Victron BlueSolar MPPT Controllers
Victron also offers the widest range of quality MPPT solar controllers in the market. The smaller 75/10 and 75/15 products are ideally suited to 12 and 24 volt systems that employ low cost 250 watt class grid tie panels. The 75 volt open circuit rating can also handle up to 3 x 12 volt style panels in series for those who wish to retain existing panels.
The higher power 100/15, 100/30 and 100/50 products can take advantage of stacking two 260 watt class panels in series/parallel arrays for 12 and 24 volt systems. The higher open circuit voltage 150/35, 45, 60, 70, 85 and 100 models can handle up to 3 series panels in a series/parallel array.
The table below outlines the expected midday charge current into 12, 24 and 48 volt batteries for each controller with typical grid tie style solar panels. We are using a.7 power factor to derate the panel for lying flat and for temperature. Nominal 13, 26 and 52 volts were used in the calculations for battery voltage. Multiply the amps by about 6 to get an approximate idea of amp-hours generated per day. The S designates panels in a string and the P designates parallel. Actual panel output power will vary pending panel inclination, temperature, latitude and season.
Practical Guide. Solar Panel Configurations
|75/10||1 x 200W. 10 amps||2S x 200W. 10 amps||NA|
|75/15||1 x 260W. 14 amps||2P x 260W.14 amps||NA|
|100/15||1 x 260W. 14 amps||1 x 2S x 260W. 14 amps||NA|
|100/30||2S x 260W. 28 amps||2 x 2S x 260W. 28 amps||NA|
|100/50||3P x 260W. 42 amps||3 x 2S x 260W. 42 amps||NA|
|150/35||3S x 260W. 35 amps||2 x 3S x 260W. 35 amps||4 x 3S x 260W. 35 amps|
|150/45||2 x 2S x 260W. 45 amps||2 x 3S x 260W. 42 amps||4 x 3S x 260W. 42 amps|
|150/60||2 x 2S x 260W. 56 amps||3 x 3S x 260W. 60 amps||6 x 3S x 260W. 60 amps|
|150/70||2 x 3S x 260W. 70 amps||4 x 3S x 260W. 70 amps||6 x 3S x 260W. 63 amps|
|150/85||2 x 3S x 260W. 84 amps||4 x 3S x 260W. 84 amps||8 x 3S x 260W. 84 amps|
|150/100||3 x 3S x 260W. 100 amps||5 x 3S x 260W. 100 amps||10 x 3S x 260W. 100 amps|
So-called 12 volt panels can readily be used with the lower power controllers. Note that all panels connected to a single controller must be of the same model. In selection of the appropriate controller, the following should be taken into account.
- The number of panels in series times the panel Voc must not exceed the controller Voc rating. The panel Voc for the lowest temperature operation should be used.
- The number of panels times panel watts indicates the maximum power. Divide that power by 13 to determine maximum current. Multiply that by 0.7 to find the expected maximum charge current.
Download the Victron Solar Panel Calculator for exacting designs of solar panel systems using Victron MPPT regulators. Alternatively, check out the latest MPPT Sizing Calculator on the Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controller page.
SmartSolar with inbuilt Bluetooth and VE.Smart Networking
Victrons SmartSolar MPPT controllers are similar to the BlueSolar controllers, but with inbuilt Bluetooth. The inbuilt Bluetooth allows the controller to talk wirelessly to the Victron Smart Battery Sense and other additional controllers. The Smart Battery Sense provides the controllers with voltage and temperature corrected charge data for more effective battery charging. Using the VictronConnect app on a smartphone is also the easiest method to set up the controllers.
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Victron MPPT Charge Controller Review
Just so you know, this page contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one, at no extra cost to you I may earn a small commission.
This is my hands-on review of the Victron SmartSolar MPPT Charge Controller.
I spent a total of 3 weeks testing it on its own as well as alongside other top MPPT charge controllers. I installed it in a solar power system and tested its ease of use, power output and voltage accuracy.
