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Votronic MPP Charge controller
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userDroidfan
Posted: 6 January 2020 7:48 PM
Subject: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 
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Hi
I am replacing a Solar Technology International STC20 charge controller that has outputs to the vehicle battery (1) and a second output that goes to the two 80 amp Exide ES 900 Gel habitation (bord) batteries.
I have two questions? 1) The MPP 350 has 4 large terminals +- from the solar panels and -+ to Battery 12v. - Does anyone know how do I connect the Votronic Solar Regulator to both habitation and the vehicle battery?
2) The vehicle battery is a new 90amp Bosch lead acid type. - Which switch position do I use Gel or Acid/ AGM1. Any thoughts or advice on the old subject would be much appreciated.
usercolin
Posted: 6 January 2020 8:29 PM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 


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Is it the one here? https://www.votronic.de/index.php/en/products2/solar-technology/charging-controllers/standard-version-mpp/mpp-350-duo-dig

If so there are more than 4 terminals, the vehicle ones are plainly marked 'start'
userRobbo
Posted: 7 January 2020 8:42 AM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 
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Location: West Sussex - 2010 Carthago Chic, Fiat 3.0 litre


Assuming it's the one Colin has linked to then I assume you've downloaded the user manual (or have a hard copy supplied with the product).

Since your leisure batteries are Gel, you need to use the Gel setting. The connection to your lead acid starter battery is from the smaller 5 terminals, left hand one marked Start +. The starter battery only receives a trickle charge.
userNinjabob
Posted: 8 January 2020 11:26 PM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 
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Trickle charges @ 1amp
userDroidfan
Posted: 9 January 2020 7:27 PM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 
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Thanks all for the replies. Yes it is the MPP 350 Duo Digital. I have spoken to Votronic and the advice given was the same as their technical support. I installed the unit now and all seems fine. My main wobble was the unit that I have replaced had pos & neg for both the Hab and Start battery. The Votronic has +- for the Hab but only a single smaller positive terminal for the start. (hence the 1 amp trickle charge. Have set the selector to gel as advised.
After further reading I'm planning to move the MPP 350 from it's current position near the O/S B post to the N/S Hab battery compartment behind the passenger seat.
userRosemary
Posted: 30 March 2021 11:02 AM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 
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Hi, I am hoping someone can offer me some advice please regarding the Votronic MPP 350 solar regulator.
We have just changed our van and have one of these regulators fitted to keep our lithium leisure battery and our AGM starter battery topped up
My question is - on our old van with a different system we could see the charge of the starter battery rise when we had a sunny day and then lose voltage when the weather wasn't great. We aren't getting this with this system and the starter battery quickly goes down to 12.1V and seems to be staying there. Is this normal on this system or not ?
We keep our van in storage but check on the tracker app regularly to see what is happening, the leisure batteries are full its more of a concern we have regarding the starter battery
Also the van dealer has the switch position set to lead/acid which I think is incorrect, I think it should be set to lithium as that is what the leisure battery is ??

Any help, experience or advice would be great

Thanks
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 30 March 2021 2:10 PM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 


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Welcome to the Out&AboutLive forums, Rosemary.

It might be useful if you would identify which motorhome you own (make, exact model and age).

https://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/IDENTIFYING-YOUR-MOTORHOME/54713/

As you’ve said it has an AGM starter-battery It’s reasonable to assume that the vehicle is fairly recent, but it would still be helpfull to have more details.

Installation and Operating guidance for the MPP 350 Duo Digital device can be found here

https://www.votronic.de/images/Manuals/07.%20Solar%20Current%20Technology/1710_1715_1720_1725_e.pdf

I’ve no hands-on experience of solar-panel systems, but - as the primary purpose of the Votronic device seems to be to charge the leisure-battery (with starter-battery ‘trickle charging' being an option) - I would have thought the controller’s switch setting in your case should be for a lithium battery.

(Was the lithium battery part of your motorhome’s original specification or was it retro-fitted?)
userRosemary
Posted: 30 March 2021 2:29 PM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 
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Hi Derek

Thank you for the welcome

We have a 2021 Carthago on a MB chassis - c tourer
I have read the user manual and the technical data from Votronic and I have emailed them too. They have come back to me today stating that if the starter battery voltage drops below 12V then the 1a trickle charge will start to feed in.
It was this that I was concerned about as the voltage of the starter battery seemed to fluctuate quite a bit on our old van whereas this one seems to settle around 12.2V (which seemed quite low to me) and I think it is the difference between 2 different systems that we have to get used to as our other seemed to settle around 12.5V

We are going to move the setting on the regulator to lithium; I just wondered if anyone had any experiences good or bad with the solar regulator and to see if other users agreed that the control should be set in that position (ie lithium not lead/acid)

Thanks again
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 30 March 2021 3:13 PM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


In view of the above info regarding the age of the van, I think it might be wise to contact the supplying dealership for their advice before making any adjustment to the present charging regime.

First, given the combination of lithium habitation, and AGM starter, batteries (I assume both installed by Carthago at works) the charger should have been correctly set before the van was shipped.

Second, as part of the pre-delivery inspection by the supplying dealer, those settings should have been checked and any error corrected before the van was delivered to you.

