Victron charge controller and DC fridge load - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-03-2022, 04:25 PM   #1
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Name: Dave
Trailer: boler 1978
British Columbia
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Victron charge controller and DC fridge load

I'm looking at a Victron charge controller specifically the Smart MPPT 75/10. I want something that monitors harvest and load amps so I can monitor where my batteries are at.



My current pwm controller goes stupid when my DC fridge starts up so I can't use the load connection off the charge controller and had to bypass. My issue with this is I no longer have visibility on my harvest and load levels. I was looking at a separate shunt and monitor for the load but if I'm going to spend money the Victron looks like it covers everything with a better controller, bluetooth monitoring, and load/harvest all in one box/app.





The fridge is rated at 2.5 amps and when it starts it pulls 6 ish amps so under the 10 amps the controller is rated for. The victron noted above is rated at 15 amps load so in theory should be just fine. Has anyone used one of these with a DC compressor fridge and been okay? I've done some googling and other people have had the same issues with other controllers and DC fridges despite being within the amp ranges. Generally a fridge on start up draws 3 times the rated amps.



Cheers!






I've got a single 100 watt solar panel and 2 X 60 amp hour LIFEPO4 batteries.
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Old 04-03-2022, 07:05 PM   #2
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I may be misunderstanding this, but I would think you should be drawing off your converter/charger or your house battery, and there should not be any problem. I must admit that I am not really familiar with how a charge controller is hooked up. Mine is a Victron 12 volt DC to DC 30 amp isolated battery charger and it only charges my LiFePO4 100 amp heated batteries while my tow vehicle is running.
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Old 04-04-2022, 07:39 AM   #3
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Name: Dave
Trailer: boler 1978
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Hi Parmm


Both the charge controller I have and the 75/15 Victron I'm looking at has 3 sets of connections. Solar in, Battery, and load. If all loads are connected to the charge controller load output you get full visibility to solar harvest and draw from the battery. If I get this one and have to connect the fridge direct to the battery anyways I'm pretty much back where I started.


I ordered it this morning anyways. I'll give it a shot and see. Its a bit of work to rewire everything but easy enough to return if it doesn't work the way I want.


I'm also looking into some kind of capacitor storage enroute to the fridge to smooth out the quick draw hit on start up. We'll see.



On the upside I enjoy doing this kind of stuff and working on my Boler in general so all good.
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Old 04-04-2022, 07:50 AM   #4
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Unless I'm missing something, if you have a converter as well as the solar controller, you would need a separate shunt at the battery to monitor the in & out amperage of both. The converter output would not go through the solar controller.
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Old 04-04-2022, 07:52 AM   #5
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Name: Dave
Trailer: boler 1978
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Hi Jon


No converter. Everything runs 12 volts from the battery.


I have a NOCO 5 amp battery charger that keeps the battery topped up when I'm plugged in which is usually just at home. In that case I don't care about monitoring my batteries as they would just stay full.
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Old 04-05-2022, 09:49 AM   #6
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My Windy Nation pwm controller gives me all the information I need: amps in, amps out, plus amp hours, in and out. That makes it easy to determine status of my batteries.
The word "smart" as it applies to electronics, was first used in the 80's to sell phones. My dog is smart. My devices don't know squat.
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Old 04-05-2022, 10:00 AM   #7
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Dave,

How many amp hour is you battery?
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Old 04-05-2022, 11:06 AM   #8
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Dave,

Are you saying the new charge controller will read ALL loads and ALL input to the batteries from not only solar, but from the seven pin, or any other sources? And all loads from the battery to the trailer, not just the fridge? And will your charger take a higher surge load in case you have lights on or something else when the fridge starts? Will the Victron be mounted where you can see it at a glance several times per day?

I don't see the advantage of doing this except to not have to install a separate shunt and monitor. What if you want to add a suitcase, or charge from the seven pin, or install an Anderson plug, or plug into shore power while camping, and monitor the batteries? A real battery monitor that reads out in percentage, reads all input and loads, and has a convenient readout is very nice.
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Old 04-09-2022, 06:41 AM   #9
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Name: Dave
Trailer: boler 1978
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New victron arrived and installed.



I've got two 60 amp lithium batteries.



Raspy, Yes it could monitor all loads and charges I have. I don't have a 7 pin for charging. The NOCO 5 amp is hooked straight to the battery but I could connect it to the solar in as its within the ok amp range. I just don't care to. If I'm on shore power (99% at home) the batteries leave for camping full so I have 120ah. I could purchase the victron shunt and monitor for another $300 but that doesn't really get me anything. The victron is bluetooth enabled with a phone app so I can see everything on my phone within 20 feet of my boler. Its pretty slick.


The victron did solve my fridge starting up issue. All other loads on (lights furnace, phones charging) and the fridge cycles on and off no prob all through the controller so I can monitor.


Now that I have an MPPT charge controller with monitoring I'm seeing that I could harvest more power daily with two 50 watt panels in series versus the single 100 I've got due to the increased voltage. This would allow me to double the wire length to the panel at the same size allowing better panel positioning or lower loss if I don't fully double the length Currently I lose about 1 volt from panel to charge controller. Also maybe an hour or two of low light charging morning and night at sunrise/sunset when the single 12 volt would otherwise not produce enough voltage to charge the battery. This might not really be worth the change to two 50's but I can't help myself and ordered them already . Obviously just adding a second 100 watt panel seems like the better choice but management already doesn't like the size of the 100 I have
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