After all that, I think the Victron SmartSolar MPPT is the best MPPT charge controller on the market. It’s pricey, but it’s built-in Bluetooth, free mobile app and ease of setup make it the most plug-and-play MPPT I tested. For experienced users, it’s also got plenty of customization and advanced features.
The best MPPT solar charge controller
The Victron SmartSolar MPPT was the most “plug-and-play” MPPT I tested. It has plenty of battery presets for all the most common solar batteries. And the built-in Bluetooth lets you use Victron’s free mobile app to remotely monitor your solar power system from your phone.
|Rated charge current:||30A||Max. PV open circuit voltage (Voc):||100V|
|Battery voltage:||12/24V||Battery types:||LiFePO4, sealed (AGM), gel, flooded, custom|
|Max. PV input power:||440W @ 12V, 880W @ 24V||Max. wire size:||6 AWG (16 mm2)|
|Bluetooth monitoring:||Yes (built-in)||Temperature sensor:||Yes (built-in)|
Victron SmartSolar MPPT Review
After taking it out of the box, I first noticed the Victron SmartSolar is small and light for an MPPT.
Beyond that, the controller doesn’t have a screen — just a few LED indicators to let you know what charging stage the controller is in.
Normally that’s limiting, but the Victron SmartSolar’s built-in Bluetooth gets rid of the need for a screen. With Bluetooth, you can easily monitor everything from your phone. I like that better because it gives you more information and enables remote monitoring. I could be in my kitchen and check on the status of my controller in my basement.
I immediately went to my basement to install the Victron in a test solar power system. Four screws are all you need to mount it.
After mounting, I connected the controller to a LiFePO4 battery and a 100 watt solar panel. The Victron’s wire terminals are just okay. The screws themselves feel strong and durable, but the terminals are a little too shallow and close together for my taste.
Once installed, though, I tend to forget about the wire terminals altogether. And I never had a problem with wires slipping out during setup or use.
Once you’ve connected your Victron to your battery and solar panels, the next thing you’ll want to do is download the VictronConnect app.
To pair your phone to your Victron, simply open the Victron app and select your charge controller from the devices list. Here’s a quick video of me doing it:
Note: You may need to enter a pin code the first time you pair your phone. The default Victron pin code is 000000 (six zeroes).
You don’t pair it by going to your phone’s Bluetooth settings. It’s a different process than most Bluetooth devices.
Now you can monitor your solar power system from your phone. The Victron app is powerful and gives you all sorts of information about how much energy your solar panels are producing as well as your battery voltage and charging current.
For instance, when I paired mine, it told me my 100 watt panel was producing around 45 watts (due to some mild Cloud coverage).
As a simple test of the Victron’s Bluetooth range, I went to the second story of my house and tested if the Bluetooth would still connect. I estimate I was about 30-35 feet from the Victron controller, and my phone still connected just fine. In fact, it showed up as having 2-3 bars of Bluetooth ‘service.’
After trying out the Victron by itself, I wanted to test it alongside other top MPPT charge controllers. In addition to testing usability and build quality, I tested each controller’s voltage accuracy against a multimeter connected to the battery terminals.
The Victron placed first in my test with an average voltage discrepancy of only 0.075 volts. Most of the other models had an average discrepancy of 0.1-0.2 volts.
Next, I tested the max power output of all the MPPTs when connected to a 200 watt solar array. I measured power output with the Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor.
The Victron placed first, by just a hair. It output a max of 146 watts. That was 1 watt more than the EPEver Tracer BN which came in second, and 4 watts more than the Renogy Rover which placed last.
I don’t put too much stock in these results because of the variables I couldn’t account for, such as fluctuations in solar irradiance and solar panel temperature. Regardless, it was nice to see a first-place finish from the Victron, given its price tag.
Note: These specs are for the model I tested, the SmartSolar MPPT 100/30. Victron has a whole SmartSolar product lineup with different PV voltage limits, charge current ratings and compatible battery voltages should you need a different size.
