Victron Net Battery Controller
The VBC-HV is a device that monitors your battery status. It constantly measures the battery voltage, battery temperature, and battery current, and uses this information to calculate the actual state of charge of your battery.
Introduction to VE.Net - VE.Net stands for Victron Energy Network. It allows all VE.Net compatible devices to communicate with each other. This means that the charger for example can get information from the battery monitor to optimize the charge current. It is possible to control and monitor all your VE.Net devices from a single VE.Net compatible control panel. This saves space and allows you to control all your devices from one place. It is however, not necessary to be limited to a single panel. Multiple panels can be used on the network, allowing full control and monitoring capabilities of all devices in multiple locations.
Why should you monitor your batteries? - The lifetime of your batteries depends on many factors. If the batteries and the load process are monitored you can prevent your batteries from being under- or over charged, or from being discharged too deeply. A battery controller warns you if there is something wrong with the charge current or with the general condition of the batteries.
How does the VE.Net Battery Controller work? - The capacity of a battery is rated in Amp hours (Ah). For example, a battery that can deliver a current of 5 Amps for a period of 20 hours is rated at 100 Ah (5 * 20 = 100). The VBC-HV continuously measures the net current flow into or out of the battery. This way it can calculate the amount of energy removed from or added to the battery. But since battery age, discharge current and temperature all influence the battery's capacity; you cannot rely simply on an Amp hours reading. When the same 100 Ah battery is discharged completely in two hours, it may only give you 56 Ah (because of the higher rate of discharge). As you can see the battery's capacity is almost halved. This phenomenon is called Peukert efficiency. Also, when the temperature of the battery is low, its capacity is decreased even more. This is why simple Amp hour counters or Voltmeters give you far from an accurate state-of-charge indication.
The VBC-HV can display both the Amp hours removed (not compensated) and the actual state of charge (compensated by Peukert efficiency and charge efficiency). Reading the state-of-charge is the best way to read your battery. This parameter is shown as a percentage, where 100% represents a fully charged battery and 0% represents a completely flat battery. You can compare this with a fuel-gauge in a car.
The VBC-HV also makes an estimation of how long the battery can support the present load (time to go readout). This is actually the time left until the battery needs to be charged again. If the battery load is fluctuating heavily it is best not to rely on this reading too much since it is a momentary readout and must be used as a guideline only. We always encourage the use of the state-of-charge readout for accurate battery monitoring.