Field test: PV Modules

A real world comparison between Mono, Poly, PERC and Dual PV Modules.

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Installation date: 09-03-2020

* This is a field test and the results are specific for this installation on this location please research which is the best solution for your own situation as the results can be different based on environmental influences.

Total solar yield as of 27/03/2023 when the results were reset:
Mono: 9158 kWh
Split-cell: 9511 kWh
Poly: 9113 kWh
Perc: 9471 kWh
Perc-east: 1970 kWh
Perc-west: 1730 kWh

Service van

Always prepared for the action.

If the job doesn't come to the workplace, then bring the workplace to the job, right? A proper service van is always prepared for action. Powered by 230V, the cordless tool batteries are fully charged up and your tablet and printer are ready to check off your office tasks in no time. Cabin lights running on 12V make sure work can continue around the clock.

Providing a perfect service may require great skill, but not necessarily enormous amounts of electrical power. This is why our wide range of effective power solutions are perfect for the smaller and more straightforward setups. Our smaller units are all built with the same professional quality as our larger models: The Professionals Choice.


to the service

The Victron Energy modular system components allow you to build a complete system, exactly to your needs. While some choices become obvious after calculating the daily energy consumption and required peak power, others may require a bit more thought.

Daily energy consumption


Peak power requirement


In this example

The daily energy consumption is calculated by adding up the sum of all consumers X how much time they will be used in a day. Add all the Watts of the simultaneously used consumers to calculate the required peak power.

Obvious choices

System Design


Find below some of the main design considerations explained, click on the questions for our engineers recommendations

  • 01

    Which (size) inverter is a reliable and compact solution?

    Developed for professional duty, the Phoenix range of inverters are a perfect cost-effective solution for systems where shore power charging isn't essential. The Pure Sine Wave technology safely powers sensitive electronics such as computers, the high peak power rating allows high start-up currents from power tools, so you can power any load, problem free. The wide range of Phoenix inverters consists of many smaller models, making it easy to efficiently match the right inverter to the lower (peak) power requirements of your system.
    Inverters convert 12V DC power into 230V AC power. Inverters should be sized to handle the average AC load continuously and should match the expected peak power current of the simultaneous AC loads. See all our inverters

    The professionals' choice

    Phoenix Inverter VE.Direct 375/12: the expected 200W peak power of the loads are no match for the 700W max peak power of this model, leaving some room for future needs. Most vans are based on 12V systems, it is recommended to keep the service battery at 12V too.
    Systems with a higher daily energy consumption, or that rely on less ‘engine time' may not be able to rely completely on charging by the alternator and may therefore require (overnight) shore power charging, especially when using lead-acid service batteries, where a full charge takes more time than using lithium batteries. This is where the Multiplus Inverter/Charger combination is a better choice.
  • 02

    Lithium or Lead-acid house battery in what size?

    Victron Energy offers multiple options for the service battery, but the main choice is between lead-acid and lithium which mainly depends on the expectations of the performance, cost-per-cycle and physical aspects (size/weight). The choice in battery technology also leads to different consequences for the other system components that are directly attached to (or manage) the batteries.

    In general, use lithium when the daily power demand is extremely intense, when superfast charging is essential or when there are weight or space limitations. Lithium also has a lower cost per cycle. Lead-acid has a lower upfront cost and is perfect for regular, less demanding power profiles and when weight and space are not an issue. The above probably cuts 45 years of battery development know-how a bit short, for more info check our deep dive.

    Victron Energy offers exceptional quality batteries with high performance characteristics that are thoroughly tested. Our datasheets offer a fair picture of the performance and expected life cycles, meaning no investment surprises along the way. Our wide range of batteries
    Choices, choices... Lithium or lead-acid?

    The professionals' choice

    12 Volt Deep Cycle AGM 90Ah. A 12 Volt Deep Cycle AGM 90 Ah battery can deliver 576Wh per day to power the loads problem free. Compared to Lithium, charging the batteries will be slower. The 18 Amp DC-DC charger is connected to the smart alternator and will charge a 50% discharged service battery in 5-7 hours. When the daily engine time does not allow the battery to fully charge, use a Blue Smart IP22 Charger 12/30 for overnight shore power charging.

