An Energy Storage System (ESS) is a specific type of power system that integrates a power grid connection with a Victron Inverter/Charger, GX device and battery system. It stores solar energy into your battery during the day, for use later on when the sun stops shining.
It allows for time shifting power, charging from solar, providing grid support, and exporting power back to the grid.
When an ESS system is able to produce more power than it can use and store, it can sell the surplus to the grid; and when it has insufficient energy or power, it automatically buys it from from the grid.
In the ESS system, there must at least be one inverter/charger and also a GX device such as:
Other components can be added when needed, see chapter 2.
Use ESS in a self-consumption system; a backup system with solar, or a mixture of both: For example you can use 30% of the battery capacity for self-consumption, and keep the other 70% available as a backup in the event of utility grid failure.
When there is more PV power than is required to run loads, the excess PV energy is stored in the battery. That stored energy is then used to power the loads at times when there is a shortage of PV power.
The percentage of battery capacity used for self-consumption is configurable. When utility grid failure is extremely rare it could be set to 100%. In locations where grid failure is common - or even a daily occurrence - you might choose to use just 20% of battery capacity and save 80% for the next grid failure. African countries for example.
Keep batteries 100% charged:
ESS can also be configured to keep the batteries fully charged. Utility grid failure is then the only time battery power is used - as a backup. Once the grid is restored, the batteries will be recharged either from the grid or from solar panels - when available.
Configuring ESS in a system which uses a diesel generator as backup - for extended mains failures - can be achieved. Grid code and Loss of Mains configuration will need special attention, see here.
And on the GX device, select 'Generator' as the AC Input type in the Settings → System setup menu. The system will then enable generator charging; ensure that the generator is properly loaded, and will be automatically switched-off as soon as parameters are met.
ESS can be used both with an external grid-meter, or without one.
Where there is a grid-meter; either a full or partial grid-parallel system can be configured to run alongside.
Where there is no grid-meter; all loads are connected to AC-out. And where there is a PV Inverter present, that is also connected to AC out.
Power from an MPPT can be fed back to the grid. Enabled/disabled by a user setting on the CCGX: Settings → ESS.
By using the Power Reduction feature in Fronius grid-tie inverters, the ESS system can automatically reduce the output of the installed PV Inverters as soon as feed-back is detected; without switching and frequency shifting.
It is not possible to combine ESS with the Fronius Smart Meter - but it's not necessary either, as ESS already has metering.
With ESS, it is not possible to disable feed-in a system with other brands of grid-tie inverters. See Chapter 2.1.2 for more information.
A seperate document that provides further introductory information, overviews, and system examples is available to download here.
See ESS mode 2 and 3.
All loads are wired on the AC output of the inverter/charger. The ESS mode is configured to 'Keep batteries charged'.
When using a grid-tie inverter, it is connected to the AC output as well.
When grid power is available the battery will be charged with power from both the grid and the PV. Loads are powered from PV when that power-source is available.
Feed-in is optional, and can be enabled or disabled depending on local regulations.
The Energy Storage system, uses a Multi or Quattro bidirectional inverter/charger as its main component.
Note that ESS can only be installed on Multis and Quattros which feature the 2nd generation microprocessor (26 or 27). All new systems shipped have 2nd generation chips.
Victron Lithium batteries
Third-party battery compatibility
Please see this list of third-party batteries with which Victron equipment is compatible:
Lead batteries: OPzS and OPzV
The relatively high internal-resistance of these types of batteries should be taken in to account when designing a system which uses them.
Lead batteries: AGM / GEL
Note that the use of standard AGM and GEL batteries is not recommended for installations designed to cycle the battery bank every day.
In most situations, it is not necessary to install a battery monitor:
The only situation where an external battery monitor is required is when a system using a no-monitor battery type also has additional power sources: for example a DC wind generator. (No monitor battery types include lead batteries, for example, or Victron 12.8V lithium batteries.)
Where an additional battery monitor is necessary, use one of these:
Detailed information is available in the CCGX manual chapter 2.4.
For a full or partial grid-parallel installation an Energy Meter can be installed in the main distribution panel between the grid and the installation.
