Juha Tuomala avatar image
Juha Tuomala asked

Simplifying system setup

This has been itching me a long time, from very start when I got my first blue box.

We all - both users and Victron support, seem to spend a lot of time with numeric parameters to match different products (inverters, batteries, solar panels, MPPT's, shunts etc) to work together. Looking for where that battery PDF and specs were, and then entering those voltages and currents into correct configuration dialogs via various user interfaces.

At the end of the day, all those are public information and ones and zeros. This could be simpler, easier, more accurate and lead to safer systems.

How about:

  • defining a XML specification schema for each type of device
  • writing a specfication data file for each device
  • publishing them at Victron server via REST API for machine-to-machine use
  • GX device would push correct settings to each device in its domain

Then users would choose device make and model which would be a lot easier than typing in all the numeric parameters that get lost in every update. There could be an option to deviate from factory settings with user override as there is already in some devices.

Victron could release new format versions and update the device data as new information would become available and when errornous information would be found and corrected.

These format versions and device specs would probably have to be released in bundles that could also be transported via usb-sticks for offline sites, just like firmware updates.

I've written XML schemas and it would suit well for this kind of application where different organizations (eventually) release information used by others and where cannot be different interpretations (judged by validation) of the same format.

The format defination would proabably be used across the industry once one company would create and start maintaining it. For example battery manufacturers would publish their specification files along the other documentation.


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Alexandra avatar image Alexandra ♦ commented ·

Interesting idea. It however makes the assumption that everyone will use a GX. Which I can say alot do not.

The central item to all Victron devices is Victron Connect. Where all the firmware is. And setting are simple. You can save a profile and load to all devices. You can even lock settings now.

Use alot or pre made profiles. And have firmware available in VC for all my offline sites. The GX being an exception. But that is an easy separate DL.

It is also not feasible for the sheer flexibility of system design to make a one file fits all bundle. I quite literally do not have two sites that are the same anywhere.

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Juha Tuomala avatar image Juha Tuomala Alexandra ♦ commented ·
GX and Connect are different use cases, GX runs all the time as part of the system, Connect is running only when human uses it.

Nothing would prevent utilizing those model data files in Connect as well. Point is to configure by known device type, not by its multiple parameters.

Anyway, someone not having some product should not prevent improving it.

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