Greenline Hybrid: Solar Panel, Solar Charging & Propulsion Battery Discussions

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I can only agree with what PeterB40 said. I never turn my 48v Hybrid drive switch off, except when the boat is on land and/or not being used. You do not need to worry about the Generator charging the hybrid battery too much. It will taper down as it nears full charge and then stop. You will be able to see this at the helm in the DDI (Dynamic Data Interface, which is the little round gauge with a black frame next to the Victron BMV602 gauge). The Victron BMV602 gauge may show some positive amps even though your battery has reached the ~53v fully charged state from the diesel perspective, but this is because some solar charging will occur for a short period after that...and then this too will eventually stop around 53,8v, if my memory serves correctly). So, my recommendation is to just leave that switch on all the time while you are running the boat. If you really want to run with it off (and I can't imagine why), then turn it off before you start your diesel engine.
 
I checked the wiring diagrams and now I realise that actually the electric motor/generator remaing allways connected to HCU (Switch disconnect the 48V from HCU) and so the HCU need to be operative to manage Tensions and Currents from the generator.
I think I will never have real need to run in Diesel with the HCU OFF.
 
@ScottC @PeterB40
I have been spending more time with the rasberrypi version of the CerboxGX (large install which includes signalk and nodered) collecting information from these via USB and in the Multiplus case using the MK3 cable.
  1. Multiplus 48/3000/35-16
  2. MPPT 150/35
  3. BMV602S
(I've also changed the config on the Multiplus so that it will ignore AC input unless the load looks like causing the inverter to overload or the battery is less than 49V). Also, I manually lower the AC input current down to about 3A.
Output is fed to vrm portal at Victron which is then visible worldwide with username and password.
1716822538091.png

Within signalk I am then using freeboard-sk and then made my own custom instrument panel. The really interesting one that I'm going to keep working on is electrical.venus.dcPower.

Different states:
  1. At dock with everything off its <50W.
  2. Electric selected, key to ON = ~100W
  3. As I accelerate on electric the value goes positive. ~15A draw = ~+600W
  4. Diesel selected, key to ON = ~100W
  5. Diesel running and any revs = value goes negative. ~1500RPM = -2000W
I take this to mean, the ~100W includes the water pump for the HCU
When the battery is spinning the electric motor, the value is positive
When the diesel is spinning the electric motor (and therefore it's a generator) then the value is negative.

1716822721932.png


I'm also using this @meri-imperiumi/signalk-logbook and the autostate plugin and will look to be able to have the autostate = moored | electric | diesel. I'll let you know how I go.

Cheers,
Martin
 
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@ScottC @PeterB40
I have been spending more time with the rasberrypi version of the CerboxGX (large install which includes signalk and nodered) collecting information from these via USB and in the Multiplus case using the MK3 cable.
  1. Multiplus 48/3000/35-16
  2. MPPT 150/35
  3. BMV602S
(I've also changed the config on the Multiplus so that it will ignore AC input unless the load looks like causing the inverter to overload or the battery is less than 49V). Also, I manually lower the AC input current down to about 3A.
Output is fed to vrm portal at Victron which is then visible worldwide with username and password.
View attachment 155057
Within signalk I am then using freeboard-sk and then made my own custom instrument panel. The really interesting one that I'm going to keep working on is electrical.venus.dcPower.

Different states:
  1. At dock with everything off its <50W.
  2. Electric selected, key to ON = ~100W
  3. As I accelerate on electric the value goes positive. ~15A draw = ~+600W
  4. Diesel selected, key to ON = ~100W
  5. Diesel running and any revs = value goes negative. ~1500RPM = -2000W
I take this to mean, the ~100W includes the water pump for the HCU
When the battery is spinning the electric motor, the value is positive
When the diesel is spinning the electric motor (and therefore it's a generator) then the value is negative.

View attachment 155058

I'm also using this @meri-imperiumi/signalk-logbook and the autostate plugin and will look to be able to have the autostate = moored | electric | diesel. I'll let you know how I go.

Cheers,
Martin
Wow - some sophisticated implementations and analyses, MartyC! Thank you for sharing!
 
