This extraordinarily innovative Dutch company has developed an impressive range of electrical power equipment which, although designed originally for the marine market, has applications in Automotive, Industrial, Solar and Off-Grid applications. Almost 50 % of the staff at Victron Energy are engaged in Research and Development and the pace of innovation has astonished those familiar with the product range.
The Victron BMV 712 Battery Monitor has become one of the flagship products. Its ability to determine the state of charge of a battery and its ability to relay that information to a phone or tablet via Bluetooth, together with its programmable alarm and its ability to be connected to the internet* have quickly made it a world leader.
All Victron products (except batteries) carry a five year manufacturers warranty in testament to their high quality. All these products still manage to be at a very competitive price point and Victron have managed to lower their prices on a number of occasions recently when other manufacturers are putting theirs up.
Inverter Chargers are available in 12, 24 and 48 Volts and can be ganged together for greater capacity of to make split phase or three phase systems. All have pure sine wave output. Available in 120 volt or 230/240 Volt output, these inverter chargers are fully programmable to be compatible with any battery system including Lithium Ion. For smaller installations an inverter only is sometimes all that is required and the latest range of Inverters can now be programmed and controlled by Bluetooth using the optional Bluetooth Dongle. Their compact size, sine wave output, and competitive price make them ideal for in-vehicle installtions. Output as always is pure sine wave.
A wide range of Battery Chargers is available from the waterproof Blue Smart portable chargers to the larger Skylla Chargers typically found on large ships. All are programmable for different battery types and the Blue Smart chargers are programmable using a phone or tablet.
I have written some extensive blog posts on the subject of Lithium Batteries. Victron is one of the few companies that offer a complete system for Lithium Batteries where all the problem areas have been thought out and dealt with. My first blog post describes a demo system that I built for myself and subsequent posts go into the details of the wiring setup, the ancillary equipment I selected, and even the settings I used for all the components. Victron also have a range of AGM batteries, which are in European sizes and may not work for every application.
DC DC Converters are used in many mobile applications. Many large trucks and plant equipment run on 24 volts and there is usually a need for 12 volt equipment on board. The range of DC DC converters is much more extensive however and now offers support for 48 volt battery banks which are now becoming more popular. Another use for DC DC Converters is for power conditioning applications. The output voltage can remain constant even though the input voltage varies. This is used to provide protection for sensitive electronics.
Connecting to the internet*
Victron Inverters, inverter chargers, battery monitors and solar charge controllers can all be connected to the internet with the addition of one of the Victron gateway products which include the Color Control GX and the Venus GX. The free VRM Sofware available from Victron allows remote access and control from anywhere an internet connection is available. Software is open source so many users write their own integrations with third party products such as microcontrollers. A thriving website is available for developers to contact others and exchange ideas.