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Argofet and MPPT compatibility question

HI guys,

Can someone with expertise with the Argofet help me, I want to add an Argofet to split charge my VRSLA start battery and my LFP house bank. Easy so far. I want to connect an MPPT controller to the input of the FET and utilize the alternator energize circuit to tell the MPPT that there is voltage. The solar controller needs to see voltage at the battery terminals or it wont start charging.

This is what I had in mind, will it work?


The following is from Victron ArgoFet documentation...

Alternator energize input
Some alternators need DC voltage on the B+ output to start charging.
Obviously, DC will be present when the alternator is directly connected to
a battery. Inserting a Diode or FET splitter will however prevent any
return voltage/current from the batteries to the B+, and the alternator will
not start.
The new Argofet isolators have a special current limited energize input
that will power the B+ when the engine run/stop switch is closed.

Jafa Russell asked
kogir edited ·

2 Answers

Why isn't Solar charging showing on BMV-712?

I've had the BMV-712 monitoring 2-100AmpHour AGM batteries in my motorhome for about 2 years. When connected to shore power, it charges the batteries and shows INFINITE for time remaining. When disconnected from Shore Power, it shows 12 +/- days remaining and slowly drains showing depleting battery charge and reduced days remaining. That's all great.

Recently, I added 4-100 Watt solar panels and a ZAMP-30 Controller wired to the Batteries.

The BMV-712 does not show any charge input or accumulation from the solar panels and shows declining battery state and days remaining, even though the ZAMP Controller shows that my Batteries are full.

I assume the Solar contribution is not being seen by the BMV, but am not sure how to rewire the setup.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

jdalaska asked
jdalaska published ·

1 Answer

Solar panels not reaching 400W

Hi guys!

i have 4x100W solar panels connected in parallel. Today at around 1pm ET I turned on the inverter to run my water heater (Bosch 4gl electric water heater) which pull around 12A at 120V.

My batteries were sitting at 100%. After 20 minutes of the heater running my batteries reached 85%. So I checked the VictronConnect app for my MPPT and the solar was pulling 274W.

Any idea why they are not pulling the 400W or at least close to this number? There is no shading on them at all. See screenshot from today.


Mariorda91 asked
Leslieanne answered ·

5 Answers

Series-Parallel vs Parallel Efficency

Currently I have (3) 100W panels wired in parallel that typically operate in the 17-19v range. During full sun they generate power in the 15-20A range. These are wired into an MPPT 100/50 unit that I purposely over-sized as I expect to grow the array incrementally over time. I have currently chosen the parallel configuration as it seems to have more immunity to partial shading, but I probably incur a penalty during full-sun conversion in terms of efficiency.

Aside from the extra power generated by adding a 4th 100 watt panel, would my full-sun power generation efficiency increase significantly by creating two pairs of series panels (for 34-38v) and then running these two series pairs in parallel? I'm sure the voltage increase would help with any cable losses I might have built into the system. Presently my smallest cable is the 10ga at the panels, but I do have nearly 40ft of 8ga and 6ga flexible copper cabling. The (3) 100W panels are set up as a portable/re-positionable ground array for replentishing (2) series-wired T105 6v deep-cycle golf-cart batteries on my RV. Basically I want to be able to recharge the 30% or so battery capacity that I consumed the previous overnight as fast as the batteries can handle (10% of 225Ah). Maybe someday I'll be able to afford to switch over to Lithium cells, but that will have to wait for now.

Honestly, setting up two separate two-panel arrays might seem like more work, but I think the lighter weight of two hinged panels vs the current three might make things easier to move around. It would also, of course, mean building more cabling and another panel frame mount.

Any relevant wisdom would be greatly appreciated.


BTW, what is it with the spell-checker on this site? I don't think I made up any new words today. It seems to red underline several legitimate words as well as much of the jargon I would expect used on this site....

packrat1969 asked
Wildebus answered ·

3 Answers

Charge controller advice


What charge controller do you recommend for 2 solar panels 300W / 24V.

Thank you!