This is not intended to be negative, but lithium batteries are relatively expensive and your van is still under warranty. The warranty will doubtless contain a clause to the effect that unauthorised changes to the installed equipment will render the warranty void so, bearing the above in mind, I think it would be wise to register your query with the dealer (who can then take it up with Carthago as necessary) to obtain confirmation that either the present settings are correct, or alternatively to return the van to them for the necessary adjustments to be made.

That way, if one or other battery should fail prematurely, you will be in a far better position re warranty or sale of goods act etc. rights than if you intervene before first giving the dealer/manufacturer an opportunity to put matters right. In the process you will then also gain confirmation of the correct settings for future reference.
userSteve928
Posted: 30 March 2021 3:31 PM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 


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Rosemary - 2021-03-30 2:29 PM

I have read the user manual and the technical data from Votronic and I have emailed them too. They have come back to me today stating that if the starter battery voltage drops below 12V then the 1a trickle charge will start to feed in.

Thanks again

That's not a behaviour that I recognise from my own MPP250, although one would expect Votronic themselves to know better than me.
My own is set to AGM2 (14.7V bulk charge) for the NDS Greenpower AGM habitation battery and the voltage at the flooded starter battery seems to always be about 0.5V lower.

Today, for example, after a day under grey skies, the MPP250 is indicating 'fully charged' and is maintaining the batteries at 13.5V hab and 13.0V cab. These voltages will be maintained until dusk when they'll slowly start to drop below 13.0V, returning to bulk phase (14.7/14.2) tomorrow morning.
I've never seen a voltage as low as 12V.
userRosemary
Posted: 30 March 2021 4:03 PM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 
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We have the Votronic MPP 350 so maybe it works to slightly different levels than the 250 ??
userSteve928
Posted: 30 March 2021 4:06 PM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 


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Perhaps, but I don't think so. If you follow Derek's link above to the installation and operating instructions then the single document covers all MPP models which feature common configuration and voltage levels etc.


Edited by Steve928 2021-03-30 4:07 PM
userRosemary
Posted: 30 March 2021 4:06 PM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 
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Hi Brian

I have already contacted the dealership and the battery manufacturer and wouldn't change anything without clarification from them both
As you say the battery wasn't cheap and we are still under warranty
userRosemary
Posted: 30 March 2021 4:21 PM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 
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We have already read the operating and installation instructions from Voltronic and I think all we can do is go with what they say and see how we get on. Its early days yet and we are getting used to a new system, fingers crossed it all works fine when we can eventually get away. The leisure battery is staying topped up I just had concerns relating to the charge of the starter battery.

Thanks all, safe travels
usermikefitz
Posted: 31 March 2021 11:55 AM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 
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Hi, a few comments on your issues.

I guess its a dealer install of the charger and lithium battery, if so its their responsibility to get it correct. It quite possible the install process was less than perfect, having the controller on the incorrect setting suggests this is the case.

The controller should be set for lithium batteries. I suggest setting (e) recommended for Victron batteries, whilst this is still not ideal its the best of the rest.

The maintaining charge from the Votronic charger should keep the engine battery at higher level than 12.2 volts. Whilst the 'smart' alternator charging of the base vehicle may keep the battery at less than full charge, I would expect a higher voltage value.
There may be some accuracy loss in the tracker reporting voltage, depending on its voltage calibration and the position where its connected into the 12v system.

Any competent technician should be able to confirm that the engine battery is receiving the correct maintaining charge from the controller by measuring voltages and current values.

Lithium batteries are a great step up in battery technology but using them for long service life needs a different mindset compared to lead acid batteries.

There are a few operational areas where lithium batteries will suffer permanent damage resulting in reduces service life. There are charging below 5 deg C, or above 40 deg C, exposing the battery long term to high temperatures (over 25C), continually keeping the battery at a full state of charge, charging or discharging the battery at very high current levels.

The low temperature charging limitation varies for the slightly different chemistries used, some battery manufactures allow reduced charging current below 5 deg C.

The lithium battery will have a battery management system, the BMS, incorporated within the battery. These should be regarded as a last line of defense, a protection system, to prevent serious battery damage and not all will have low temperature protection. The BMS does not control the charging process, it just disconnects the battery from consumers or chargers if the protection levels are exceeded.

Mike



Edited by mikefitz 2021-03-31 12:01 PM
userRosemary
Posted: 6 April 2021 11:40 AM
Subject: RE: Votronic MPP Charge controller
 
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Hi Mike

thanks for this, yes it is a dealer supply & install and they have confirmed that the setting was incorrect and suggested that we change it to "f" per the votronic installation manual, we were happy to do this as this is the setting we thought was correct - its an Epsilon battery that we have on the van. And yes we have a BMS on there too. The dealer is very apologetic and acknowledged the error made by a newer employee.

We have had the van back home over the Easter weekend and we are thinking that the data from the tracker is not as accurate as it could be, having checked against the reading on the van, we are going away in a couple of weeks so will get a better feel for how everything is working and readings etc ; its all just a bit different to the older system we had previously but we will get used to it over the next few weeks

Safe travels and thank you
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