Peter Van Tienen avatar image
Peter Van Tienen asked

Digital Inputs - Bilge Monitoring - Node-Red?

So I have been testing a bilge pump connected to one of the digital inputs and using the alarm functions. Has there been any discussion to enhance the config of the digital inputs for devices like a bilge pump?

Having a bilge alarm is great, but I can see it also being an annoyance in its strictly binary format. Does anyone here want to collaborate on developing some enhanced bilge monitoring?

I do have the monitoring working through node-red, pretty easy to pull the status of the alarms etc, but I would like to work on the following:

  1. Allow an alarm to be raised if the following criteria are met:
    1. If the bilge pump is energized more than x times in x amount of time
    2. If the bilge pump is energized and stays energized for a y amount of time
    3. If the bilge stops seeing 12v
  2. I would also like to see this data reflected in the VRM.

Can we make this a feature request for the CERBO and/or work as a group to develop some node-red capabilities in the meantime?

Has anyone else worked on anything similar?

I really do see the Cerbo playing a key role as a central device on a boat for smart boat tech.

cerbo gxNode-REDfeature requestbilge
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atebee avatar image atebee commented ·

I've been doing some bilge related work with Node Red but more around notifications and generator start.

This scenario the bilge pumps are 230v so the generator is started if the bilge alarms. A SMS message is sent to relevant people to alert of the situation.

Not something I would expect ever be built in to VenusOS but great to have Node Red available!

Can share the flows once I've finished developing and testing.

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Peter Van Tienen avatar image Peter Van Tienen atebee commented ·
That would be great, I am happy to share whatever we develop as well.
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2 Answers
Peter Van Tienen avatar image
Peter Van Tienen answered ·

I have made some progress on the bilge monitoring code with node-red. I essentially want to know if the bilge is running for long periods of time, or multiple times in a given period. I have both working with messaging now (SimplePush). So, when a bilge circuit closes, I start a timer (30 seconds for testing). If that timer hits some milestones I send a message (10 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds). This tells me if the bilge is running for a prolonged period.

I also start a timer with the previous timer, but this one doesn't get turned off if the bilge stops. It will now run for a fixed period of time and count how many times the bilge runs within that time period. If it hits certain milestones I send message alerts. Once the timer completes, I reset and wait for the next round.

Always happy to share and appreciate feedback. Right now I am just using inject nodes to simulate the bilge circuit but I also have that working on the digital inputs of the cerbo, stepping the voltage down with dry contacts.


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hjohnson avatar image
hjohnson answered ·

We took the easy route out, and just tossed a pressure sensitive tank sensor into our bilge sump, connected up to the Tank140 we use to monitor our wastewater and potable water tanks. Gives us a live readout of how deep the water is in the bilge. I just wish that Victron could give me a tank value in terms of depth rather than actual volume (which I don't really care about when it comes to the bilge).

We are looking at making the world's most complex bilge pump controller using Node Red, as the automatic function of our bilge pump doesn't have enough hysteresis to deal with the back flow from the bilge hose, so it just constantly cycles if left in automatic mode.

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pwfarnell avatar image pwfarnell commented ·
Fill the sump to a test depth that you measure, say 15cm and then adjust the total tank volume until your readout is 15 litres. Then you have the correct numerical value.
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Related Resources

Cerbo GX product page

GX family product range

Cerbo GX & GX Touch datasheet

Cerbo GX Manual

Venus root access document

Additional resources still need to be added for this topic

Webinar Part 1 - Intro to Node-Red

Webinar Part 2- Basic Palettes

Webinar Part 3 - Advanced example

Victron Node-RED for dummies guide by Fideri

Node Red Community Space (normally hidden)

Venus OS Large (Node-RED) manual

Victron Node-RED github readme

Victron Node-RED custom nodes docs

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