question

Hannes van Staden avatar image

Why does MPPT throttle to zero?

System is running ESS, Victron Multi II 5kVA and 2 x 150/35 MPPTs. The MPPTs throttle down to 5W randomly and for weeks now we have been trying to find a pattern. The only thing I am quite sure of is that it does not seem to happen when the inverter is turned off. In other words, if I allow the battery to discharge and then let the MPPTs charge but leave the inverter off, they work perfectly.

The MPPT (one or the other) will just stop producing and after typically 10 minutes will work fine again. Sometimes it takes much longer like 30 minutes.

I pride myself on being a very good trouble shooter but I must say, this is so seemingly random it is proving to be very difficult to find a pattern or nail down the cause. What I am 99% sure of is that the instruction to throttle comes from ESS and it stops happening when the Multi is turned off.

How can I get access to a Victron resource that can look behind the scenes at the messaging happening between the components to identify the cause of the throttling?

I have three large Victron systems coming up (two 90kVA and another 30kVA) and getting really concerned that we cannot get this issue resolved.

Many thanks for reading!

Hannes

ESS
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12 Answers
Hannes van Staden avatar image
Hannes van Staden answered ·

Hi all, I started this thread way back and noticed some activity on it so let me give my feedback. When I first reported this issue I suspected a link between the inverter and the MPPT throttle problem because with the inverter off and batteries empty the MPPT was performing perfectly. I suspected that when the inverter was getting close to full capacity (combination of critical and AC loads the MPPT acted up. It does not make a lot of sense on face value but I saw the trend and I convinced my client to let us install another Multi in parallel as I wanted to do in the first place anyway. Well, after we did that all MPPT problems went away.

This may not be the answer as it is difficult to see the logic but that was what we found in this case.

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Albert de Jongh avatar image
Albert de Jongh answered ·
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Eduard avatar image
Eduard answered ·

Over the past couple of years I have the same faults as above but I use the Smart 150/85 and 150/100 units also on one 250/100. All was replaced due to the remote areas of operations. There was a software issue, but this was solved later. Installed the latest software and the issue will be solved.

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derbernd avatar image
derbernd answered ·

Hello Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff),

I have the same Problem and with my four 150/35and it looks like that the problem excist since one year, is there any sulotion for that,?

5 comments
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I can confirm that 1yr later I am still having the same problem. I added forced cooling to my 150/35 to the point where the casing and heatsink were barely above room temperature. This had no effect. Even using it with a smaller PV array (+- 1750W max output) has not solved the problem.

Without forced cooling the casing and heatsink get uncomfortably hot. I would suspect that the failure of Victron to respond is mainly due to the problem being inherent in the design.

This problem has been worked on, the issue has been identified and has been addressed in v1.56

v1.56 will be released soon.

v1.56 is now available on Victron Professional or via Firmware update on VRM.
Update via VictronConnect shall follow.

Hello,

I'm glad to hear that,

Hello, with the new firmeware V1.56 the problem seems to be solved.I had no error in the last 3 days. Thank you !

Michael Timler avatar image
Michael Timler answered ·

In spring, we had a 2 day session with a core team of Victron on my 150/35 Smart. And indeed, they could verify the problem and after some tweaks in the software, the problem vanished.

After two regular updates I had to accept (otherwise the Victron App would not start) it's the same mess again. Well, not fully. Instead of stopping for 30 Minutes, it are "only" 5min off.
This happens when going over 28 A battery load (Official charger limit is 35A).

If the charge controller is briefly switched off and then on again via the app in the settings, it immediately goes into regular operation again, even higher than 30A (whenever the sun is strong enough).

I have a BlueSolar 150/35 running under exactly the same conditions, absolutely no problem.

I can only recommend to avoid buying the Victron Smart Solar series as long as you are going to the limits of the voltage and power range.

I am very sorry, because I was very convinced about the brand and the way, how the technicians worked on the problem about one year ago.

5 comments
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Hello, do you aktually know a solution and/or workaround for the Problem ?

