Thank you for using VictronConnect. This guide will help you get the most out of your MPPT Solar Charge Controller. The information available here applies to all BlueSolar and SmartSolar MPPT Charge Controllers which are compatible with VictronConnect. A list of all VictronConnect compatible devices can be viewed here.
More general information about the VictonConnect App - how to install it; how to pair it with your device; and how to update firmware, for example - can be found by referring to the overall VictronConnect manual.
Note: Where battery voltage is referred to in these instructions, a 12V battery is assumed. Please multiply the given values by 2, 3 or 4 to arrive at settings for an installation configured for 24V, 36V or 48V respectively.
Note that for the load output reading to be reliable, all loads must be wired directly to the load output …including their negative terminals. See manual or consult your installer for details.
Note that some loads (especially inverters) are best connected directly to the battery. In such cases the load output does not show a reliable reading - the current drawn by the inverter, for example, will not be included. Consider adding a BMV battery monitor which will measure all current going to - or being drawn from the battery, including loads connected directly to the battery …not just the load output terminals of the charge controller.
Is my battery being charged?
The battery will be charged whenever the power available from the PV panels exceeds the power being drawn by the loads (lights, fridge, inverter, etc.).
You can only tell if that is the case with Charge Controllers which have all loads connected to the load output terminals. Remember: any loads connected directly to the battery can't be monitored by the Solar Charger.
(The fragmented square icon (top left) allows you to toggle between 'portrait' and 'landscape' screen presentations.)
A summary of activity for the last 30 days is presented graphically. Swipe the bar left or right to show any of the previous 30 days.
The daily log shows:
Clicking on any day/bar in the graph will expand the information to show charge-status times - both as hrs/m; and also as a percentage of the 'charge' day. This graphic provides an at-a-glance representation of how much time your charger is spending in each of three modes: Bulk / Absorption / Float.
Tip! You can use the charge times to see if the PV array is properly sized for your requirements. A system which never reaches 'Float' may need more panels; or perhaps the load could be reduced?
(If you are operating an ESS (Energy Storage System) the charge time for this will be included in the 'Bulk' reading.)
It is possible to export the history as a comma separated file (.csv) by clicking the three connected dots at the top right of the history screen:
This is an example of the exported data for 3 of 30 days:
|Days ago||Yield(Wh)||Max. PV power(W)||Max. PV voltage(V)||Min. battery voltage(V)||Max. battery voltage(V)||Time in bulk(m)||Time in absorption(m)||Time in float(m)||Last error||2nd last error||3rd last error||4th last error|
The first figure shows the maximum battery voltage for the day …the figure below is the minimum battery voltage.
Consumption (only on 100/20 models and smaller)
Shows the energy consumed by loads connected to the load output terminal.
Shows the number of errors (if any) for the day, to see the error codes click on the orange point. See MPPT Solar Charger Error Codes.
(You may need to slide the display on your device up to see the errors.)
This shows the total energy converted by the installation and is not re-settable.
This shows how much energy has been converted by the installation since the last reset.
The settings page is accessed by clicking on the Cog icon at the top right of the Home page. The settings page provides access to view or change the settings of the Battery; Load; Streetlight; and Port functions. From this page you can also view Product information such as the Firmware versions installed on the MPPT Solar Charger.
For small MPPT Solar Charger models there is only one preset. Larger models feature a rotary switch, the battery page shows the setting of the rotary switch.
We recommend using the rotary switch to select one of the pre-programmed charge algorithms.
Set the battery voltage to a fixed voltage (12, 24, 36, 48).
The battery voltage is automatically selected at the very first power-up of the charger. The detected figure is stored, and further automatic detection is disabled. If, however, the battery voltage is absent (or below 7 volts) the unit operates as a 12V model and automatic detection is rescheduled for the next power-up.
Note that 36 and 48 volt operation is only available on models which support these voltages - such as the MPPT 150/35. Note also that 36 volts cannot be detected automatically. Systems operating at this voltage must always be set manually.
Hint: if you just want to update the firmware of a device while still keeping the automatic voltage detection active (e.g. before shipping a unit to the end customer), update the firmware as you normally would do. When the firmware update is complete, at the “Live Data Information” page select to cog wheel in the upper right corner, next the three vertical dots in the upper right corner and make sure to choose “Reset to defaults” from the drop-down menu. Now power down the unit, when the unit is powered up the next time it will perform an automatic voltage detection.
Allows the user to set a lower maximum charge current.
Toggling this setting turns the Solar Charger off. The batteries will not be charged. This setting is intended only for use when carrying-out work on the installation.