- Rated charge current: 30A
- Maximum PV open circuit voltage (Voc): 100V
- Battery voltage: 12/24V
- Battery types: LiFePO4, sealed (AGM), gel, flooded, custom
- Maximum PV input power: 440W @ 12V, 880W @ 24V
- Maximum wire size: 6 AWG (16 mm2)
- Bluetooth monitoring: Yes (built-in)
- Temperature sensor: Yes (built-in)
- Power consumption: 30mA @ 12V, 20mA @ 24V
- Operating temperature:.30 to 60°C (-22 to 140°F)
What I Don’t Like
Who This Charge Controller Isn’t for
Which Victron SmartSolar Model Is Right for You?
The SmartSolar MPPT product line has plenty of options of differing PV voltage and charge current ratings. Here’s a quick comparison table of some of the more popular models on Amazon:
|Max. PV Voltage||75V||100V||100V||100V|
|Rated Charge Current||15A||20A||30A||50A|
|Max. PV Input Power||220W @ 12V, 440W @ 24V||290W @ 12V, 580W @ 24V, 1160W @ 48V||440W @ 12V, 880W @ 24V||700W @ 12V, 1400W @ 24V|
|Buy Link||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
If the Victron SmartSolar MPPT isn’t right for you, here are my top alternatives:
- Victron BlueSolar MPPT 100/30. The Victron BlueSolar is like the Victron SmartSolar but without Bluetooth built in. As a result, it’s quite a bit cheaper. And you can always add Bluetooth later on by buying the Victron VE.Direct Smart Dongle.
- Renogy Rover 40A. I think the Rover 40A is the MPPT controller with the best bang for your buck. If you don’t want to pay top dollar for the Victron, this is the one I’d recommend next. It has presets for all the most common types of solar batteries and lets you create custom charging profiles. It doesn’t have Bluetooth built in, but you can add it by getting the Renogy BT-1 Bluetooth Module. Renogy’s mobile app was my second favorite. Read my full Renogy Rover MPPT Review.
- EPEver Tracer 4215BN. The Tracer BN had my favorite hardware of the MPPTs I tested. It’s built like a tank and has my favorite wire terminals of any solar controller I’ve ever used. It has presets for lead acid batteries, but not LiFePO4 batteries. It lets you create custom charging profiles, though, so it can work with lithium batteries if you spend a little time setting it up properly.
The Bottom Line
The Victron SmartSolar MPPT charge controller was my favorite of the 5 MPPTs I tested. It had the best voltage accuracy and power output.
Bluetooth comes built in to all Victron SmartSolar controllers. This lets you check on your system from your phone using the VictronConnect app. Pairing your phone takes all of 15 seconds and, once paired, you can monitor your system in real time and edit system settings such as battery type.
If you want an MPPT that’s easy to set up and works great out of the box, the Victron is the one I’d recommend.
The only real drawback to the Victron is its price. It’s a premium product and is priced like one. If you don’t want to spend all that money, look at a cheaper MPPT such as the Renogy Rover 40A.
A small ask: If you found my Victron SmartSolar MPPT review helpful and are planning to buy one, please consider buying through one of my affiliate links below — I’ll get a small commission which will help fund more reviews like this one. Thank you!
Victron SmartSolar MPPT 75/10 | Solar Charge Controller
SKU: 1593068 UPC:.- Weight: 0.5 kg / 1.1 lbs. Dimensions: 100 x 113 x 40 mm Battery Voltage: 12/24V Max VOC: 75V Protection Category: IP43 Terminals: 10 AWG Operating Temperature:.30°. 60°C Spec Sheet: Download Manual: Download
Using cutting-edge technology, SmartSolar maximizes the energy harvesting capability of a solar charge controller to intelligently achieve max charge in the shortest possible time.
MPPT: Ultra Fast Maximum Power Point Tracking
By constantly monitoring the voltage and current output of your solar (PV) panels, MPPT technology ensures that every drop of available power is rinsed out of your panels, and harvested for storage. The advantage of this is most noticeable when the sky is partially clouded, and light intensity is constantly changing.