    Lithium 12,8V Smart 60Ah. This extremely compact and light box is packed with a staggering 768 Wh of energy, more than enough to supply all the expected loads of 350 Wh, even when keeping 20% in reserve for life cycle reasons. Due to its limited shape and weight, all the space can be dedicated to the workspace. Thanks to the Lithium's fast charging characteristics, the battery can be fully charged by the engines alternator in just 1 hour (the engines 90 Amps alternator will safely charge with 45 Amps per hour, calculating with ±50% of the rated capacity).
    As a rule of thumb for sizing the batteries, we calculate with 2x the daily energy consumption for lead-acid batteries because of their 50% safe discharge capacity and keep roughly 20% in reserve for Lithium batteries. Select the nearest model from our range and round up the amps to be sure.
  • 03

    Safely combining (lithium) house batteries with (smart) alternators and starter batteries

    Master all challenges that come with combining (smart) alternators, starter- and service batteries (lithium or lead-acid) with our wide range of DC-DC chargers, battery combiners or Smart BMS products. Our solutions are specially designed for vehicles and make sure both lead-acid and lithium service batteries can be properly charged, without damaging the smart alternator or the batteries.
    The right solution primarily depends on the combination of your alternator (smart or conventional) and service battery type (lead-acid or lithium), amongst other factors. Feel free to ask a local Victron Energy installer for advice. Ask your local installer

    The professionals' choice

    Lead-acid: Orion-Tr 12/12-18: This professional ‘Battery-to-Battery' DC-DC charger is designed to safely connect any size alternator (smart or conventional) and starter battery to any type of service battery. The 12V to 12V charger charges the service battery with 18 Amps per hour when the engine is running.
    Lithium: Smart BMS CL 12/100: For Lithium based 12V power systems with a load up to 100A, this compact and robust solution is the perfect choice. The device consists of a Battery Management system, Current Limiter and Battery Combiner in one. This manages and charges the Lithium battery properly and fast. It limits the charge current to the safe zone of the alternator output specifications, to prevent the alternator from overheating or early wear. The service- and starter battery are safely combined too. The device works with VictronConnect App.
    In both cases, a separate BatteryProtect 100A protects the service battery from excessive discharge by the (DC) loads, which is to be sized in accordance with the maximum expected load current.

Professional challenges?
Ask your local Victron Energy Professional.

The number of options for each component are quite extensive. This is why we train Victron Energy Professionals to perfectly translate your exact needs into robust solutions. They feel a great responsibility to always advise the right solution (even when this may sometimes go against what clients have in mind initially). Everything to keep you satisfied and your investments secure for years to come.
Always feel free to ask your local Victron Energy Professional
Victron Professional standing besides a car with Victron equipment

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System diagram

for a lithium and lead-acid battery based system

How do the system design considerations translate into a robust system?

House battery

AC devices (single phase)

Every ‘household’ appliance or ‘heavy duty tool’ you would expect at home or at work can also be found in independent energy systems. All these devices need an Alternating Current (230V or 110V) to run.

Some of these devices such as computers can be sensitive to the quality of the inverted power (bad shore- or generator AC-input power can influence this quality negatively). Motor driven or heat generating equipment may require a high start-up current. All our inverters produce a pure sine wave, even when the AC input quality is less good, ensuring that sensitive loads can be powered and enjoy a peak-power of generally 2x of the inverters rated capacity to power even the heaviest of loads, or basically any load, problem free.

Examples of AC-devices:

  • Heavy duty tools such as a drilling machine or a jigsaw
  • Computers
  • Phone chargers
  • Fridge and freezer
  • Lights
  • Coffee machine
  • Microwave
  • or basically any AC powered device you can think of.


Vehicles and boats are equipped with engine(s) that generate the power to move, but also generate electrical energy through alternators. Alternators generate electrical energy with a direct current (DC) from mechanical energy, which is used to store the energy in the battery bank or power DC-equipment directly.

Small engines usually have small alternators, larger engines usually have larger alternators, sometimes they are even equipped with (extra) high-output alternators to increase the output. Vehicles, especially with Euro 4/5 engines, may come with smart (variable voltage) alternators, controlling the output based on vehicle operating conditions. This renders it unsuccessful at charging a secondary battery system to a usable level. Lithium service batteries may put a heavy load on the engine’s alternator, which probably needs to be protected from overheating or early wear.

Whatever your engine’s alternator, or service battery type, Victron Energy offers a wide range of solutions to safely connect any alternator to any battery bank, without damaging the smart alternator or batteries. Please check our datasheets for more information. Also, check your manufacturer's documentation to see what output your alternator can provide. With Lithium service banks and conventional or smart alternators we recommend to calculate with 50% the alternator output spec, to not overload the alternator.

See all our DC-DC chargers See all our Battery Combiners See all our (Smart) BMS options

Battery Management Systems

Battery management systems take excellent care of Lithium batteries, protecting the individual cells of LiFePO4 batteries against over voltage, under voltage and over temperature and will shut down or reduce charging (VE.Bus products only) or disconnect the loads when this occurs.

