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Old 09-23-2020, 11:34 PM   #1
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LiFePO4 Solar Controller

I'm adding solar and LiFePO4 batteries.

I want batteries with Blue Tooth. It should save me some hardware costs. Looking at LIFEBLUE $$$ and Torque Power $. A solar controller with blue tooth could be expensive duplication.


Looking for Solar Controller, but many do not specify:
1. Is Boost 14.4v duration a simple 2-3 hour timeout? Or is it after current drop, with a threshold setting?
2. Can I easily re-trigger a Boost cycle?

Scenario: Cloudy days are running the 200AH batteries down. The panels are only pushing 20A. After 2 hours Boost terminates. 40AH of charge won't run my furnace and lap top till tomorrow.


History: My old camper had 2 100AH AGM. A 100W portable panel and EPEVER MPPT controller. 2 hour timeout, 5.5A x 2 hours can run my laptop 1-2 hours. I could trick it to do another boost cycle by: disconnecting it, bleeding off the batteries surface charge by running my laptop, and reconnecting it.

Later when I finally got the COM working I set it to 3 hours Boost and a higher float voltage, it helped.
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:13 AM   #2
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I have three Lifeblue 200ah batteries and Victron MPPT. Everything bluetooth is excellent.

Victron is configurable to exactly how you want it setup. The batteries having internal monitoring is excellent. You can really see and understand what's going on.

A way to get a 'boost' function you can likely configure equalization function to absorb voltage and time, then manually initiate equalization.
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Old 09-24-2020, 09:31 AM   #3
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vsheetz, you are the person I want to talk too. Read the Victron Connect article. Seemed too general, avoiding specifics of models. Have some questions.
1. Adaptive absorption table is suitable for lead acid voltage drop. LIfepo4 is mostly constant voltage. Does Lithium setting use it?
2. Absorption time can halt due to tail current. Default seems way to low RV in use. They claim it is a programmable without giving a range settings. Any idea what they are?
3. Which Victron do you own?
4. For the Lithium battery type (algorithm number 7), equalization is not available. Any info on algorithm 7?
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappion View Post
vsheetz, you are the person I want to talk too. Read the Victron Connect article. Seemed too general, avoiding specifics of models. Have some questions.
1. Adaptive absorption table is suitable for lead acid voltage drop. LIfepo4 is mostly constant voltage. Does Lithium setting use it?
2. Absorption time can halt due to tail current. Default seems way to low RV in use. They claim it is a programmable without giving a range settings. Any idea what they are?
3. Which Victron do you own?
4. For the Lithium battery type (algorithm number 7), equalization is not available. Any info on algorithm 7?
That article is generic because they use the same firmware on most of their devices - it's pretty well tailored to all of them. They publish firmware for BMV devices, MPPT devices, etc, and all devices within the same families have the same features and settings, unless otherwise noted.

1) Absoprtion is fixed for a duration of 2h by default for Lithium, but can be easily altered
2) 0-10%, in 0.1% increments
3) Venus GX, BMV-712, 3x SmartSolar MPPT 150/35, etc, etc
4) Victron's algorithms are not published anywhere, but you can figure out what they do with some time. By default for a 12V system, the bulk voltage is 14.2V and float is 13.5 I believe. More importantly, most battery manufacturers publish integration guides with their suggested settings on Victron equipment. Use those and don't overthink it, unless you're building your own batteries.

Having multiple devices with BT makes sense, given that the data is completely different from the battery, than you would get from the charge controller. If I were trying to choose one or the other, I'd much prefer integration with my charge controller than my battery. If you end up having additional BT for the the battery, that should let you know what the BMS is doing at any given time and the individual cell voltages within the battery - information the charge controller will not know, but is more "nice to have" than "need to know". I'd say that your solar information is on the other side of that bridge and that you aren't missing much without having BT for your batteries.
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:23 PM   #5
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Victron costs more than I wanted to spend. It seems worth it.
I hear you can have several solar of their smart controllers, and they will synchronize. I can't find details on that. Is it just to easy?
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:51 PM   #6
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Victron costs more than I wanted to spend. It seems worth it.
I hear you can have several solar of their smart controllers, and they will synchronize. I can't find details on that. Is it just to easy?
My opinion is that, at least with most solar and battery tech, you get what you pay for.

https://www.victronenergy.com/live/v...art-networking

VE.Smart will let multiple charge controllers and a BMV synchronize without a GX device. A BMV isn't strictly necessary, but highly recommended - or maybe the new SmartShunt.

