Victron MultiGrid Installation Advice

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Victron MultiGrid Installation Advice

Postby GregoInc » Fri May 25, 2018 1:49 pm

I am close to installing my offgrid battery system and wanted to see if there were people in the community that had installed a Victron MultiGrid or Multiplus?

I will be incorporating a Victron SmartSolar 150/45 to charge the LEV40 Lithium Ion battery pack (15s), so figure I need to configure the MultiGrid and SmartSolar to manage the Lithium batteries.

I intend on implementing a BMS, but just wanted to get started with the Victron equipment first. So all advice regarding the Victron equipment setup would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Mark
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Re: Victron MultiGrid Installation Advice

Postby davidg » Fri May 25, 2018 3:20 pm

GregoInc wrote:Victron MultiGrid or Multiplus?

If you must use Victron use a Multiplus.

Personally I'd use Selectronic SP-Pro and if using an Automatic Generator or the Grid I'd go AC coupled using Fronius in preference every time yes it will cost more, products are better the solution is more powerful and flexible, better warranties for the equipment, etc.

While I have installed LiFePO4 in off-grid systems. After monitoring them (LiFePO4) and PB based systems I'd suggest going PB for SPS in preference.

The fact is the long term runs are on the board for PB used properly and setup correctly for Off-Grid is just really hard to go past. I thought I'd be replacing the PB pack I have here with LiFePO4, however the fact is they are over 25Years old and still provide 92%+ of their original capacity charge to discharge ratio, the newer Carbon PB cells I use based on artificial life cycle testing by the manufacturer should last much much longer for the same DOD or at least as long with a considerably deeper DOD, either way, this what I would recommend.

It's pretty unlikely that LiFePO4 will be able to match that sort of life cycle, unfortunately. They are also much more sensitive to issues that PB will simply sail through and like PB they need to be protected from excessive heat over 35C has a serious impact on their life along with other electronic protection, balancing, etc, required to ensure they don't fail in a short period of time.

Temperature is the enemy of PB and Lithium, both have the same issues with temp for the same reasons, beware Lithium packs are much more sensitive to issues once 35C is exceeded including a drastic shortening of long term life. PB's life will be shortened if they are exposed to it but due to the mass of the cell/s they tend to take much longer to be affected at all.

AGM PB is still about the best option for a true SPS (Stand Alone Power System), where the Grid is available for top up etc Lithium a should be a good option particularly if space is limited. However, I think I'd still go PB if there is enough space to install them.
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Re: Victron MultiGrid Installation Advice

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Fri May 25, 2018 5:10 pm

davidg wrote:While I have installed LiFePO4 in off-grid systems. After monitoring them (LiFePO4) and PB based systems I'd suggest going PB for SPS in preference.


You might need to start a new thread to explain yourself David ;) [Maybe copy this post to start it, as it is OT for this thread]

they are over 25Years old and still provide 92%+ of their original capacity charge to discharge ratio


92% of their original capacity, but what is the charging efficiency after 25 years and what average and max DOD have they had? (for your new thread!)
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Re: Victron MultiGrid Installation Advice

Postby davidg » Fri May 25, 2018 7:29 pm

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:they are over 25Years old and still provide 92%+ of their original capacity charge to discharge ratio.


Final thing...... The 92% means that for every 1.0kWh pushed in (Charge) I get 0.92kWh back out, it's a good indicator of condition of the cells and the last time I tested the internal resistance of them they were well within specification.

as for another thread...............I said everything I wanted in the other post :D #just saying.
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Re: Victron MultiGrid Installation Advice

Postby GregoInc » Fri May 25, 2018 9:39 pm

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:You might need to start a new thread to explain yourself David ;) [Maybe copy this post to start it, as it is OT for this thread]


I am inclined to agree... no offence David, but I already own the Victron equipment, so am not seeking recommendations for batteries or inverter/charger equipment.

As per my original post, I am seeking advice from a member of this community that has installed the same or similar Victron equipment.
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Re: Victron MultiGrid Installation Advice

Postby australsolarier » Sat May 26, 2018 8:29 am

the configuration for your lithium batteries are the same whichever charger or inverter/charger you are installing. in my case bulk 3.5V, float 3.35V per cell. you need to find out the specifications of your batteries. (will be different for your batteries) the victron needs a special dongle to programm it for custom mode with your laptop.
my chargers changes from bulk to float when when 8amps on my 400ah battery is reached. for example.
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Re: Victron MultiGrid Installation Advice

Postby davidg » Sat May 26, 2018 7:31 pm

GregoInc wrote:I am inclined to agree... no offence David, but I already own the Victron equipment, so am not seeking recommendations for batteries or inverter/charger equipment.


I have installed Victron, It just happens to run a far 2nd or maybe 3rd that's all.

You were asking which unit and so on, which indicates that you have not bought equipment yet.

#just saying
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Re: Victron MultiGrid Installation Advice

Postby tom rickard » Mon May 28, 2018 7:46 am

Step one when using LiFePO4 cells is get the right BMS. The BMS controls the charging algorithm regardless of the brand of charge controller/inverter.

As David pointed out, you can kill the lithium cells if you dont look after them

Don’t be scared off though, just because some of the professional installers don’t know what they are doing with the LiFePO4 cells, doesn’t mean it’s not possible (or simple) to use them.

The REC-BMS is plug and play compatible with the Victron, and will ensure your LiFePO4 cells are charged correctly.
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Re: Victron MultiGrid Installation Advice

Postby davidg » Mon May 28, 2018 7:00 pm

tom rickard wrote:Don’t be scared off though, just because some of the professional installers don’t know what they are doing with the LiFePO4 cells, doesn’t mean it’s not possible (or simple) to use them.


Yes

However my opinion is that PB is still a better option for serious or proper SPS and as I also said I've installed them they work ok. I just don't think they will last as long or as well as the past systems I've done with PB packs and in particular some of the newer Carbon PB AGM's that are now available.

Only a long time, will really tell what is possibly better, however I suspect it may well be the Carbon PB that works out as the longer lived option, even if they are not of efficient in the charge to discharge cycles which is less of an issue with the cost of PV compared to several years ago.
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Re: Victron MultiGrid Installation Advice

Postby tom rickard » Mon May 28, 2018 7:45 pm

I agree with you that every installation needs to be judged on it’s merits.
Also, if you are AC coupled you cannot legally DIY, so it’s always best to work with whatever your installer is comfortable with.
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