Victron Energy offers several BMS options, in general the VE.Bus BMS and smallBMS signal separate devices to disconnect the charging (Cyrix-Li, DC-DC chargers) or disconnect the loads (BatteryProtect), the other (Smart) BMS versions are designed for vehicles or boats and offer more ‘all-in one’ functionalities.

See all our Battery Management Systems

Battery Monitors

A battery monitor is like a "fuel gauge" for your battery. It records how much power is consumed and charged. The battery monitor calculates the state of charge, remaining capacity and time till empty. The battery voltage does not give an accurate indication of how full the battery is (especially not under load). A battery monitor does.

Victron Energy battery monitors keep track of historical data, like the number of charging cycles, deepest discharge, highest voltage, lowest voltage and so on. It will alert you to critical conditions such as low voltage or low charge and can even shut down the entire power supply to avoid expensive battery damage, or start a generator.

Victron offers battery monitors with or without display, Smart versions allow you to track the detailed data and adjust settings in our free VictronConnect app. See all our Battery Monitors


The BatteryProtect disconnects the battery from non-essential loads before it is below a pre-set level (a complete discharge would damage the battery) or before it has insufficient power left to crank an engine.

There is more to a Victron Energy BatteryProtect. Built-in shutdown delays ensure vital electronics aren’t disconnected in error, i.e. when starting an engine causes a short drop in voltage. It will also automatically reconnect everything when the battery is sufficiently recharged.
The BatteryProtect has a remote switch, so it can be turned on/off via a BMS or switch. The smart version is programmable via the VictronConnect app.

See our range of BatteryProtect models


Battery chargers recharge batteries (DC) when plugged into shore power (AC).
At the same time the Victron Energy battery chargers can also power devices directly.

All Victron Energy battery chargers are developed for professional duty. Our advanced multi step charging algorithms get the best out of your battery, giving the battery the power it needs, maintaining its health, ensuring better performance... and a longer life.

Smart models work with VictronConnect, so you can check the status and configure all settings of your battery charger remotely via Bluetooth. Chargers with different waterproof ratings (IP rating) are also available. Our wide range of models makes it easy to select the right charger, saving you the cost of having to buy a larger one.

See all our chargers

DC-DC chargers

DC-DC converters, or battery-to-battery chargers (converters with built-in charge algorithms) are used in dual battery systems, where the (smart) alternator and the start battery are combined with the service battery (of equal or different voltages) to charge it. They can also be used to charge applications that have dedicated batteries (eg. bow thrusters), or to power applications that have a voltage different than the service battery bank.

Most DC-DC chargers can be used in 12V or 24V systems and all are suitable for both lead acid and lithium batteries. Some DC-DC charger models can be parallel connected to increase the output current. DC-DC chargers are a perfect and safe solution to charge Lithium battery banks from smart alternators (and lead-acid batteries for that matter).

Charging lithium batteries from the alternator
Most alternators cannot be directly connected to lithium batteries. A lithium battery will draw more current than the alternator can supply, which may result in permanent alternator damage. To not damage the alternator, current limiting is one of the options to stay within the safe zone of the alternator.

Victron offers multiple solutions to solve this problem, of which one of them are the DC-DC converters:

  • DC-DC converters act as a current limiter between the alternator and the battery: the battery can be safely charged without blowing up the alternator.
  • Victron also offers alternative solutions for dual battery systems powered by alternators. Some (smart) BMS products physically limit the current drawn from the alternator, in other systems, battery combiners might be a solid option. See the datasheets for more info.
See our range of DC-DC converters

DC Electronics

DC-equipment is designed to work directly with the power coming out of the battery bank (Direct Current). Especially vehicles and boats can have (a lot of) DC equipment on board (such as control panels, lights, navigation equipment, auto pilot, depth sounders, etc).

Some smaller off-grid systems can solely run on DC, with 12V lights, TV’s or fridges. Larger systems may combine AC and DC consumers.

In any case, it is important to protect the battery against excessive discharge, for this Victron offers the ‘BatteryProtect’.


Inverters convert DC power from the batteries to AC power, safely powering any kind of appliance or heavy duty tools with 230V (or 110V in other markets).

All Victron Energy inverters are developed for professional duty and enjoy a reputation of extreme resilience, even in the most demanding conditions. The built-in Pure Sine Wave technology safely powers sensitive electronics such as computers, their high peak power rating allows high start-up currents from heavy duty tools, so you can power any load, problem free. Their high efficiency and ultra low self consumption ensure the stored energy can be used to efficiently power the consumers, instead of having to calculate with wide margins to compensate for energy losses.