If you advance your setup in the future to use a GX device, you would use VE.Can, VE.Bus, or VE.Direct networking instead.
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Old 09-24-2020, 05:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappion View Post
1. Adaptive absorption table is suitable for lead acid voltage drop. LIfepo4 is mostly constant voltage.
4. For the Lithium battery type (algorithm number 7), equalization is not available. Any info on algorithm 7?
1. Absorption to full doesn't really matter, as lithium batteries don't have to be fully charged, unless drawn down to 0% SoC.
4. There is no sulphation in a lithium battery, so equalization isn't necessary. My LiFePO4 charge setting in my ZAMP ZS-30A CC won't do equalization.
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Old 09-24-2020, 06:53 PM   #8
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n0arp, Thanks for the link. I eventually found it at the bottom of Victron Connect article. Web site is useless, they seem to be burying their best features. Lots of 4 color glossy marketing devoid of facts.
If I have a blue tooth battery is a BMV or smart shunt really needed?
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Old 09-24-2020, 07:30 PM   #9
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The Victron stuff is definitely the Cadillac and their products interact better than most other manufacturers and the ability to monitor all your devices in one place can't be beat
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Old 09-24-2020, 08:05 PM   #10
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n0arp, Thanks for the link. I eventually found it at the bottom of Victron Connect article. Web site is useless, they seem to be burying their best features. Lots of 4 color glossy marketing devoid of facts.
If I have a blue tooth battery is a BMV or smart shunt really needed?
From what I gather, they would much rather you go through one of their certified distributors and buy a fully engineered system than doing anything yourself. That doesn't stop many people in the RV community, but I do think it explains the lapse in marketing and documentation a bit. I don't think they care too much about selling the one-off BMV or SmartSolar to and end user. That doesn't have any reflection on the products though, which are top notch.

You would be missing out on quite a few things without the BMV/SmartShunt, but they're not required. I'd much prefer having a BMV/SmartShunt over BT on my batteries.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:18 PM   #11
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One last question. Are the Smart Solar controllers Positive or Negative ground?
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:52 PM   #12
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Lithium batteries don't need to spend much time in absorb. I use 15 minutes at 14.4 volts. Full charge occurs soon after absorb voltage is attained and tail current drops to about 2%. The BMS stops accepting when fully charged.

Lithium batteries are not equalized.

I have a Victron smartsolar 150/100 with 1500w of panels.

Also a Vuctron SmartShunt. Having integrated battery monitoring plus the SmartShunt is excellent, imho. As you can really see what occuring from the BMS perspective - charge/discharge/idle, current, cycle count, etc.

.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappion View Post
vsheetz, you are the person I want to talk too. Read the Victron Connect article. Seemed too general, avoiding specifics of models. Have some questions.
1. Adaptive absorption table is suitable for lead acid voltage drop. LIfepo4 is mostly constant voltage. Does Lithium setting use it?
2. Absorption time can halt due to tail current. Default seems way to low RV in use. They claim it is a programmable without giving a range settings. Any idea what they are?
3. Which Victron do you own?
4. For the Lithium battery type (algorithm number 7), equalization is not available. Any info on algorithm 7?
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:53 PM   #13
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Negative.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappion View Post
One last question. Are the Smart Solar controllers Positive or Negative ground?
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Old 09-25-2020, 01:32 AM   #14
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Here's a pretty good article on the care and feeding of Lithium batteries.

https://www.solacity.com/how-to-keep...tteries-happy/
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