victron smartsolar mppt 100/30 do I still need a battery monitor - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-04-2020, 07:34 PM   #1
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victron smartsolar mppt 100/30 do I still need a battery monitor

I have a new escape 19 on order . I thinking of the victron smartsolar mppt 100/30 controller. will i still need a battery monitor with this?

I had planned to use my Bogart system out of my casita,But the new owner wanted the solar so I let the sc-2030 controller go with the camper. I did keep the trimetric tm-2030 and shunt and wiring. so now i have a choice either purchase another sc-2030 controller or get the victron smartsolar with bluetooth . it looks like the battery temp sensor is also wireless. this would make the escape install easy. does that victron controller give you percent of battery charge? on my trimetric the 2 feasures i used often was percent of charge , and the charging amps.



my escape will have 2 190 watts panels on roof and 100 watt portable. no inverter . i really only got the second panel for fall camping
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Old 05-05-2020, 05:16 AM   #2
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does that victron controller give you percent of battery charge?
my victron bmv-700 battery management setup will give you % of battery charge, the charging amps and a whole lot more via bluetooth to my phone using victron's app. i don't use victron controllers (because i already had a pair of morningstar units) but, all seems to work well. i've had the current setup a couple years or so with no issues.

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Old 05-05-2020, 07:05 AM   #3
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Battery Type

Voltage is a good indicator of charge level IF you are using some sort of lead acid battery. Lithium on the other hand doesn't work so well in that regard. I think you will need one of the Victron 700 series monitors with the shunt to get that info.

Meanwhile Victron has a forum just for questions like this.

https://community.victronenergy.com/index.html

My Battle born batteries and 712 Victron monitor are coming in today so I downloaded the app on to my tablet. I couldn't get any info out of it because there were not any devices to connect to so it stops at the first screen.
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by NEWYORKHILLBILLY View Post
I have a new escape 19 on order . I thinking of the victron smartsolar mppt 100/30 controller. will i still need a battery monitor with this?

I had planned to use my Bogart system out of my casita,But the new owner wanted the solar so I let the sc-2030 controller go with the camper. I did keep the trimetric tm-2030 and shunt and wiring. so now i have a choice either purchase another sc-2030 controller or get the victron smartsolar with bluetooth . it looks like the battery temp sensor is also wireless. this would make the escape install easy. does that victron controller give you percent of battery charge? on my trimetric the 2 feasures i used often was percent of charge , and the charging amps.



my escape will have 2 190 watts panels on roof and 100 watt portable. no inverter . i really only got the second panel for fall camping
A couple of things - You may find the 100/30 a tight fit current wise if you are running all your panels. I have hit 30 amps on occasion with a pair of 160 watt rooftop panels & a 160 watt portable. I did have the rooftop panels tilted at the correct angle for the Arizona winter sun. If I was doing it over, I'd go for the 100/50. I don't like to work electronics at their maximum load. The solar controller does not give state of charge of the battery, although with practice, you can deduce it by watching the charge rate. No where near as accurate as the actual battery monitor. It does provide a nice history of the charging cycles over the previous 30 days.

As to the battery monitor, if you plan to do lots of dry camping, I'd suggest adding it. You will have to do some high current wiring to add the shunt, but the advantage is that when properly configured, it will tell you the state of charge of your batteries at any time. With a simple voltage measurement, the only time it will be correct is when the sun is down & you have no load on the trailer. I believe that Victron is planning on releasing a bluetooth only version (no meter) in the near future, but have no information on it. That would save making a hole for the meter...

I've found the bluetooth very useful. You can use your phone as a volt & amp meter while trouble shooting the systems rather than trying to deal with meter leads, and, as mentioned, the BMV 712 Smart Meter lets you check the battery SOC at any time. Also useful for checking the currents of individual loads in the trailer, etc.
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Old 05-06-2020, 04:29 AM   #5
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Name: Mel
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Basically, I believe you have three choices:

1. Use voltage-based estimation of percent charge or State or Charge -SOC-. This is a very ROUGH ESTIMATE that can easily mislead. The Lead Acid -LA- voltage measured varies greatly by: place it's measured in system, battery condition, recent and current charging or discharging, battery capacity which changes, battery temperature, etc. Cost: Low or no cost, often included in solar controllers.

