battery monitor shopping

notsobrightnotsobright Solar Expert Posts: 247 ✭✭
Im looking for a battery monitor that best suits my needs but I have been unable to find one so I may need to settle for a closest match.

from searching the forum it seems the victron BMV600 might be the best one available.
victronenergy.com/battery-monitors/bmv-600s and bmv-602s/

also the Xantrex seems to come up alot:
http://store.solar-electric.com/xalidubamosy.html

If the Xantrex pro and Victron versions would read/calculate everything from the second battery instead of just voltage reading they would be perfect but they dont.

is there a single monitor available that does this? I prefer a panel mount type unit and I only have enough space available for one.

also, I have stumbled accross these two elsewhere and they are not exacly what Im looking for but I havnt seen a mention of these here so I will do that now.

the microlog:
http://www.micromediaplus.com./microlog_dmm-1.html

and the BM-1
http://www.nasamarine.com/proddetail.php?prod=BMN-1_Battery


I dont know alot about these two but I have learned the first one only indicates and does not calculate. Im still trying to find out more on the second one.


I have found one that will work on two battery banks. the victron ve.net

http://www.victronenergy.com/battery-monitors/ve.net/

I havnt checked the price yet but something tells me its not gonna fit in my budget


if anyone has links to other monitors please add them here.


thanks

Comments

  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: battery monitor shopping

    Here's a link to the Sterling Power Products battery monitor.

    It can handle 4 shunts, but only has one amp hour counter. Seems designed mostly to track the amp hours of a single battery bank, and uses extra shunts to track various points in the system, like charger output, inverter draw, etc., though the manual does mention connecting more than one battery bank. Can have a separate voltage sense wire on each of the 4 channels.

    It doesn't calculate amp hours remaining - it just counts amp hours used and leaves it to you to know the capacity of your bank and figure out how far down the battery bank is. It counts amp hours on channel 4 and so that's where you hook up the battery bank. You start with a fully charged battery, and the counter starts at zero. As power flows out of the battery, the counter increments up, as power flows in the counter increments down. Apparently, when the battery is once again fully charged, the counter will have decremented back to zero.

    http://www.sterling-power.com/products-pmp.htm

    Sold here:

    http://sterling-power-usa.com/sterlingpower200ampshunt.aspx
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: battery monitor shopping

    SmargGauge makes a battery monitor as well. It can do two battery banks, with full status on both.

    http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/smartgauge.html


    Also, it needs no shunts.

    http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/sgadesc.html

    "SmartGauge operates on a completely different principle from the more usual amp hours counter. The final result is a battery state of charge meter that is much simpler to install, simpler to set up, simpler to understand and yet gives a meter that actually does a far better job than the usual type of battery monitor, the so called amp hours counter.

    SmartGauge uses "computer models" of different types of lead acid, deep cycle, batteries. A "computer model" is a set of numerical values which attempt to represent the various parameters of a real world item. In this case a deep cycle, lead acid, battery. This model is then used by an "algorithm" in SmartGauge to calculate the state of charge."



    Also, as usual, SmartGauge has a tech doc which explains the engineering rationale:

    http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/sgvahrs.html
  • notsobrightnotsobright Solar Expert Posts: 247 ✭✭
    Re: battery monitor shopping

    hi dwh,

    I cant find where the smartguage unit will work for full monitoring on a second battery only that it does voltage readings on a second one. they also dont list a U.S. source in the "where to buy" link or pricing.

    forgot to add to the OP but I also want a data logging feature.

    thanks
  • zeuspaulzeuspaul Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: battery monitor shopping

    The Pentametric monitors two batteries

    http://store.solar-electric.com/pe3chbamosy.html

    Zeuspaul
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: battery monitor shopping
    I cant find where the smartguage unit will work for full monitoring on a second battery only that it does voltage readings on a second one.

    Yea..huh..

    I know I saw it somewhere - today, when I was looking. But now I can't find it. And looking at the manual it seems that it does only do voltage for the second battery.


    Ahh...okay. I found it:

    http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/sga_quick.html

    This part:

    "* Battery state of charge (percentage) for main auxiliary battery bank."

