Today we are releasing VictronConnect v5.26. It adds a feature internally dubbed the “MPPT off reason”, which explains to the user why their solar charger is not charging. This is a frequently asked question and one that is not often easy to answer. To answer it properly, multiple parameters need checking, as well as detailed knowledge about the installation; requiring a lot of back-and-forth communication between the user and the technician.
Not anymore! Now, VictronConnect indicates precisely why the solar charger is not charging. And where relevant assures that there is nothing to worry about – or hints at what to check when a fault is suspected.
One of the most common reasons for not charging is that the PV voltage has not reached the required 5 Volts above the battery voltage, in order to start charging. This is normal in the morning, or evening, or at night – and is nothing to worry about. But it can also indicate a wiring issue, or even an incorrectly-dimensioned system: too few panels in series, for example. (By the way, this is explained in detail in this recent video!). Another common reason for Solar chargers to be off is that they have been disabled by a BMS – battery full. Again – nothing to worry about.
All in all, this is a small but welcome step forward in our aim to make it easier to install & use Victron equipment – and to have fewer questions asked all around the distribution channels.
This screenshot shows where to find the information – it’s at the bottom:
And here are the screenshots for all defined ‘Off’ reasons:
Rest of changes
The other changes in this software release include stability improvements, mostly for Android. Another improvement concerns VictronConnect sometimes hanging for a while when connecting to the VRM portal – part of the recently introduced remote settings feature. This is now fixed, no more hanging. Related: make sure to check that new feature out if you are not familiar with it. It is really a must for all installers and distributors to be familiar with that feature.
Besides those two, there are many other minor fixes and improvements; refer to the VictronConnect change log for the full list.
So, a nice example on the road of making things easier. Which frankly is not an easy one. Making a cool feature that works well under all circumstances, in a timely manner and without accidentally breaking existing functionality, is already a challenge. Then, making features and products such that they do what one expects them to do – also in all circumstances as well as clearly pointing in the right why in case of an installation error, raises the bar even more.
It’s a great challenge and we have lots of ground to cover.
Best regards – and have a good weekend, Matthijs Vader