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caniwi avatar image
caniwi asked

Settings for solar install

I need help. I live in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada, have an older Motor Home and with the help of You Tube just finished installing the below listed components. A huge shout-out to any and all You Tube Creators that have put so much time, effort and energy into making this available to novice installers like me. Upon viewing numerous hours of this content It became quite apparent I should install quality panels, batteries, components and diligently ensure where and when to use the right size cables, switches, fuses etc.


The installation went well, is now complete including all device communication connections but from here is where I get stumped and I don’t dare want to get it wrong. I really don’t understand the instructions well enough and am worried I will not get the settings right for each device. I don’t know what device to start with and what device would be next and what settings to change and what settings to leave.


Any assistance/advice on how to go about this would be greatly appreciated.


My Victron Components –

Victron Energy - MultiPlus-II 12/3000/120-50 2x120V

Victron Energy Cerbo GX

Victron Energy SmartShunt 500 amp Battery Monitor (Bluetooth)

Victron Energy SmartSolar MPPT 100V 50 amp 12/24-Volt Solar Charge Controller (Bluetooth)

Victron Energy Orion-Tr Smart 12/12-Volt 30 amp 360-Watt DC-DC Charger, Isolated (Bluetooth)

Victron Energy Lynx Distributor

Victron Energy VE.Bus Smart Dongle (Bluetooth)

Victron Energy Interface MK3-USB (VE.Bus to USB) – not installed but used to set parameters.

Renogy 100W 12V Mono Panels(6) – 3-series x 2-parallel (60V x 10A)

SOK 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Battery(3) connected in parallel – SOK recommended settings –

Bulk(high constant current): 14.6V, Absorption voltage: 14.6V, Float voltage: 13.6V,

smart solar set-up help
2 comments
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Hi Caniwi ,
Greetings from across the pond on the island .
Sorry this is off topic .
Did you use a combiner box to connect your 6 renogy panels ? I am connecting to a Victron MPPT 150 I 70 - Tr

I could use some advice and/or diagram showing how to configire the panel connection .


Thank You
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Just use some MC4 Y adapters for a small install like this.

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24 Answers
trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

Hello @can.iwi@hotmail.com , given that you have about 1000 variables with that equipment where would you like to start? How about we start at the smartshunt? Can you see the smartshunt using bluetooth on the Victron connect app?

Trevor

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caniwi avatar image
caniwi answered ·

Hi Trevor,

I updated firmware and changed settings to the above info. "State-Of-Charge" showed 92%? Should I set that to the 85%?

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trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

09496aa5-1fb2-423b-b9cf-e9d207bc330d.pngNo, just leave that. It will settle over time. Let’s move onto the Multi.

Leave everything on the Multi as it came from the factory apart from the charger. Set the charger like below.

Set them as Lithiums and make the settings like this.


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e3defa62-e64a-4695-9758-edd6805be21b.pngIf you can see the Smartshunt set it to the following settings. Let’s know when that is done and we can move on to the next thing.


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caniwi avatar image
caniwi answered ·

I changed the Charger settings as shown - see photos of all Multi settings as of now.

The RV is having suspension modifications tomorrow(Friday) and Saturday morning.

I will be able to continue with your suggestions Saturday afternoon.

Really appreciate this help.

multi-general.jpg multi-grid.jpg multi-inverter-1.jpg multi-inverter-2.jpg multi-charger-1.jpg multi-charger-2.jpg multi-ac-input-1.jpg multi-ac-input-2.jpg


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trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

3ea24033-f9cb-4b28-9327-b6c55ecb2473.pngbec47a73-d44e-42a3-8a71-0332743986f8.pngHi @can.iwi@hotmail.com ,That is all good but please disable the battery monitor setting on the multiplus. The smartshunt will be the battery monitor. The multi would be your battery monitor if you didn’t have the smartshunt but seeing as you do have the smartshunt you should should not have it enabled on the multiplus.