Battery preset allows you to select the battery type; accept factory defaults; or enter your own preset values to be used for the battery charge algorithm. The Absorption voltage, Absorption time, Float voltage, Equalisation voltage and Temperature compensation settings are all configured to a preset value - but can be user-defined.
User-defined presets will be stored in the preset library - in this way installers will not have to define all the values each time they are configuring a new installation.
By selecting Edit Presets, or on the Settings screen (with expert mode on or not), custom parameters can be set as follows:
Set the absorption voltage.
Select with adaptive absorption time or fixed absorption time will be used. Both are better explained below:
Fixed absorption time: The same length of absorption is applied every day (when there is enough solar power) by using the maximum absorption time setting. Be aware that this option can result in overcharging your batteries, especially for lead batteries and system with shallow daily discharges. See your battery manufacturer for recommended settings. Note: make sure to disable the tail current setting to make the same absorption time every day. The tail current could end absorption time sooner if the battery current is below the threshold. See more information on the tail current setting section below.
Adaptive absorption time: The charge algorithm can use an adaptive absorption time: it automatically adapts to the state of charge in the morning. The maximum duration of the absorption period for the day is determined by the battery voltage as measured just before the solar charger begins operation each morning (12V battery assumed):
|Battery voltage Vb (@start-up)||Multiplier||Maximum absorption times|
|Vb < 11.9V||x 1||06:00 hours|
|> 11.9V Vb < 12.2V||x 2/3||04:00 hours|
|> 12.2V Vb < 12.6V||x 1/3||02:00 hours|
|Vb > 12.6V||x 1/6||01:00 hours|
The multiplier is applied to the maximum absorption time setting and this results in the maximum duration of the absorption period used by the charger. The maximum absorption times shown in the last column of the table are based on the default maximum absorption time setting of 6 hours.
Set the absorption time limit. Only available when using a custom charge profile.
Enter the time value in the notation hh:mm, where hours are between 0 and 12; and minutes are between 0 and 59.
Set the float voltage.
Set the voltage offset that will be used over the float voltage setting that will determine the threshold that the charge cycle will restart.
E.g.: For a Re-bulk voltage offset off 0.1V and a float voltage setting of 13.8V, the voltage threshold that will be use to restart the charge cycle will be 13.7V. In other words, if the battery voltage drops below 13.7V for one minute, the charge cycle will restart.
Set the equalization voltage.
Set the percentage of the Max charge current setting that will be used when equalisation is performed.
Set-up the frequency of the auto equalize function. Available options are between 1 and 250 days:
Equalization is typically used to balance the cells in a lead battery, and also to prevent stratification of the electrolyte in flooded batteries. Whether (automatic) equalization is necessary, or not, depends on the type of batteries, and their usage. Consult your battery supplier for guidelines.
When the Automatic equalization cycle has initiated, the charger applies an equalization voltage to the battery as long as the current level stays below the equalization current percentage setting of the bulk current.
Duration of the Automatic equalization cycle
In the case of all VRLA batteries and some flooded batteries (algorithm number 0, 1, 2 and 3) automatic equalization ends when the voltage limit (maxV) has been reached, or after a period equal to (absorption time/8) - whichever comes first.
For all tubular plate batteries (algorithm numbers 4, 5 & 6); and also for the user-defined battery type, automatic equalization will end after a period equal to (absorption time/2).
For the Lithium battery type (algorithm number 7), equalization is not available.
When an automatic equalization cycle is not completed in one day, it will not resume the next day. The next equalization session will take place according to the interval set in the 'Auto Equalization' option.
For units without a rotary switch (75/10; 75/15; 100/15 & 100/20) the default battery type is a VRLA battery and any user-defined battery will behave as a tubular plate battery with regard to equalization.
Set how the equalisation will end. There are two possibilities, first is if the battery voltage reaches the equalisation voltage and the second is on fixed time, where the maximum equalisation duration is used.
Set the maximum time that the equalisation phase will last.
Set the current threshold that will be used to finish absorption phase before the maximum absorption time expires. When the battery current gets below the tail current for one minute, the absorption phase will end. This setting can be disabled by setting it to zero.
Many types of battery require a lower charge voltage in warm operating conditions, and a higher charge voltage in cold operating conditions.
The configured coefficient is in mV per degree Celsius for the whole battery bank, not per cell. The base temperature for the compensation is 25°C (77°F), as shown in the chart below.
With a Smart Battery Sense is installed; the actual battery temperature will be used for compensation; throughout the day.
