There is a wide range of Victron battery charge controllers in the market today, classified into three major categories:
- BlueSolar chargers
- SmartSolar chargers
Victron BlueSolar and SmartSolar battery chargers can only be connected to solar panels (PV), while Victron inverter/chargers can be used for charging storage batteries and transmitting and optimising electrical power from all sources.
Victron BlueSolar Battery Chargers
Victron BlueSolar battery charge controllers maintain the health of your battery by using the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) algorithm to execute automatic voltage recognition and charge optimization.
Most BlueSolar battery chargers support multiple battery capacities simultaneously, while others only support individual 12 V, 24 V or 48 V storage batteries.
The one downside of Victron BlueSolar chargers is that they don't have an in-built Bluetooth and remote/internet control and management capability. However, you can enable Bluetooth control by connecting a VE.Direct Bluetooth Smart Dongle.
Victron BlueSolar chargers can handle volt loads ranging between 75 V and 250 V and current ratings between 10 A and 100 A. So, you can connect several Victron BlueSolar Panels to these chargers in array format.
Victron SmartSolar Battery Chargers
Besides MPPT control, Victron SmartSolar battery chargers have built-in Bluetooth capacity, a VE.Direct cable and VE.Can communication port.
The universal MPPT control algorithm is coupled with a SmartSolar Control feature, making it more intelligent.
Victron SmartSolar battery chargers come in various voltage capacities, while others serve single 12 V, 24 V, and 48 V batteries. Nevertheless, many individual makes are built to handle all battery voltage varieties.
Common Features of BlueSolar and SmartSolar Battery Chargers
- Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT)
- Automatic battery voltage detection
- Adjustable electricity algorithm
- Automatic MPPT recognition during extreme weather variations
- Superior conversion efficiency
- Natural heat control and automatic high-temperature power adjustment
- Made to be used for solar (PV) panels only
The table below summarises the major similarities and differences between Victron BlueSolar and SmartSolar battery chargers.
|Charger Type||Voltage Range (V)||Display||Bluetooth||Remote On/Off||Programmable Relay||Max Power Output|
|Blue Solar||12/24/36/48||MTTP Control||Optional Dongle||No||No||250 V / 100 A|
|Smart Solar||12/24/36/48||MTTP Control and SmartSolar Control||Built-In||Yes||Yes||250 V / 100 A|
Expert Tip: Only connect Victron BlueSolar battery chargers that have a VE.Can communication port to create large solar energy systems.
This video shows how to connect a Bluetooth dongle to a Victron BlueSolar charger.
Victron inverter/chargers are advanced charging and power converting devices that safely connect to all AC and DC electricity sources such as:
- Off-shore sources, e.g. windmills
- Off-grid sources, e.g. solar panels and generators
- Public grid
There are two models of Victron inverter/chargers:
True to their name, Victron inverter/chargers are able to efficiently convert energy from diverse sources and charge your batteries at the same time.
The most significant feature of superiority of the MultiPlus and Quattro inverter/chargers is how easily they can connect to your wireless and internet infrastructure with just some firmware updates and a simple configuration.
You can connect the Victron MultiPlus inverter/charger to the mains plus two more sources concurrently. Under normal circumstances, it will keep your batteries fully charged from the active source.
In case of an abrupt power disconnection from the mains or generator, the Victron inverter/charger’s Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) function will shift to your storage batteries at ultra high speed (20 milliseconds), preventing your devices from shutting down.
To ensure you have a standard rate of electricity flow, the PowerControl feature of the Victron inverter/charger converts your batteries’ DC to AC and injects it into your electricity network to level out insufficient power flow from the generator or mains.
You can plug the Victron Quattro inverter/charger into two AC sources, such as a public grid or generators, simultaneously and it will intuitively select the active input. Its PowerAssist function automatically draws power from the battery to peek up the mains or generator whenever it senses a fluctuation.
In case of power failure from the mains, the Quattro quickly shifts to the secondary source (within 20 milliseconds), maintaining the uninterrupted operation of your electronic equipment.
The Quattro has enough versatility to connect to other energy systems such as solar and wind.
You can determine the maximum power input from each line, and the Quattro will use the surplus power to charge your batteries, keeping the shore power sources from being overloaded.
|Inverter / Charger Model||Peak Power (Watts)||AC Input Phase||AC Output Phase||UPS||LAN / WAN Control||Grid Power-Assist|
Expert Tip: You can create parallel connections of either Multiplus or Quattro Inverter/Chargers to multiply power output.
Choose the Best Victron Charger
All Victron chargers and inverter/chargers meet the highest design and efficiency standards and are certified for all forms and sources of electricity. The ideal type and model for you will depend on your energy source and uses.
However, the Multiplus and Quattro inverter/chargers are adaptable to all energy sources and specifications.
Here is what our verified product users have to say:
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I know that my charger is charging my battery?
Record the battery voltage in the morning—ensure all the wires are connected correctly— and again later in the day. If the latter value is higher, then your charger is working properly.
Can I have volts without amps?
It’s possible to have voltage and no amps (units for measuring current), usually due to a wiring fault. Your solar panel can be collecting and transmitting voltage, while an open circuit (defective wiring) is keeping the current from flowing.
Can my solar charger overcharge my battery?
As a general rule, solar battery chargers are meant to keep your battery from overcharging but a solar panel can overcharge your battery, depending on its voltage and current output compared to your battery’s storage capacity.
Can I connect my equipment directly to my MPPT?
You should not attempt to connect any load to your MPPT solar battery charger because its algorithm is specifically oriented to charging batteries, not driving electricity-consuming equipment. Other than a few low-voltage incandescent bulbs, connecting any gadget to a solar battery charger is generally prohibited.
Can I monitor my Victron SmartSolar charger via the internet?
You can connect your Victron SmartSolar charger to a GX device and control it remotely via a VE.Direct non-inverting remote on/off cable. SmartSolar chargers have ready-to-pair Bluetooth capability, while BlueSolar chargers can be Bluetooth-enabled by connecting a Bluetooth adapter to it with the GX device acting as the charger’s gateway to the internet.