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Fotodadi avatar image

How do I get my Victron Quattro to charge batttery bank at maximum 140 Amps?

I have a Victron Quattro in my grid tie in system in which is also a Fronius 8kva Solar Inverter feeding an 800ah battery bank and a 13 kva generator. A Color GX allows online monitoring and control of the system.

The problem I have observed is that my Victron Quattro does not charge my batteries at the maximum amps possible (DC 140 amps) when it can. The maximum I have observed (during bulk and absorption charge states) is 80 amps. This happens no irrespective of the mains supplier (Grid or Gen). On VEConfic "General" tab, I have set my "Shore limit on AC 1 (grid) and AC 2 (gen) to over 60 amps and 55 amps respectively which is more that sufficient to meet the charger's demands.On the "Charger" tab, the charge current is also set to 140 amps. I have the ESS assistant running because i don't want any Feed in to grid when the PV is running. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

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10 Answers
Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) avatar image

The reason for the reduction in charge current is because the weak AC setting is enabled.

That reduces the efficiency of the charger, but makes it possible to use a wider variety of A/C supplies when they are not of good quality or connection.

To improve the charger performance, you will need to improve the quality of your A/C power supply, or perhaps the wiring to it, so you can disable the Weak AC setting.

This is not something that can be improved in firmware.

MultiPlus Generator FAQ - weak AC derating the power factor

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JohnC avatar image

Yeh, you could try dropping the 'Batterysafe' thing, at least to test.

Also, one thing that does savagely affect genny power acceptance level is the 'Weak ac' setting. That and other stuff described here: https://www.victronenergy.com/live/multiplus_faq With my 5000 Multi it limits me to ~2000W (48V), so a big hit, but not a gamekiller as it's about what I want anyway.

Possible also that ESS is involved too, but I've no experience there.

Nice if you could post up a VRM pic(s) of batt V & A under charge, and corresponding ac input.

Brings out the child in me - and can speak that '1000 words' sometimes too.. :)


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JohnC avatar image

Hi F. 80A into 800Ah is still a pretty hefty charge. You don't say the batt V, so puts your other info into blurry territory.

Possibly your Quattro is set to a specific algorithm like 'Adaptive + BatterySafe', and that may affect it's progress through Bulk phase. Once in Absorb or beyond everything self-limits of course.

Or maybe you have 'Overruled by remote' set in the quattro, and the CCGX setting is making the decisions on charge limit.

Couple of things you could check first, but come back..


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Fotodadi avatar image

Update!

So I uninstalled ESS and tried to see if I will get 140 amps charging ...no joy

I installed Hub and tried...still no joy.

With all these I am now thinking that this charging limit to 80 amps DC is from the firmware upgrade I did on the Victron that allows ESS to be installed.

I wonder if Victron changed something in the update that is restricting the quattro from going to 140 amps.

With that, I will hold on and wait for a firmware update for the Quattro and see what happens then.

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Fotodadi avatar image

Update.

I tried all the suggestions and then some...still 80 amps charge.

Changed battery capacity to 1400ah (thinking that if the unit was following the 0.1C rule then it will get to 140 amps...no joy!

Changed battery type to LiPo...no joy!

Add a charge assistant via VEConfig... no joy!

I know my unit is capable because it was charging at 140 amps when running on Hub but when I changed to ESS, all these started. I also remember that I needed to update my Quattro's firmware to install ESS...so I am wondering, could this new firmware be restricting the charger when ESS is installed?

My batteries are full now but when they discharge, I wwill try running again, without ESS and see what happens.


Till then, I am open to any suggestions that I can try!

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Then the question is what firmware do you have?

Found this in the changelog (https://community.victronenergy.com/questions/31574/firmware-updates-never-change-a-running-system-exc.html)

  • Improved feedin/charge regulations. (prevents ‘low charge current’ with ESS under certain circumstances)


Version 419, so if you have anything older than that might make sense to upgrade to 433 or 459



I have firmware 460.

I just can't understand what's happening. I guess I will keep on looking for a solution!

Fotodadi avatar image

Thank you @blond2silver. All settings are as should be. Fans do come on when charging or inverting.

