installed the Victron controller and battery sense
the gang’s all here
The 100|50 (which will go back) and battery sense arrive yesterday. The 150|45 arrived today. Box was beat up but controller looked new.
Here’s how I approached the swap
taking down solar
I disconnected solar with the circuit breaker. If the new controller powers on I will rewire them in series (90.9Vmp).1
installing the battery sense
The battery box lives under a small shelving unit. I removed the shelving, accessed the battery, and installed the battery sense leads on the terminal. LEDs came alive. Stuck it onto the side of the battery with the included adhesive.
installing the controller
I’d already labeled the BATT and PV cables but I doublechecked them anyway. I pulled the EpEver and installed the 150|45. It lit up appropriately.
configuring the smart sense
I went in, updated firmware, and changed the PIN. The PIN change was confusing to me at first because it was asking for “old PUK”, which I assumed meant old PIN. It doesn’t; it refers to a code printed on the device label. Probably a has of the serial number or something.
After that I set up the BT network. I was pleased to see the smart sense in agreement with both my warming mat temp controller and the battery monitor shunt.
configuring the controller
Logged in, updated firmware, configured charging the way I wanted. Right now that’s
- 13.8v Vabs, for up to three hours (unless trailing amps <10A)
- 13.5v Vfloat
- 14.0v EQ, used to reset the battery monitor to full if needed. And maybe to force a rebulk if needed.
I’ll adjust these as I learn more.
rewired the panels
The controller is alive so I rewired the panels in series.
… and turned back on the circuit breaker.
Since Vbatt < Vabs it went immediately into Bulk. Took maybe 20 seconds from panel connection for it to find the real Vmp; the EpEver usually took >2 minutes. I tried to trick the controllr by adding/removing medium-size loads (~250w) but it recovered quickly within a second or two. The voltage almost always held to within 0.02v of the setpoint although once I briefly saw -0.04v.
After acceptance dropped <10A the controller dropped to float as configured.
As I write this last part it’s after 3pm, the time period where (in winter) the EpEver would start to crash if loads were imposed. I just put the 250w load back on the controller and it handled it with no drama.
an opportunity for EpEver
I suspect all of these functions would work properly in the EpEver with firmware changes. I have no idea why they are resistant to doing so. Heck, open source it and people will write the corrected firmware for you for free.
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I prefer series but they panels were in parallel to attenuate losses when the EpEver MPPT crashed to Vbatt+1. With the voltage fixed three panels in parallel would make about 1/2 power, or 3x what the series string would (1/6th power). ↩