question

jonmarinello avatar image
jonmarinello asked

Invalid Solar Controller State in VRM

The lollypop on the VRM page shows the PV Charger state as "Off". However, the state of the solar charger is "Bulk". See attached photos. These pics were taken at basically the same time (within a few seconds). This behavior is easily reproduced on my system. IMHO, the VRM page is in error. An interesting side note that may help to track this down is that when I also energize the second solar controller, the VRM state changes to "Bulk".

@mvader do you guys have any insight on this behavior?

img-7639.pngimg-7638.png


VRMbug reportmppt state
img-7639.png (1.5 MiB)
img-7638.png (358.4 KiB)
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@jonmarinello@gmail.com the VRM can only show 1 "state" in your image one controller is on and in bulk the other is off (no PV or BattV), can you describe your set up?

To sync the MPPT state, you might consider using DVCC, again depending on your system set up.

Well worth a read 8. DVCC - Distributed Voltage and Current Control (victronenergy.com)

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jonmarinello avatar image
jonmarinello answered ·

Is there any way to select which solar controller VRM will favor?

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Wayne avatar image
Wayne answered ·

@jonmarinello@gmail.com not that I am aware of. What are you trying to achieve?

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Getting a consistent PV display in VRM. As it stands now it shows conflicting information "Off" vs 126 Wats (see the image I originally attached). Also, the "Off" flag does NOT match what the solar controller shows in VictronConnect which shows "Bulk".

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@mvader (Victron Energy) Can you pleade chime in here and let me know Victron's thoughts on this?
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@jonmarinello@gmail.com

Am assuming you dont have ess here.

Maybe swap over the ve direct ports? See if it an address priority.

But DVCC basically as mentioned will syncronise things there.

Does the state change if the inverter is on (if you have one)

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Right, I don't have ESS.


Swapping VE direct ports is a great idea. I'll try that next week when I get back home!


I have a Multiplus and its state seems to have no effect on the state of the lollypop.
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I tried swapping the order and it worked but only for a few seconds.Then it went back to "Off".
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mvader (Victron Energy) avatar image
mvader (Victron Energy) answered ·

Hi all, when you have two solar chargers, the system will use the state from either one.

It currently picks the one with the highest instance number.


I can see some improvements, like when one of all is in error, show error. But for Bulk vs Off I'm not so sure. Some people will prefer seeing that (at least) one of their MPPTs is off; others will prefer seeing that (at least) one out of many is on.

and perhaps the easiest option: we just remove that lollypop with the state, since apparently its causing confusion.


all the best, Matthijs

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Hi Matthijs,

Agreed. Just remove the lollypop.

Thanks,

Jon

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After giving this just. a bit more thought... The lollypop is confusing (at least for me) because it visually represents a many-to-one relationship from the solar controllers to the lollypop. Multiple lollypops woulds looks cluttered with multiple solar controllers. How about this idea @mvader (Victron Energy)? Remove the lollypop and add the charging state (bulk, absorption, float, etc) to each of the entires (MPPT-278, MPPT-279 in the attached photo) in the solar controller box. Should be a fairly minor change and it would make this crystal clear.


screen-shot-2022-02-15-at-44335-pm.png

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frenchie90 avatar image
frenchie90 answered ·

@jonmarinello@gmail.com "Remove the lollypop and add the charging state (bulk, absorption, float, etc) to each of the entires (MPPT-278, MPPT-279 in the attached photo) in the solar controller box.," Agreed, this would make far more sense, unfortunately however it looks like they have just removed it entirely from the screen.


Very disappointed indeed as this was key information for decision making in our house hold.

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mvader (Victron Energy) avatar image
mvader (Victron Energy) answered ·

Dear all,

Thank you for your feedback. I still don't have a simple solution I'm afraid.


One is to remove the amps from the tracker list, and add charge state back instead?

And then, thus, show that (only) in the gray section that is visible after enabling the "Details".


Regarding having options specifically for this for users, I'm sorry, and I can see how that would benefit a few, but really I am cautious about adding more and more settings. So prefer to have another solution.


Above would seem a simple effictive one to me. And voltage and power for each array, I wouldn't think amps is of high importance to most. (?)


But probably some people do like that, so when removing that we get the same discussion again.

And adding it on a new line makes that list impractically long for systems with 10 or more MPPTs.

Matthijs


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Being someone that thinks the lollipop is important and a nice feature I’ve thought about this some. I do agree it can get messy very quickly and cause conversation loops in the chat…lol. Reading above and looking at the screen shots…since the PV Charger already shows watts overall and then again per controller (in the grey area) what about removing watts from the grey area and replacing it with the charge state of that mppt? Leaving V and A. I’m just trying to find a middle of the road solution. Lol
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I would prefer it to stay the way it is. When you have arrays that have identical panels it is nice to compare the output (Volts, Amps and Watts) to make sure all the arrays are still working correctly.


It seems very weird to have mppts in diffrent states. All are connected to the same DC bus and should go into the modes at close to the same time.

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Well me and a bunch of others didn’t want to loose the lollipop because we never had issues but we did. So…there needs to be a solution that meets the middle ground.
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From my perspective, the lollypop was incorrect, misleading, and added very little value anyway. Until some better solution is found IMHO removing them was the best solution. Maybe the Victron Team will come up with a solution that satisfies everyone better over time. At least for now the information shown is correct and isn't confusing.
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zac avatar image
zac answered ·

+1 for reinstating the charge state lollipop as it was. I'm confused as to why someone would purposefully have unsynchronized mppts? The only time I could see you wanting them out of sync would be if you had arrays setup in different time zones lol. Am I missing something?

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I have two solar controllers. One for the top of my camper where I have 4 x 100W panels and another for up to 4 x 100W fold-out panels. For this use case, the old solution with the lollypop showed contradictory information. See the first image I attached when I started this topic for the exam;e that shows this.
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rithym1964 avatar image
rithym1964 answered ·

Where multiple mppt controllers are installed it would be far better to not show the lollipop at all on the VRM but show the state of each controller with the other details - volts, amps & watts. Surely it could be abbreviated to save character space Blk, Abs, Flt - for example. I do get fed up with having to launch VictronConnect all the time to see the state of 5 separate chargers. Even though they all have identical settings and I have DVCC on and sharing volts, temps, etc they rarely sync together as expected

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I like it! Let's do that.
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