A VE.Smart Network is a wireless communication network between Victron products. It is a wireless technology using Bluetooth Smart.
Features enabled by VE.Smart are,
Use VE.Smart to add remote voltage, temperature and/or current sensing to your Victron MPPT Solar Chargers. Connect either a BMV battery monitor - or the new Smart Battery Sense, to a Solar Charger. The Solar Charger will receive the available information from the battery , like battery voltage and temperature (depending on the sensor) information, and use that data to optimize its charge parameters. This will improve charging-efficiency and prolong battery life.
This video introduces the Smart Battery Sense:
Use also now the VE.Smart Networking to synchronise the charger algorithms from Solar Chargers and improve even further the charge-efficiency and battery life. This feature is only available on SmartSolars with firmware version equal or higher then v1.47 (Ve.Direct SmartSolars) and v1.04 (Ve.Can SmartSolars).
The battery voltage data is used to compensate for voltage-drop over the battery cables. This ensures that the battery is charged with the exact voltage as configured in the charger - instead of a lower voltage due to resistance in the wiring.
The battery temperature data is used to adjust the charge voltages. When cold, a lead/acid battery typically needs a higher charge-voltage …and a lower charge-voltage when it's hot.
For lithium batteries the charge-voltages remain the same at all temperatures, as long as it’s not too cold. Its better to not charge Ltihium batteries below 5C, to prevent them from being damaged and degraded.
The battery current is used to allow the tail current setting (see the Solar Charger Manual for more details) to be used more precisely as, by having the actual battery current, the Solar Charger can decide better if absorption phase should stop and go to equalisation/float phase.
Connect multiple charge controllers together in a VE.Smart network to make them charge the battery as if they were one large charger. The chargers will synchronise their charge algorithm between them. They will simultaneously switch from one charge state to another, for example from bulk to absorption.
Each unit will (and should) regulate its own output current. Which, among others, depends on the output of each PV array, cable resistance and the configured maximum output current of the charger. As such, it is not possible to configure a 'network-wide' maximum charge current. In case such feature is needed, for example in a system with both an East- and a West-facing PV array and relatively small battery bank, consider using a GX Device and its DVCC features.
There are certain system types in which synchronised charging is not necessary:
In all above situations, the solar charger is already being controlled. Managed batteries are CAN-bus connected lithium batteries, as well as other chemistries, where the Battery BMS asserts control over the Victron system with regards to charge current & voltage.
For chargers that are already connected and synchronised over VE.Can, pairing them in a VE.Smart Network is not necessary. In case they are paired, the pairing will be ignored.
Synchronising the chargers works in a master-slave manner. The chargers will elect a master among them and that master will be the one to dictate the charge algorithm. As the master cannot be determined by the user, it is important to make sure all chargers belonging to the same network have the same battery settings. To know more about the battery settings and some other information, check the VictronConnect solar charger manual.
After being elected, the master will make sure all chargers are on the same charge state and with the same voltage setpoint. As mentioned before, battery charge current is not controlled by the master, but by each of the chargers individually.
At the beginning of the day, the master will measure the battery voltage before any of the other chargers in the network start charging (to find battery idle voltage). This information is used to decide what should be the total absorption time for some types of batteries. The battery idle voltage is shared with the other chargers, as well as the total absorption time, and the elapsed time on the current charge state. That information is important so the charge algorithm can be resumed by the chargers if, for any reason, the master stops charging (i.e. sun went down on its panels, charger was shut down, charger loses contact with the network, etc).
In the absence of battery current sensor, such as the BMV, the chargers on the network will have their output current combined to estimate a better battery charge current. This improves the precision of the tail current setting, a feature intended to finish the charge cycle earlier if necessary.
|BMV-700||Yes (requires dongle accessory) (2)||Transmit voltage-sense and current-sense|
|BMV-702||Yes (requires dongle accessory) (2)||Transmit voltage-sense, current-sense, and (optionally) temperature (1)|
|BMV-712||Yes||Transmit voltage-sense, current-sense, and (optionally) temperature (1)|
|SmartSolar MPPTs||Yes (2)||Uses received sense data to optimize charging and synchronise charging process (3)|
|BlueSolar MPPTs||Yes (requires dongle accessory) (2)||Uses received sense data to optimize charging|
|Phoenix Smart IP43 Charger||No||Not yet supported, may be compatible in the future|
|Orion-Tr Smart DC-DC Charger Isolated||No||Not yet supported, may be compatible in the future|
|Blue Smart Chargers IP22, IP65 and IP67||No||Not yet supported, may be compatible in the future|
All currently shipping SmartSolar MPPTs support VE.Smart Networking. However some older versions of those models do not support VE.Smart Networking. Those devices will also not become compatible later with a firmware update: the incompatibility is due to a hardware limitation in those devices. There is a work around: connect a VE.Direct Bluetooth Smart dongle. This enables VE.Smart Networking support. Both Voltage and Temperature sense will work. In such scenario the internal Bluetooth interface of the SmartSolar should not be used anymore as communication errors may occur - instead the VE.Direct Bluetooth Smart dongle is to be used when connecting by phone or tablet. This is the list of the older incompatible products and part-numbers - together with the part numbers of their compatible successors:
|Product||Old Incompatible Part-number||New Compatible Part-number|
|VE.Direct Bluetooth Smart dongle||ASS030536010||ASS030536011|
|SmartSolar MPPT 150/85 Tr||SCC010085210||SCC115085211|
|SmartSolar MPPT 150/85 MC4||SCC010085310||SCC115085311|
|SmartSolar MPPT 150/100 Tr||SCC010100210||SCC115110211|
|SmartSolar MPPT 150/100 MC4||SCC010100310||SCC115110311|
|SmartSolar MPPT 250/85||SCC125085210 (before s/n HQ1811) |
SCC125085310 (before s/n HQ1811)
|SCC125085210 (after s/n HQ1811)
SCC125085310 (after s/n HQ1811)
|SmartSolar MPPT 250/100||SCC125110210 (before s/n HQ1811) |
SCC125110310 (before s/n HQ1811)
|SCC125110210 (after s/n HQ1811)
SCC125110310 (after s/n HQ1811)
We recommend you configure the Smart Battery Sense, or BMV first …and then add one or more solar chargers to that network. You can read the Smart Battery Sense manual here.
Open VictronConnect, connect the device, and then navigate to Settings and select VE.Smart Networking.
Click Create Network, enter a name. Click Save and wait for the 'OK' to show up.
Go back and navigate to the Solar charger, then click Settings followed by VE.Smart Networking followed by Join Existing. Now select the network which you created at the previous step.
Wait for the 'OK' to show.
When everything is working OK, you will be able to see that the VE.Smart Networking page of the Solar Charger is receiving data:
Clicking on that icon will show the network status.
Yes. And, when SmartSolars are connected to the same network, they will also synchronize their charge state.
Not at all. It is possible to connect with a smart phone, computer or tablet, at the same time.
Yes we will - though the exact functionality, and the models to be included has yet to be determined.
Yes. In this instance it will simply act as a voltage- and temperature-measuring device. Note that the functionality is limited in that it does not (yet) show the graphs or other data which would normally be generated from these measurements.
Yes, but keep in mind that if, voltage or temperature information is also present on the GX Device, the charger will use that information in favor of the information coming from the Smart Battery Sense. The GX device already has, in most cases, voltage sensing (soon they will have temperature sensing too), so adding a Smart Battery Sense to the installation is not necessary. For further information please see: CCGX/Distributed Voltage and Current Control.