Ok, let’s get to the next setting. Bluetooth to the MPPT solar controller. You need to ensure it is set to 12 volts. Then Go to “Battery Preset” and “Select Preset”. Select “Lithium iron Phosphate”.




Now you have to preset the voltages. When you do this the Lithium Phosphate label in “Battery Select” will change to “User Defined”. Adjust the voltages like the second screen shot and you are finished with this device.

Let’s know when have have that done.


Regards,


Trevor



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caniwi avatar image
caniwi answered ·

Hi Trevor,

On the MultiPlus in “General” \ “Enable Battery Monitor” I changed setting to “Disable”.

Using Bluetooth to access the MPPT Solar Controller I ensured the 12 volt setting and completed the procedure you requested. The “Battery Preset” did change back from “Lithium………..” to “User Defined” like you said and I adjusted the two voltages as shown in your second screen shot (Absorption: 14.60 and Float: 13.60)

So far so good? This is sure helping me become familiar with the devices.

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trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

Hello @can.iwi@hotmail.com , Before we move on to the Orion, it may be important to know how the Orion is being used. Does it charge the starter battery or does it charge the house battery? Just a brief description of the how the Orion is being used would be helpful.

Thanks,

Trevor

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christern avatar image
christern answered ·

Not an answer but impressed by the support given by @trevor-bird!

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caniwi avatar image
caniwi answered ·

Hi Trevor,

From the engine starter battery to the Orion input I ran a 6 awg negative and a 6 awg positive with a 50 amp breaker in the positive at the battery. From Orion output I ran 6 awg negative and a 6 awg positive to the Lynx Distributor. I ran a 6 awg from the Orion ground to the RV chassis.

Thanks, Lyndsay

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trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

Hi @can.iwi@hotmail.com ...ok, set the Orion function to "Charger". Go into battery settings and just like the MPPT controller select "Battery Preset" and go to "Select Preset" and select "Lithium Iron Phosphate". Once again set the Absorption Voltage to 14.6 volts and the Float Voltage to 13.6 volts. When you do this the Battery Preset will change to "User Defined". It should look like the attached photo.

Now select "Engine Shutdown Detection" and just make sure it is selected. When selected, it will only charge the House bank when the alternator is running (and producing 14 volts). It should look like the attached photo.

When running the engine just make sure the Orion is turning on and charging. You can see it doing something via the Victron Connect app. If it isn't charging when the engine is running (leave it run for a few minutes so the starter battery is fully charged) we may need to tweek a couple of settings but the standard settings should be ok.

Lets know how this goes. We are getting close to setting up the CerboGX.

Regards,

Trevor

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trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

Just to follow up, I am not sure of the CerboGX setup. Does it have a Touch 50 display or do you look at it on VRM by any chance? Is it already hooked up to WIFI or tethered to your phone or is that not really necessary for your application?

Regards,

Trevor


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caniwi avatar image
caniwi answered ·

Hi Trevor,

I tried today to connect the Cerbo GX to WiFi but no luck. I have it connected via Bluetooth but will make every effort tomorrow to get connected via WiFi. I have been able to gather some helpful information to try.

Thanks, Lyndsay

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trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

Hi @can.iwi@hotmail.com , it is good to have VRM access to the system so connecting to wifi is handy. I assume the Orion programmed ok?

Let’s know how the CerboGX wifi connection goes.

Regards

Trevor

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caniwi avatar image
caniwi answered ·

Hi Trevor,

I made the Orion changes as you suggested. Everything is good so far.screenshot-20220526-115240.jpg

screenshot-20220526-115301.jpg

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caniwi avatar image
caniwi answered ·

With every device turned on when I use VRM\Device List the Orion doesn't show, is this normal?

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Yes that is normal. The Orion does not appear on the VRM. That is to be resolved in the future with a new product according to Victron but right now the Orion does not talk to the VRM at all.
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caniwi avatar image
caniwi answered ·

I don’t have a Touch 50 Display.

At last. My WiFi modem was fixed on 5GHz, in modem settings I included 2.4GHz, now I am able to use my house WiFi while sitting out in the RV and can access Cerbo GX on VRM.

