MPPT solar charger manual

7. Monitoring

In this section:

This chapter describes all various monitoring methods and for each method how to access live data, historic data and errors.

7.1. LED indications

The solar charger has two LEDs, a green and a yellow LED. These indicate the operational status of the solar charger.

  • The green LED indicates which load output control algorithm has been chosen.

  • The yellow LED indicates the charge stage.

LED

Description

Green LED on

The solar charger is set to a conventional load output control algorithm.

Green LED blinking

The solar charger is set to BatteryLife load output control algorithm.

Yellow LED on

Float charge stage, the battery is fully charged, the state of charge is 100%.

Yellow LED blinking slow

Absorption charge stage, the battery state of charge is between 80% and 100%.

Yellow LED blinking fast

Bulk charge stage, the battery state of charge is between 0% and 80%.

Yellow LED off

No power from the PV array (night or low light) or the PV array has been connected in reverse polarity.

For the latest and most up-to-date information about the LED blink codes, refer to the Victron Toolkit app. The app is available for Apple and Android. The app can be downloaded from the respective app stores or alternatively follow the download links on our software downloads page.

7.2. Error codes

In case of an error, an error code will be displayed via VictronConnect, a display, a GX device or on VRM. Each number corresponds with a specific error.

For a full list of error codes and their meaning see the appendix: Charger error code overview.

7.3. Monitoring via the VictronConnect App

The VictronConnect App can be used to monitor the solar charger, see its historical values and if there are operational warnings or errors.

This chapter explains the solar charger specific VictronConnect App usage. Refer to the general VictronConnect manual for information about the VictronConnect App itself, such as: how to install the app, how to connect to the solar charger, how to update firmware and more.

Note

Where battery voltage is referred in this chapter, a 12V battery is assumed.

To arrive at values for 24V, 36V or 48V batteries, multiply the 12V values by a factor of 2, 3 or 4 respectively.

7.3.1. VictronConnect status screen

The status screen displays the solar charger model name together with the live solar charger information.

VC_-_Status.png

Smart network

  • The presence of the VE.Smart Network symbol VESmart_network_symbol.svg indicates that the solar charger is configured for VE.Smart Networking and is receiving battery temperature and/or battery voltage data from the VE.Smart Network.

Solar

  • The solar gauge shows the solar output in relation to the maximum output power that the solar charger can generate at the set battery voltage and displays the dynamic real-time value of the solar array output power.

  • The solar voltage measured at the solar terminals of the solar charger.

  • The solar current flowing from the PV array into the solar charger.

Battery

  • The battery voltage measured at the battery terminals of the solar charger.

  • The current flowing from the solar charger in or out of the battery. A positive notation indicates that current is flowing into the battery and a negative notation indicates that current is being drawn from the battery.

  • The battery state indicates the battery charge stage or if external control is active. These are the possible states:

    Bulk

    During this stage the solar charger delivers as much charge current as possible to rapidly charge the batteries. When the battery voltage reaches the absorption voltage setting, the solar charger activates the absorption stage.

    Absorption

    During this stage the solar charger switches to the constant voltage mode, where a pre-set absorption voltage is applied. When the charge current decreases below 1A or if the pre-set absorption time has elapsed, the battery is fully charged and the solar charger will enter the Float stage. Note that when an automatic equalisation is being performed this will also be reported as absorption.

    Float

    During this stage the float voltage is applied to the battery to maintain a fully-charged state. When the battery voltage drops below float voltage during at least 1 minute, a new charge cycle will be triggered.

    External control

    This will be displayed when another device is controlling the charge behaviour of the solar charger, bypassing its normal charge algorithm. Examples are when the solar charger is controlled by an ESS system or a managed battery.

  • In case the charger is not charging a "Why is the charger off?" message will display. When clicking on this message, a new window will open with more information as to why the solar charger is not charging.

Load output

  • The state of the load output, being switched on or switched off.

  • The current drawn by the loads like electronic devices, lights, fridge and so on.

  • The power drawn by the loads.

  • Note

    Note that for the load output readings to be reliable, all loads must be wired directly to the load output, including their negative terminals. If this is not the case consider adding a battery monitor which will measure all current going to or being drawn from the battery, including loads connected directly to the battery and not just the load output terminals of the solar charger.

    7.3.2. VictronConnect history screen

    The history screen shows a summary of the data collected over the previous 30 days. Swipe the screen to the right or left to show any of the 30 days.

    VC_-_History.png

    To switch between portrait or landscape screen presentation click the fragmented square icon, Fragmented_square_VictronConnect_closed.svg or Fragmented_square_VictronConnect_open.svg , at the top left of the screen.

    The daily log shows:

    • Solar yield: The energy (Wh) converted for that day.

    • Solar Pmax: The maximum power (W) recorded during the day.

    • Solar Vmax: The highest voltage (V) from the PV array during the day.

    • Battery max and min: The first figure shows the maximum battery voltage (Vmax) for the day. The figure below is the minimum battery voltage(Vmin) for the day.

    • Errors: This shows the daily number of errors, if any. To get more information about the error(s), click the orange dot. You may need to slide the display on your device up to see the errors.)

    • Lifetime total: This shows the total energy converted by the installation (W and is not re-settable).

    • Since reset: This shows how much energy has been converted by the installation since the last reset.

    Clicking on any bar (day) in the graph will expand the information. It will show the time and percentage of the total charge time that the solar charger has spend in each Bulk, Absorption and Float charge stage.

    Tip

    You can use the charge times to see if the PV array is properly sized for your requirements. A system which never reaches the float stage may need more panels. Or perhaps the load should be reduced?

    The history can be exported as a comma separated file (CSV) by clicking the three connected dots symbol Export_symbol_VictronConnect_network.svg or the save symbol Export_symbol_VictronConnect_save.svg at the top right of the history screen. The symbol varies, depending on what platform VictronConnect is used.

    The history can be reset by clicking the clock with arrow symbol Reset_history_symbol_VictronConnect.svg at the top right of the history screen.

    7.3.3. VictronConnect error reporting

    VictronConnect will indicate active errors while VictronConnect is actively connected to the solar charger. The error will show up in a pop-up window in the status screen together with the error number, name and a short error description.

    VictronConnect also displays historical errors. To see these errors, navigate to the “History” tab and look at the bottom of each day column. If there is an error, an orange dot will indicate an error.

    Active-error-historic-error.png

    Active Error and Historical error

    7.4. Monitoring via a GX device and VRM

    If the solar charger is connected to a GX device, all its data can be accessed via the GX device. The GX device will also notify in case of solar charger alarms or faults.

    For more information see the GX device manual.

    Errors-via-GX-device.png

    GX device showing alarm notification and historic errors.

    If the GX device is connected to Victron Remote Monitoring (VRM) portal, the solar charger can be monitored remotely via the internet.

    All solar charger data, alarms and errors can be accessed via the VRM portal and solar charger settings can be remotely changed via the VRM portal with the VictronConnect App.

    errors-via-VRM.png

    Solar charger alarm logging via VRM