question

ryanlynx avatar image

Victron SmartShunt as a energy meter?

Does anyone know where I can find info about using a Victron SmartShunt as a energy meter?

I have one being used as my battery monitor, and now got a 2nd that want to hook up to log DC charging from a non-victron solar/DC charger connected to it. With aim that can then include this in stats for day of PV generated vs Consumption, etc.

Went into VE Connect and under setting for the 2nd shunts I changed "Monitor Mode" to "DC Energy Meter", and then the "DC meter type" to "DC-DC charger".

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It states it will show on GX Device and in VRM but can only get very basic info shown on later and nothing on my GX device (VenusOS running on a Raspberry Pi)

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Searched for documentation for "DC Energy Meter" and "DC meter type" settings but nothing is showing in Victron help or in any forum discussions. So can only guess maybe this is a pretty new feature and most users haven't used or is still in development to integrate better with VRM/GX.



Anyone else successful in this or know where can find info on how to config/etc. Thanks is advance.

Energy Metersmartshunt
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4 Answers
Matthias Lange - DE avatar image
Matthias Lange - DE answered ·

If I understood it correctly that feature is very new and not fully implemented jet.

I guess it will be official announced when it's working as intended.

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jwfrary avatar image
jwfrary answered ·

Would be great to get some information on this, as I'm just putting two vessel into refit and willingly will buy a couple of smart shunts and the cables needed and do some testing with it.

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@mvader (Victron Energy) presume if I'm going to test this I need to run a beta version of venus os!?
mvader (Victron Energy) avatar image
mvader (Victron Energy) answered ·

Hi all, @Ryanlynx and @Jwfrary : yes, for now its just a small feature in VictronConnect. Nothing visible yet in Venus OS.


A bit of "expectations management" ;o) : for example for DCDC chargers, be aware that not all combinations and information will show in detail on the graphical overview. I think the first version will show it all on the Device list, and have it on VRM ofcourse. Next we'll work on improving the DC System box - as right now its a calculation, which can be a bit crude and wrong.

And then finally we'll work on something that shows details. Starting with the most common one, which is probably an alternator.


Welcome to explain a bit here on what you'd like to measure, and why you want to measure that specifically as well as what you're looking for in the information as a user. Ie will you be looking at it daily? Or just when you think something is wrong, or .. ?

Having that written down will also help me in instructing the designers as well as my own thinking around this. Thank you!

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@mvader (Victron Energy) For my systems, (marine use) the main focus on the use of the Multiplus is to utilize the power being developed by the alternator on the main engine. We then auto start the generator with the CCGX or Venus GX depending on the boat, set to various conditions. These conditions are always a bit of a compromise as alternator output is variable compared to rpm so, when steaming the generator starts to early and when idling it starts to late!


The other thing is that we don't capture in VRM the energy produced by the alternators, and so its tricky to gauge how much power we are harvesting from the alternators over time.

So I guess for me there are three things I would like.

1. To get the data onto VRM as an additional input (similar to how a solar charger appears) at the moment, unless the system draws from the battery the alternator production goes ignored.

2. To have that data available to signal k / node red or some other mechanism so we can then control the generator start stop based on the difference between production and load and make it a little smarter.

3. View the input on the Venus screen, I guess as an additional DC box above the existing one!?

4. I guess DVCC would be nice, (perhaps even integration in some way with the wake speed regulator in the future and for Lithium installs I guess this would be very beneficial) but from my point of view its not essential as I'm using lead acids with internally regulated alternators which are set at a lower voltage output than the chargers anyway, I'm choosing simplicity and reliability over efficiency


FYI System Information

Boat1

24v 170 amp alternator

CCGX

2x Multiplus 24/3000/70/50

24v 440ah LA battery bank

5.7 kva generator

BMV 712 for both main battery banks

Nema 2000 integration and victron app with simrad nso evo 2

(Smart Shunt to add on the alternator next month)


boat 2

24v 170 amp alternator

1x multi 2000 24v

220 ah 24v bank LA

Venus gx

smart shunt on alternator

BMV 712

4.2 kva generator

jwfrary avatar image jwfrary mvader (Victron Energy) ♦♦ ·

@mvader (Victron Energy) I assume the shunt goes in the alternator negative to battery cable and the usual way around!?

Adapted DC Wiring Diagram for Boat 1 for interest.

xplorer-alternator-and-battery-arrangements.png

Hi, yes when used for energy metering it must be installed as written on the shunt: TO BATTERY goes on the side where the battery is. And TO SYSTEM goes on the side where either the load or alternator or other source you'd like to measure is installed.
jwfrary avatar image jwfrary mvader (Victron Energy) ♦♦ ·
@mvader (Victron Energy) I had one last thought. Will it be a matter of the 'alternator' shunt then being connected to the 'battery bank' shunt. (As I dew it above) or will it head back to the battery independently?


Thanks, Jon

Hi, alternator shunt bakc to the battery bank shunt.


For the main shunt, the same rule will remain as always: make all in- and out-going currents and wires go via that shunt. Do not connect anything directly on the battery, since it will then not be taken into account in the calculations.

jwfrary avatar image jwfrary mvader (Victron Energy) ♦♦ ·
Ideal, that makes sense.


so each independent energy monitor are then accumulated and the left over that doesn't have a dedicated energy monitor is accounted for by the main shunt in my case that's the DC service loads and the multiplus.


It might be tempting to go crazy and have smart shunt all over the place!


Thanks for the reply to my myriad of questions

As @Jwfrary, I would also love to see an extensive node-red integration, specifically "charged energy", "discharged energy" and "reset history" to be able to create a daily summary automatically. I apply this wish for the BMV-712 too.


I think about buying smartshunts to monitor off-brand solar chargers, separate BluePower IP67 charger and a separate Phoenix inverter running system-essentials. All on the same battery bank as my Multiplus-II.

I have been thinking about an extra smaller inverter to run some of the essentials, like the CCTV and internet, but our systems are somewhat complex and having two out of sync AC sources is a bit of a no no HSE wise. 6000VA of inverter to run 400 watt of kit is a bit overkill.


The node red integration will come I think, there's lots of people working on it.

The new trends feature coming in victron connect might give you some help with the 712. personally our just get shoved in the CCGX or Venus and then disseminated to VRM.

CCTV and internet hardware is what I run on my extra inverter. That way, if I leave a cable out and the GFCI shuts off or even if the multiplus for some reason shuts down the cctv still operates and I can still connect to my raspberry pi to see what's going on and access relays through node-red if I'm not at home. Works fine so far, but I would like the phoenix to sync with the multiplus2 as they do share PE connection. I don't think it's possible though...
mrhappy avatar image
mrhappy answered ·

@mvader (Victron Energy) , I just installed a SmartShunt to measure off-brand pv chargers. Working great to get the info into node-red when have it set as a battery monitor. I understand that integration is in the works, and I am curious about some details about your plans for choosing "DC energy meter" / "Solar charger":

1: Is the idea to make it show in the console as a PV charger with its own box?

2: Is it planned to make it accessible from node-red from a "solar charger" node?

3: Is there, as of now, any way to read values through modbus when setting it as an energy meter? (I do not find any such addresses in the ModBus TCP Register list)

Thanks!

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Hi, while I understand and appreciate your curiosity, I can't help now. The answers will all become clear once we release a Venus OS version that includes the energy meter functionality.


All the best, Matthijs

mrhappy avatar image mrhappy mvader (Victron Energy) ♦♦ ·
Ok, I respect that, keep up the great work.
thanks! Be aware that anything you see right now will probably change. For example com.victronenergy.dcmeter is no longer existing in the new version.