TRIMM won a Dutch Interactive Award in 2014 with the Victron case
Victron Energy, located in i.a. Almere, Eindhoven and Gronigen, is a producer of, and market leader in mobile energy solutions. For example, battery chargers, transformers, and PV panels. The organization is known worldwide, and their products are used by many different clients, ranging from the US navy to DAF.
Part of Victron Energy’s product range is mainly used in remote and/or mobile locations. This can cause difficulties in monitoring and managing these systems. This led Victron Energy to make their products ‘smart’ by using an app to collect power system data, which is then transmitted to the central database through a cellular phone module.
The development of the application
Victron Energy was looking for suitable party to take the development of their Victron Remote Management (VRM) application to the next level. VRM was quickly reaching maturity, and they wanted to add more quality and value to the tooling. The new application should make it easy for electrical installation managers to do their job quickly and efficiently.
In the past we often received orders for a partial installation. Now, partly thanks to the VRM-application, demand is on the rise for complete Victron Energy-systems which use all of our products.Matthijs Vader, Managing Director of Victron Energy.
The user-friendliness central
Right from the beginning, we decided to deliver a responsive design: mobile and desktop, with the desktop version configured so that it also works well on tablets. The application has a calm, warm feel to it, to ensure that all of the technical details don’t scare off less technical users. We also focused on making the design touch friendly, and followed the ‘flat design’ trend.
Speed was an important aspect. That’s why we used ‘lazy loading’ as often as possible: data isn’t loaded until the user actually needs it. To accommodate for users with older browsers we applied the principle of graceful degradation, while users with the latest browsers enjoy the app’s full range of functionality.
The application makes it possible to easily and swiftly read out an installation’s current status, or make changes to the configuration as required. Thanks to use of this online platform, controllers and managers can perform their duties quickly and efficiently.
TRIMM and Victron Energy continue to cooperate on further developing this platform. The foundations were set up to allow new widgets with new functionality to be added quickly. Furthermore, clients can request new functions tailored to their specific needs. As these get implemented, the application continues to grow at a steady pace.
Victron Energy also made an open source link module available, which allows external parties (for example, other suppliers of electronic installations) to display data on the website. Thanks to this, the end-user gets an integrated dashboard of all their installations.
VRM is providing significant added value for Victron Energy compared to competitors in the market, and is very interesting for clients with a large number of installations, like the ANWB. The powerful application is often a decisive factor when a new client decides to do business with Victron Energy. For example, the application makes it possible to determine the optimal time for replacing a battery, which obviously leads to significant cost savings.
One of the recently added features is the geofencing option. This allows users to draw a polygon shape on Google maps. When the system leaves the indicated borders, the application will sound an alarm.
We are proud to have taken part in developing the future of the internet, an internet that an increasing number of devices can connect to. This new development means we can already talk about a (Victron) Internet of Things. What’s more, we were also able to deliver an optimal experience for the end user. Simple graphing functionality makes it possible for an end user to gain insights into their energy usage, as well as their own production such as from solar panels.
The use of VRM is free of charge for all Victron Energy clients. Since the launch in Q1 2013, over 1000 users and 1500 energy systems have been connected, and this number is growing daily.