2. Buy, install, use, and periodically recalibrate a SOC system. This system uses the measured power in and out since last recalibration to estimate SOC based on your entered battery capacity which changes with age. Bluetooth-to-phone lets you avoid wiring and mounting a remote display. Cost: About $150 plus install time and periodic manual recalibration.

3. Replace your 100 Ah LA battery with a Lithium Iron Phosphate -LFP- 125Ah battery equipped with SOC and Bluetooth-to-phone information display. This gives you a much longer-life battery with many advantages listed in many places. One such battery and complete charge system (I am the vendor) is listed in FiberglassRV under CLASSIFIEDS, PARTS FOR SALE . I'd recommend upgrading charging system within a few years to get full 125Ah capacity use, automatic recalibration, and automatic cell-by-cell balancing that extends battery lifespan per testing results. Cost: $1100 for 125Ah LFP 'Smart' battery w/10 year warranty.

Please let me know if I can be of any help.
HAPPY, SAFE BOONDOCKING!
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:14 AM   #6
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Name: mike
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Originally Posted by MelH View Post
Basically, I believe you have three choices:

1. Use voltage-based estimation of percent charge or State or Charge -SOC-. This is a very ROUGH ESTIMATE that can easily mislead. The Lead Acid -LA- voltage measured varies greatly by: place it's measured in system, battery condition, recent and current charging or discharging, battery capacity which changes, battery temperature, etc. Cost: Low or no cost, often included in solar controllers.

2. Buy, install, use, and periodically recalibrate a SOC system. This system uses the measured power in and out since last recalibration to estimate SOC based on your entered battery capacity which changes with age. Bluetooth-to-phone lets you avoid wiring and mounting a remote display. Cost: About $150 plus install time and periodic manual recalibration.

3. Replace your 100 Ah LA battery with a Lithium Iron Phosphate -LFP- 125Ah battery equipped with SOC and Bluetooth-to-phone information display. This gives you a much longer-life battery with many advantages listed in many places. One such battery and complete charge system (I am the vendor) is listed in FiberglassRV under CLASSIFIEDS, PARTS FOR SALE . I'd recommend upgrading charging system within a few years to get full 125Ah capacity use, automatic recalibration, and automatic cell-by-cell balancing that extends battery lifespan per testing results. Cost: $1100 for 125Ah LFP 'Smart' battery w/10 year warranty.

Please let me know if I can be of any help.
HAPPY, SAFE BOONDOCKING!



Do you have a website? like to learn more about teh 125 aH . can you draw the entire 125 ah?
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:45 AM   #7
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I try hard to comply with host rules and and won't post my BoondockingPower website link online. I will private message you with it.

Be sure to look at the 'Nitty Gritty' information about the battery including the cycle testing -- up to 8000 cycles due to:
..NOT discharging it below 20% before recharging
..The cell-to-cell automatic rebalancing that extends lifespan -- few LFPs have it available and provide cell-by-cell voltage to verify rebalancing is keeping the cells at the same voltage.
I probably will not outlive this battery in my RV. I usually get about 6 days out of each cycle and we RV comfortably.

Normal Lead Acid battery charging will only charge Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries to about 80-85 percent of full 125 Ah capacity. At 80 percent of a 125 Ah battery you'll have 100 Ah -- the capacity of most Lead Acid battery.
When chargers are upgraded, you'll have the full 125 Ah reserve.

It looks like my battery is no longer on the Classifieds but my full Power System still is. The battery Classified advertisement may have timed out. I'll try to put it back on today.
Happy Boondocking!
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Old 05-11-2020, 05:23 AM   #8
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Name: mike
Trailer: CASITA
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Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
A couple of things - You may find the 100/30 a tight fit current wise if you are running all your panels. I have hit 30 amps on occasion with a pair of 160 watt rooftop panels & a 160 watt portable. I did have the rooftop panels tilted at the correct angle for the Arizona winter sun. If I was doing it over, I'd go for the 100/50. I don't like to work electronics at their maximum load. The solar controller does not give state of charge of the battery, although with practice, you can deduce it by watching the charge rate. No where near as accurate as the actual battery monitor. It does provide a nice history of the charging cycles over the previous 30 days.