Thank you. @PetaJoule. The cables to the battery bank are pretty short and higher in cross-sectional area than the minimum required...I remember I had them slightly oversized when installing several years back. (Had the system set up 10 years back with Xantrex hybrid inverters)

Perhaps the battery chemistry (they are VRLA batteries but I set them us as AGM on the VEConfig...Could this be where my problem is originating from???) is throttling the charger to keep things set to 0.1C? However the case, I tried the Hub assistante before trying out the ESS Assistant and I can say that I was getting some feed-in with the Hub Assistant. (0.2kwH daily) and with the ESS, its completely 0 kwH so I figure the ESS seems to be better at enforcing the Zero Feed in...at least in my situation.


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See also https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Datasheet-GEL-and-AGM-Batteries-EN.pdf

Quote:

15. Charge current

The charge current should preferably not exceed 0,2C (20A for a 100Ah battery).The temperature of a battery will increase by more than 10°C if the charge current exceeds 0,2C. Therefore temperature compensation is required if the charge current exceeds 0,2C.


In your case, 0.2C would be 160A - so now that cables are considered ok, question remain about ambient temp, if you do have VSense present (as I asked), TSense? I could not find authoritative info about what charger settings are applied for the AGM chemistry, but usually e.g. discharge is specified at some optimum 0.05C (C/20), so it would not seem illusory if the charger put there some limits.

Some will now shake head, and I just say so for completeness, but to test that hypothesis, I would simply declare the batteries to be LiFePO and see if the charger cranks up the juice. If it does, I would immediately revert the settings and let it be. Obviously that test is to be done only if you know what you're doing, are closely monitoring the system prepared for immediate intervention. Better than this suggestion would ofc be if someone who knows better could confirm or deny the limiting hypothesis. ;-)

PetaJoule avatar image

I somehow missed what battery chemistry you use. 80A for 800Ah is 0.1C. If your batteries are lead, then I agree with @JohnC - that's hefty. If you use LiFePO, 140A is (would be) still ok.

Some things to try:

1) Are the cables of sufficient dimensions? Length/cross section? If you use cable that are too thin or too long (or both), then you might have a hefty voltage drop on the way to the battery bank, which will lead the charger to "think" the battery has more voltage than it really has. VSense present? Remember: electrical resistance is only related to current, the more current, the better the transport has to be. If there is a problem with the contects, this could also worsen the situation. You could measure the resistance between Charger and Battery.

2) Only yesterday I read that ESS is the wrong solution if you do not want to feed in back to the grid. Unfortunately I'm unable to find that writeup (I believe by Guy Stewart - Victron Community Manager) anymore. It may very well be that ESS itself puts some limits in there.

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blond2silver avatar image

Hello, Here's two items to check:

1.) You can visually see the cooling fans are turning on when charging. If the fans are not turning on, then the charger circuit will throttle to protect from over-temparture.

2.) Check CCGX setup to be sure the options withing the DVCC settings are not limiting the charge current.

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Fotodadi avatar image

So I tried removing the "Battery Safe" option from the charger settings. Charger doesn't even get to 80 amps now.

Tried the "Weak AC" also....seems I need it on. Couldn't even get 10 amps with it turned off.

Seems the ESS might be what's really holding my charger back.

Got an ESS update last week. Perhaps the ESS is being updated and this will be addressed in future updates.

Watching.



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To be clear here, if you run with 'Weak AC' unticked and the Quattro rejects the genny power, then it's *all* off. And you'll hear the relays clunk as it tries and rejects. It will give up after a few tries.

With the box ticked, and it accepting genny power, it will severely limit what it can pass through. In my case, to ~9A @ 230Vac on a 5000 Multi. This has nothing to do with concurrent dc-coupled pv charge.

How your Fronius fits in with a Quattro, dunno..

If you have the box ticked then it's likely the sole thing causing your issue, and you're luckier than I to get as far as 80A.

Fotodadi avatar image

Hi JohnC. Thank you for yours. The system is a 48 volt one.

You are right. I have the charger set to "Adaptive + Batterysafe" and I my goal in seeking more amps to charge is to reduce my generator run time (and lower my fuel consumption).

I also have the CCGX set to "Overruled by remote" but have the setting on the CCGX done so as to complement the VEConfig.

My generator just came on and the screenshots below apply.


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