Larger models can power industrial appliances and virtually unlimited power can be provided by Parallel or 3-phase operation. Other models come with built-in chargers (Inverter/chargers) which can be used when charging from shore- or generator AC sources is essential. Whatever you need, our wide range makes it easy to select the right inverter for your application, saving you the cost of having to buy a larger one.

See all our inverters See all our inverter/chargers

Service Batteries

The service battery stores power for the system's consumers, providing autonomous power especially for moments when input power sources aren’t (fully) available.

Victron Energy offers several battery technologies, all designed for professional performance, reliability and long service life in the most demanding environments. They come with a 2 year worldwide warranty and our datasheets offer a fair picture of the performance and expected life cycles, meaning no investment surprises along the way.

While there are multiple technologies to choose between, the main choice is between lead-acid and lithium which mainly depends on the expectations of the performance, cost-per-cycle and physical aspects (size/weight).

  • Choose Lead-Acid when:
  • Use occasionally
  • Lower purchase cost
  • Weight and space are not an issue
  • Normal charging
  • Choose Lithium when:
  • Use daily
  • Lower cost per cycle
  • Weight and space considerations
  • Fast charging

Service Batteries

The service battery stores power for the system's consumers, providing autonomous power especially for moments when input power sources aren’t (fully) available.

Victron Energy offers several battery technologies, all designed for professional performance, reliability and long service life in the most demanding environments. They come with a 2 year worldwide warranty and our datasheets offer a fair picture of the performance and expected life cycles, meaning no investment surprises along the way.

While there are multiple technologies to choose between, the main choice is between lead-acid and lithium which mainly depends on the expectations of the performance, cost-per-cycle and physical aspects (size/weight).

  • Choose Lead-Acid when:
  • Use occasionally
  • Lower purchase cost
  • Weight and space are not an issue
  • Normal charging
  • Choose Lithium when:
  • Use daily
  • Lower cost per cycle
  • Weight and space considerations
  • Fast charging

Solar Chargers

A solar charger gathers energy from your solar panels, and stores it in your batteries. Using the latest, fastest technology, our solar chargers maximise this energy-harvest, driving it intelligently to achieve full charge in the shortest possible time whilst maintaining the batteries health, ensuring better performance… and a longer life.

In most cases, the light intensity of the solar panels is changing constantly, which affects their performance. Victron Energy solar controllers use ultra fast maximum power point tracking to squeeze up to 30% more power out of your panels.

Smart models allow the solar harvest to be tracked and analysed through the free VictronConnect app, other connectivity options allow a remote connection through our VRM portal. Smaller models have an intelligent load-output, preventing damage caused by running batteries 'flat'. For larger systems, solar chargers can be synchronized, so they act as one large and very efficient charger.

See our Solar Calculator to size the solar panels and select a MPPT charger

Solar panels

Solar panels catch the energy from sunlight and forward it to a solar charge controller which stores that energy in the systems battery bank. Adding solar panels to your system means free energy, independence from the grid and allows you to downsize or eliminate the need for noisy, fuel consuming and maintenance heavy generators.

Victron Energy offers a wide range of highly efficient solar panels that have exceptional low-light performance and high sensitivity to light across the entire solar spectrum, making it the perfect choice for any system. Victron Energy solar panels meet the most stringent safety requirements and their limited warranty means no surprises along the way.

See all our solar panels

Starter Batteries

Starter batteries are needed to start your engine(s). These batteries are engineered to deal with a large discharge current and enjoy a different technology compared to service batteries. To avoid accidental draining of the starter battery, it should always be isolated from the service batteries. Victron Energy offers multiple solutions for different system types.

Victron Energy offers several Battery Combiners. More comprehensive ways to safely connect the starter- and service battery are also available, including connecting a Battery Combiner to a BMS, all-in-one Smart BMS products or DC-DC chargers. These options may offer more control and configuration options, especially to protect non-regulated alternators from overheating and Lithium batteries from excessive (dis)charging.

See all our Battery Combiners See all our DC-DC chargers See all our (Smart) BMS options


All Victron Energy smart products can be monitored and controlled from the palm of your hand. Just connect the VictronConnect App via Bluetooth and you’ll have direct access to the performance data of your system. You can also easily change settings, turn devices on or off and much more.