A grid meter is not required where there are no AC renewable-energy source(s) and also no AC load(s) present on the the input side of the Multi/Quattro system (i.e. where all such sources and loads are on the output side of the Multi/Quattro system).
If there is any AC renewable energy source or any AC load between the grid connection point and the input side of the Multi/Quattro system, incorrect results will be calculated and recorded by the GX unless a grid meter is installed and enabled.
In particular, without a grid meter:
Both issues are resolved by installing a grid meter.
ESS can work with both Grid-tie PV inverters and/or MPPT Solar Chargers. (A mix of both is also possible.)
When using Grid-tie PV Inverters we recommend monitoring is performed using the CCGX. See CCGX manual for the options.
ESS can also be operated without PV. This is typical for virtual power plants, where the installation is part of a cluster of small storage systems - supplying energy to the grid during peak demand.
ESS can work with either an MPPT Solar Charger or a grid-tie inverter, and a mix of both.
Generally speaking the MPPT Solar Charger will be more effective than a grid-tie inverter in a small system. The reason for this is that an MPPT Solar Charger is up to 99% efficient …whereas the PV energy coming from a grid-tie inverter is first converted from DC to AC, and then back from AC to DC, causing losses up to 20 or 30%. This will be even more noticeable when the energy consumption takes place mainly in the mornings and the evenings.
When most of the energy consumption takes place during the day - say in an office with air-conditioning - a grid-tie inverter will be more efficient. After (very efficient) conversion to AC, the PV energy is used directly by the air-conditioning unit.
In the case of 'no Feed-in' consider using an MPPT Solar Charger - or otherwise a Fronius PV Inverter, and then use the Zero Feed-in function. This will lead to a much more stable system.
The rules around Feed-in differ all around the world. In various countries:
Feed-in of PV power via an MPPT Solar Charger can be enabled or disabled in the Energy Storage Systems menu on the CCGX. Note that when disabled, the PV power will still be available to power AC loads.
Feed-in of PV connected to grid-tie inverters occurs automatically. There are no settings or special design considerations to be considered whether connected on the input and/or output of the inverter/charger.
Feed-in of PV power via an MPPT Solar Charger can be enabled or disabled in the Energy Storage Systems menu on the CCGX.
For grid-tie inverters, the only option is to use a Fronius grid-tie inverter and use the Fronius Zero Feed-in function. See chapter 2.1.3.
Using other brands of grid-tie inverters in a No-feed-in system is not recommended. With ESS it is not possible to prevent feed-in where other brands are installed. And using the Hub-2 Assistant as an alternative method leads to a less-than-perfect installation. There can be problems with flickering lights - or even a whole-system shut-down, through overload, when a large load is switched on or off.
For Fronius grid-tie inverters ESS has a special feature: Zero feed-in.
With the Zero feed-in option enabled, the ESS system will continuously monitor and actively control the output power of the Fronius grid-tie inverter. See chapter 4.3.11 for detailed requirements and settings.
All Victron MPPT solar chargers can be used: both the models with a VE.Direct port as well as the models with a VE.Can port.
There are two options when connecting the grid-tie inverter:
When connected on the AC out, the factor 1.0 rule must be adhered to. There are no exceptions to this. Also use the factor 1.0 rule in countries where the utility grid rarely fails; and also when connecting a Fronius grid-tie inverter on the AC out, and employing 'Zero feed-in'.
In a grid-parallel system, the size of the battery bank has these effects:
In a backup system, the battery size is calculated by the required autonomy during a mains failure.
See AC-Coupling minimum battery capacity for minimum battery sizes of systems with a grid-tie PV Inverter connected on the AC output of the Multi(s) or Quattro(s).
The required size of the inverter/charger depends on the type of installation.
In a grid-parallel installation, the size of the inverter/charger can be (much?) smaller than the highest expected nominal and peak loads. For example, to cover the base load of a two-person household, an 800VA inverter/charger may be sufficient. For a family, a 3000VA inverter/charger can run most appliances - as long as not more than one of them is running at the same time. This means that the system can reduce grid power consumption from late spring to early autumn - perhaps to zero - with sufficient storage.
In a backup installation, the inverter/charger needs to be sized according to the expected loads.