In case there is no external source for battery temperature; charger uses its internal temperature for battery temperature compensation. The temperature reading is taken in the morning; when the charger has been idle for at least one hour, i.e. when the charger is not actively charging a battery or supplying a load.
This setting is available when a VE.Smart network is set-up and the battery temperature is available (e.g. by for example using a Smart Battery Sense or a Smart BMV with the optional temperature sensor). It can be used to disable charging at low temperatures as required by Lithium batteries.
For Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries this setting is preset at 5 degrees Celsius, for the other battery types it is disabled. When creating a user defined battery the cut-off temperature level can be adjusted manually.
See the VE.Smart Network manual for details on what devices are capable of transmitting temperature.
Selecting 'Start now' on 'Manual equalisation' allows manual initiation of an Equalization cycle. To allow the charger to equalize the battery properly use the manual equalize option only during absorption and float periods, and when there is sufficient sunlight. Current and voltage limits are identical to the automatic equalize function. The duration of the equalisation cycle is limited to a maximum of 1 hour when triggered manually. Manual equalization can be stopped at any time by selecting 'Stop Equalize'.
This section applies to all products. These settings are typically used on the smaller models which have a dedicated load output (75/10, 75/15, 100/15 and 100/20).
For larger models without a load output, the load settings can be used to drive the TX pin in the VE.Direct port, which can then be used to drive a BatteryProtect relay or other load-shedding device. See chapter 4.4 Tx port function, option 5: Virtual Load output, for more information.
The available programs are:
Note that, by default, the models with a load output have their algorithm selected with a jumper in the VE.Direct port:
Therefore, to configure an algorithm using VictronConnect, either remove the jumper, or change the VE.Direct RX pin configuration to Remote on/off, see 4.5 below. When a VE.Direct cable is connected, for example to a GX Device, or a Bluetooth dongle, then the “no jumper” configuration will be active. Both when the GX Device is powered, as well as when its off. The drawing below shows where the jumper is located.
Keep in mind that modes 1 (always off) and 5 (always on) will respond immediately. The other modes, sensing the battery voltage, have a delay of 2 minutes before the load output changes. This is so that the charger does not respond too quickly when, for example, an inrush current briefly lowers the battery voltage below the threshold.
Larger models offer a 'Streetlighting Algorithm' (see 4.3 below); this too will be 'controlled' by the Load Output settings in order to protect the battery from being too deeply drained: Streetlight settings will be overridden if the battery voltage falls below a chosen value. When the battery voltage is restored to chosen parameters, the Streetlighting function will resume. In this way the two functions work together.
The load output (on the smaller MPPT models) always acts as a switch - off when load output is off or streetlight dimming is at 0%; and on when load output is on and streetlight dimming is between 1 and 100% (see 4.3 below: Gradual Dimming speed).
Use the optional VE.Direct TX digital output cable, ASS030550500, accessory.
The Streetlight function allows you to automatically control night lighting - it's duration, and brilliance. When the Streetlight function is enabled a timer program can be created whereby Sunset, Sunrise as well as Midnight can be used as the anchor points for the timer program. These anchor points will automatically adjust itself to the duration of night-time as it changes with the seasons.
For our smaller chargers, that have a set of dedicated load output terminals, the light can be powered from those terminals. For larger chargers, the TX can be used, as a 'virtual load output'. Or, for models having a relay, also the relay can be used. See TX Pin and Relay chapters for details.
Note that, both for the real load output, and TX pin or Relay as 'virtual load output' the streetlight algorithm is applied in conjuction with the settings as configured in the Load output menu:
If streetlight is disabled, then the (virtual) load output is controlled only by the configuration as made in the load output menu.
If streetlight is enabled, then its an AND function: the load output will be on when both the condition made in the Load output menu are satisfied as well as the streetlight settings. Otherwise, its off.
Therefore, in a streetlight application, the load output setting is typically set to either Always on, or to Battery life. Its is never configured to Always off as that will result in the light to be always off. For more configurable voltage levels to force the light off, the other load output options (conv alg., user alg.) can be used.
At sunset you can choose from the following actions:
1) the dimming feature requires the TX Port function to be configured to PWM. The dim level inputs are only available when the TX Port is configured accordingly. See chapter 4.4 below for details.
At sunrise you can choose to:
The charger has no real time clock, and does not know when it is 12 o' clock at night. All references to midnight refer to what we call solar midnight: the mid-point between sunset and sunrise.
The (solar-) midnight and sunrise anchor points in the timer program need the charger to have its internal clock synchronised with the cycle of the sun.
After making your settings and powering up the charger, the charger will start unsynchronised: it assumes that midnight is 6 hours after sunset, and assumes that the full night is 12 hours.