Non-smart devices with a VE.Direct port can also become smart, through the use of the VE.Direct Bluetooth Smart dongle

It is also possible to monitor and control your system remotely. VictronConnect-Remote functionality enables Victron products with a VE.Direct interface to be accessed remotely through a GX product, via the VRM online portal. This powerful feature allows full product configuration and monitoring from practically anywhere in the world using the VictronConnect app. The user interface experience is just like the products were connected locally using Bluetooth or a wired VE.Direct to USB interface.

See what the VictronConnect app can do See our GX-devices
System specifications
How does the power profile translate into a system? Here is our recommendation for an efficient cost-effective light power solution for mobile service professionals, both for Lithium and Lead-acid battery-based systems.

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Energy consumption
Expected power consumers
Recharging ±3 cordless tool batteries
Powering small mobile office (laptop/printer/smartphone)
Cabin lights (LED)
Daily energy consumption required:
Required peak power:
System peak capacity:
Max energy consumption Lead-acid:
Max energy consumption Lithium:
Victron Phoenix 12/350
Service battery:
90Ah 12V AGM or
Lithium: 12,8V / 60Ah
Battery protection:
BatteryProtect 100A
Protects the battery from excessive discharge. Use for both lead-acid and lithium systems
Charging via the engines alternator (see explanation here)
Alternator output:
70-90 Amps*
Safe output 50%
* See manufacturer datasheet for specifications.
Chargin lead-acid:
Orion-Tr 12/12-18* or
Cyrix-ct 120A**
* Or smart version
** The Cyrix doesn't work with smart alternators.
For Lithium use:
Smart BMS CL 12/100
Fused with max 40 Amps, charging Lithium battery with 30 Amps, full charge of a 50% discharged battery in ±1 hour.
Attached to the + plus side, no need to isolate DC loads.
Battery monitor:
SmartShunt battery monitor 500A
Battery charger:
Blue Smart IP22 Charger 12/30
In case of <2 hours of daily charging via the engines alternator, add shore power charging or solar charging.
Solar panel:
BlueSolar Panel: : ±100W
Solar charge controller:
Smart MPPT 75/15
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Why Victron Energy?

The right products for the job

As you are always on the road, you’ll want reliable but cost-effective solutions that power you through the years ahead. It’s important that you can select power supplies that match your exact needs and live up to their spec so they won’t let you down. Victron Energy has a wide range of modular connected products that stay true to their promise. They are Powered by know-how, thanks to 45 years of mastering power challenges with innovation.

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Lithium battery

Why Victron Energy?

Always on. Always ready.

Our robust systems have been proven to deliver unequalled reliability time and time again. This is marked by our worldwide market leadership in power supply equipment for Ambulances, this is illustrated by countless stories of 40+ year old Victron Energy inverters still doing what they were built to do.


Why Victron Energy?

Reliability powers long service life cycles

When making power supply investment decisions, calculations purely based on price can be deceptive. Their true performance and expected service life cycle are equally important. Good thing Victron Energy equipment lives up to their specifications, both in terms of performance and expected life cycle (when used as designed). Our 5 year warranty and fair and fast repair policies mean your investments are protected and under most circumstances, won’t let you down.

years warranty
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Why Victron Energy?

Professional challenges. Accepted.

Whatever powers your vehicles’ electronics, or toolset you are bringing for the job, Victron Energy has one the widest ranges of power supply equipment in the market to power your works of genius. The advantage of working with just one brand that covers it all means having just one contact for upgrades or resolving any rare issues that may occur. Our global network of Victron Energy Professionals are trained with 45 years of problem solving experience. They can translate your challenges into robust solutions that will keep you satisfied and your investments secure for years to come.

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Why Victron Energy?

Professional Vehicles
powered by know-how

See how we solve typical automotive challenges
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Drive through our Professional vehicles know-how

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Smart BMS CL 12/100

Safely combine any alternator to Smart Lithium batteries.

See a variety of popular vehicle system diagrams
Download our booklet
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In-depth comparison

An expert's view: lithium or AGM batteries

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DC-DC Charger

Professional service battery charging with the Orion-TR Smart.

Victron Professional

Sign up for our next automotive webinar or training.

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See all our Professional Vehicles products and more configurations.

Victron connect

Real-time insight and complete control with our VictronConnect app

Solution examples from our partners

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Find your local dealer

Our well established global network of local Victron Professionals is dedicated to help find an optimal solution for your challenge.

Count on our worldwide service

At Victron we find it essential that customers are serviced and supported quickly and competently. This is why our global network of Victron Professionals pack the highest level of technical know-how and are committed to deliver repairs as fast as possible.

So you can start or continue your journey, wherever you're headed.