Tristar meter

stmoloudstmoloud Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭
edited December 2018 in Solar Beginners Corner #1
A question to those that have one (a Tristar meter). Is there one feature above all that you would regard as an indispensable measurement which justifies their expense? 
I would like to hookup an analog amp and also volt meter to my batteries. Even these instruments would be a little surplus if the Tristar is doing a good job. 

Thanks
760W panel array, 4 x 6v 220 ah Crown batteries, Tristar TS-45 PWM controller,  no name 600 PSW inverter. 

Comments

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,506 ✭✭✭✭✭
    There's no single feature but rather multiple features the meter has that a stand alone controller cannot by its self provide, it allows insight to charging information, logging data, faults, alarms, diagnostic information and much more. Without the meter, essentially the operator is blind to information other than the 3 LED indicators, which provide some information albeit very limited. The single  "reason" to have one, is it allows fast access to the most relevant information, to evaluate how the system is performing. An external ammeter and volt meter cannot provide such information. Connected  to  computer using MS View software all this information and more is possible, including custom settings, the downside is the inconvenience of having to connect a computer.  
    Personally I use the meter every day just to see if any trends are developing, changes which may otherwise go unnoticed, It's akin to having idiot lights as opposed to a full compliment gauge cluster on a car.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • stmoloudstmoloud Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭
    edited December 2018 #3
    True that, but you need the knowledge to parse that information. Acting upon knowledge with little or no understanding can make things worse. With the idiot lights I know that if on waking up I get a blinking red light, whereas 100 times previously I have seen yellow / red, then I need to ask questions.  That would be a good time to break out the MS View.
    Otherwise it should be business as usual. Top up once a month and equalize.  

    760W panel array, 4 x 6v 220 ah Crown batteries, Tristar TS-45 PWM controller,  no name 600 PSW inverter. 
  • mryimmersmryimmers Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
    Unless you have a computer hooked up to the CC all the time, I would consider the tristar meter a necessity, not an option.
    510 watt pv, TS-MPPT 60, Exeltech XP1100, XP600 & XP250 @ 24V, 4x Trojan 105RE, Trimetric 2030, Yamaha EF2400i gen.
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