question

misullivan avatar image

PowerAssist not happening on EasySolar new installation.

New installation and was told by the dealer the default configuration is no feedin but powerassist enabled.


It isn’t and I can’t seem to work out how to get it to work.


Can anyone help? I don’t have a USB to VE.Bus dongle so can’t use VEConfigure (and don’t have a windows machine at all so couldn’t use it anyhow) .. can’t login to the VRM portal so (assuming I have read everything correctly and VEConfig Remote is there) can’t use VERemote. (See my other post about not being able to use the VRM).


Thoughts? Solutions?


Thanks,


Michelle

VEConfigure 3powerassist
10 |3000 characters needed characters left characters exceeded

Up to 8 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 190.8 MiB each and 286.6 MiB total.

3 Answers
Matthias Lange - DE avatar image
Matthias Lange - DE answered ·

I think PowerAssist is not working like you think it is.

I think you want to use the power from PV to supply your loads instead of using the grid.

For this you have to setup an ESS-assistant

3 comments Share
10 |3000 characters needed characters left characters exceeded

Up to 8 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 190.8 MiB each and 286.6 MiB total.

I think you could be right... so is that in software or in external hardware?

Ok now I hit another wall ... firmware version for the inverter is 413.. next to be 416 or newer.. doesn't seem to be any way to online update that. USB-MK3 the only way?

ESS is software.

To update the FW of the Multi you need a MK3 because to initialize the update the Multi has to switched off an on again to update the bootloader.

Via VRM you can only update the FW of VE.direct devices.

JohnC avatar image
JohnC answered ·

Hi. Those screenshots help. I suspect it's not a PowerAssist issue at all, just the onboard Multi charger overwhelming the mppt.

Good you now have VRM access, so you can now change the Multi charge settings. And if you set the Absorb and Float settings there to a little below those of the mppt, they'll both work, but the Multi will drop away first as it gives the mppt priority with the higher settings.

Note VRM won't let you alter mppt settings, but hopefully they're set on suitable defaults for whatever batts you have.

There may well be other approaches to this, but in deeper, darker territory, and perhaps not recommended for a novice (with respect) in early-learning-curve state.


3 comments Share
10 |3000 characters needed characters left characters exceeded

Up to 8 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 190.8 MiB each and 286.6 MiB total.

Very early learning curve, no probs admitting that, and to be honest this is the first time I've really felt like a clueless newbie in a long while... :) ... I expect to be an expert (well non-novice/experienced :P ) by the time I get to the next install :)


It just scares the hell out of me as it's an expensive bit of kit which could be very very dangerous if I screw up so very very careful settings and double checking/triple checking some things..


Thank *all* of you for your patience and knowledge sharing so far.


Michelle

Ha, good attitude. There's actually *nobody* here who can keep up with all the nuances of Victron developments. Even Matthijs, the big chief, will 'go check' if he's not sure (hi Matthijs).

You can't hurt the Victron kit by fooling with settings or firmware. But batts you can, but now you have VRM up you can monitor that.

My suggestion above was a bit of a workaround, trying to dampen the bigger jump. (note ESS isn't recommended for offgrid).

And yes, you've already struck the firmware update issue, and along with that, no way to update mppt settings without more kit either. Maybe one fine day.

But keep asking, and any contributions you can make will be welcome too.

>> My suggestion above was a bit of a workaround, trying to dampen the bigger jump. (note ESS isn't recommended for offgrid)

I'm not doing off grid so that's not a problem. Here's what I have... EasySolar 24/3000/70, 9 Solar panels connected as 3x2+3x1 (1.66kw total). Batteries are a pair of Exide Flooded 'Crankers' 200Ah (ie lead/flat plate).

Input is a 15A IP66 plug and socket into the EasySolar (with it's own breaker upstream etc)
Ac1a on the easy solar and AC2 go off to a Hagar ES203E 2 channel timeswitch, the output of that into 2x2IP65 sockets mounted over the 15 input and clearly labeled.. In those sockets, (Chan1/A (AC1a)) the main pool pump and the salt chlorinator. The Chan2/B (AC2) sockets have the solar pool heater and it's pump.

The idea is the panels will charge the batteries and the excess power is used to power the loads and that is "topped up" with grid power. In the event of power failure the AC2 line drops out taking out the solar heater and the "normal" power draw is around 1000W so I'll lose any excess if its an extremely sunny day if the batteries are at full charge.


Power outages here are never longer than 4 hours so I figure that the batteries will never drop below 50% and therefore should be good for 4-8 years at least... and we only get 3-4 a year on the worst years.


If I can get all this working (as I need/want) the next trick is to install 4 more systems identical except for 3k of panels for each system to give me uninterrupted power to my computers, switches, routers etc. (paid for curtesy of the insurance after someone screwed up the big UPSes I have - another long story there.)

So back to your 'workaround' all my research pointed to ESS rather than power assist but I couldn't work out what it actually was until I finally got into VeConfig Remote earlier this arvo. Shame I don't have the USB-MK3 thought I'd be able to do all this with a network connection... :/ )


Anyhow, thanks again.

Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA avatar image
Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA answered ·

@misullivan, a couple of questions: first, what is the condition that leads you to believe that PowerAssist isn't turned on? Every default config I've seen does have it enabled, so I'm curious as to whether your dealer accidentally turned it off, or if it had been previously modified, or if it is in fact on but you're expecting it to do something other than what it does...

Second, can you not contact the dealer from whom you purchased the unit and have them re-configure it? We're a Victron (and etc) distributor and we fairly routinely program Multis before we ship them out and/or provide programming assistance after the initial sale.

Third, though unfortunately I can't help you with your VRM issues, what kind of phone do you have? I know that the MK3 to USB adapter will work (using another Type A to Type C USB adapter in my case) on an Android phone to make a wired connection to the Multi and program it using VictronConnect on my phone... Multis cannot be programmed over Bluetooth, but with a wired connection to the phone, the programming functionality of the mobile VictronConnect is the same as the desktop version. I believe that this applies to iOS devices as well, but I'm not entirely certain of that because I don't have any, so have been unable to test.

3 comments Share
10 |3000 characters needed characters left characters exceeded

Up to 8 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 190.8 MiB each and 286.6 MiB total.

Quite simply shown in the following...



If I throw the main breaker (AC In) you can see there is clearly enough PV power to run the essential load....



In all the docs and manuals I can’t see any settings for changing it without using VEConfig .. as for the dealer.. over 1000km away in Queensland... I’m 2 hours south of Sydney and they shipped to me from Melbourne..so everyone is at least 10 hours drive away and/or shipping away.



It arrived new in the box.

image.jpg (2.2 MiB)
image.jpg (1.3 MiB)

Some reading on how power control/assist can work for you. https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Book-Energy-Unlimited-EN.pdf Page 42 section 8.3

Oh, I’m in the VRM now and got the CcGX connected to it.. just as an FYI