ESS always requires anti-islanding. This is also true for a No feed-in-system.
For several countries the built-in anti-islanding in our products can be used. For example the MultiGrid in Germany, and the MultiPlus in the United Kingdom. See certificates on our website for details.
In case there is no certified product available for the country of installation, install external anti-islanding.
More details here: VEConfigure: grid codes & loss of mains detection.
Follow the instructions in the manuals of each component for its correct installation.
When installing a single-phase ESS in a system with a three-phase connection to the utility grid, make sure you install the ESS on phase one, L1.
Multi, MultiPlus, MultiGrid or Quattro
Connect the temperature sensor supplied with the device. In the case of installations with multiple units in parallel, and/or dual- or three-phase configurations, the temperature-sense wire can be connected to any unit in the system. For more information, see the Parallel and three phase VE.Bus systems.
The Multi will, of course, use the measured battery temperature for temperature-compensated charging. It will also do this when charging with power coming from a grid-tie PV Inverter …whether connected to mains, or - in case of a mains failure - with solar power coming from a grid-tie PV Inverter when that inverter is connected to the output.
Solar chargers will automatically use the information from the Multi or Quattro for temperature-compensated charging as well. Both VE.Direct Solar chargers and VE.Can Solar chargers.
Multi, MultiPlus, Multi Grid and Quattros: wire the voltage-sense according to the instructions in the manual.
VE.Direct solar chargers: there is no voltage-sense option: no voltage sense is used.
VE.Can solar chargers: connect a voltage-sense wire to one of the solar chargers in each 'sync' group.
Update all components to the latest firmware version:
For firmware files and instructions, see the Firmware section in Victron Professional.
Settings to be made in VEConfigure:
Notes with regards to the Input current-limit and PowerAssist:
Notes relating to Low battery warning levels:
Optimized (with BatteryLife) and Optimized (without BatteryLife)
At times when there is excess PV power, the PV energy is stored in the battery. That stored energy is then used later, to power the loads at times when there is a shortage of PV power.
Keep batteries charged
Failures of the utility grid are the only periods at which the battery will be discharged. Once the grid is restored, the batteries will be recharged with power from the grid, and of course also solar, when available.
The ESS control algorithms are disabled. Use this when self-implementing a control loop. More information.
For details on BatteryLife operation, see Chapter 6.2. In short, enable BatteryLife for these technologies:
Because it makes no sense to leave a battery discharged, without reserve power in case of mains failure, we recommend leaving BatteryLife enabled for systems using Lithium with active cell balancing, however it can be disabled in this case.
Redflow specifies that BatteryLife should be disabled in Redflow ZCell installations, because the ZCell battery can rest at zero SoC without damage for an unlimited period, and also because the BatteryLife function conflicts with the ZCell battery maintenance cycle.
Leave Off when no Victron grid meter is installed, and set to 'On' when such meter is installed.
All loads and (optional) grid-tie inverters must be installed on the AC out in a system without a Victron grid meter. See earlier in the manual for more information.
Setting this to 'Disabled' hides the AC-out graphic in the overview pane. Use this in systems where there is nothing connected to the output of the Multi or Quattro, which is typical for certain grid-parallel systems in Western Europe.
Set to 'On' to make the Solar Charger always operates at its maximum power point. The first priority is powering the loads, and the second priority is to charge the battery. If more power is available when those two priorities are met, then that power will be fed to the utility grid.
Please note that when enabling this option, the DVCC charge current limit configured under Settings → Limit charge current won't be active. The Solar charger will operate at full power for maximum feed-in into the grid. It's advisable to configure a safe limit on the solar chargers when used with a small battery bank.
See see chapter 7.
Configurable minimum SOC limit. Either with or without BatteryLife enabled, ESS will drop loads once the SOC has fallen to the configured setting - except when the utility grid has failed and the system is in Inverter mode. In this case it will continue discharging the battery until one of the other thresholds have been met. See chapter 6.1 for more information.
(Applies only when BatteryLife is enabled)
This % shows the maximum usable capacity of the system - which will never be more than 80%.
Use this setting to see the current BatteryLife SOC level.