Sorin T. asked
Sorin T. commented ·

2 Answers

Victron BlueSolar PWM Controller with 95AH Deep Cycle LA Battery and 20 Amp trolling motor not working as planned. Please help!

Hi, I am a newbie. My goal is to use my trolling motor to power my canoe primarily using solar energy. The Trolling motor draws anywhere from 6-22 amps depending on speed I choose. I own a single 100 Watt solar panel that outputs has these specs:

  • Open circuit voltage (Voc): 21.6V
  • Max power voltage (Vpm): 18V
  • Short circuit current (Isc): 6.11A
  • Working current (Iop): 5.55A
  • Output Tolerance: ±3%

I have verified the current output to be 5.5 amps in direct sun.

I bought a Victron BlueSolar PWM Controller 20amp, and connected it to my fully charged (resting voltage = 13.1V) brand new 12 V deep cycle battery from Costco that I keep fully charged using my 12amp smart charger for 12V lead acid batteries. Then I connected the solar panel as per manual and lastly I connected my battery to the trolling motor directly. When I turn on the trolling motor to max speed and panel is in direct sun, I was expecting the controller to push all 5.5 amps to the battery since motor is drawing 22 amps. Instead I only get between 0.8-1.7 amps being sent and 4.7-3.8 amps being wasted. After having my motor on max speed for 3 hours and theoretically using up 66 of its 95 AH the controller finally starts pushing out more amps but still only 4-4.8 amps! This higher amperage only occurred near the last 15 mins of the test, I didn't want to keep going because I know that discharging even a deep cycle battery past 30% remaining (70% used capacity) will not be good for its long term health. So instead of getting 16.5 amps charged back into my battery over 3 hours (5.5 *3) I only got roughly 6 to 8 amps!?? I am confused by this and think maybe I don't have the correct setup. Can anyone help me understand, my guess is that solar controller only send less amps because it is in the wrong stage of charging (not Bulk stage but maybe boost or something?). My understanding is in bulk charge stage all current is sent to battery. Please help!

1) What I did wrong or what wrong equipment I'm using?

2) Can I achieve my goal of either having all amps produced by panel get put back into the battery , OR send those amps directly to the motor so it draws less from the battery? (I just don't want to waste them)

3) Should I buy an MPPT controller and be able to program it to push all amps coming from panel at all times until battery is 100% full? It this how mppt can work?

4) interesting note, when I try connecting motor to controller load terminals and turn on motor to 1st speed (low) this draws 6 amps, the motor will spin for about 5 seconds and then then controller turns offs the power to the load terminals and screen flashes with error symbol, even though the controller is rated for 20 amps! I think this is because voltage of battery drops when motor is on and maybe it drops lower than min setting on controller. This is why I end up connecting motor directly to battery. I verified there is no spike in current drawn when motor is first turned on using an amp meter, and amps never go past 6.5 on low speed.

Note, If I can figure this out, I will buy a second 100 Watt panel and hopefully get 10-11 amps, with the plan of going on long back country trips where I use motor at max speed for a few hours a day, and then the sun charges the battery back up and next day I can do it all over again!

mikeoes1 asked

0 Answers

Solar overvoltage protection - necessary?


I’m installing solar to charge an existing 12v lead acid battery system, I’ve got 2 panels, a 100/50 smart solar mppt controller and I’m also going to install a smart shunt or BMV 712 smart to monitor the battery state of charge etc... ( the current system doesn’t have any battery monitoring in place)

My question is do I need to be concerned about protecting the batteries from an overvoltage event from the solar charging, or will the charge controller provide protection? I was considering using the ve direct non inverting on/off cable between the shunt/BMV and the charge controller?

Thanks in advance!

WillCful asked
KevP answered ·

1 Answer

I am just beginning and want to use solar in my tiny house.

I have no idea what I am doing. Can I use a different type of battery brand with a different type of solar panel system brand? I need all the help anyone is willing to offer.

