Sol-Ark 12K and EG4LL battery communications

RichardFromEG4

The "Do-What's-Needed" Solar Guy
Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Messages
891
Location
Sulphur Springs, TX
Then it's high time to pick a standard and run with it. If 20 or so bigger distributors got on the phone and agreed enough is enough, your life could be easier. Get on the forums, and contact more and more dealers. Invite dealers in from here and across the ponds. The more dealers that demand, the faster it happens. Less grief for you distributers, less grief for the installers, and most importantly less grief for the people who pay everyone's wages and profit, the end user. The market does demand a few standards in this industry. Considering how high tech solar related has become, it is in the dark ages in many ways. Less need for trouble shooting and engineering after the fact will make life easier. I'm sure there are other things that need to tighten up that most, other then the engineers don't have a clue about.

There are many more who want solar then are buying it. One reason is finding no standards, and a whole lot of info that is written by electrical engineers for electrical engineers.

Even small things like the max PV isc per mppt can become a complicated, and hugely time consuming, research and Q&A thing for the non solar savvy crowd. I have a gsl 7.6k. I opened the box and pulled out the manual thinking all my information would be contained. What a joke. I couldn't find any panels that I could s and p to get a decent configuration. Most panels are around 11a. If I parallel I'm over the 18a max of the mppt. I read that these things can self limit, but nothing about how much, and the max panel Isc in the manual, or the the spec sheet. I asked here to no avail, I emailed the manufacturer more than once, and their contact people have no clue about their product in some ways. They told me the panels can't go over the 18A ISC. (Oh? Ok, I'll just run another $5k worth of wire the 250' that I need from panels, to inverter) Thankfully a member here who is electrical solar savvy with the same inverter sent me a PM. That crucial info is only found on a label on the unit. "Why was I so stupid as to think that the manual would have that crucial information" Nothing in the book, or spec sheet, and the factory reps had no clue. Again I say what a joke. The max panel Isc is 25a. I spent 12 hours +- of my time to get a small but very important bit of info, that should be plastered into every bit of literature.

I'm just trying to point out that not everyone is electrical savvy. That doesn't mean that those who are not as stubborn as me should abandon the idea of solar power if they can't afford an electrical engineer to design every detail for them, yet it is happening by the thousands every day.

There is no reason for a laymen to have to spend countless hours on a computer to find out if battery x will work with inverter y. Again stone ages comes to mind.
Agreed. This is partly why EG4 is re-writing manuals to include a ton of this info. Even Will Prowse pointed out the manual in his video for our inverter because it's literally a book FULL of information.
 

RichardFromEG4

The "Do-What's-Needed" Solar Guy
Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Messages
891
Location
Sulphur Springs, TX
Actually Richard, there are people who want it more than you. The end user, the bill payer.
I am an end user. I set these up daily and have probably set up more of these systems than a majority of people. Don't get me wrong - there are a lot of people who have set these up more than I have, but in general I've definitely done this more than most. Not to mention answer all the questions of other people on the forum and through phone/email asking about this exact field of questions.
 

Snowynorth

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
170
I am an end user. I set these up daily and have probably set up more of these systems than a majority of people. Don't get me wrong - there are a lot of people who have set these up more than I have, but in general I've definitely done this more than most. Not to mention answer all the questions of other people on the forum and through phone/email asking about this exact field of questions.
I assumed you were an end user. You are also solar savvy, and I am sure also get some of the perks that being a distributer affords. The majority of the end users pay retail, which pays the wages and profit for all involved, and I would hazard to guess 95% of them have less knowledge then I do which isn't much. Even finding the appropriate combiner box, all pre made and wired up is a time consuming affair for those like me. Solar related products have long needed to tighten up. I have seen a few diy solar installs that looked very good and safe, and a few that I wouldn't trust sleeping near. For me, and I'm sure many thousands of others having communication is considered a need, if we want power. Ours is going into an off grid inherited hobby farm, where the temps get very cold, and lightning is common.
I am glad to hear that you are working on manuals, and have recognized the shortfalls such as communication. Others should as well.
 

jberger

Solar Addict
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
302
Today, there is ZERO benefit for a manufacturer to standardize on an industry protocol in place of their own.
Why would Victron want to use something that would mean they need to abandon what they have built over the years, same with the other manufacturers.

