Victron SmartShunt: easy install, networked, all-in-one battery monitor

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of Panbo.com, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, completed the Great Loop in 2017.

18 Responses

  1. Kai Curry Kai Curry says:

    Two important differences to note between the SmartShunt and the BMV712:

    1. The SmartShunt has no programmable relay. The BMV has a small relay that can be configured to change state on high/low voltage, SOC set points, manually via VictronConnect App, or even other events in a networked system.

    2. The SmartShunt has no visual or audible alarm. The BMV has a piezo alarm and flashing screen backlight that can be configured to alert user of various battery alarm conditions.

    If these features are required the BMV display can be installed with a short cable within or near the battery compartment. An inexpensive 2″ gauge mounting bracket can be used to mount the BMV display perpendicular to a bulkhead instead of through it. It can also be helpful to have an eye into how the batteries are doing when working on the electrical system.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Kai,

      Thanks for those points. They’re both highly relevant and very good distinctions between the options. The second difference is especially important for standalone use but less so for part of a Victron network.

      -Ben S.

    • Kai Curry Kai Curry says:

      The SmartShunt does have the advantage of being slightly more accurate and less susceptible to noise because the analog to digital measurements are happening at the shunt instead of at the end of a long cable like it does with the BMV.

  2. Hi Ben,
    This looks good, and probably a great replacement for my two antique Link 10s. Question: can the software sum a pair of these? We have two house banks (plus a start battery, but simple voltage monitoring is fine for that) and I would really like to see the total of the two. It isn’t essential, but it’s something I would see as a significant step up from my current 2-monitor setup.
    I agree with you regarding Bluetooth range – I have a “SmartBatterySense” on my #1 House battery, and the range is significantly less than for my solar regulator, which is mounted high up in the Nav station. While I can see the solar regulator anywhere onboard, the battery sensor (which is where a SmartShunt would live if I put one in) is good only in the salon, Nav station and forward end of the cockpit. Maybe they can offer a “remote antenna facility” for the Bluetooth 🙂

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Hartley,

      I don’t think the software can combine two shunts into a single virtual bank but I have to admit I haven’t tried.

      Currently I suspect Victron would tell you the Bluetooth antenna option is to use a BMV-712 instead of a SmartShunt since the BMV-712 has the Bluetooth radio in the gauge instead of in the shunt.

      -Ben S.

      • Yeah, you are probably right – but then I’m back to using all that fiddly wiring from shunt to gauge 🙂 Maybe I can find some sort of “Bluetooth repeater” to assist. Thanks!

        • Charlie Johnson says:

          Hartley
          “Fiddly wiring”? The connection is an ethernet cable with RJ45 connectors.

          • Hi Charlie,
            Yep – “fiddly” – to go from my battery compartment to the inside of the nav station where the gauges would be is a maybe 10′ run, through one 2′ wiring channel, thru three bulkhead holes and would need to be secured all along the way. The connections at the ends is the least of it, especially when you get olde and inflexible like me and laying on the sole reaching into lockers and around corners 🙂
            The current wiring for my two antique (but functional) Link 10s is two runs of jake (4-conductor #22 solid) so I wouldn’t even be able to reuse those.

          • Charlie Johnson says:

            Hartley
            I feel your pain. I’m a marine electrician with lots of aches and pains and the flexibility of a 2 x 10.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Illustrating the evolving networked Victron power monitoring that the SmartShunts will work well with, check out the Furuno glass bridge integration announced yesterday:

    https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2020/07/30/new-furuno-navigation-victron-compatibility/

    I’m personally a little disappointed because this apparently won’t display on my boat’s TZT2 12, but then again I get this sort of presentation of my Victron GX data on an iPad running Garmin’s ActiveCaptain app (though there’s no Garmin hardware on the boat) and the underlying data is also now on my N2K network (though I’m struggling a little to make it visible and available for alarming).

  4. Martin T says:

    I personally do not care for BT at all (or proprietary protocols/connections).

    What I do want is a battery monitor with build in NMEA 2000, and/or Ethernet/WiFi (so I can monitor batteries from home over the boats Internet router).

  5. Jonathan says:

    Another case of my timing be just a bit off. I recently installed a BMV700H on a system for which the new SmartShunt may have been a good choice – if Victron makes it available for hi-voltage systems. I’ve been involved in the rebirth of an 1896 wooden motor launch (via it’s 2018-2020 rebuild) that has an Elco 96v electric drive unit. This is powered by 27Kw of LiIon batteries, and the partnership that owns it needed a way to be able to monitor the SOC remotely for scheduling purposes. We used a BMV700H since the regular BMV kit tops out at 95v, and the battery bank hovers in the 108-116v range. The BMV talks to a Color Control GX head that is tied to a Peplink router for cellular comms to Victron’s VRM, which the groups IT guru (not me) has linked to the ownership web portal. This also provides location data and can have a geofence. All very neat stuff. The round display gauge of the BMV is relatively ancillary to the whole kit, and as Ben mentions is not the most easily read device. But Victron is doing some really neat stuff.

  6. Keith Pleas says:

    And this Smart Shunt is backordered until mid-October. I don’t know if Victron hits their estimates, but this seems like a core piece of functionality and I have to believe that they’ve just pushed any installs this season into next season.

    • Hi Keith, yes, its an unfortunate mix of COVID related production issues, and enormous popularity of the new SmartShunt. We’re working extremely hard to have plenty stock again – as you said: products like these should be in stock always.

  7. Gavin Gee says:

    Is there any guidance for using these (or any other shunts) with blueseas ACR’s? It seems that any reliable monitoring is out of the window if used with ACR’s that combine battery banks based on voltage?

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      I’m certainly not a source of official guidance but I’ve thought about the same issue — and related ones like batteries with a 1 /2 / both / off switch attached. I’ve concluded that the only way to monitor both batteries effectively is with a separate shunt for each battery. Anything else just won’t work because any of these devices effectively change the size of the battery bank when they’re combined or not combined.

      The other option, if you don’t care about the state-of-charge of one of the batteries would be to just monitor voltage on that battery. That might work if one battery is a starting battery and the other a house battery. In that case, you care much more about SoC of the houe battery and monitoring voltage might be enough for the starting battery.

      My center console has two batteries, but they’re basically equals with both potentially doing duty as starter or house battery. So, at some point I’ll probably install two battery monitors on it. And hey, that might be a prime application for the Veratron LinkUp IBS I just reviewed. https://www.panbo.com/veratron-linkup-battery-monitor-innovative-configuration-and-nmea-2000/

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