Jessica Hounshell asked
Guy Stewart (Victron Community Manager) answered ·

3 Answers

VictronConnect App zeigt seit Installation 0W


ich habe letzte Woche meine Solaranlage angeschlossen. Ich habe einen MPPT 75/15 Laderegler und eine 12V Lithium-Batterie. In der App wird mir dauerhaft Spannung (V) angezeigt, jedoch kein Watt oder Ah. Woran kann das liegen, dass das Paneel nichts einspeist und somit anfängt die Batterie zu laden?
kann das an der Reihenfolge der Montage liegen? Ich hatte auch bereits gelesen, dass die PV Spannung 5V höher sein muss, damit der Laderegler anfängt zu laden.

Janek Buss asked
Janek Buss commented ·

2 Answers


I will be adding my solar panels this weekend to the boat and want to check where I should have fuses.

At the moment the wiring from the 4x 150W panels will be 2x parallel then the 2x parallel in to series before going to the Victron MPPT 150/60 via MC4 connections. Should I have a fuse on the +ve input to the MPPT? There is then a 32A DC DIN Mount Breaker 125V MCB C curve on the +ve going to the batteries.

Secondly i’ll be putting an ET-112 from my onboard generator to give me power info to my Venus GX (no multiplus or Quattro onboard) I see there is a fuse to go on the neutral side of the ET-112 but it doesn’t say how much it should be, the generator is a Paguro 4SY, that puts out 3.5KW @230V.

Bora asked
njordan answered ·

2 Answers

Number of Cells in Series or Array Voltage. Which is more important?

I have reviewed manuals for several SmartSolar MPPT charge controllers. Section 3.3 "PV Configuration" lays out the guidelines for the solar array. It gives minimum, recommended and maximum number of individual solar cells in series, i.e. " Minimum number of cells in series: 72 (2x 12V panel in series or one 24V panel)".

Is the number of cells important or is this a generalization to get the user in the correct operating voltage range? That voltage range being Vbat+5 to 10-15% below the voltage limit.

For example, charging a 12v battery bank with a controller that has a recommended series cell count of 72. Using a single 24v panel, would it matter if the panel had 72 cells or 60 cells as long as the voltage is within the parameters?

I am using the Victron Energy MPPT Calculator Excel spreadsheet to determine voltage range vs temperature for individual panels.


COghst asked
COghst answered ·

1 Answer

Easysolar 12/1600 install in a van, panel wiring and LiFeYPO4 settings


Bought into Victrons sales speech for Easysolar 12/1600 product for a van project, but it seems some things still remain unanswered. I've read the manual and done the search. This setup will be used year round in different locations, some shaded some not and temperatures will vary mostly between -5 to +25 celsius. I will be living off-grid full time in the vehicle, so i opted for what i believe is a quality product from a European manufacturer, and i really want to like it.

Being that solar power is somewhat of a new option in the energy market (for the average consumer i mean) and it's popularity will grow together with the advance of battery technology. I find that that the manual and available information for a product labeled as Easysolar is lacking. I really think Victron is on to something here, but the documentation needs to be improved.

Ranting aside, to avoid frying my expensive gear and to get this right the first time, i have come here at the fountain of knowledge to be assisted and educated. So please take time to read this post thoroughly.

My setup will be:

Easysolar 12/1600

3x GWL SunnyPoly 165w panels

12v 260ah LiFeYPO4 winston battery with BMS123Smart for monitoring (link is to 200ah battery, otherwise specs should be similar)

Now for the list of actual questions:

1. Series or parallel panel wiring:

-I am under the assumption that parallel wiring would be better for shaded areas, but series better for more challenging conditions. So far I'm going for parallel wiring, will this work? Do i have enough voltage coming out of the paralleled panels to charge my system when in less optimal conditions? Is there a reason i should consider series?

2. If wired parallel, where to connect:

-there are inputs for 3 strings of panels on the Easysolar, is there a difference whether i connect the panels parallel in the roof and come down with one set of connectors and wires or is it better to wire and connect all 3 panels separately? I am inclined to wire them separately just because it would seem more serviceable and more robust to have less connectors and all 3 panels having their own set of cabling all the way from panel to the CC, this make any sense?

