Victron public documentation is awful, which I think is by design to support their installer community. Google is your friend for searching for white papers that explain in greater detail what is going on. The Victron community referenced above is also pretty good, but it is a morass of posts, white papers, blogs, etc. that make it very difficult to find specific information. Your best bet might be to go to the person who sold you the unit (unless it was just a store, then theyíre no help). Otherwise, an official VE distributor/installer in your area.

Regarding the battery settings, thatís all done by the battery monitor - a smart shunt, BMV 700 or 712, or similar. The Multiplus doesnít know anything about your battery.

If you can set up your Multiplus as a VRM instance (Iím not sure what web capabilities it has without a GX device - our Quattro has none - you need it to have a Internet connection so you can generate a VRM Portal ID) then you can use the stand alone Windows app VE Configure to configure all the settings and the VRM installation to do remote configure. No special cable needed unless you cannot set up the Multiplus for VRM (in which case the VE Configure app is directly connected to the Multiplus with the special cable). Note that the dip switch settings are only a sub set of the full configuration and are over-ridden by the configuration app.

Refer to https://www.victronenergy.com/live/vrm_portal:start

PM me and we can set up a Zoom call and I can show you what we do.
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Old 02-01-2022, 15:49   #4
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

Thanks for your reply fxykty - I was unaware of even what VRM is. I did a bit of reading just now, based on what you posted. It seems like you require a GX device (which I also knew nothing about either until just now).

I am pretty sure I do not NEED a GX device to use the inverter/charger.

I understand now that VRM allows remote access and management, something which I do not need since I live aboard. However, I also gather that this ability can allow you to configure the Multi from a computer, via the internet I guess. I don't think that for just that purpose - one time config - I want to invest in any more hardware.

However, when it comes time to upgrade to lithium batteries (this summer) it may be important to have a proper battery monitor system that works with lithium, so the Cerbo GX may be something I end up getting later.
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Old 02-01-2022, 16:53   #5
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

After some more reading, most notably understanding that not all options can be set via dip switches (or via the Digital Multi Control Panel) I've concluded that I need access to the PC based config app, so I've ordered the MK3-USB adapter. Pretty expensive for a USB adapter. I assume there will also be other benefits to using the USB adapter in that I will gain access to additional PC based monitor capabilities as well, though I am not yet sure what these are.

I'm still hoping for feedback re: questions about options/settings in the OP.
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Old 02-01-2022, 18:35   #6
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanbigel View Post
After some more reading, most notably understanding that not all options can be set via dip switches (or via the Digital Multi Control Panel) I've concluded that I need access to the PC based config app, so I've ordered the MK3-USB adapter. Pretty expensive for a USB adapter. I assume there will also be other benefits to using the USB adapter in that I will gain access to additional PC based monitor capabilities as well, though I am not yet sure what these are.

I'm still hoping for feedback re: questions about options/settings in the OP.

You can download and install the VE Configure v3 application from the VE website. Open it up, select a fake file from target, and you will see the configuration options. This can be done independently of any equipment.
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Old 03-01-2022, 07:48   #7
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

@jordonbiegel: Trying to program a Multi for the first time can be daunting as it is the most feature rich inverter/charger in the marine market. I recommend that you contact Jim Dixon at Dixon Marine in San Diego. He is a Victron Ambassador and well versed in all things Victron. His number is: 619.851.8260
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Old 03-01-2022, 08:01   #8
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

OP:
In the meantime, here is the definitive manual for programming using VE.Configure:
https://www.victronenergy.com/media/.../index-en.html
I would recommend that you use VE.Connect: https://www.victronenergy.com/panel-...victronconnect

And as to the critics of the lack of or poor quality technical information regarding Victron; you just haven't looked!
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Old 03-01-2022, 09:37   #9
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieJ View Post
OP:
In the meantime, here is the definitive manual for programming using VE.Configure:
https://www.victronenergy.com/media/.../index-en.html
I would recommend that you use VE.Connect: https://www.victronenergy.com/panel-...victronconnect

And as to the critics of the lack of or poor quality technical information regarding Victron; you just haven't looked!
Thanks Charlie. If I understand correctly, the VE.Connect mobile app can only be used IF you have a Cerbo.GX to provide WiFi/Ethernet access. Since I don't have one of those, I plan to use the USB adapter and my computer, which means VE.Configure for me. Please correct me if I have made an incorrect assumption about this.

With regards to critiquing the technical manuals, I guess from my standpoint I judge the quality of documentation first by what comes in the box. I have no problem downloading a digital version of the manual, and always do so! But if it does not come in the box, then how is the customer supposed to know what information is available? The answer is through a lot of internet searching and browsing through each of the many (dozens?) of documents Victron has on their site and figuring out which ones are relevant, and how. It's a very time consuming process and I believe another poster in this thread had a point when he said he thought this was done purposely by the company to discourage self-installs and keep the installer community in business. They might be motivated in part by the concern that self-installs could result in damage to equipment or even fire or explosions, which is a rational concern.