The different BatteryLife states are:
This setting limits the amount of AC power used by the Multi for battery charging. The limit also applies to AC power received by the Multi from any grid-tie PV Inverters connected to AC-in.
In other words, this setting limits the flow of power from AC to DC on utilities connected to AC-in.
Limit the power drawn by the Multi: ie. limit the power being inverted from DC to AC.
Change the following settings in the Fronius web interface:
Use the Fronius Zero feed-in active menu item to double check that all above criteria are met. It will show No if the firmware requirement; the Data export; or the Sunspec Model type settings are incorrect.
Do not use a Fronius Smart Meter for limiting export when part of a Victron ESS System. More details about when a Fronius Smart Meter can, and can not be used is explained here.
This sets the point at which power is taken from the grid when the installation is in self-consumption mode. Setting this value slightly above 0W prevents the system from feeding back power to the grid when there is a bit of over-shoot in the regulation. The default value is therefore 50W - but should be set to a higher value on large systems.
The Scheduled Charging setting is located in the ESS menu of the GX device. It allows you to set up to five scheduled periods, during which the system will take power from the grid to charge the battery. This is typically used to charge the battery during off-peak tariff time windows (TOU). For each schedule, configure a start-time, duration, and optionally set the percentage up to which you want the battery to be charged.
If the target state of charge is reached, and it is still within the period of time set, the battery will stop charging but will not discharge (unless there is grid outage). This optimises battery cycling and still allows room in the battery for PV charging.
Scheduled charging is available as part of ESS. It is accessible on the GX device menus under Settings → ESS. It is only available when the ESS mode is set to Optimised. Scheduled charging naturally makes no sense when the mode is set to Keep Batteries Charged.
You can see at a glance what is configured, with a summary of the start day, time and duration shown for each.
For each schedule you can select a specific day of the week, every day of the week, or you may opt to charge on all weekdays or only on weekends.
The Multi will start charging from the grid at the specified start time, and stop after the set duration or when the set SOC limit is reached. The period designated by the day, start time and duration will subsequently be referred to as a scheduled charge window.
During charging, the ESS state will indicate that Scheduled Charging is in progress.
When a SOC limit is set for a scheduled charge window, charging will stop when the batteries reach the requested SOC. The batteries will however not discharge until the scheduled charge window ends. The goal is to be at or near the requested SOC at the end of the scheduled charge window.
Discharge is disabled until the end of the scheduled charge window. The goal is to exit the window at the requested SOC.
Set a charge window for the required period with a low SOC Limit. Discharge is disabled in a scheduled charge window.
The first matching schedule takes priority. If the two schedules have different SOC limits, the limit of the second matching scheduled charge window takes effect after the first scheduled charge window ends.
Set the AC Input type to Generator when connected to a generator. The system will then enable generator-charging and correctly load the generator when running.
Note that we recommend wiring the Generator to AC-in 1, and the Grid to AC-in 2. The reason is that the Quattro will then prioritize the Generator over the Grid. That arrangement offers maximum flexibility (allowing forced generator intervention even when the grid is available) and maximises control.
More information on controlling remote generator start/stop is available here.
In ESS, the MPPT Solar Chargers will follow the charge curve as set in VEConfigure. The charge parameters configured in the MPPT Solar Chargers themselves are ignored in an ESS setup.
The Charge current, however, still needs to be configured in the MPPTs.
No special configuration is necessary.
No special configuration is necessary. Make sure the Device instance is configured to 0 (the default). MPPTs in the VE.Can network configured to a different Device instance will not be managed by ESS.
The MPPT state - as shown on the CCGX to which it is connected - will show 'ESS'.
The blue 'Bulk' light on the MPPT will be lit and occulting every four seconds to indicate that the MPPT is remotely controlled.
'Grid Meter' will be visible in the Device list of the CCGX
After configuring this item, the system will immediately start charging the battery.
Take these steps to verify operation:
In the Settings → ESS menu, the Zero feed-in active item shows 'Yes'.
Start the generator and check that the system begins to charge the batteries.
(Note: All absolute voltages mentioned in the example below refer to a 12V system. Voltages should be multiplied by x2 or x4 for a 24V or 48V system, respectively.)