Why would they want to open source their own and loose the "eco-system" power they have when you buy their stuff?

The biggest beneficiary would be the cheap off shore brands which would then say they are "compatible" and wolf down market share without investing anything in the process. Those same manufacturers already can't even document the products they build, so good luck getting them to really work on compatibility. There is too much IP theft and copying going on to worry about standards.

The standards will probably come about when they are required by utilities to connect to the grid via Smart Meter, or when enough governments require them for tax credits, production recording, etc. But forced standards aren't what you want either, they are usually the lowest common denominator available and then the secret sauce is used for all the stuff that didn't make it into the standard, so 5 years later it's decided we need ANOTHER standard.

The other option is for one manufacturer to own so much of the market, it becomes the defacto standard and everyone else just writes to it.
 

mnd

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
66
Today, there is ZERO benefit for a manufacturer to standardize on an industry protocol in place of their own.
Why would Victron want to use something that would mean they need to abandon what they have built over the years, same with the other manufacturers.

Why would they want to open source their own and loose the "eco-system" power they have when you buy their stuff?
On the other hand, when I went looking for batteries, if it didn't support the Pylon protocol (which my inverter does), then it didn't make the list.
 

robby

Photon Vampire
Joined
May 1, 2021
Messages
2,110
Why would they want to open source their own and loose the "eco-system" power they have when you buy their stuff?

The biggest beneficiary would be the cheap off shore brands which would then say they are "compatible" and wolf down market share without investing anything in the process. Those same manufacturers already can't even document the products they build, so good luck getting them to really work on compatibility. There is too much IP theft and copying going on to worry about standards.
Exactly! This is exactly what the Chinese manufactures would love to see happen. Then they leech onto every big Inverter company that did the R&D and say Buy our product because we are compatible with X and we are cheaper than the American or German brands.

It chaffs my butt when I listen to Americans talking about the US Government sending Jobs abroad.
Nope the consumers in America sent the Jobs abroad!
Even now the vast majority of Americans complain about China and yet at the same time they have no problems funding China's efforts for Global domination.
So long as the Chinese save us some money on our purchases, all of that Made in America pride BS we spout suddenly goes out the window.
 
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Ellis Redding

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
106
if it didn't support the Pylon protocol (which my inverter does), then it didn't make the list.
Does anyone know if the Pylon Protocol (or any other protocols) are open source?
Are there any affordable devices that can bridge this communication issue?
Like some kind of serial device that acts as a translator between the battery and the inverter?
 

Snowynorth

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
170
Today, there is ZERO benefit for a manufacturer to standardize on an industry protocol in place of their own.
Why would Victron want to use something that would mean they need to abandon what they have built over the years, same with the other manufacturers.

Why would they want to open source their own and loose the "eco-system" power they have when you buy their stuff?

The biggest beneficiary would be the cheap off shore brands which would then say they are "compatible" and wolf down market share without investing anything in the process. Those same manufacturers already can't even document the products they build, so good luck getting them to really work on compatibility. There is too much IP theft and copying going on to worry about standards.

The standards will probably come about when they are required by utilities to connect to the grid via Smart Meter, or when enough governments require them for tax credits, production recording, etc. But forced standards aren't what you want either, they are usually the lowest common denominator available and then the secret sauce is used for all the stuff that didn't make it into the standard, so 5 years later it's decided we need ANOTHER standard.

The other option is for one manufacturer to own so much of the market, it becomes the defacto standard and everyone else just writes to it.
We are talking about communication from batteries to inverters. Do you have Victron batteries with a Victron inverter? We are not talking about the hardware, and each company firmware, but lets face it if anyone thinks that any manufacturer can't buy an inverter from the other guy, and reverse engineer they are naïve. I'll bet my boots on a cold winter day that they all have. Including Victron.