During synchronisation, the charger checks the time between each detected sunrise. After three full day/night cycles, where the detected time is approximately 24 hours (one hour of deviation is allowed), it will start using its internal clock; instead of the fixed 6 and 12 hour timing.
Note that a loss of power will make the charger loose its synchronisation; it will take 5 days again to properly synchronise. Configuration settings are (ofcourse) stored and not lost, just like any other settings are always maintained during a loss of power.
The Sunset and Sunrise detection voltage settings can be used to adjust the detection to match the panel configuration. The Sunrise detection voltage must be 0.5V higher than the Sunset detection level. The lowest detectable voltage is 11.4V. Set this option to 0 to use the built-in defaults, which are:
The default setting is 0, which uses built-in default voltages.
Use the 'Delay' periods to avoid the system making an accidental switch when clouds passes over the panels. The valid range is between 0…60 minutes. These delays are disabled by default (0).
The gradual dimming option can be used to slow down the response of the timer program. This is useful when multiple streetlights are used in a row, and helps to mask the fact that each timer uses its own detection and the transition moment which will vary from unit to unit.
The dimming settings can be adjusted. You can input the number of seconds required to achieve each percentage-point of change (x seconds/per 1% of dimming). The available setting parameters are 0 …99
* 0 = immediate response (gradual dimming disabled)
* 9 = dim from 0 to 100% in 15 minutes.
Note: Make sure the TX port function is set to Light dimming mode (as described in the next chapter) and connect a VE.Direct TX digital output cable to the PWM dim input of your LED driver.
The time of midnight is estimated based on solar activity, and depends on your geographical location. Remember, too, that daylight saving times cause a further deviation between 'solar' and 'clock' midnight. By using the Mid-point shift function this can be compensated for. (Note that this setting is only relevant when your timer program uses 'Midnight' as a switching moment …as in option 3 above). Use 0 to disable the shift (default).
For calculation we use a 1440-minute day.
Where Sunset is at 19:00 (1140 minutes); and Sunrise is at 6:25 (385 minutes)
The selections which have been made on below screen image (click to enlarge) result in this program:
This setting defines the function of the Tx pin located inside the VE.Direct connector. Use the VE.Direct TX digital output cable, ASS030550500 to access - and therefore receive signals from - the pin.
The Rx pin on the VE.Direct connector can be used for other functions. This functionality was introduced in firmware version 1.17. Available options:
Note: These settings work in a similar way to a remote on/off switch, but instead they control the load output.
A programmable relay switch is available on some SmartSolar models. The datasheet for your model will tell you whether or not it is available.
The relay offers three connections:
|Relay state||Connection between|
|Switched ON||C and NO|
|Switched OFF||C and NC|
The conditions for switching the relay depend on the relay mode setting, note that the conditions for switching over must be present for at least 10 seconds before the relay will change position.
This option switches the relay ON when the panel voltage rises above the chosen “Panel high voltage” setting, and switches the relay OFF when the panel voltage falls below the chosen “Clear panel high voltage” setting. Ensure, of course, that the “Panel high voltage” setting is greater than the “Clear panel high voltage” setting. These settings must never exceed the maximum voltage-rating allowed by your MPPT charger.
These settings, which can be user-defined, will cause the relay to switch ON when the battery voltage falls below the chosen “Battery low-voltage” setting; and will cause the relay to switch OFF when the battery voltage once again rises above the “Clear battery low-voltage” setting. Ensure, of course, that the “Battery low-voltage relay” setting is lower than the “Clear battery low-voltage relay” setting.
An application for this feature, for example, is to automatically disconnect a load in order to prevent a battery from becoming too deeply discharged.
These settings, which can be user-defined, will cause the relay to switch ON when the battery voltage rises above the “Battery high-voltage relay” setting; and will cause the relay to switch OFF when the battery voltage drops below the “Clear battery high-voltage relay” setting. Ensure, of course, that the “Battery high-voltage relay” setting is greater than the “Clear battery high-voltage relay” setting.
An application for this feature, for example, is to disconnect a load in order to protect it from an over-voltage.
This option sets a minimum-time for the ON condition to prevail once the relay has been switched ON.
An application for this feature, for example, is to set a minimum generator run-time.
This option is only available when the connection between the charger and VictronConnect is done over Bluetooth. This menu offers the possibility for the user to create or join an existing VE.Smart Network. By doing that, the user allow data to be exchanged between chargers and sensors. Please, refer to the VE.Smart Networking manual for more information about the possibilities over that feature.