3. Inverter/charger settings

-i do not have any kind of color control monitor or such, i only have one VEdirect to usb -cable which i gather is not compatible with the inverter/charger portion of Easysolar but would need a VEbus to usb cable(?). However, when i check the manual page 16 for the table for dip-switch operable voltage settings - there is no setting for lithium batteries to be found at all? What settings do i NEED and HOW to set them now (with either dip-switches or by acquiring the VEbus-cable)?

4. Charge controller settings:

-now this one seems to have a rotary selector for LiFePO4, so that's something that is finally Easy as the name suggests. Apart from flicking the switch to seven is there any additional settings i NEED to change in order to keep my battery healthy? I quess this would be done with the VEdirect to usb cable and a computer then?

5. Is there anything else i need to reconsider before going with this setup?

-i've already acquired the gear mentioned above and will install these in the coming weeks. This will be the single most important aspect of my van, so i would like it to work since it will be a pain in the ass to redo once the project is finished.

Thank you for reading this far, please reply if you have an answer to one of my questions.


MHakulinen asked
Alexandra commented ·

2 Answers

Solar current during bulk much lower than open circuit current measured on solar panels

I have an MPPT 75/15 and I am getting much less current from my solar than rated.

Right now, in full sun, I read 5.25 amps from my panel open circuit. However, when I plug my solar panel into the MPPT 75/15, I am only getting 2.9 to 3.0 amps.

This happens 100% of the time, even with my other solar panels on trips out to the desert (full sun).

I understand that current will taper as the battery reaches full capacity, but this is even at the start of a bulk cycle in the morning.

I checked the maximum charge current in the settings and it is right there at 15 amps factory default.

Any help is appreciated.



cnrsd asked
waninae39 answered ·

5 Answers

Use swith to connect panel & regulator

Hello all,

I have a small panel (80W), sufficient for my boat.

I want to be able tu cut off both panel and charge controller ("regul"), but also prevent a wrong manipulation (that is to say; panel connected to charge controller but charge controller not connected to the battery.

I have plan to use 2 bipolar switch, wired like in this picture.

Well here only the "+" is shown, to have it clear, but the idea is to set 2 switch, one on the "+", and another on the "-".


Is there any issue to do it this way ?

Any risk when the charge controller is connected to the solar panel and the battery simultaneously ?

Louarn asked

0 Answers

System shutting down when batteries reach around 26 degrees..

We have a fairly new set up on our narrowboat with 2 X 150 AH Lifepo4s. Charging from engine or solar. We are using a relatively low amount of power, and the batteries have barely been below 80% charge. A couple of weeks ago we noticed the system seemed to shut down for no obvious reason. At the time we thought it coincided with new appliances being added, eg a 12v fan or using a new tool/phone charger (via the multiplies). Now it is more frequent and we think is linked to charging and battery temperature. It happens when we enable the solar to charge or when we run the engine to cruise or heat water in the calorifier. And it always happens when the batteries reach around 26 degrees or go above this. The red LED (Cell <4V or temperature) on our VE BUS BMS comes on at the same time. Whatever it is, this doesn't seem like it should be a problematic temperature, but as soon as the system shuts itself down we're then powerless to do anything; either to investigate the issue, or to use basic on board facilities.

Ceridwen asked
JasonTav answered ·

2 Answers

ECO multi Inverter.

Hi Everyone.

I have two Sunny Boy inverters (about 10 years old) for a 3kw/h system that is split on two sections of my roof. I would like to install a Victron Ecomulti to conserve some of the excess power that is generated during the day. Am I able to connect the ECOmulti to these inverters?

Jonathan Phillips asked
Paul B answered ·

1 Answer

NOCT data for Victron Solar Panels

The Datasheets for the Victron solar panels include the STC data but not NOCT. Are these figures available for each panel or is there a 'master' datasheet that shows NOCT figures available? TIA

ColinS asked

0 Answers

Which are the best companies in UK for residential installs

Hi guys, which are the best residential solar companies in the United Kingdom? I live a few steps away from Birmingham if that matters. I read on Renewablepedia, with this global problem it can be a good sign of everyone switching to green energy.

What you think? Thanks in advance!

Krystalle Conrado asked

0 Answers

Can not connect to Victron even after reboot, and PV panels stopped giving voltage.