When there is less PV power available than is required to power the loads (at night for example), energy stored in the battery will be used to power the loads. This will continue until the battery is depleted (ie. has reached it user-defined minimum % SOC).
When mains power is available, any one of the following three parameters will inform the system that the battery-storage has been depleted:
When no mains power is available, and the system is in inverter mode, the following parameters control the depth of discharge:
What about the Sustain mode?
The Sustain voltages have no effect on when the system stops discharging the battery: Sustain is activated only after the battery has been flagged as empty. See Sustain section below for more information.
The BatteryLife feature prevents a harmful 'low battery state-of-charge' from being allowed to continue for an extended period of time. For example in winter, if there is insufficient PV power available to replace the stored battery energy which is consumed every day, without the BatteryLife feature the battery SOC will fall to its low-limit and stay at or near that level - continually failing to become fully-charged.
BatteryLife tries to ensure that the battery will always be recharged to 100% SOC - every day. This is how it works:
During periods of poor weather when Solar energy is reduced, BatteryLife will dynamically raise the Low SOC limit which has been set. This has the effect of making less power available for consumption. It raises this level by 5% each day until the energy which the system draws from the batteries during a 24hr period matches the energy being replaced. The aim is for the battery to operate at or near 100% SOC.
When weather conditions change, and more Solar energy becomes available, the system will once again lower the Low SOC limit, day by day, making more battery capacity available for use (it will eventually return to the user-preset limit) - whilst still ensuring that the battery SOC ends each day at or close to 100%.
The strength of this feature becomes apparent when you ask yourself, “Why should the battery be allowed to remain fully discharged for long periods of time, leaving no reserve power in case of mains failure …and with the possible result of damaging the battery?”.
This feature has several advantages:
If the battery SOC falls below the SOC low-limit for more than 24 hours, it will be slow-charged (from an AC source) until the lower limit has been reached again.
The dynamic low-limit is an indication of how much surplus PV power we expect during the day; a low-limit indicates we expect a lot of PV power available to charge the battery and that the system is not expected to discharge more energy at night than it receives the following day.
The graph below shows two identical systems - one (the blue line) is using the BatteryLife feature; the other (the red line) isn't. It's spring, and the battery state of charge for each system is graphed for one week. As the week progresses and more solar energy is becoming available, notice how BatteryLife makes it's system operate at or near full charge, and how it allows the depth of discharge to be increased as the solar power harvest increases. Notice, too, the red line which shows what happens without BatteryLife.
On a technical level, BatteryLife increases the dynamic lower charge limit by 5% for each day that a good state of charge was not reached. The value is increased once a day when the battery reaches the lower limit for the first time. When the battery reaches 85% SoC on the day, the increment for that day is canceled and the limit remains the same as the previous day. If the battery reaches 95% on any day, the dynamic discharge limit is lowered by 5%. The result is that the battery reaches a healthy charge of between 85% and 100% SoC every day.
The Dynamic Cut-off feature works 'intelligently'. Instead of merely cutting off loads when a low-voltage threshold has been reached, it takes into account the amount of current being drawn from the battery. When the current being drawn is high, the shut-down voltage might be 10V, for example; whereas if the current being drawn is a small one, the shut-down might be 11.5V.
This compensates for the internal resistance in the battery, and makes Battery Voltage a much more reliable parameter to indicate whether a battery is becoming critically discharged.
The graph below shows the default 'Discharge' vs. 'DC input low shut-down voltage' curves for different battery types. The curve can be adjusted in the assistant.
Sustain Mode prevents the damage caused by leaving batteries in a deeply-discharged state.
Sustain Mode is entered after the battery has been flagged as discharged, and the two conditions which trigger it are:
While Sustain is active, the battery voltage will be maintained at the sustain-voltage-level - which is set at:
When the battery voltage has fallen below the sustain level it will be charged back up to the sustain-voltage-level using power from the grid. The charger will ensure that voltage level is maintained - using power from the grid when necessary. The maximum charge current it uses for this is 5 Ampére per unit. (5 A applies to all installations - regardless of system voltages (12 / 24 / 48 V).
Excess solar power will also be used for battery charging.