We've just taken over our GL33H/2012 a week ago and have a problem with charging underway in generator mode.
I've read this thread throughout and read this from ScottC:
"To be clear, my HCU is working, just not optimally. On diesel, it should continue to charge the battery up until 53.6v. It's actually going into 'N' mode (bypass) at 52.25v which is only 84% battery. From there I need to use solar or shore power to get to 100%"

A bit similar I experienced this today - the charging stops at 84-85% SOC, but in that way the BMS cuts off and beeps. When resetting (shutting it off and on) on its switch, it cuts off again within short time. I also recon the BMS was very hot.
We went to harbour and swithed off the diesel. After a little time I connected to shore power and restarted the BMS. Then it stayed on and both shore and solar charged for a while. At about 92-93 SOC the BMS went off again and were hot. This is of course frustrating, it cannot be a 'normal' behavior. What to do, any with a similar experience?
PS. My DDI is a permanent 4-line version - is this an old version? Its hard to read and with way more values than I normally need.
 
First - the easy part. The DDI (ugly black rimmed gauge that is difficult to read) is the original. Yes, it has way too much information of little use, but it does have a few useful bits. Electric Motor RPM, Electric motor temperature, Mode. I am not aware of any easy and cheap upgrades for this gauge, but I would humbly suggest it's not necessary and that you just don't worry about it.

Now the rest...
Yes, you should be able to get a higher % SOC with diesel.
Yes, it's normal for the BMS to get hot -- almost too hot to touch. Max, about 60 degrees C. It's how it does it's job of balancing the 13 cells in the LiPo battery. It does so by "shorting" and burning up energy in the cells that have too high voltage in order to bring all cells in to balance. If the alarm keeps going off, it's because the BMS is regularly going over ~60 degrees C. This would be possibly expected at the 100% end of a shore power absorption cycle, but not at ~80% charging on solar or diesel.

The symptoms you describe lead me to believe the BMS is doing too much work. Why? Because one or more of the cells in your LiPo battery may be failing and it is unable to bring all cells into balance, no matter how hard it tries. You should find out if your LiPo battery is original to the boat or not. The life expectancy of these batteries is 10 years -- and that's only if the battery was optimally cared for, which is rarely the case on boats. I had the factory come replace my LiPo battery in 2019 because I had a failing cell. I consider myself lucky to have gotten 9 years out of the original.

I recommend you get an expert in ASAP and do not use the LiPo battery until it can be assessed. Using a LiPo battery with failing cell(s) is a known, serious fire risk.
 
First - the easy part. The DDI (ugly black rimmed gauge that is difficult to read) is the original. Yes, it has way too much information of little use, but it does have a few useful bits. Electric Motor RPM, Electric motor temperature, Mode. I am not aware of any easy and cheap upgrades for this gauge, but I would humbly suggest it's not necessary and that you just don't worry about it.

Now the rest...
Yes, you should be able to get a higher % SOC with diesel.
Yes, it's normal for the BMS to get hot -- almost too hot to touch. Max, about 60 degrees C. It's how it does it's job of balancing the 13 cells in the LiPo battery. It does so by "shorting" and burning up energy in the cells that have too high voltage in order to bring all cells in to balance. If the alarm keeps going off, it's because the BMS is regularly going over ~60 degrees C. This would be possibly expected at the 100% end of a shore power absorption cycle, but not at ~80% charging on solar or diesel.

The symptoms you describe lead me to believe the BMS is doing too much work. Why? Because one or more of the cells in your LiPo battery may be failing and it is unable to bring all cells into balance, no matter how hard it tries. You should find out if your LiPo battery is original to the boat or not. The life expectancy of these batteries is 10 years -- and that's only if the battery was optimally cared for, which is rarely the case on boats. I had the factory come replace my LiPo battery in 2019 because I had a failing cell. I consider myself lucky to have gotten 9 years out of the original.

I recommend you get an expert in ASAP and do not use the LiPo battery until it can be assessed. Using a LiPo battery with failing cell(s) is a known, serious fire risk.
Thank you Scott, I'm sure the LiPo is original which means close to 13 years old. I wonder if it could have something to do with our yesterdays sailing, where we used electric propulsion for 1 hour and 20 mins, until the system shut off at about 45V and 28% SOC. It was a load the battery hasn't experienced for long time, years I think. As said the boat is new to us.
Thinking of not using the 48V system is the same as not using the boat. We have just begin a very long way home with our new boat :-o.
 
What you say makes me suspect even more that the battery is collapsing. Use the boat with the diesel (red 48v switches off to prevent charging.). Victron 48v charger off. Sorry for the bad news. But be safe and get the 48v professionally checked before using!
 
I've now made some messurements. Maybe the BMS should be reprogrammed...
With the battery's SOC of 92%:
With 3-4A load first cell is 4,07V, the rest 4.10V.
With 30A load all cells matches winthin 0,03V.
This sounds like the battery is in ok condition I think.
 
