Update to Victrons Venus OS - GEEK ALERT!

wildebus

Full Member

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2,677
Firstly, this is a message with a :geek: GEEK ALERT :geek: Warning!

I got a message from Victron about an update to their Venus OS (which runs on the Venus GX, Color Control GX and also can run on the Raspberry Pi).
For anyone using Victron Kit, especially a Multiplus, this has some very good features added and I would recommend you update :)

A couple of features I have been after ....

Enhanced Control of the Multiplus.
there is a physical switch on the Multiplus that allows you to set it to On, Off, or Charger Only. What is missing is the ability to set it to Inverter Only. If you use the VE.Bus Smart Dongle, you have that option (via the Bluetooth Phone App), but not if you use the more advanced Venus Units. Now finally we Venus users can have Inverter Only option
1576322498903.png
If you don't have a Multiplus, you may wonder why you would want this option, but believe me, it makes a difference and is useful (it saves having to go out and disconnect the mains lead for one!)


Temperature Sensor Sharing
Upto now, even if you had a mains Victron Charger with a battery temperature sensor, you would still need to add a SBS (Smart Battery Sense) device if you wanted to have your Victron MPPT Controller adapt for battery temp - and the MPPT Controller would also need to be bluetooth as that is how the two network.
Now a single Temp Sensor can be shared between different charging devices. From the updated CCGX Manual
4.4.3 Shared Temperature Sense (STS)
Select the temperature sensor to use; and the GX device will send the measured battery temperature to the Inverter/charger system as well as all connected Solar Chargers.
Selectable sources for the battery temperature are:
  • BMV-702 battery monitor
  • BMV-712 battery monitor
  • Lynx Shunt VE.Can battery monitors
  • Temperature inputs on a Venus GX (and same for other GX devices that have a temperature input)
  • Multi/Quattro inverter/charger
  • Solar Chargers (if fitted with a temperature sensor)

Shared Voltage Sensing
The same features are now available with Voltage Sense Sharing. If you didn't have a SBS or a bluetooth enabled BMV (or a Bluetooth MPPT) then you couldn't provide the MPPT with a more accurate Battery Voltage. Now you can use any BMVs Voltage data to send to a MPPT Controller via the VE.Direct connection using the Venus system.
4.4.2 Shared Voltage Sense (SVS)
Works with VE.Bus devices and VE.Direct Solar Chargers.
The system automatically selects the best available voltage measurement. It will use the voltage from the BMS or a BMV battery monitor, if possible, otherwise it will use the battery voltage reported by the VE.Bus system.
The voltage displayed on the GUI reflects the same voltage measurement.
Shared Voltage Sense (SVS) is by default enabled when DVCC is enabled. It can be disabled with a switch in the Settings → System Setup menu


I think these updates will mean the long-awaited update to have mutliple MPPT Controllers communicating with each other and working together on a single battery bank should be very close as (I think) some of the key foundations for that are now in place.


And this last one is maybe 9/10 on the Geek Scale ....

Solar Irradiation
Upto now there has been no way to include solar irradiation data into the Victron VRM system. Why would you want this? It can be a very good way to optimize the positioning of your solar panels as well as monitoring how well they are performing relative to the actual light level available. For a motorhome with solar, and especially one with adjustable panels, having a system that has integrated irradiance info in the system makes it easier and quicker to setup initially and analyze later
For example, how does this day compare to what could be possible?
1576325203194.png

The way I have been working this out is using the data from my weather station (for example for the day above ...)
1576325278496.png
But two totally different systems and it would be a pain to combine the info on a regular basis.
But now Victron have added support for an irradiance monitor which will map in directly :D

So you can fit a unit like this
1576325547610.png

in line with your panels and have it tilt if your panels tilt, etc, and provide info as shown below
1576325456582.png
I think I know what I might get for Christmas 🎅


Info from Victron on the stuff above (and more updates I haven't mentioned) is here - https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2019/12/11/venus-os-v2-40-nmea2000-out-solar-irradiance-and-more/
 

xsilvergs

Full Member

Messages
82
Firstly, this is a message with a :geek: GEEK ALERT :geek: Warning!

Solar Irradiation
Upto now there has been no way to include solar irradiation data into the Victron VRM system. Why would you want this? It can be a very good way to optimize the positioning of your solar panels as well as monitoring how well they are performing relative to the actual light level available. For a motorhome with solar, and especially one with adjustable panels, having a system that has integrated irradiance info in the system makes it easier and quicker to setup initially and analyze later
For example, how does this day compare to what could be possible?
View attachment 51953

The way I have been working this out is using the data from my weather station (for example for the day above ...)
View attachment 51954
But two totally different systems and it would be a pain to combine the info on a regular basis.
But now Victron have added support for an irradiance monitor which will map in directly :D

So you can fit a unit like this
View attachment 51956

in line with your panels and have it tilt if your panels tilt, etc, and provide info as shown below
View attachment 51955
I think I know what I might get for Christmas 🎅


Info from Victron on the stuff above (and more updates I haven't mentioned) is here - https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2019/12/11/venus-os-v2-40-nmea2000-out-solar-irradiance-and-more/
Sat here in the sun reading your post again Wildebus I think I may up grade from my RPi to a Venus GX for its extra functions.

Do you know if the power consumption of the Venus GX is less than a headless RPi?

The solar irradiation part is interesting but as calculating the sun's azimuth and elevation is quite easy, even for an Arduino with GPS, I'm not sure of the benefits from the Victron kit.

I am begining to wonder if my rotating panel is worth the effort for a mobile piece of kit. The panel size is only 50 watt as bigger just becomes more awkward to manage. My next project may be adapting my 150 watt tilting panels fitted the roof of my trailer. At present they are manually elevated to a fixed 45* angle. Making the angle of elevation track that of the sun may give greater gains in recovered energy.
 

wildebus

Full Member

Messages
2,677
Ref the power consumption, I don't know the difference in power between the two but both are very little anyway and I wouldn't expect it would be a decisive factor.
If you wanted to check, then the Venus GX is based on a Beaglebone SBC with some extras (such as a pair of relays for example) so maybe lookup the specs of that to compare?

on the solar thing, it is not just finding the optimum position and tilt I am thinking of, but actually seeing and mapping the irradiance (that is the bit I like :) )

I used a Raspberry Pi for quite a while and then changed to the Venus GX. In terms of the basic monitoring there is no difference, but the additional connectivity the Venus GX has built-in I do find useful and for me, the extra cost of the Venus GX setup over the Pi is worthwhile.
I like being able to monitor my Diesel Heater Fuel use (so I know if I need to add fuel to the tank before it runs out)
I like being able to monitor the Fridge internal temp and the room temp as well as the battery temp
I like the potential ability to remotely turn then water heater on and off (I say potential ability as I just have not wired that up through the relay yet but will do in the near future).
Also having Water Tank levels available via the Venus GX is (or will be once I build the drop-in sensor to conect to the GX) handy as well
Also the ability to have a car alarm running though the Venus system which will send an alarm email to you.
Having all the above available and built in ready to use makes the Venus GX much more of a systems monitor then the Pi I feel. The Venus GX is (IMO) a much better option than the CCGX as it is more capable and maybe half the price. I am happy to not have a little built-in screen (which I would very rarely use) and save a couple of hundred pounds.
I can use my in-dash head unit to do the same thing anyway ....
IMG_20190914_183818 by David, on Flickr

On the downside, Victron acknowlege the Wireless range on the Venus GX is very poor. I don't know if this is a real problem on a Motorhome though and maybe more so on some big yacht. I have it connect typically to a MiFi and it is fine, or smetimes use a little mini-router.
 

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