omondi-odhiambo avatar image
omondi-odhiambo asked

Configuring MultiPlus 48/1200 to use ESS in a self-consumption system


I recently replaced my old inverter/charger with a brand new one, Victron MultiPlus 48V/1200VA inverter/charger to use ESS in a self-consumption system I am trying to implement that uses the sun’s energy to power the loads and excess solar power should not be fed to the grid (no feed-in allowed in Kenya) but should be used to charge the batteries during the day to later use it when there is not enough solar power available to power the loads in the evening and at night. I don’t intent to use this inverter/charger as a UPS or charge my batteries with it because I have a Victron BlueSolar MPPT 150/45 solar charge controller. I want a system that makes the most efficient use of the sun's energy at all times of the day, month and year, while the battery is continuously recharged. Grid is stable and 85% available.

My other solar equipment includes:

  • Victron MPPT control
  • 6 x 300W/24V Amerisolar AS-6P solar modules
  • 4 x 12V AGM 205Ah @ 20Hr Trojan Solar batteries
  • Victron BMV-712 Smart Battery Monitor
  • Victron Color Control GX (soon to be installed)

I want a system that will quickly switch to the grid when a large load is connected to the unit or when the batteries run low at night and will quickly switch back to inverter mode when the load drops or when the batteries are charged.

How can you help me implement this ESS self-consumption system?

Thank you.

MPPT ControllersMultiPlus Quattro Inverter ChargerESS
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4 Answers
boekel avatar image
boekel answered ·

You don't want to use ESS, read this for configuring wat you want to do:

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Paul B avatar image
Paul B answered ·

Writely or wrongly , I am using the ESS as this currently best suits what I am doing, and I have limited the Grid power (INCOMING) to 200watts until the battery drops to say 25% of capacity then to draw all required power from the grid, once you connect in the CCGX and then use a VE direct cable from the solar charger the solar output the will apear on the CCGX as well.

using all the setting in the ESS including dont export works great for me

Boekel's way will also work well but its worth knowing and looking at both options and picking the one that best suits you.

its also quite easy to change between them

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Bruce A. avatar image
Bruce A. answered ·

I have installed a system that is much the same, except that it also functions as a UPS / backup, and I find that ESS works really well. It continually regulates the inverter output voltage, in order to take only as much power as is needed from the grid (ie to make up the difference when the AC load is greater than the PV power). When PV power is greater than AC load, it will put the excess only in to the battery (if needed). In this way, it always makes the best possible use of the PV.
However, when there is a sudden load change, regulation overshoot can occur. When that is in the direction of 'energy in to the grid', it could result in significant energy feed-in. What I was recommended to use to avoid that, is to set the Grid Setpoint to around 50 Watts. This means that the Multiplus aims to always take 50W from the grid, so that any regulation overshoot, will put no (or perhaps at least only minimal) energy in to it. Grid Setpoint is however only available in ESS, and not in any other assistant, so that is a very good reason to use ESS here.
A CCGX enables one to quickly and easily change a number of settings (eg Minimum Discharge SOC, Maximum charge power, Max. Discharge Power, Grid Setpoint) through the CCGX menus.
If you want to optimise your battery life, you should think about setting Minimum Discharge SOC to something like 70% or 80%.
As my system automatically takes grid power when needed (SOC down to set minimum), there is no need for the user to monitor the battery SOC, so I didn't use anything like the BVM. Current and historical perfomance data is always available under the installation on (at least as long as the CCGX has a regular internet connection). The Remote Console there is very useful for me to monitor a clients system performance too.
I hope this helps!

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omondi-odhiambo avatar image
omondi-odhiambo answered ·

Dear colleagues,

I eventually managed to obtain a Victron Color Control GX and setup my ESS self-consumption system above. Many thanks to @Boekel, @Paul B, and @Bruce Noteapple for your invaluable comments that has made it possible for me to implement the above system. The system works well except for the following:

My System Setup is as follows:

  • System name = Automatic
  • AC input 1 = Grid
  • AC input 2 = Not Available
  • Battery monitor = Automatic (Autoselected: BMV-712 Smart on VE.Direct)
  • Synchronize VE.Bus with battery = ON
  • Use solar charger current to improve VE.Bus SOC = ON
  • Solar charger voltage control = ON (I want to set this option OFF. Any ideas? The Color Control GX Manual states that “Use the 'charge voltage' information provided by the VE.Bus device to control the amount of power fed from solar chargers back to the grid. Active if the ESS or Hub-1 assistant is present”. I have set the option Feed-in excess solar charge power OFF in ESS below).
  • Solar charger current control = OFF
  • Has DC system = OFF
  • DVCC = ON (My VE.Bus firmware v433, CCGX v2.23, VE.Direct MPPT v1.37. My batteries are 4 x 12V AGM 205Ah @ 20Hr Trojan Solar batteries. The CCGX Manual states that “In case of an ESS System, the ESS Assistant needs to be version 164 or later (Released in November 2017). Where is the ESS Assistant version number obtained from? In VE.Configure 3 v90.04.210, ESS Assistant has a number in brackets (0173). Could this be the version number? Otherwise this ESS requirement is not met)
  • SVS - shared voltage sense = ON
  • STS - shared temperature sense = ON
  • Limit charge current = OFF
  • BMS control = OFF

My ESS settings are as follows:

  • Mode = Optimized (with BatteryLife)
  • Grid meter installed = OFF
  • Feed-in excess solar charge power = OFF
  • Phase compensation = OFF
  • Minimum SOC limit (unless grid fails) = 10%
  • Active SOC limit = 40% (but I would like to reduce it to 20%. How can I reduce it?)
  • BatteryLife state = Self-consumption
  • Limit inverter power = OFF
  • Fronius Zero feed-in = OFF
  • Fronius Zero feed-in active = NO
  • Grid setpoint = 10W
  • No scheduled charging

I want to set the percentage of battery capacity used for self-consumption to 100%. Is this possible and if so, how would I set this in CCGX?

Lastly, since installing CCGX two days ago, my daily charging has been adversely affected. Unfortunately, I am not on VRM Portal as yet to share this information with anyone but it starts with a lengthy Bulk charger state, followed by an even longer Absorption charger state that takes forever but does not get to Float in spite of an abundance of sunshine at my location. The charging is usually stuck at 57.4V or 57.5V. However, when I disconnect the VE.Direct cable from my MPPT to CCGX and allow the MPPT to charge the batteries as a stand-alone, Float is achieved easily. When I reconnect the MPPT back to the CCGX, the charger state reverts to Absorption and gets stuck there until sunset. What could be amiss here?

I will appreciate your support.

1 comment
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boekel avatar image boekel ♦ commented ·

Solar charger voltage control = ON (I want to set this option OFF. Any ideas? The Color Control GX

-you're using DVCC, thus controlling the MPPT

Active SOC limit = 40% (but I would like to reduce it to 20%. How can I reduce it?)

-you use ESS mode with 'batterylife' turn this off for full controll

But...I'd not use your batteries to such a low SOC, they won't last you a year.

on charging: do you have a temperature sensor on the batteries? 57,5V seems -way- too high, what is the temperature of the batteries?

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