question

dane-manes avatar image

VE Direct - chain devices for monitoring?

I just got my first Victron controller (BlueSolar 75/15) and am very pleased with it, and finally decided to swap out my old and junky inverter with the very solidly made Phoenix 12/250 unit. So far so good - basically I only need to charge my laptop and tool batteries with 220v when working in the garden.

However I do want to know how much current my inverter is pulling and have that tracked on the Android app (I'm a techie and a bit of a control freak - it's why I'm replacing my garden setup bit by bit with better equipment) and am a bit dismayed that the BlueSolar charge controller is not able to poll the Phoenix inverter for status and current amp consumption (I know now that this is approximate, but hey, it's a garden!). I understand that VE Direct is a bidirectional serial bus, so it would make total sense that a user can chain the devices using VE Direct instead of having to buy a € 50 Bluetooth dongle - or the € 150 smart shunt! Actually, I'd even be willing to pay €2 a month for a premium app version instead...

I am positing that a vast majority of the first-generation users of Victron tech are like me - two batteries, maybe 100w of solar, a good charge controller and matching inverter. So why can't I have the BlueSolar charge controller front the inverter for monitoring?

Am is missing a trick?

Phoenix InverterVE.DirectBlue Smart Chargerandroid app
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1 Answer
Ulrich avatar image
Ulrich answered ·

Hello,

I hope I understood you correctly and will try to give you a few tips.

The MPPT solar charge controller is also available as a SMART version with Bluetooth. Then you can use the Victron Connect App (iOS / Andriod / macOS) to monitor and adjust the device.

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A smart shunt must be used to monitor the exact state of charge of your batteries. Here, too, you can monitor and set everything via Bluetooth.

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A Bluetooth adapter is required to be able to administer an inverter.

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Unfortunately there is no other option. The software of the individual devices only ever takes care of the device itself.

With the Bluetooth adapters you have the advantage that they talk to each other via Bluetooth and thus the solar charge controller knows exactly what the Smart Shunt is measuring on the battery.

If you want to know everything exactly, then you can still use a GX device.

greetings


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Many thanks Ulrich - I looked at the larger system approach and it makes sense - I am already looking into the BMV-700 or 712 and perhaps a Raspberry Pi running Venus at this point to play around with the capabilities - the BMVs are just so darn expensive!

The SmartShunt isn't that expensive in my opinion.