I've now made some messurements. Maybe the BMS should be reprogrammed...
With the battery's SOC of 92%:Gr
With 3-4A load first cell is 4,07V, the rest 4.10V.
With 30A load all cells matches winthin 0,03V.
This sounds like the battery is in ok condition I think.
Great you were able to do that and that the cells are so close together in voltage value. A good start.
You will want to do (or have done) a load test. This will show if the battery "collapses" under a normal load. When you mentioned that BMS shut off at 28% SOC, it makes me think the battery can no longer handle a normal load.
Finally you will want to look at the ohms resistance of each of the 13 cells. They should be similar. As a point of reference, my cells range from 0.136 to 0.260 mOhms. If there is a significant outlier, then that cell is suspect. The only way I know to see this is by connecting your computer to the REC BMS with an old-fashioned serial cable and downloading REC software to your computer. This will allow you to see the SOH (State of Health ) of the battery and the resistance of each cell. You can also change BMS configuration, but I would hesitate to do that. The original configuration from the factory should have been optimal...and nobody should have had any reason to change that, in my opinion.
 
I see you are on Denmark.
If you need assistance, these guys should be able to provide it or give you recommendations.
They are the ones that handled my GL33 purchase back in 2011.
 
Regarding the 4-lines DDI - does any have the manual for this version of Iskra/DDI? It will be much appreciated since some error codes are different from the later version (which manual I have). Thx.
 
This from my GL33 manual. 2010. Hull 054. Not sure if it’s what you are looking for…
 

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Exactly what I asked for :), thanks!
The AC code 0004 should be overvoltage above 53,6V and the bms beeps in this situation. But I will expect the system to be programmed with charging parameters that means this situation should not happen just because I diesel sail few hours.
 
The AC code 0004 is a normal thing after a full charge on shore power. When I originally got my boat, the BMS alarm sounded for a short time (~30 mins) at the end of a full shore power charge cycle. Both dealer and factory told me to ignore it, so I did, as it wasn't too disturbing. Fast-forward to 2019, when I had the factory (SVP) come to Sweden to replace my battery, they replaced my BMS too with a newer REC model. Just like before, at the end of the shore power charging cycle, the alarm goes off for ~30 minutes, but it's only "visual" as I had an REC BMS monitor installed at the helm and they silenced the audio alarm. I could see the temp ( a few degrees over the BMS threshold) in the monitor for ~30 mins. Factory told me that this was acceptable and to ignore it, so that's what I've done. No issues.

In your case, however, I absolutely agree that the BMS alarm should not be going off for any charging by the diesel engine or solar. While changing the BMS alarm threshold could be done, I, personally, would prefer to know the root cause. Why is it doing this? I fear that in this case, the alarm is trying to tell you about something serious that should be addressed.

One thing I will mention to you here, that is likely not relevant, but good to know anyway, is that in the early GL33's, the round, white, ceramic relay switch mounted on the top of the battery was known to fail. It happened to me twice and then the factory sent me a replacement relay along with some additional unit to install to help prevent the relay from failing in the future. This same setup was what they also put on my new battery & BMS installation. You will know when this relay fails because the BMS alarm will sound and you will see the battery is charging to OVER 54.6v, which is deadly for the battery's health. The first time this happened to me, I was not connected to shore power, but using only Solar charging. The only way I could stop the run-away charging was to disconnect the Outback solar charge controller (simple - just requires a screwdriver to disconnect either the red or the black cable).

I have found the factory after-sales department very helpful with such matters. They are the ones that handled my battery & BMS replacement (also upgraded solar panels) in 2019. You can contact them at aftersales@svpyachts.com. They have answered a wide variety of technical questions for me over the years via e-mail.
 
As suggested earlier, this sounds like a battery with cells that are out of balance. The difference in cells won't really show until the battery is at the top of its charge cycle. It sounds like there is some provision to see what the individual cell voltages are? Not all battery systems provide that capability. I would monitor as the battery is charging, looking for one or more cells that jump ahead of the others in voltage.
 
The AC code 0004 is a normal thing after a full charge on shore power. When I originally got my boat, the BMS alarm sounded for a short time (~30 mins) at the end of a full shore power charge cycle. Both dealer and factory told me to ignore it, so I did, as it wasn't too disturbing. Fast-forward to 2019, when I had the factory (SVP) come to Sweden to replace my battery, they replaced my BMS too with a newer REC model. Just like before, at the end of the shore power charging cycle, the alarm goes off for ~30 minutes, but it's only "visual" as I had an REC BMS monitor installed at the helm and they silenced the audio alarm. I could see the temp ( a few degrees over the BMS threshold) in the monitor for ~30 mins. Factory told me that this was acceptable and to ignore it, so that's what I've done. No issues.