    My brain read that as "main AND auxiliary battery bank"
  • notsobrightnotsobright Solar Expert Posts: 247 ✭✭
    Re: battery monitor shopping

    hi zeuspaul, I had overlooked the other options on our hosts website, since their update I cant read hardly anything there. and the manufacturers link is dead but thanks to you I still have something to go on.

    dwh, yeah I thought I saw that too and read everything twice also. mabey it was the Main Auxillary part, that doesnt make sense.. at least not in american english anyway.

    Ive read other things from this site in the past and alot of it makes sense but they seem to be the only ones doing things this way and without others doing it and no direct experience, it makes you wonder if they are really the best way.

    the microlog unit has a similar way except it doesnt calculate anything.

    I cant get the BM-1 manual opened or downloaded for some reason. says the file is damaged. have to try again later I guess.
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: battery monitor shopping
    I cant get the BM-1 manual opened or downloaded for some reason. says the file is damaged. have to try again later I guess.

    Trying later won't help. The file got corrupted when it was uploaded to the web server. It opens for me, but only the first 5 pages and it spits out an error as well. Happens in reader or plugin.

    You should email them to tell them that the file is toast and they need to re-upload it.
  • notsobrightnotsobright Solar Expert Posts: 247 ✭✭
    Re: battery monitor shopping

    I emailed them and they sent me the BM-1 manual and said they will reupload it to their site asap. I have determined that the BM-1 is only for use with a single battery.


    I have also found two other monitors worth mentioning here:

    http://www.es-store.co.uk/cruzpro-gauges-and-instruments/cruzelecvah65.html

    http://www.es-store.co.uk/cruzpro-gauges-and-instruments/cruzelecvah110.html

    but these two also only monitor amps in/out for one battery.




    so far the only systems that will monitor two isolated battery banks completely is the victron VE.net and the Pentametric Im waiting on a call back from the victron rep as to what all is needed and the suggested retail pricing.

    after that I will have more to go on to be able to compare these two.

    if anyone has more info on other monitors let us know. theres gotta be more solutions available for monitoring than these.
  • notsobrightnotsobright Solar Expert Posts: 247 ✭✭
    Re: battery monitor shopping

    the Victron VE.net system will do what I want to do but it would cost over $1000 for everything needed to do it.

    their BMV-602 @ $243. is still looking like one of my best alternative options but to be able to log data from it you also need their com link kit which consists of serial adaptor and their software for another $144 so $387 together and I still wouldnt be able to *completely* monitor two batteries.

    now looking more into the Xantrex Link Lite Pro unit but I cant find the data kit/software for pricing. its shown in their manuals but I havnt found it available for retail. Im still looking around but if anyone knows please chime in. I may have to contact Xantrex for more info. I all ready know it wont do everything I want but like the Victron BMV602 it may be the best alternative so now I want to compare these two units by features and price.

    Ive not ruled out that pentametric unit either and will be looking more into that next too.

    more monitors worth mentioning:

    http://www.westmarine.com/1/1/98037-deep-cycle-agm.html

    http://bluesea.com/productdocs/1800

    both seem like a good price for what they are. the second one is very impressive with all the RV/Marine extras but the com link kit and software has not been released yet and it also wont monitor *everything* from two batteries.

    I should also mention the Wattsup and Doc Wattson meters:
    http://www.powerwerx.com/tools-meters/doc-wattson-meter-dc-inline.html

    I have the Doc Wattson, its very handy/useful for what it is.


    what I really need is a single gauge type (round panel mount) unit that can measure and record everything including ah in/out and make state of charge calculations for two batteries for a reasonable price.
  • notsobrightnotsobright Solar Expert Posts: 247 ✭✭
    Re: battery monitor shopping

    this topic is not getting alot of input from other off-griders. do most here go without a monitor for their system?

    heres another one I found for a single battery but it doesnt seem to have com link or logging capabilities:

    http://www.newmarpower.com/Digital_Instruments/Digital_Instruments.html

    and another:
    http://www.sinergex.com/products/vision6.html


    this one has com link and data logging:

    http://www.tbs-electronics.nl/products_expertpro_features.htm

    it looks alot like the xantrex link lite and may even be what xantrex rebadges. it might even do what I need with optional harware they have available! havnt found a US distributor yet I'll have to contact them.

    for those here who do log through a monitor, what are you using?

    thanks
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: battery monitor shopping

    I only have one battery but , with help from Roderick, we made his PALM PDA monitoring program work with an XBM monitor... you have to transfer the data to a computer manually...

    cheers8)
     
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