Remote Monitoring and Control
Remotely control and monitor the extensive features of your SmartSolar MPPT charger with built-in Bluetooth by pairing it with your smartphone or other devices via VictronConnect. If your installation is connected to the internet with a GX device, the Victron Remote Management Portal (VRM) provides access to the full power of your MPPT, anytime, anywhere; both VictronConnect and VRM are free to use. For remote installations. even when there is no internet connection nearby. you may be able to monitor your MPPT by connecting the GlobalLink 520.
The intelligent Load output function prevents damage caused by running batteries ‘flat’. You can configure the voltage at which SmartSolar disconnects a load. thereby preventing excessive drain on your batteries. And here’s the clever bit: SmartSolar will attempt a 100% recharge every day. If it can’t. during periods of poor weather. it raises the disconnect voltage, daily, until it achieves success. We call this feature BatteryLife because it maintains health, and extends the life of your battery.
Weight: 0.5 kg / 1.1 lbs. Dimensions: 100 x 113 x 40 mm Battery Voltage: 12/24V Max VOC: 75V Protection Category: IP43 Terminals: 10 AWG Operating Temperature:.30°. 60°C Spec Sheet: Download Manual: Download masked price: no
Victron Solar Charge Controller Review (Smart Solar)
This site contains affiliate links to products. info in our disclaimer.
Simple, intuitive, and well designed, the Victron solar charge controller is a popular choice in the RV and Vanlife community, and we love ours, too.
In this post, we will review our experience with the Victron ‘Smart Solar’ MPPT Solar Charge Controller. This includes what we like, how to choose the right model for you, and how to install one.
So if you’re ready, let’s go!
We love this Victron controller not only for it’s high quality build, but the Bluetooth feature is rock solid. The Victron smartphone app provides an amazing interface to monitor all your solar data.
Confused where to start with DIY solar? Check out our comprehensive camper van solar system guide to start from the very beginning.
What We Love About The Victron Solar Charge Controller
There are so many things to like about the Victron charge controllers. Below we list our top four.
Wonderful User Interface With ‘VictronConnect’ Smartphone App
By far the best aspect of the Victron controller is that you get to use the VictronConnect smartphone app.
Using the app on your phone, which connects to the Victron controller via Bluetooth, you can access all the solar energy data and settings you need.
This is such a great feature because many other solar charge controllers on the market today have a clumsy digital interface built into the controller’s hardware (or none at all). These types of interfaces aren’t useful to us because we installed our controller under our bed. And we don’t want to always look under the bed to check our solar harvesting stats.
But because of the VictronConnect app, we are always able to access our solar data as long as we have our smartphone with us.
Real-Time Stats On Your Phone
Through the VictronConnect app, you are able to view a wealth of real-time statistics related to your camper van’s solar array system.
- Total instantaneous watts harvested from your solar panels;
- The detailed volts and amps generated from the solar array; and
- The instantaneous volts and amps that are outputted from the Victron controller to your batteries.
(Remember from our What Is A Solar Charge Controller post, a charge controller adjusts the voltage from the solar array into a more suitable voltage for your batteries and electrical system)
Historical Stats On Your Phone
Through the VictronConnect app, you can also view solar harvesting data on a per-day basis. And you can view this data for as far back as 30 days.
This is such an informational feature that allows you to see just how many watt-hours (Wh) your solar array produced each day. Not only that, the app also visualizes how many of those watt-hours were generated during bulk, absorption, and float stages of battery charging.
The amount of solar data you can view on your smartphone from the VictronConnect app is literally mesmerizing.
Using the VictronConnect app, you’re also able to easily set up the Victron Smart Solar charge controller to fully integrate with your RVs electrical system.
- Battery voltage type (12v or 24v)
- Max charging current allowed
- The battery chemistry type (lead acid, lithium, etc)
- Input custom voltages for absorption and float stages
The last bullet point is a VERY nice feature to have if you have lithium batteries because by inputting your own custom voltages, you can lengthen the lifespan of your LiFePO4 lithium batteries.
To learn more about how to do that, check out the video below.