Our Travel

In August 2015 we did an extensive electrical upgrade to Villa G's house electrical system.  Unfortunately we were unable to get the new lithrium battery BMS (battery monitoring system) to "talk" with the Blue Power Display nor the MultiPlus 3000 Inverter/Charger.  At that time Victron Energy, the manufacturer of all the components said that our MultiPlus had components that were too old (bought in 2012) to communicate.

Well now things are communicating.  The MultiPlus died.  It had been a lemon and had been serviced several times.  Since we are in Phuket Thailand we had Octopus Electrical replace it and change out the old Blue Power Display which had been virtually impossible to read with the current Victron Energy Color Control GX.  Paul at Octopus has a lot of VE exxperience and said the job would be a piece of cake.  Certainly the installation was; however, getting everybody to play together was not.  Fortunately, Paul  is the patient type and sorted it all out.  

I think Victron Energy  makes some fine equipmewnt, but their ability to explain how to make their diverse system work together is poor.  Paul  and  both worked the internet for 3 days and it was not clear why when all was connected together the inverter stopped working.  It finally came down to the "don't do what I said to do, but do this!"  In other words if you connected each device according to the quick setup directions it would not work.  However, by digging down into the directions for the Color Control GX, there was a small print statement that said, if you are using a system with the components found of SV Villa G, don't connect that cable to the BMS but connect it to the MultiPlus.  Such directions were contridicted in at least four other locations.

Never the less, all is working well now.  One of the cool features of the Color Color GX is not simply the ability to show the state of the batteries, how much power is coming from the solar panel, the generator, how much the inverter is working, the charger charging etc, but this date is also stored in a SQL file which can be reviewed on the Color Conlrol GX panel itself, transferred to a computer, seen in an Android or iPad app AND be sent to the cloud.for permanent storage and retrieval.  Not only that but connection by way of wifi, ethernet, USB or Bluetooth permits alarms to be sent to the Victron Energy VRM portal which can be trained to emailed notices to the appropriate persons.  In addition, it is a two way communication.  Settings on the Color Control can be changed remotely.  For safety reasons, some changes cannot be made remotely. With my small hockey puck GPS connected the Color Control GX also records the track of Villa G.  When used with a wifi adapter and Iridium Go this is a great tracking system.

It is going to be very interesting to have a good record of our lithium battery use and charging history as well as how much house power we actaully use.