I cannot connect to the Victron (multiplus II with GX) even after rebooting (tried reset button).

at the same time my solar PV panels stopped giving voltage?!

Can anyone advise?

willowfarm asked

0 Answers

Poly vs Mono Panels and MPPT Controller on a camper van


I have a camper van with a 12V system powered by a single 150W Poly Panel (not from Victron) controlled by a MPPT 75/15. Now I want to upgrade and I'm thinking about selling the current panel and controller and get two 175W Victron solar panels (in parallel).

My first question is regarding the cell technology that I should go for. The 175W Mono and Poly Victron solar panels have the same size and the price is very similar too. I can't find anything on the datasheet regarding the efficiency but I read that the mono panels tend to work better on low light situations while poly work better in shaded conditions (scattered rays).

Should I go for one of each to have the best of both worlds? Or should I go for 2 Mono since it will give me the best performance in full sun and low light conditions (the conditions that I will have maybe 98% of the time).

My second question is regarding the new controller. The MPPT Calculator gives me the 100/20 option, but its datasheet says that the Nominal PV power at 12V is 290W and the new system would give me 350W at the peak. Is the 100/20 controller a good option? Will I be able to take full advantage of the system with it?

Thanks for the help!

Miguel D asked
Miguel D commented ·

1 Answer

MPPT tripping breakers

I've had my system installed for ovear a year with no issues, and suddenly this started happening. (no changes to system)

So, I've got a 290 watt single panel the goes to a 30amp circuit breaker, then to my victron 100/20 mppt. To another 30amp breaker and then to a bus bar. Which goes out to the battery, fuse panel, and inverter, all of which also have breakers.

So a week ago i get in and pull up my stats and notice no solar coming in. I look and the breaker between the panel and the mppt had tripped. Well it's in a not so great place, and I thought i may have bumped it. So I reset it and everything was good until the following afternoon.

Now the breaker between the mppt and bus var tripped. I inspect all of my wiring and can find nothing wrong. I reset the breaker and move wires etc as much as possible to see if i can get it to trip. Nothing. Again works great until the following afternoon!

Is m charge controller at fault? Any ideas? My battery died due to this. And as much as I would love a valid excuse to go lithoumm, I just want my fridge to stay running.

Sorry for the long post! Thanka if you made it this far!

UrbanOverlanding asked
JohnC commented ·

4 Answers

Is it possible to have two solar panel connected (in parallel) to smart solar 100/20 ?

I have already a solar pannel connected to my smartsolar 100/20 and I want to add a new one.

First solar pannel is 185 WC (24v, 72 cells) Voc = 44.21V Isc = 5.59A

Second one is not yet bought and may be a luxor 200 Wc (24v, 72 cells) Voc = 44.27V Isc = 5.87A

I know that smarsolar 100/20 has a 100 V limit for solar pannel voltage and this is ok with my solar pannel parallelly connected.

Output for load of battery is 20 A max. Battery are 12V ones connected in parallele.

I don't know how to calculate maximum power that could enter in the 100/20. Could it be :

185+200 = 385 W => maximum intensity provided to 12V batteries would be 385 W/12 = 32A.

right ? so it won't be ok with my 12V batteries because 100/20 can load only 20A max, right ? I need to connect my batteries in serial to have 24V and then less intensity. Is my calculation correct ?

iostrym asked
iostrym commented ·

5 Answers

is it possible to explain my why do we talk about 12V, 24v or 16V solar pannel ?

I don't understand these voltage values because these values are quite never provided by manufacturers. (sometimes by vendors).

I have been told that we got this voltage values based on the cell number.

36 cells => 12 V

60 cells => 16 V (not sure)

72 cells => 24V

but I don't understand what could we do with these values. is it "approximatively" the voltage of the MPPT voltage ? I 'm not sure as my victron 100/20 always indicated Vmax value around 36V-39V for my 24V solar panel.

iostrym asked
iostrym commented ·

3 Answers

Cable size

Is 18awg OK to come from my 75/15charge controller to my leisure battery

Steve asked
ejrossouw commented ·

2 Answers

Solar / pump project

Hi All,

My apologies for the basic level of these questions!