In your case, however, I absolutely agree that the BMS alarm should not be going off for any charging by the diesel engine or solar. While changing the BMS alarm threshold could be done, I, personally, would prefer to know the root cause. Why is it doing this? I fear that in this case, the alarm is trying to tell you about something serious that should be addressed.

One thing I will mention to you here, that is likely not relevant, but good to know anyway, is that in the early GL33's, the round, white, ceramic relay switch mounted on the top of the battery was known to fail. It happened to me twice and then the factory sent me a replacement relay along with some additional unit to install to help prevent the relay from failing in the future. This same setup was what they also put on my new battery & BMS installation. You will know when this relay fails because the BMS alarm will sound and you will see the battery is charging to OVER 54.6v, which is deadly for the battery's health. The first time this happened to me, I was not connected to shore power, but using only Solar charging. The only way I could stop the run-away charging was to disconnect the Outback solar charge controller (simple - just requires a screwdriver to disconnect either the red or the black cable).

I have found the factory after-sales department very helpful with such matters. They are the ones that handled my battery & BMS replacement (also upgraded solar panels) in 2019. You can contact them at aftersales@svpyachts.com. They have answered a wide variety of technical questions for me over the years via e-mail.
Thank you for a detailed answer, much appreciated as a new owner :).
My solar controller is by one of the former owners upgraded with a Victron 150/35 MPPT which I've read others have done. I'm BT connected to it and can change charging values. An did this today for testing purpose since the abs. V was set to 54,00V which is above the 53,6 that is the voltage the E-engine in G-mode shuts off the charging (if its working as described). When the charging mode went to N (no charging) the Victron BMV said 0,0V but the solar charging continued (seen on the Victron Connect app). This tells me the MPPT output is not connected through the BMV shunt. This ought not to be correct and may be a reason why the BMS cuts the relay sometimes.
Regarding balancing I've several times measured the cell voltage at different SOC's. At higher SOC 12 of 13 cells are 4,10V and one is 4,07. At a little lower SOC 12 cells are equal and one (another) is 0,03 higher. This sounds to me ok.
 
As suggested earlier, this sounds like a battery with cells that are out of balance. The difference in cells won't really show until the battery is at the top of its charge cycle. It sounds like there is some provision to see what the individual cell voltages are? Not all battery systems provide that capability. I would monitor as the battery is charging, looking for one or more cells that jump ahead of the others in voltage.
Thanks, see also my reply to Scott. How much difference do you see as acceptable /not acceptable (if you have experiences with this)?
 
Thanks, see also my reply to Scott. How much difference do you see as acceptable /not acceptable (if you have experiences with this)?
At 100% SOC I see cell's within 10mv or so of each other. But it's really only at the very completion of a charge cycle that the spread shows up. Also, my experience is all with LFP, you have a different chemistry.
 
Thank you for a detailed answer, much appreciated as a new owner :).
My solar controller is by one of the former owners upgraded with a Victron 150/35 MPPT which I've read others have done. I'm BT connected to it and can change charging values. An did this today for testing purpose since the abs. V was set to 54,00V which is above the 53,6 that is the voltage the E-engine in G-mode shuts off the charging (if its working as described). When the charging mode went to N (no charging) the Victron BMV said 0,0V but the solar charging continued (seen on the Victron Connect app). This tells me the MPPT output is not connected through the BMV shunt. This ought not to be correct and may be a reason why the BMS cuts the relay sometimes.
Regarding balancing I've several times measured the cell voltage at different SOC's. At higher SOC 12 of 13 cells are 4,10V and one is 4,07. At a little lower SOC 12 cells are equal and one (another) is 0,03 higher. This sounds to me ok.
When I had the factory come upgrade my solar panels, they replaced my Outback with a Victron 150/45 MPPT.
They configured it this way:
Absorption voltage 54.08
Float voltage 53.70

My experience with this has been totally fine since they installed it in 2019.
 
Is my understanding correct that at least originally the Greenlines had LPO batteries, but replacements, and maybe later models are LFP? The charge voltages would be different, so might be important for an owner to know which they have.
 
