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Author Topic: Which Battery Monitor to Get.  (Read 745 times)
Fred Mc
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« on: October 19, 2010, 06:14:23 PM »

On another thread Bobofthenorth mentioned his Trimetric, which I presume is a battery monitor.
I know that different ones provide different information and the prices vary quite a bit as well.

What do people use and what info does it give them?

Thanks

Fred Mc.
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 08:27:45 PM »

I don't really know what all my Trimetric 2020 is capable of doing. 



Its made by Bogart Engineering - I bought it because somebody here told me that should be my first step to adding solar charging and I have never regretted that decision.  We have it set so that it reads state of charge based on an artificially low battery bank capacity.  I forget the exact numbers I used but I think we have something like 650 amp hours of capacity (3 x 8D AGMs) and I believe I have the Trimetric set up for 600 total amp hours.  That way when it shows 50% discharge we are still above a true 50% discharge.  We watch the state of charge religiously and it has never been below 55% since we installed the Trimetric.  We use the rate of charge to measure how well our solar is working and to gauge what we can use when we are running on solar.  That's about all the features of the unit that we actually use.  I use the time since equalized to remind me to equalize but its a pretty expensive egg timer.

Once you have the unit installed you can use it to measure your real battery capacity and then use that number to calibrate the unit. 
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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Melbo
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 09:01:27 PM »

I like my trimetric because I have it connected ahead of all the other stuff -- so when I am in storage I can check what I have and if I need to charge or if the batts are OK -- Don't need to activate the inverter and I can leave all the switches in the off position -- when stuff is active it keeps me up to date on what I need to do and what is happening

Just my way

HTH

YMMV

Melbo
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2010, 09:16:05 AM »

There have been many threads on battery State Of Charge (SOC).  That is a very important value if you want to get maximum life out of your house batteries.  

Almost all experts agree that you should not take your deep cycle batteries below 50% SOC (for wet batteries - a bit lower for AGM).  Voltage is not an indicator of SOC unless you have no activity (charge/drain) for several hours and that just does not happen in our application.  The SOC type meter (I have the Trimetric as well) gives you a pretty darn good indication of SOC since it has an integrating computer that measures the amperage flow in and out of the battery.

The main function is to report SOC.  However, it has the ability to display battery voltage and current flow (shows as a minus when you are drawing from the battery).  Current flow can very interesting.  You can see the impact of any/all of the 12V and 120V components that operate through the inverter/battery system.  I have done quite a bit of playing using the current meter by turning stuff off and on to see just how much battery draw I get for that item.  Course, that is a weird engineer trait Grin

I would recommend this kind of meter whether you have solar or not!

Jim
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 09:19:45 AM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2010, 10:26:52 AM »

Course, that is a weird engineer trait Grin

I would recommend this kind of meter whether you have solar or not!
Jim

I'm about as far from a injunear as you can get and I enjoy doing that too Jim.  Its sometimes surprising what the actual load is from something that you might have thought was insignificant.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
My website
Our weblog
Simply growing older is not the same as living.
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