BMS, Charge Controller and inverter- are they all supposed to communicate?

SkidSkid Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
edited April 16 in Solar Beginners Corner #1
New to solar and waiting for my parts to arrive which gives me plant of time to stress now. First I had a battery built, 200ah and 48v with a JBD BMS. Now that it should be arriving this month it's time to buy the rest of the stuff. That's where the stress comes in.

The new Victron Multiplus-II looks incredible for the price but to connect with the BMS requires a program I would need to compile running on another computer and is more than I want to get involved with. Now looking at the FuelZero inverter, a rebadged unit from MUST. Big, heavy, low frequency inverter that seems fairly simple. Also looking at a Midnite MPPT and or possibly an Epever at half the cost.

Given the scare I got from investigating the Victron I'm not sure about mixing and matching and don't know if it's actually a thing or if I have no idea how to research the issue. I hope someone can steer me out of this.


  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,274 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It all depends on your comfort level
    i'm running
     Midnight classic 200
     Mornigstar MPPT 60
    i just input the days data into a spreadsheet and combine it all there.  Everything is independent. Either controller can fail, and there is enough solar on the other one, i can limp by for a day or 3
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • SkidSkid Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
    Thank you. I feel a bit better now. 
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would have a hard time with my clients if they mixed up equipment. I just do not have the time for that and no disrespect to Mike. 

    It just is so easy to see all of the data below in one place and any device on your home network, or for someone like me to take a peak at, or for warranty.    I can see the Soc, loads, and solar all in one place. More charts and graphs like the battery summary that can look at any day back for years.

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • SkidSkid Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
    That is what I'm trying to understand, how to know what works with what or if the only way is to commit to one manufacturer. I've never seen anything about how to actually buy equipment that will all play nice together, as in what BMS will work with what MPPT for example, or with what inverter. I'd hate to think that all in one Growatt et all are the wave of the future yet I see people mixing and matching all the time so there must me either some knowledge of what works or I'm concerned for no reason.

    I can't afford to go total Victron for example, especially after ordering a custom made battery from China. It would be lovely to have your wonderful Schneider layout but it's way beyond my means and I suspect of many others. 

    I admit to knowing nothing because I've done nothing. I want to put together a system for my house with whatever information I glean mean from other users. Living on a fixed income in Central America and having no access to components means flying to the US to buy them and if they don't work, tough. That would get very time consuming, costly and frustrating.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It is harder in Central America but not as hard as you make it sound. The money is one thing and I get that. You probably should just keep reading or experiment with a small system to get smart. I did Marine Electronics from a sailboat down there in the 90's, so I get it.

    The key to making it all work like in my picture is a network. The devices have to talk to a network and there are 2 ways that I know of. The easy way is to just stay with one manufacturer and that will about guarantee that all devices will communicate with each other. 

    The other way is to use devices that have modbus or canbus communications ports. You then would have to be good at writing the software to gather all the data and process it. This is not easy as much of the equipment that is in your price range is probably not supporting you. You do get what you pay for most times. I guess the The 3rd way is what Mike was showing you in thread 2.

    Make no mistake, if you have the funds, people like me ship to clients down your way thru a broker on a regular basis. The store here probably does also. It is guaranteed and you do have warranty if you buy form quality companies like Outback power system and Schneider Solar. Others also, but that is all I use.

    Start small and be knowledgeable be fore you buy things. If you have reliable internet, it is out there!  Your in a good place here!
    Good Luck!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • SkidSkid Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited April 17 #7
    Yeah, that's where I messed up. I went big first thing with a 10kw battery built in China and read good things about the JBD/Overkill BMS, saw 400w mono panels here at a very good price- realized later why 50.4 Voc is a problem. Plenty of sun though and temps between 72 and 84 all year. Live and learn but I plan on this being my one and only system. It'll work out, not perfect but I can live with that. For me monitoring the cells is the main thing and I have a few ways to do that.
    Thanks for the very informative reply. You and Michael did a lot to alleviate my anxiety as I have to buy everything soon. I anticipate the battery in Miami in two weeks and want to ship everything together.
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