@Michael Timler

firmware 1.56 is now available, please let us know if this fixes it for you.

Michael Timler avatar image Michael Timler Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff) ♦♦ ·

Seems to work fine. No shutdowns today on a sunny cloud-less day all over the range.
Thanks for fixing this, Daniel. I have to buy another unit meanwhile for I have extended my PV and and I would have hated to be forced to put another brand into my setup of chargers, really.

Another question:
Is there a possibility to block firmware updates in Victron Connect?

I want to be sure that this firmware setup is not overwritten by a "new" one and the tweaks made here in this version might get lost.


Not a recommendation, but if you don't update the Victronconnect app, then potential updates cannot be applied or forced.

Ahh, okay! Thanks, that's indeed a workaround.

czauto avatar image
czauto answered ·

I'm experiencing the same problem with my 150/35 Smartsolar running v1.54 Firmware. Is there any update yet? The unit is 3 weeks old so I wouldn't expect problems like this that seem to have been there for quite a while now in the product range


1 comment
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Hi @CZAuto there is now firmware version 1.56 available both on VictronConnect as on VRM update.

kimmo-paukku avatar image
kimmo-paukku answered ·

Hi all,


Is there any progress regarding this issue ?

Please see my previous answer.

One of my 3 charge controllers keep "tripping"... Yesterday it has tripped two times, today once. Is there any change to get a replacement as a warranty" ? This charge controller with problems is soon just one year old.



Thanks,

Br, Kimmo


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Grant avatar image
Grant answered ·

I would like to add my name to those having this problem. I am using a Smartsolar 150/35.


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spark88 avatar image
spark88 answered ·

I have the same issue with 150/45's.





6 comments
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Hi @spark88

Can you please post battery voltage / current graphs with these graphs also?

Hi @spark88

That's the PV voltage / current, not the battery voltage / current

spark88 avatar image spark88 Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff) ♦♦ ·

Hi @Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff) ... apologies. I've updated the post with the correct data. Shows over the same time period as the others as well as over the last 24 hours.

Let me know if you need anything else.

Thanks, @spark88

What kind of batteries do you have? is the system on 'keep batteries charged'?

spark88 avatar image spark88 Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff) ♦♦ ·

@Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff) I have Dyness Lithium (powerbox 9.6 kWh).

Yes, using ESS and set to "keep batteries charged"

kimmo-paukku avatar image
kimmo-paukku answered ·

Hi all.

Sorry my bad English..

I believe, that I have this same problem. I have 2 x 150/35 (1.47) smart chargers. One controller for group of 3 panels (To East) in series and other controller for group of 4 panels (To South) connected 2+2 in parallel. Only controller for 3 panels has this problem and it happens randomly.

My setup is: CCGC, ESS, Multiplus 48/5000, 2x150/35 controllers, 6x2.4kwh Pylontech.



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Michael Timler avatar image
Michael Timler answered ·

Hannes, you might have the same problem than I have.

https://community.victronenergy.com/questions/45673/victron-smart-solar-15035-charging-shutoff-malfunc.html?childToView=46098#answer-46098


Take a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSksnORrto4

Do you have the same issues?

If your Victrons go down, does it help to shut them off? (VictronConnect->Settings->Battery->Charger enabled)

Do they return to normal behaviour immediately after re-enabling?

Does the malfunction also occur if only one charger is working, means, the other one disabled?

Would be very interested!

Michael

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Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff) avatar image
Daniël Boekel (Victron Energy Staff) answered ·

Hi @hannes@maxyield.co.za

There's another user with the same problem, also with the 150/35. We're looking into what causes this and how to fix this.

I've not heard of other models being affected.

3 comments
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Hello, do you aktually know a solution and/or workaround for the Problem ?

i SEEM TO BE HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM WITH 150v 100A MPPTS - i HAVE TWO 150V 100A MPPTS ON ATTACHED SYSTEM ONE IS THROTTLED TO ZERO

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Hi @colin mackay

what is the VRM id of that site?