Lessons learned: Thrusters, Lithium and SOC

Good day,

Calling all dealers, designers and installers.

Recently I’ve been involved in two technical support cases of which I want to share my insights and the lessons learned.

The first is about SOC, and especially for systems that include a Color Control GX or Venus GX. The various options can be quite confusing and initially we didn’t have a manual explaining them. We do now!

See the SOC link below. Please take the time to study this carefully. Anyone involved with advising, designing or troubleshooting systems with the aforementioned devices should know this by heart:
Battery State of Charge (SOC)

The second lesson concerns a typical marine topic: bow and/or stern thrusters and their batteries. The conclusion is simple: don’t put thrusters on the house battery, also don’t do so when using lithium for the house battery.
The main reasons for that:Continue reading

ProWatt – Blue Power electric car

Electric production cars seem to becoming more popular, as are electric motive transport pleasure conversions and fun projects of many varieties – be they yachts, bicycles, boats, buses, vans, motorcycles, cars and even aeroplanes.

Often it’s just for fun and because you can. One such example is my own sailing yacht Elektra, then there was Ronan’s BMW i3 with supplementary batteries some time back. My own project, based on Victron Energy products through personal choice, goes back to 2012 – two years before I started blogging here and all because there was a complete range of suitable products in one place, with good access to technical knowledge and documentation. Although as an end user I suspect Johannes, Matthijs and others have baulked at some of my ‘inane questions’, resulting (kindly I may add) in me often being reminded that is why we have a worldwide network of trained distributors and dealers!

Be that as it may when it comes to ‘buying the goodies’ it seems others think the same way as me, in having identified Victron as there complete supplier of choice. Even so it still surprises me with the sheer variety of projects I come across and it’s not just end users like me. Even Victron distributors get involved in the fun in their spare time – this being the case with ProWatt’s Blue Power electric car shown in the headline image above.

Here is Lucian Popescu’s brief to me on what they did to create their own fun Blue Powered electric car.Continue reading

New Victron Energy products & introductory offer

Yesterday was boat launch day here on the West Coast of Scotland, so it was time to fully recharge my Lithium electric (auxiliary) propulsion batteries from their winter storage phase, in readiness for the sailing season.

That’s all I had to do, bringing the cells up to 3.4V each to ensure cell balancing started and my string charge setting of 28.4V was reached quickly, using 1.1kW of charge – all checked and controlled using the VictronConnect app via the VRM console to my Color Control, whilst drinking coffee sitting in my armchair at home. You get the idea…

Indeed I was feeling quite smug at that, along with so little to do when I rolled up at the boatyard – compounded by watching the ‘dinosaur diesel’ boats faffing around with fuel, coolant, and oils. It didn’t take me long though to come down to earth as the latest Victron Energy product updates had just hit my mailbox. Time and tide wait for no man.Continue reading

Saving lives in Sierra Leone

You may recall that Matthijs wrote a blog, late last year, about building an unattended battery based energy system – in essence a containerised energy system.

The idea of that blog was to serve as a primer as to what makes for the best practices when building an unattended battery based energy system. Subsequently we also asked for your own examples and ideas for such systems, in order that we could add to this knowledge base. One such example we received was about a solar powered containerised system by ERM Energies.

Now I’m pleased to say that Independent Energy B.V., from Haarlem in the Netherlands, have been kind enough to respond to our request too for examples of other containerised energy systems. Here is what Symon Miedema from Independent Energy had to say about their potentially life saving system, shown in the headline image above.Continue reading