Sustain mode is exited when solar-charging has been able to raise the battery voltage 0.1 V above the sustain-voltage-level. Normal operation will then continue - with the battery providing power when insufficient energy is harvested from the PV array.
(This 0.1 V is the threshold for 12 V systems; for 24 V the threshold is 0.2 V above; and for 48 V it is 0.4V above.)
In addition to the charger states (Bulk/Absorption/Float), there are additional Discharging and Sustain codes that provide at-a-glance information on the Pages Overview of GX display.
The key for these codes is:
Use the Phase compensation setting in systems with a three-phase connection to the utility grid. The setting defines how the ESS interacts with the different phases.
When enabled (default), ESS balances the total power (L1 + L2 + L3) to zero Watt. When disabled, ESS balances each phase separately to zero.
For single phase systems, this setting has no effect - whether 'enabled' or 'disabled'- and can therefore be ignored.
When the ESS mode is set to Keep batteries charged, this setting has no effect.
Single phase connection to the utility grid
Single phase ESS in a system with a three-phase connection to the utility grid
Single phase ESS is a single inverter/charger.
Three phase ESS in a system with a three-phase connection to the utility grid
Three phase ESS is, at least, three inverter/chargers: one on each phase.
With Phase compensation enabled, the (single phase) ESS uses the battery to balance the combined power of all phases to 0 W (zero watts).
See the following example: ESS is connected to L1, and by compensating for phases L2 and L3 as well, it regulates the total power at the distribution panel to 0 W.
|Load||100 W||400 W||200 W||700 W|
|ESS||-700 W||0 W||0 W||-700 W|
|Distribution box||-600 W||400 W||200 W||0 W|
With Phase compensation disabled, the (single phase) ESS uses the battery to balance only L1 to 0 W. L2 and L3 are visible on the CCGX, but not used by the ESS in any way.
(Make sure you install the ESS on L1. If it's installed on another phase the visualisation will be wrong.)
A three-phase ESS system has at least one Multi installed on each phase. We recommend leaving the phase-compensation setting to its default: enabled.
ESS balances the total power (L1 + L2 + L3) to 0 W.
Intelligent optimization of the balance between the phases
ESS intelligently optimizes the balance between the phases - as far as possible. While doing so, it will never charge on one phase whilst discharging on another. To better understand how it works, read these examples closely:
When the phases are in balance the situation is simple. Let's say each phase is consuming 500 W, and only a small amount of PV power is available - 100 W on each phase. Each phase requires another 400 W …a total of 1200 W for all three phases. So 400 W will be drawn from the battery on each phase, and the draw from the grid will therefore be 0 W. Each separate phase will also be at 0 W.
When the phases are not in balance, it becomes more complicated:
In the example below the PV is exceeding the loads on L1 by 1300 W. L2 and L3 have loads of 200 W on each phase. Looking at the sum of all three phases: the house is selling 900 W to the grid - or in an ESS configuration 900 W is available to charge the batteries.
A simple strategy could be to distribute this 900 W of excess power over all the phases and charge the battery with 300 W on each phase:
|PV + Load||ESS||On the meter|
|L1||-1300 W||300 W||-1000 W|
|L2||200 W||300 W||500 W|
|L3||200 W||300 W||500 W|
|Sum||-900 W||900 W||0 W|
The table shows that this is not optimal: the system is now selling on L1, yet buying on L2 and L3, while as a whole it's buying power.
Another solution could be to match each phase. In other words, regulate each single phase to 0 W: charge on L1 with 1300 W, and discharge L2 and L3 each with 200 W. This situation, too, is not optimal: 1700W of power is being converted from AC to DC and back again - yet only 900W is required to keep the total power to 0W . That means 800 W is being needlessly converted, resulting in unnecessary system losses.
|PV + Load||ESS||On the meter|
|L1||-1300 W||1300 W||0 W|
|L2||200 W||-200 W||0 W|
|L3||200 W||-200 W||0 W|
|Sum||-900 W||900 W||0 W|
(Note that this is what happens when the Phase compensation setting is disabled)
Then the last solution: when the balance of the total system is positive, ie. producing energy, the battery will be charged by the phases which are producing energy. The reverse is also true: when the system as a whole is using energy, the battery will be discharged onto the phases which are using energy. In the present example this means that the battery is charging on L1, with 900 W:
|PV + Load||ESS||On the meter|
|L1||-1300 W||900 W||-400 W|
|L2||200 W||0 W||200 W|
|L3||200 W||0 W||200 W|
|Sum||-900 W||900 W||0 W|
ESS balances the power of each seperate phase to 0 W.
