Victron & Pylontech: a Robust Inverter-Battery Combination for Off-grid Energy Systems
Can you use any battery with a Victron Energy system? Technically, yes. But here's what we recommend and why.
A sound battery-inverter system is kind of like a happy marriage, based on good communication and responding efficiently to each other's needs. And the union needs to last for a very, very long time (which is one reason why we like Pylontech's 16+ year battery life expectation and 10-year manufacturer's warranty.)
There is certainly no shortage of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery manufacturers to choose from in today's market. Victron has published a long list of batteries that are compatible with their inverters, a few of which are available to us the United States. Within that shorter list of options, let's talk about the best integrations and why they provide exceptional value.
Victron Energy is a research and development-focused company driven by continual improvement. Although Victron sells their own lithium battery, there are other intelligent lithium batteries out there that collaborate with Victron equipment to take system functionality to the next level.
Pylontech is one company that has worked closely with Victron's R&D team to establish thorough compatibility reports. As a result, Pylontech lithium batteries are certified to work with Victron inverters in off grid, grid backup and Energy Storage Systems (ESS). Pylontech now has over 6 years of working experience and positive global track record with Victron inverters.
Through our exploration of Victron’s impressive capability, we have chosen Pylontech batteries as an excellent option when designing robust, flexible inverter-battery systems.
Here are the key selling points for us:
Full integration and seamless communication between Victron and Pylontech
Pylontech's US3000C 48 Volt lithium-ion battery communicates with Victron's Cerbo GX via the BMS type A cable. When connected, the battery is recognized as a Victron compatible device and populates on the device list as a Pylontech battery.
The can-BUS connection via the GX device communicates the keep-alive signal, charge and discharge limits, error codes and state of charge (SOC %) between the batteries and the system.
The GX device also enables Distributed Voltage and Current Control (DVCC). DVCC turns the GX device into an active controller, and will take over charge control of the inverter/charger and MPPT solar chargers, and then coordinate the two charging sources to optimally deliver power to the battery, without exceeding the limits specified by Pylontech. If there happens to be any faults detected or if the installer makes a mistake, the batteries will beep and disconnect to prevent any damage.
Reliable and flexible enough for the most demanding environments
The Pylontech US3000C has been a staple for our off-grid customers. The footprint saves space and makes for a very compact, high power 48v bank. Over the past 2 years, we have sold over 500 US3000C batteries and have had zero warranty issues.
Additionally, many of these systems are in rugged conditions where the Pylontech durability is continually put to the test. Many have been installed by first time installers some of whom made mistakes causing the batteries to overload and protect themselves. Even so, every battery has survived and is 100% functional. We stock replacement BMS boards in the event that we do have an issue but so far we have not touched them.
We also sell a lot of Pylontech’s RT12100 model which is an exceptionally durable 12.8V 100Ah lithium-iron phosphate battery. The RT12100 is UL listed, and is IP67 rated which provides complete protection against dust, airborne particles, and protection against water and liquids, up to and including immersion in up to one meter of water.
The battery also has a cold resistance heater built in. Planning on camping out in your Sprinter van during the middle of winter? This battery is your best bet. Our customers have primarily used this battery for 12 Volt RV/mobile applications, but the RT 12100 model can be expanded up to 4 series and 4 parallel for 48V 400 Amp hours. Although much smaller than the US3000C, this model has the same internal BMS monitor that integrates seamlessly with Victron and coordinates a safe user experience.
Fantastic battery management system (BMS)
Victron inverters are designed to work better with more intelligent battery management systems, such as Pylontech and BYD Battery Box. Pylontech's BMS is so good that it's actually become the benchmark for other battery assemblers. It's not uncommon for other manufacturers to say, "our BMS is just like Pylontech's." You know you're doing something right when people mimic your technology.
Our customers have been pleased with the closed loop integration of their Pylontech-Victron systems, which enables the battery to protect itself and to maintain itself better than is possible with isolated batteries. The integration is as simple as it gets and has some nice features that you won't find on less integrated batteries.
For example, all you do is plug in the communications cable and the Cerbo GX will recognize the battery and ensure that all the Victron products' charge parameters are in line with the batteries requests. No programming is required to acheive this, it just happens.
It's always wise to have stand-alone settings in your inverters and solar controllers to ensure that if communication is lost, (say the Cerbo fails or a wire gets unplugged for some reason), the system will continue to function.
Very large and in-charge manufacturer that packs a punch on the global energy storage market
Pylontech is not a small, here-today-gone-tomorrow company. These products are very reliable and their global consumer base is fast-growing.
It's also important to us that they manufacture their own battery cells, which is becoming less and less common these days. If we’re talking about passion for quality control and reputation for reliable, affordable battery products, Pylontech is one of the world’s top suppliers of lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery storage.
And after hundreds of installs, it's very straightforward for us to advise you on the initial set up of your system and thanks to Victron's remote monitoring system (VRM), we can provide that technical support from literally anywhere in the world.
“The old system was literally running blind. No insight into power consumption. No indication of why the generator was running so often. We wanted to not only fix the system, but to partner with Intelligent Controls to implement a much more intelligent, higher-capacity system…The combination of Victron and Pylontech was a perfect solution, allowing the Lodge to get back to taking care of their guests, and give them capability to expand the power system in the future, as needed.” - Dustin Donaldson
Ask us for guidance on battery options for residential, mobile, and marine applications. We're happy to share whatever information we can help you get the most intelligent and reliable system possible.
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