I’ve purchased a Victron EV charger to charge an EV using my off-grid solar system. It should be installed next week, but for now here are some snapshots.
Not much in the box except the charger. No mounting plates (since it uses side screws) or a manual (online) and no charging cable since they only offer a non-tethered option. Although, the colour touch screen display is very nice.
It is both a single-phase (7kW) and 3-phase (22kW) charger in one, but it’s very expensive at around AU$2000, especially considering you also need to purchase a separate charging cable to use it.
As far as I know, the Victron Charger is the only EV charger that can fully integrate with a Victron off-grid system and enables smart charging controls, so you don’t drain your battery below a preset level. The unit has inbuilt Wifi and is configured via a web portal.
The software is the most important part of this charger. It fully integrates with the Victron VRM system and can be controlled and monitored through any GX device and the VRM. (These images are from an official Victron setup video)
Charger web-based setup - Accessed via Wifi
Victron energy is the best technology in the world. I love it but these products are not available in Pakistan
I’m thinking that this will be an excellent product based on it being Victron. I have an all Victron system and am certainly keen to hear how the EV charger performs. Mine, (EV charger), is a myenergi zappi, while it does work and myenergi customer support is first class I’m less than blown away by it.
Look forward to reading the review once commissioned.
After some time using the Victron EV charger in an off-grid system I can report some good and bad points.
- The charger is quite easy to set up and connect to the VRM (via Wifi)
- It has a very nice clear touchscreen display
- It’s very easy to update the firmware via the VRM.
- The smart ‘auto’ mode only works for grid-connected systems (with ESS), it does not work off-grid. (However, the Victron team is working on a firmware update to enhance the off-grid functions)
- In ‘manual’ mode during the day, if the battery reaches the ‘Min SOC’ setting, the charger stops but will restart again as soon as the battery starts to recharge, but after a few seconds, it hits the min SOC again and cuts off. This on/off cycle can occur several times a minute and is not good for the equipment. (Again, the Victron team is working on a fix for this).
Thanks for the info Jason, interesting.
I have an all Victron solar system, grid connected using ESS. But my EV charger is a MyEnergi Zappi. This is a so called smart charger with what MyEnergi calls an Eco+ mode. This detects surplus energy via a CT on the grid connection, once it sees > 1.4kw it diverts this to the EV. When the surplus drops below 1.4kw the charger pauses and waits for sufficient power to reappear before diverting once more to the EV.
SADLY there is a problem, after 10 pauses the charger shuts down and reports “Charge Delayed”. This is an issue that only occurs with certain EV’s, sadly mine is one of those. (Peugeot, Vauxhall, Opel for sure, perhaps others too)
MyEnergi consider it Peugeot’s problem, Peugeot consider it MyEnergi’s problem. We, the end users with the unfortunate combination, are the ones that suffer……
I can easily see why the Victron fails on the smart auto mode as it too is probably looking to see surplus flowing to the grid which obviously isn’t there if one is off grid.
Appreciate the feed back.
That sounds frustrating, I’ve heard about a number of issues with the Zappi chargers. Although, in this situation, it is the vehicle that is causing the problem. I’m assuming it functions ok when used in a standard ECO mode where it will draw a small amount from the grid (6A) rather than completely stop charging? The ZJBeny charger operates this way and will not stop charging completely, even when in solar-only mode.
I spoke to Victron, and they said the auto-mode was not actually designed for off-grid use, but they are working on a new algorithm. Looking forward to seeing the improvements with the new firmware.
So after updating to the latest firmware version 1.24, Unfortunately, the issue with the charger cycling (turning on and off repeatedly), once it reaches the min SOC setting has not been fixed. This is very disappointing. It should be a simple software update to stop the charger from resuming charging until the battery SOC has increased by 1 or 2% above the cutoff level. During the day, when the system is charging, and the solar generation is less than the charge current, it can turn on and off every 10 to 15 seconds for hours on end which could potentially damage the charger or vehicle.
Another frustrating issue is that you cannot change the min SOC setting via a GX device; this can only be changed if you log into the charger via wifi. Most other settings can be quickly and easily changed in the attached GX device, and it’s baffling why they don’t also allow you to change this setting.
Can you start and stop charging manually using the web vrm? I’m interested in being able to plug in but manually start using the web once the sun is pumping then stop once I know solar generation will be dropping (3pm in winter).
@Lauren, yes, you can easily start and stop the charging via the VRM. You can also adjust the charge rate in the VRM, which is very handy.