Original GL33 batteries of that era were LiPo by Kokam. And my replacement in 2019 was the exact same spec…but different manufacturer.
 
For your reference, I took these photos of my battery status this morning
IMG_0288.jpeg
just after the completion of a shore power charging cycle after it went into float.

If you send me a private message with your e-mail address, I will send you a useful spreadsheet (with formulas) the factory sent me in 2011. It is for determining the health of your battery after entering all individual cell measurements and whether it’s safe to sail. It also explains how to perform a load test.
 

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For your reference, I took these photos of my battery status this morning View attachment 155940just after the completion of a shore power charging cycle after it went into float.

If you send me a private message with your e-mail address, I will send you a useful spreadsheet (with formulas) the factory sent me in 2011. It is for determining the health of your battery after entering all individual cell measurements and whether it’s safe to sail. It also explains how to perform a load test.
Is the shown touch display integrated in your BMS version or is it an add?
It is smart not to need finding ones PC and serial cable to read out these values.
 
For your reference, I took these photos of my battery status this morning View attachment 155940just after the completion of a shore power charging cycle after it went into float.

If you send me a private message with your e-mail address, I will send you a useful spreadsheet (with formulas) the factory sent me in 2011. It is for determining the health of your battery after entering all individual cell measurements and whether it’s safe to sail. It also explains how to perform a load test.
This is useful - my BMS goes in error 1 (high V on one/more cells) when only my MPPT is float charging and the BMV says 53,82V. Shortly after the BMS starts beeping the error I messure 4,14V on 12 cells and 4.11 on one. This matches well the BMV. These values are less that yours (photo).
A thought: Might it be the programmed 'cell high V' threshold in the BMS that is set too low? (unfortunately I have no opportunity reading out the values here and now when I'm on our long journey home with the boat). And, can you or any other tell which high V (and low V) threshold their BMS has. This will also be helpful, thank you. After our home coming in august I plan ordering the REC wifi module for easy management of the BMS.
 
Is the shown touch display integrated in your BMS version or is it an add?
It is smart not to need finding ones PC and serial cable to read out these values.
It was an add-on that I did later. I think in later Greenlines (>2015?) SVP started to offer this display.
I wrote about it a bit here:

It may be so old that it's not available anymore, but I but if you hunt around on the internet (eBay??) you might be able to find one. Even a used one would probably be fine. Perhaps contact REC directly to ask them if they know about any old inventory. REC ACCESSORIES – REC BMS

It's been so nice having this display, as it provides all the critical information without having to connect a computer, which gets tired very fast!
 
It was an add-on that I did later. I think in later Greenlines (>2015?) SVP started to offer this display.
I wrote about it a bit here:

It may be so old that it's not available anymore, but I but if you hunt around on the internet (eBay??) you might be able to find one. Even a used one would probably be fine. Perhaps contact REC directly to ask them if they know about any old inventory. REC ACCESSORIES – REC BMS

It's been so nice having this display, as it provides all the critical information without having to connect a computer, which gets tired very fast!
Thank you - later I found out REC offers both a BT assessory and a wifi based which is the newest. I plan ordering this after our homecoming in august.
 
Regarding the 4-lines DDI - does any have the manual for this version of Iskra/DDI? It will be much appreciated since some error codes are different from the later version (which manual I have). Thx.
Got it from the SVP aftersales dept. - here it is :).
 

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Info for others, Lars GL33 was a Oct2011 build, Sun Chi is a Nov2011 build.

@Lars, just heard back from Andraz at aftersales overnight RE my question about inverters. 'The biggest inverter that was put on the GL33 was48/5000/70-100.'
This is perfect as that's what I want to put in as my replacement.

When I asked specifically about any configuration he has provided this document. The sections in the document match the tabs in the veconfigure utility.
Importantly, the last part says to _not_ use the Virtual Switch and instead to use the Assistants.

When I first started looking at my Multiplus the firmware was version 13. The upgrade path was to 159 which it now is. I assume you still have the original equipment, so we have the 19xx versions of hardware meaning the latest firmware we can use is _either_ 19xx159 _or_ 19xx209.
The 159 firmware supports _only_ the virtual switch and the 209 firmware supports _only_ the Assistants.
1721284445377.png

This seems as though with my current (and previous) configuration of the Multiplus is that even though I have the wires that enable the REC BMS to turn off the Victron charger, the charger which is supposed to use the assistant to turn off the charger, is not configured to do so.
This is what it should look like
1721284867581.png

Happy to take any follow up questions.
 

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