Beware: using the system this way causes significant losses as power will flow from one AC phase to another via the DC connections. This incurs losses caused by converting from AC to DC on one phase, and then back again from DC to AC on the other phase.
In a multi-phase system, the charge current is configured per phase - rather than for the whole system. A limitation of this arrangement, for example, is where a relatively small battery bank is installed, and at a certain moment a significant over-supply of PV power is available on L1 - but not on the other phases, then only a part of that excess PV power on L1 will be used to charge the battery.
The Hub-1, Hub-2 and Hub-4 Assistant are deprecated in favor of the ESS Assistant. See below for details.
Hub-1 policies that are deprecated in favor of ESS:
The notes above leaves one policy where the Hub-1 Assistant can do things which ESS cannot:
Loadshedding is a feature in Hub-1 that is not often used, and therefore has not been implemented in the ESS Assistant. Instead of sticking to Hub-1 - which we do not recommend or support(1) - consider using other options.
For example misusing the generator start/stop function in CCGX.
Not available in the ESS System yet, but it will be implemented.
The ESS BatteryLife feature will make sure that the batteries are not unnecessarily cycled around a low SOC.
See also the Keep batteries charged option in the CCGX.
Load shedding is a feature in Hub-2 that is not often used, and therefore not implemented in the ESS Assistant. Instead of sticking to Hub-2 - which we neither recommend nor support - consider using other options.
For example misuse the generator start/stop function in CCGX.
The ESS can do this when you have a Fronius inverter. See the Zero feed-in option.
For other brands of PV Inverters use the Hub2 v3 Assistant. Or even better, use an alternative method such as installing MPPT Solar Chargers - leaving feed-back enabled …or install a Fronius PV Inverter.
(NB. Overload and high temperature bugs are fixed.)
Yes. ESS will reduce grid usage to a minimum, preferably to 0W, with or without feed-in enabled. It keeps the MPPT Solar Chargers working hard - even when the batteries are full.
A bit more detail with reference to selected modes:
The current options to work around this “Keep Batteries charged” issue are:
In optimize mode, ESS will only charge the battery with power coming from PV …except in two circumstances, both of which are related to battery health, and preventing life-shortening damage:
This question is typically asked by users or installers that are familiar with our previous configurations, for example Hub-1 or Hub-2, in a series installation rather than a grid-parallel installation. In that configuration the system used to switch to inverter mode when the batteries were full-enough.
That was OK, but it also had several disadvantages. An inverter offers a much weaker voltage supply than the public grid does …and that may lead to:
With ESS in Optimize mode the system will always remain connected - even when the batteries are full. And although connected, the power draw is not substantial - this configuration offers the stability of the grid without additional grid consumption.
In ESS, the conditions for the VE.Bus system to be in pass-through (ve.bus state: passthru) are:
Background: In an off-grid or backup system it makes sense to get a warning when the battery is almost empty. But in a system where the battery is only used to optimize self-consumption, and it's normal to fully deplete the battery every day, it isn't necessary to receive a notification.
- Disabling the Multi's low-battery warning pop-up on the CCGX is achieved by entering the Multi or Quattro Menu; selecting Setup and then Alarms. Set the Low DC voltage alarm to Alarm only.
The red blinking LED on the inverter/charger - which warns of a low battery - cannot be disabled.
- Suppress email notifications by logging into the VRM Portal, and setting the Automatic alarm monitoring to Only alarms.
This is normal. The current shown is the RMS current. Which does not represent real power, nor real energy being fed into the grid.
Especially around 0 W real power, you’ll see that the RMS current is very high. This is caused by the X-capacitors in the Multi.
Look at the Input power readings instead. They fluctuate a lot less, and are a more reliable indication of power and energy.