My new cabin is wired with a panel, boxes, plugs, lights, and fans etc from various manufacturers, and guess what,, they all work together. The power company doesn't specify what panel brand their power works with. I can buy and hook up, cheap taps, or expensive taps from any number of manufacturers, and they all connect with standard npt fittings, and work. Do some build better quality? You bet. The water drains don't have to be from manufacturer A or B, they are standardized. Is a Lada the same as a Mercedes? Nope but they both run on the same gas. Is a Chevy volt, the same as a Tesla nope. Do they both run on shore power? Yes. I'm just saying some things need to be standardized, in the solar industry, and it's long over do. I'm not a big fan of government intervention, but I am sure glad they standardize. Will my sound system work with virtually any other manufacturers speakers? Yes. I could go on and on, but I think you catch my drift. After all these years of modern solar, the industry is still like the wild west in so many ways. Mainstream is many years away, unless standards are put in place.
 
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jberger

Solar Addict
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
302
I've been on a number of CEA/CES/CEDIA working groups and committees, I'm not trying to convince you, just trying to explain how it works.
 

Snowynorth

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
170
I've been on a number of CEA/CES/CEDIA working groups and committees, I'm not trying to convince you, just trying to explain how it works.
I'm happy to see you and others are working on some of the issues. I apologize for my rant, but Solar can be a slippery slope for many, who don't have the tech skills of others. Especially when other financial obligations, and budgets prevent them from simply writing a chq. In order to have power. I will need to research, and buy everything myself, do all of the grunt work, then hire an electrician to hook it all up. I feel that I could wire everything with what I have learned, but I'm not going to. My family's safety is most important.
 

Ellis Redding

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
106
I'm happy to see you and others are working on some of the issues. I apologize for my rant, but Solar can be a slippery slope for many, who don't have the tech skills of others. Especially when other financial obligations, and budgets prevent them from simply writing a chq. In order to have power. I will need to research, and buy everything myself, do all of the grunt work, then hire an electrician to hook it all up. I feel that I could wire everything with what I have learned, but I'm not going to. My family's safety is most important.
I've been thinking that this is why the new SolArk 15K is so nice. With 200A pass through, I think just paying someone to wire the inverter into the system before the main panel handles almost all of the really big connections and really really reduces what needs done. No second panel.
 

AleksK

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
53
We have an in house model working - the issue is it requires flashing the battery firmware and that requires some level of technical skills that if not done correctly can cause the battery to brick, so we are trying to develop a seamless option.
Yeah I wasn't even able to get BMS tools to communicate with yalls battery, downloaded the software but it wouldn't read the battery for some reason, so there is definitely a ways to go on that front.
 

AleksK

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 24, 2021
Messages
53
We have an in house model working - the issue is it requires flashing the battery firmware and that requires some level of technical skills that if not done correctly can cause the battery to brick, so we are trying to develop a seamless option.
I have a bunch of EG4LLs on order with you guys coming in the next shipment, will there be software updates on those? Or the customer will still need to do that?
 

TBoone

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 14, 2021
Messages
34
we are releasing the solark firmware next week. it is fully tested for EG4LL
James,
Recall we talked at your business several weeks ago. You were asking about my Oshkosh hat and flying. I have three of the LifePower 48V bats that I'm using with a Sol-Ark12K inverter. Does the new firmware you mention work with this combination? If so how can I flash the BMS in my bats to
accomplish this.

As we talked about, you are welcome to visit here at 0TX1 anytime. My hangarhome is on the SW end of 01/19.
I'll trade you a demo flight in a SportCruiser for help with my BMS setup?

Tom Fisher MD EE ATP
TBooneFisher@Gmail.com
214-893-9083 voice/text anytime
Pecan Plantation, TX 76049 ( OTX1 )
 
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