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DC Generator as input for SmartSolar 150/85

Hello community!

First time user of Victron products. So a big hello to all.

We needed a charge controller in tandem with our new DC Generator model to have the abilty of charging all battery chemistries, with the added features Victron has to offer in that range.

So we decided to test a SmartSolar 150/85 with the dc generator as a replacement to pv input.

Not knowing if it would work or not, we are pleased with the results! Firstly, no magic smoke(thank God for that). Generator started automatically when LiFePo4 batteries reached a preset low SoC. We used a 48v 100ah bank for the test. The generator produced 70vdc @ 40A(limited for the testing). SmartSolar did the job as expected!

We will continue testing over the next few days and upload a video of the end results.

The main purpose of our DC Generators is to be used as a backup source in case of low solar production in off grid situations, telecommunication sites, boats, rv's etc.

All of our dc generators and AutoGen controllers connect through wifi and can be monitored via our mobile app.

So now, Victron can add DC Generators to the solar, wind, hydro list of input sources to their MPPTs.

MPPT - Solar Charge ControllerGeneratorAC PV Couplingalternator
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2 Answers
Phil Gavin avatar image
Phil Gavin answered ·

Nice feedback.

I am also considering a DC generator via MPPT input in favor of ( what seems to to be) a more temperamental direct AC input.

The devil is in the detail though.

Please cover how load changes and stopping the generator are handled at the various charging stages in your report back.

Thank you.

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Will give more details as soon as possible in regards to loads.

The V2 AutoGen controller deals with starting and stopping the generator plus much more.


Hi @Phil_Gavin.

Load changes is as you would suspect. A cool feature I like is, when the engine starts, the Victron controller sees the input but doesn’t dump the current instantly, it ramps up. Sort of like a soft start feature. It’s obviously reading and making some calculations before hand.

When going into Absorption, revs drop as expected. Float is set to kill the engine.

Jex avatar image
Jex answered ·

So i'm interested in this topic as well. In fact I have been charging my batteries via a Lister LD1 veg oil running diesel motor, coupled to a DC Alternator/Dynamo. I connect it to solar inputs of a Smartsolar MPPT 100/50. It gives about 1 KW and regulates the need to what the dynamo and generator can optimally deliver. Once it goes into absorb mode the need will drop and the generator runs lighter.

So I have to admit I killed one Victron already with this with what I suspect were the connections to the solar input that were too pour so it got very hot there and one day the MPPT was not charging anymore. I still could get into the software so I suspect a fuse blew on the solar side.

I also did this before with some Victron chinese clone units (bluesolar mppt 100/50 by fangpusun), Always did fine but got a bad connection from wiggling and then the plastic solar part got a bit of a meltdown. Still a working unit though just don't update it.

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Hi @Jex

Yes, loose connections would do that!

Very important to have a solid connection.

And do you have any results to share like you mentioned in OP?

Hi @Jex

So far, only tested with a max input of 60v at 40amps.

Doing it’s job just fine. Although the input side shows a voltage even though no input is present. This got damaged when the generator tried to draw current from input. My bad! And it wasn’t happy!

Input reads 0.5v lower than the output when input side is disconnected.

Hi Jex. This really isn't a supported application. But I'm sure you know that..

Note that your 100/50 has a max input of 60A (as defined by it's Isc limit, panel short circuit, no V). And states exceeding that "may damage the controller".

Bad connection, fuse, who knows? Maybe something more sinister like mosfets etc?

Just sayin..


I know off course. ;-)
though my calculations say the controller should be able to handle it. 30 amps comes in at about 35-40 volts from the alternator.