Current meter shunt - bad idea?

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I'm thinking of installing a small digital current meter to keep on eye on current draw of the various loads in our camper (and charge current, which my TriStar tells me anyway). This is for my small camper trailer - 2 panels totaling 160W charging 2 12v (parallel) Trojan SC225's.

The shunt for the meter is 75mv - how will running all charge/discharge through this shunt affect the overall operation? Bad idea? Thanks,

John F
LV, NV

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  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,479 admin
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    Re: Current meter shunt - bad idea?

    No, it is a great idea. In fact, if you can justify the costs, you would probably like to get a "totalizing" type meter and you can keep track of your state of charge much better. See here for some meter options:

    http://store.solar-electric.com/metersmonitors.html

    And, by the way, you probably would place the shunt in the ground cable of the battery--it is usually placed here as there is only one cable from the battery to ground vs the number of cables from the battery to the different loads.

    Lastly, keeping the overall shunt voltage low will keep the heating losses of the shunt lower too (50-100mV shunts should be fine).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset