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MPPT survey (EC700 smart bypass surgery!)

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Post by LDPD Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:25 pm

Hi All,

We've read copious information about this subject on a variety of threads and are very interested  in updating our system.

We thought it might be useful for all interested members to know a little more about how people here have actually upgraded their electrics.

Are you willing to share details of what you have done?

Your motorhome model?
Which mppt controller have you used?
Did you do the install yourself?
... or,  who did you use?

Any surprises - good or bad!

Or, are you potentially interested in this as a future project

Look forward to hearing from you all

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Post by marconi Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:41 pm

LDPD wrote:Hi All,

We've read copious information about this subject on a variety of threads and are very interested  in updating our system.

We thought it might be useful for all interested members to know a little more about how people here have actually upgraded their electrics.

Are you willing to share details of what you have done?

Your motorhome model?
Which mppt controller have you used?
Did you do the install yourself?
... or,  who did you use?

Any surprises - good or bad!

Or, are you potentially interested in this as a future project

Look forward to hearing from you all

Another Solar EC700 thread, I thought you wanted to be loved.

Lamb to slaughter:-

2019 Nuevo
Votronic Dual MPPT
Self Install
N/A
Total improvement, no surprises having investigated the Sargent/AS approach and cheap Solar Controller.
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Post by LDPD Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:51 pm

marconi wrote:
Another Solar EC700 thread, I thought you wanted to be loved.

Lamb to slaughter:-

2019 Nuevo
Votronic Dual MPPT
Self Install
N/A
Total improvement, no surprises having investigated the Sargent/AS approach and cheap Solar Controller.
Cheers Marconi,
Yes, trying to steer clear of the details which are in other threads.
Keen to get an overview of how popular this upgrade is and how achieved.
Thanks for sharing

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Post by glyne lock Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:38 pm

[quote="LDPD"]Hi All,

We've read copious information about this subject on a variety of threads and are very interested  in updating our system.

We thought it might be useful for all interested members to know a little more about how people here have actually upgraded their electrics.

Are you willing to share details of what you have done?

Your motorhome model?
Which mppt controller have you used?
Did you do the install yourself?
... or,  who did you use?

Any surprises - good or bad!

2019 kemerton xl with ec500
EpEver Duoracer  dual controller
self install
great improvement with complete rewire
needed to change to be able to add extra solar panels as to my requirements
can be seen on my kemerton xl improvement post
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Post by Dbvwt Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:06 pm

I never thought the day would come but I’ve finally had enough of Solar threads hugegrins

To keep in the spirit of this one..

2018 Symbol with EC500
Votronic MPPT 250 dual
Self install (total cost £121 and two and a half hours)

In the more general picture, I really don’t understand why there are still so many threads that question the solution that has worked pretty much 100% for everyone with an EC500/700 that has done the mod due to issues with the Sargent and Solar.

It is so straightforward. Fit a dual MPPT controller (the popular Votronic or Epever) wired direct to both batteries. Wire the solar panel to the new controller bypassing the Sargent completely.
It just works.
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Post by LDPD Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:03 pm

Thanks all for sharing your info. It's really useful.  allthumbz

On this forum across various threads Votronic does seem to be a popular choice.
Anyone have thoughts/knowledge/experience of their LCD Solar Computer and Bluetooth Connector S-BC and app?

It might seem obvious, but I'm assuming that when using any MPPT controller as nothing is passed to the Sargent kit, the EC700 doesn't show any solar input and the smart settings for solar input don't do anything and can be safely ignored? Otherwise the EC700 functions as it normally does?

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Post by rgermain Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:04 pm

Dbvwt wrote:I never thought the day would come but I’ve finally had enough of Solar threads hugegrins

To keep in the spirit of this one..

2018 Symbol with EC500
Votronic MPPT 250 dual
Self install (total cost £121 and two and a half hours)

In the more general picture, I really don’t understand why there are still so many threads that question the solution that has worked pretty much 100% for everyone with an EC500/700 that has done the mod due to issues with the Sargent and Solar.

It is so straightforward. Fit a dual MPPT controller (the popular Votronic or Epever) wired direct to both batteries. Wire the solar panel to the new controller bypassing the Sargent completely.
It just works.
Agree David, same as my setup.

Just to add, turn the Sargent off when not wanted and on solar only, cuts down on the drain. Total fit and forget, yes really smile!
----------
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Post by Dbvwt Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:12 pm

LDPD, your assumptions are basically correct.
I did think of buying the S-BC but it costs more than the blooming controller! The Leisure and Vehicle battery voltages still show on my control panel so I’m guessing that will be the same on yours. 
For me, that’s all the info I need to make sure all is good.

Edit... when you say the Sargent solar smart settings can be ‘safely’ ignored, I would replace ‘safely’ with ‘happily and hope I never see solar smart charge ever again’ smile!
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Post by marconi Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:50 pm

Re Smart settings once modded its in the EC700 threads somewhere  smile! Set Smart charging well and truly to Off.

Set Solar charging to Vehicle Battery, yes honestly, although there is no Solar charge going the through the EC700 where it can waste it, setting to Vehicle saves another flaming Relay being continually energised so continually wasting more power when the EC700  is switched on.

The EC500 boys will confirm if the same applies, its hard enough remembering all the EC700 foibles.
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Post by Dbvwt Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:06 pm

I can’t remember what my EC500 is set to Marconi but I will check once I start using the van again with the Sargent switched back on. 
To be honest, for me personally I don’t think any small gains will recoup the girlfriends phone being permanently on charge!!

I’m very conscious about sending this thread too technical (not that I know that much!), there have been enough of those in the recent past smile!

The bottom line is that if you have an EC500/700 you will not regret it.
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Post by FreelanderUK Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:20 am

WXL 2016 EC500
Self install
Victron 100/30 Mppt regulator, 250w Panasonic panel, bypassed everything and wired straight to the leisure batteries with a Van blitz battery master fitted to keep the starter battery charged

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Post by Molly3 Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:09 pm

Is it possible  to remove  the the cheap sargent  controller  and fit or wire in an   mppt  in it's  place  , and retain  the functions  of the sargent  control  panel ? .
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Post by Dbvwt Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:34 pm

Molly, this was discussed very recently in the thread below (somewhere in the last 2 pages if I remember). Might be worth sifting through it to get an answer to your question.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Post by Peter Brown Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:48 pm

Molly3 wrote:Is it possible  to remove  the the cheap sargent  controller  and fit or wire in an   mppt  in it's  place  , and retain  the functions  of the sargent  control  panel ? .

Are you sure you have an EC500, they were still fitting EC328 in some vans in 2014 and that has an excellent solar installation?
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Post by LDPD Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:31 pm

Dbvwt wrote:LDPD, your assumptions are basically correct.
I did think of buying the S-BC but it costs more than the blooming controller! The Leisure and Vehicle battery voltages still show on my control panel so I’m guessing that will be the same on yours. 
For me, that’s all the info I need to make sure all is good.

Edit... when you say the Sargent solar smart settings can be ‘safely’ ignored, I would replace ‘safely’ with ‘happily and hope I never see solar smart charge ever again’ smile!
Thanks for confirming my assumptions. Agree with you on costs!
With the Votronic I've looked at you can configure charging profiles to match both vehicle and leisure batteries.
So, when on hookup, does the Sargent PSU charger have similar configuration options buried away somewhere?


Last edited by LDPD on Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:36 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Reworded part)

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Post by Dbvwt Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:07 pm

On hookup, all works well and things can just be left to the Sargent.
It’s only the solar setup that falls very short.

Edit...just read your post again. Not quite sure what you mean by charging profiles with the Votronic?


Last edited by Dbvwt on Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by marconi Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:08 pm

LDPD wrote:So, when on hookup, does the Sargent PSU charger have similar configuration options buried away somewhere?

No.
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Post by LDPD Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:36 pm

Dbvwt wrote:On hookup, all works well and things can just be left to the Sargent.
It’s only the solar setup that falls very short.

Edit...just read your post again. Not quite sure what you mean by charging profiles with the Votronic?
For each battery you can select, via slide switches, a charging program. Eg optimum charging and trickle charging voltages which may vary by battery type such as lead, gel, agm, lithium etc See this link for more

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Perhaps I was expecting too much of the Sargent charger to do something similar!  up!

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Post by marconi Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:47 pm

LDPD wrote:
Dbvwt wrote:On hookup, all works well and things can just be left to the Sargent.
It’s only the solar setup that falls very short.

Edit...just read your post again. Not quite sure what you mean by charging profiles with the Votronic?
For each battery you can select, via slide switches, a charging program. Eg optimum charging and trickle charging voltages which may vary by battery type such as lead, gel, agm, lithium etc See this link for more

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Perhaps I was expecting too much of the Sargent charger to do something similar!  up!

The EC700 PSU/Charger is not Sargent they buy it in. It has one charging profile this is what they say about it :-

The PSU is configured to work with standard lead acid leisure batteries, and in most cases is also compatible with the latest range of Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) batteries. The system is also suitable for Lithium batteries with built-in Battery Management Systems BMS). Before fitting non-standard batteries please check that the charging profile described in 3.3 is suitable for the type of battery by referring to the battery documentation or battery manufacturer.
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Post by Cymro Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:54 pm

Peter Brown wrote:
Molly3 wrote:Is it possible  to remove  the the cheap sargent  controller  and fit or wire in an   mppt  in it's  place  , and retain  the functions  of the sargent  control  panel ? .

Are you sure you have an EC500, they were still fitting EC328 in some vans in 2014 and that has an excellent solar installation?

Molly3: my 2015 Nuevo has the EC328 (fortunately) so, as Peter suggested, you may wish to check your 2014 set-up.

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Post by Caraman Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:53 am

I see that the Voltronic MPPT 250 dual has connection sockets for Automatic Energy Selector fridges so that when the main battery is full the controller will automatically divert any excess solar energy to the fridge thereby switching the fridge from gas/mains to 12V operation.  Has anyone made use of this?
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Post by Dbvwt Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:38 am

Caraman wrote:I see that the Voltronic MPPT 250 dual has connection sockets for Automatic Energy Selector fridges so that when the main battery is full the controller will automatically divert any excess solar energy to the fridge thereby switching the fridge from gas/mains to 12V operation.  Has anyone made use of this?
I’m sure there were a few pages discussing AES and the Votronic in detail in one of the recent threads (EC700 one?)


Last edited by Dbvwt on Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Dbvwt Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:38 am

Duplicate post
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Post by bolero boy Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:34 am

theres a chap on MH Fun with a large Morelo, 4 large solar panels supported by 2 Votronics (2 panels per controller, and the Bluetooth module) who never uses hook up. im pretty sure he has the AES link set up which he reckons is worth doing. saves a bit of gas, i guess.
if touring in a sunny climate where supply outstrips demand, why not try and get some spare juice to the fridge....in the UK where every drop of solar is precious, will there ever be any 'spare'?

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Post by Molly3 Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:55 pm

Sorry if I through a curved  ball I do have a 328
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