As to the battery monitor, if you plan to do lots of dry camping, I'd suggest adding it. You will have to do some high current wiring to add the shunt, but the advantage is that when properly configured, it will tell you the state of charge of your batteries at any time. With a simple voltage measurement, the only time it will be correct is when the sun is down & you have no load on the trailer. I believe that Victron is planning on releasing a bluetooth only version (no meter) in the near future, but have no information on it. That would save making a hole for the meter...

I've found the bluetooth very useful. You can use your phone as a volt & amp meter while trouble shooting the systems rather than trying to deal with meter leads, and, as mentioned, the BMV 712 Smart Meter lets you check the battery SOC at any time. Also useful for checking the currents of individual loads in the trailer, etc.

Hmmm 30 amp vs 50 amp


In my case i probably only use the portable if one of the roof top 190 watt panels was shaded. so i probably could get away with with the 30 amp. I did email victron and they say its no problem hooking up the extra wattage But the controller will only charge to the 30amp maxx.so i my case the 30amp would work in fact i probably never see the 30 amp.


But I am glad you brought this up. (because i dint even think about )I am now thinking it might be wise for me to step up to the 50amp. as we all know solar gets cheaper every year at some point i may want to up size my portable to a larger panel. I believe both unit are physically the same size . I guess i would still have the option of another controller for portable panel.

here a good video on sizing latter in the video he covers the affects of over sizing the the panel wattage.
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Old 05-11-2020, 08:50 AM   #9
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Name: Mel
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Originally Posted by NEWYORKHILLBILLY View Post
Hmmm 30 amp vs 50 amp


In my case i probably only use the portable if one of the roof top 190 watt panels was shaded. so i probably could get away with with the 30 amp. I did email victron and they say its no problem hooking up the extra wattage But the controller will only charge to the 30amp maxx.so i my case the 30amp would work in fact i probably never see the 30 amp.


But I am glad you brought this up. (because i dint even think about )I am now thinking it might be wise for me to step up to the 50amp. as we all know solar gets cheaper every year at some point i may want to up size my portable to a larger panel. I believe both unit are physically the same size . I guess i would still have the option of another controller for portable panel.

here a good video on sizing latter in the video he covers the affects of over sizing the the panel wattage.
Thx for the video!
You're probably already considering these but most of the Victron SmartSolar Charge Controllers have:
1. A fixed wire input size. Many have 10AWG wire capacity to the unit
2. A Much higher Wattage capacity depending on solar panel voltage.
3. Load monitoring for some units, not for the larger ones.
MelH KEEP ON BOONDOCKING!
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Old 05-11-2020, 08:57 AM   #10
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Name: mike
Trailer: CASITA
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Originally Posted by MelH View Post
Thx for the video!
You're probably already considering these but most of the Victron SmartSolar Charge Controllers have:
1. A fixed wire input size. Many have 10AWG wire capacity to the unit
2. A Much higher Wattage capacity depending on solar panel voltage.
3. Load monitoring for some units, not for the larger ones.
MelH KEEP ON BOONDOCKING!



Thanks thats a good point but after looking up the info. both units will 6 AWG it appears there in same case
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:06 PM   #11
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After sending our Renogy Voyager back because the bus was entirely too small for 10g wire, found out our Victron's bus was only slightly better, but even 10g is pushing the connection bus.

Watching Will's "12v Solar Charge Controller Buyers Guide - Beginner Friendly!" I've decided when/if a new controller is purchased for the 170 watt rooftop panel, it will be a RichSolar 20 amp MPPT solar controller. It appears they have a bluetooth dongle to allow you to control the unit with your phone.



Enjoy,

Perry
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