Note that these charge-cycle restart-mechanisms differ from the stand-alone MPPT Solar Charger algorithm: they restart the charge cycle every day. See the solar charger manuals for more information about this. (This link takes you to the Manual Download Page).
Switching off in overload, while connected to the grid, is caused by the active Loss of Mains (LOM) detection, linked to the country code as configured in VEConfigure3.
This behaviour occurs when the AC supplied on the AC-in of the Multi or Quattro is 'weak'. By 'weak' we mean that the AC connection to the utility has a higher impedance than usual. For example a generator, or a house connected with a too-long and/or too-thin cable from the Inverter/Charger to the utility.
For the solution and configuration options, see VEConfigure: grid codes & loss of mains detection.
Check list in case loads are being powered from the mains/grid, while expected to be powered from the battery:
First of all, check that the system is not preventing discharge because the battery state of charge is below a limit. See the Chapter 6 - Controlling depth of discharge.
Secondly, in case of a Managed Lithium battery, ie a battery with a CAN-bus connection, check that the battery hasn't disabled discharging: see the battery entry in the Device List menu, and then go to the Parameters submenu and see the Discharge Current Limit (DCL) entry. In case that shows zero, the battery is telling the system to not discharge any further.
Thirdly, feed-in may be disabled because the ESS Relay test is still pending: the inverter/charger (ie Multi/Quattro) in an ESS System needs to perform a relay test before it can use battery power. During the test, it needs to run in inverter mode shortly (~1 minute), and needs enough spare battery capacity to do so. In case the battery voltage is too low while connecting to the grid, the system switches on in pass-through and/or battery charging mode, and, while waiting for the battery to be recharged sufficiently (to do the relay test), it will not feed-in. Meaning that it will not convert DC to AC power, and hence will not power the loads from the battery, and similarly will also not convert any power coming from Solar Chargers to AC: will not power loads with DC-coupled solar power either. And the same: it will not sell excess DC-coupled solar power back to the grid.
The relay test will be performed once either the battery voltage has been recharged above 14/28/56 volt, or when the battery has been recharged to above 20% SOC. To check if a system is in this state, see the ESS Relay test entry in the Advanced submenu of the Multi/Quattro entry in the device list. It will show either Pending, or Completed. Note that that menu entry is only visible for systems with an ESS Assistant installed.
Fourthly, feed-in may be disabled when a grid code (like the German or Australian grid code) uses the aux1 input to disable feed-in, and aux1-in is used by something else (like an AC-sensor or a BMS), this way feed-in can be disabled. Simply un-check the option in the grid-code settings to prevent this.
Lastly, check that the rocker switch on the unit is set to On, rather than to Charger-Only. When set to charger-only, the unit refuses to discharge the battery. Note that to check this, you really need to physically check the rocker switch: you can't see its state by looking on VRM or on the GX Device. On a MultiPlus-II, this rocker switch is at the bottom of the unit and needs to be in the I position, not on II.
Finally, if all above didn't help - temporarily disable LOM to make sure that is not causing an issue. Detailes in this document: VEConfigure: grid codes & loss of mains detection.
The recharge you are seeing might be part of the Sustain protection. Consider increasing the minimum SOC level. For example increase it with 5%; and then check what happens.
Or decrease the sustain voltages with VEConfigure, but take proper caution, especially for lead batteries as the sustain levels are designed to prevent early damage to the batteries.
Search this manual for Sustain to learn more.
The system will automatically recharge the battery (from the grid) when the SOC drops 5% or more below the value of ‘Minimum SOC’ in the ESS menu. Recharge stops when it the battery is recharged up to the Minimum SOC level.
No, you cannot. After unplugging the shore cord it can take up a moment for the system to detect the loss of mains and open the back-feed relay. During those seconds, the shore power plug will be live: there is 110/230 Volts AC on the terminals. The exact number of seconds differs per country and depends on the local requirements.
The same applies to other solutions where the wiring is not protected against accidental removing, for example a simple cable with end-user removable plug, such as a portable power supply.
Trouble shooting steps:
Then; if PV is not used enough to power loads;
Note that those last two set points are determined by software; and calculated based on the setpoints sent by the (CANbus connected) lithium battery: you can't change them manually. Looking at them however does help understanding why certain things are happening;