Personally, I have no intention of hiring a 3rd party vendor to install (or configure) the unit for me. I operate on the basis of doing whatever I can myself, both to save money and to ensure I am as familiar as possible with everything on my boat.

I do hire people to do some work which I cannot do myself, but that is limited pretty much to work on the transmission, fuel injector pump and refrigeration (about which I remain ignorant). Everything electrical, I do myself. Rigging is something else I use a professional for. Yes, the Victron does seem like it is feature-rich (certainly compared to the Xantrex.) But so far, I do not find anything here 'daunting' - I just have some open questions.

I am still hoping that someone with the requisite knowledge can take a stab at answering my specific questions about the configuration options I described in the OP. I would be grateful if anyone could help with filling in the gaps for me. Thanks again.
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Old 03-01-2022, 10:18   #10
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

@jordanbiegel
You want to be self-sufficient. Good.

The hard copy manual in the box describes every one of the variables.

I said daunting only based on a review of your original questions.

BTW, as you stated, I concur that you do not program using the dip switches. You will not like it.

I provided you the searchable documentation that will answer every single one of your original questions, step by step. That you think that you need a Cerbo GX to use VE.Connect shows that you have done little or no research on your own.

When you receive the Mk3 USB-VE.Bus; watch this video: . BTW, I found this video on YouTube by entering:
Quote:
programming a victron with VE.connect
in the YouTube Search Bar.

I understand that you do not want to pay a professional...that is your call. The benefits of hiring a qualified professional are that he can program this unit in about an hour and teach you in the process....still, your call.
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Old 03-01-2022, 12:00   #11
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieJ View Post
@jordanbiegel
The hard copy manual in the box describes every one of the variables.

I said daunting only based on a review of your original questions.

BTW, as you stated, I concur that you do not program using the dip switches. You will not like it.

I provided you the searchable documentation that will answer every single one of your original questions, step by step. That you think that you need a Cerbo GX to use VE.Connect shows that you have done little or no research on your own.
Ouch. A bit harsh, that last part. "...little or no research..." - I was just starting to like you Charlie. You're making it hard to do.

In fact, I have done quite a bit of research/reading, although clearly I have not read everything, or even "enough", but there is no need to belittle my efforts, however small they may seem to you.

I have already found some of the answers to my questions based on the documents you linked to, so I thank you very much for that. I will read more about the mobile app (which apparently does not require a Cerbo GX, thank you). I've spent an hour or so playing around with the VE.Configure app on my machine already, going through the demo data, etc., etc and I think it will meet my needs nicely. Looks pretty easy to use and straight-forward.

FYI, I found this article especially helpful.
https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...w_it_works.pdf
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Old 03-01-2022, 12:11   #12
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

To followup, I should say that based on the reading I have done since the original post, partly using links posted in this thread, and direct answers provided in this thread, I have answered most if not all my open questions completely - I don't really have an answer to Question #4 (why is there a converter voltage option) but it's really just a curiosity thing, I'll set that to 120v not 115v unless I discover some reason why 115 is more appropriate. I'm also not 100% sure on AES - I've been reading a bit about that too (the VE.Configure app has some good help info built into it which includes a good discussion of this) - so I'm going to leave this disabled to start with and maybe do some experiments with it down the line. Everything else I am clear on now.

Thanks to everyone who replied.
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Old 03-01-2022, 12:14   #13
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

Maybe a but harsh but as a self proclaimed fellow that wants to be self-sufficient it did not appear to me that you had exercised much self-sufficiency. I do apologize.

VE.Configure has been the go to app for years but most of its functionality has been migrated to VE.Connect. There are still some more complex settings that have not made it to VE.Connect yet; e.g., setting up parallel operation, virtual switch settings, etc. But for your system I think that VE.Connect will work quite well. You can download it to your smart phone and open a demo file to familiarize yourself with the settings without having the Mk3 available.
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Old 03-01-2022, 12:42   #14
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

Thanks Charlie.

I am using VE Connect on my Mac, in Demo mode so far. I spent some time playing around with it (in my post above I said it was VE.Configure - sigh). I also mistakenly concluded earlier that VE.Connect was a mobile app and VE.Configure is the desktop app. Completely on me. Sorry for the confusion. I see now VE Connect is available on a variety of devices and platforms.

I am still not clear on how the mobile version of VE Connect can run my phone (or tablet) without some way for the data from the Victron to get to the network without any connection directly from the Victron to my WiFi network (which my mobile devices are connected to).

But, for now, not really important - I am content to use the VE Connect Mac version for now.

"self proclaimed fellow that wants to be self-sufficient it did not appear to me that you had exercised much self-sufficiency"


I suppose the long list of questions may have given you that impression. I also don't believe that asking knowledgable people specific, detailed questions demonstrates a lack of self-sufficiency. We There are many ways to learn.
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Old 03-01-2022, 12:49   #15
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Re: Victron Multi setup/config questions

I find Victron manuals and technical info to be easily the best in the marine marketplace.
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