At 74 I struggle with this stuff so really appreciate you hanging in with me.

screenshot-20220526-111249-vrm.jpg



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trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

Hey Lindsay, you have nearly got this thing completely setup. Well done. If you enable “two way communication” and “remote support” I could look at your CerboGX if you wish or we can just step through it. Not much to set up really. In fact maybe nothing to setup apart from telling the CerboGX that the SmartShunt is the battery monitor. It will probably be in “auto” but you can simply set that to “SmartShunt”. That way the smartshunt is the device to tell you the state of battery charge.

Also, you may turn on “DC System”. That tells the system that other devices will draw current from the batteries apart from the Multiplus.

I am working from memory here but can check the CerboGX pages one at a time when I get a bit more time later.

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caniwi avatar image
caniwi answered ·

Hi Trevor,

I was able to enable the “remote support” okay but came up against a wall to enable “two way communication” till I happened upon a video to walk me through it. I then for the first time saw the information below the “dashboard” accessing ability to update firmware which I have done – see photo.

I set the SmartShunt as Battery Monitor and enabled “DC System”.

I also enclosed a photo of my system I installed under a booth seat. Under the large black cable on the right is a Hughes RV220-50-SP Autoformer. Under the cable plug is the Orion DC/DC.

So I would really like you to access my system and put anything right I may have got wrong or not right.

I suppose there is a way only you and not the rest of the world can have access?

Thanks, Lyndsay20220528-114359.jpg

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caniwi avatar image
caniwi answered ·

Trevor, a follow on:

I purchase and installed the MultiPlus and Hughes Autoformer (50A) for future use in a larger RV. I did want to keep this RV at 30A.

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trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

Well done Lyndsay, it looks good. I think you have pretty well nailed it. I tried to access the system so

maybe you have an email requesting access that I think you can provide permission. Good to have the autotransformer and just keep the Multiplus input current to 30amps as you want.


If I get permission I will have a quick look but I think you have programmed this system and you are ready to use it and enjoy it.



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caniwi answered ·

Hi Trevor, I have given you permission so it will be great if you can check it out.

I noticed on some You Tube videos some suggest "top balancing" LiFePO4 batteries before putting to use. Should I have done that, should I do it now, or is it too late?

Thanks, Lyndsay

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trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

Hi Lindsay, I have checked it out and it all looks good to me. I'm not sure about "top balancing". I figure that may be to ensure all cells are at the same level so the inbuilt BMS doesn't disconnect in case one of the cells has too much voltage across it. Your batteries are at 100% so I wouldn't worry about it but others may say that is bad advice.

I have switched on some more things for you to look at on the VRM. It is easy to turn them on or off by going to "Advanced" just below "Dashboard" and at the top right of the page you will see a slider icon. If you mouse over that it says "Widgets". Press that icon and the devices will appear. Each device has a "+" sign to the right. Press that and the various parameters available to you will appear. You can enable or disable those depending upon what you would like to see.

I have enabled a few I thought were handy but you can change those to suit yourself.

I notice you haven't applied any mains power yet. You should be able to plug it in and test the charging of the multiplus if you want. The input current limit is set to 30 amps as you wanted.

Well done Lindsay.

Regards,

Trevor


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caniwi avatar image
caniwi answered ·

Hi Trevor,

I feel such relief and comfort knowing that all is well with my system and at last my wife and I will be able to relax while enjoying some RV’ing this summer by lakes and rivers, not RV Parks. Though challenging for me I really enjoyed the project from start to finish but soon into it realized I needed help from the You Tube video creators and Victron Energy Community contributors like yourself.

It takes a lot of time and effort for your volunteer contributions and so many of us at novice level couldn’t achieve or wouldn’t dare start projects without access to your contributions.

I will now remove your access to my system.

My email was in the “Users for Adventurer” window so if you are ever by this way be sure to email and drop by.

I really appreciate your help in walking me through this project.

Regards, Lyndsay

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trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

No worries Lyndsay, good luck with your adventurous future. Have fun!

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