I have a project in mind and I really need help because I don't want to make mistakes.

The project is to using solar panels to power water pumps to provide water (from a stream) to my crops.

So, I planned to buy:

- 6 solar panels of 300-350w each

- 6 water pumps of 240w (CC 24v / 10a or 12v / 20a) each

My wishes :

- Ideally, each panel feeds and controls its own water pump.

- No need for storage / battery

- Remote control management

- MPPT system to optimize performance

- But most importantly: I want to have a regenerative system in case the water pumps are not needed or when the solar panel delivers more power than necessary.

What are the equipment needed for this installation?

Thank you in advance for any help!


InCree asked
dalewright answered ·

2 Answers

Connect cable to 55W solar panel junctionbox

Hi. I bought a solar panel (SPM040551200; 55W-12V Mono) and there are, as I new, no cables attatched. I cannot find an instruction or document which cables to use; and how to connect them to the junction box? Can someone help me please how to do that? Regards, Rens

Rens Dijkstra asked
Alexandra commented ·

0 Answers

Looking for suggestions - Best way to hook up 12, 100 Watt - 18v panels to my MPPT 150/85


I have an off-grid installation with 12 each of 18 VDC Solar PV panels producing 100Watts in direct sunlight (in the American Southwest, if that matters to you). My battery system is 4 each of 6 volt Duracell Ultra batteries which are wired series-parallel (producing 12VDC). I already own the MPPT 150/85 MCA, the feed wires are run, I have some 4-to-1 parallel cables which I was considering hooking 3 banks of 4 panels in parallel (there are 3 MCA input pairs on the unit)...

I believe that will produce 18-21V at about 22 amps per pair... which should be more than enough in theory to do what I need it to do if I understand my requirements correctly.

My question to you: Is there a more efficient way to charge these batteries with the current setup I have? I.E. - Should I do 6 banks of 2 panels in series (~36V), then parallel 2-to-1 down to the 3 inputs with 24V charging?

What is the best way to handle this considering my low wattage panels and the multitude of them?

(Panel Specs)

12 of the following panels -


Optimal power [Pmax]: 100W(±5%)

Working voltage [Vmp]: 18V

Working current [Imp]: 5.62A

Short circuit current [Isc]: 5.97A

Open circuit voltage [Voc]: 21.6V

Dimensions: 105 x 54 x 0.25 cm/41.3 x 21.3 x 0.09 inch

Net weight: 2.6kg/5.73 lbs.

Working Temperature-40~+85

whitewhale asked
whitewhale answered ·

4 Answers

New Installation for Home


I am investigating options for an installation of solar panels and battery storage/back-up. I live in Johannesburg, South Africa and with the current power challenges this seems like a suitable plan.

However, after consultation with a few experts I am alot more confused as it seems like standard configurations are only being presented.

My questions are:

1. Is it possible to have solar panels installed for the purpose of supplying day time usage only to the entire household. We currently have an average daily consumption of 45kw , about 60% used during the day.

2. As part of the system in No. 1 above, can a battery pack be added to the system that would only serve as back up for essentials like a few plugs and lights.

Currently I have a 1500w inverter with 2 x 400A batteries connected to my lights only. This system has been designed to automatically switch on when there isnt power.

Hope to have receive some help.

Thank you


niren asked
SolarHack edited ·

2 Answers

How to use the MC4 connectors on Smartsolar?

Hi all,

The user manual for my smartsolar MC4 model does not help me in deciding which way to wire up my PV panels to the unit. I only have 2 panels (390 watts each) and was originally going to wire in series and then into the pos/neg in's on the regulator. However the MC4 model regulators have several pairs of MC4 inputs which means I could just send cables from each panel straight into the regulator without having to series or parallel them at the panels first.

So, what is the most efficient way to wire these panels up please.

A little more info in Victrons wiring ebook and regulator manuals would be a great help.

My panels are 390watt Voc 75.3v Isc 6.55A.


shars.p asked
JohnC commented ·

4 Answers


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