Battery Monitor

TheBackRoads Solar Expert Posts: 274 ✭✭
Now some of you have maybe heard me gripe about not being able to monitor off grid production information on a webpage remotely. Now I have been trying to research different units and was wondering if anyone knows about something I don't. I've read a bit about the Victron BMV-600 units and see on their site they offer a "Victron Ethernet Remote" module. Now I'm not sure if that ties into that particular model or not but looks interesting. I also know that PentaMetric has a computer interface module as well. Currently my Midnite LED battery monitor works for my feeble setup but I've always had it in the back of my mind that I need a better monitor. Others have superior knowledge than I and have created their own setups which are fabulous. This link is for a setup a member on here has (RandomJoe).

I guess more or less, does anyone know of a product that will allow me to monitor my system off site? I very much enjoy the Victron screen and the information it displays but I'm open to anything.... thanks for being part of my research phase. ;)



  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,004 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Monitor

    So do you want to be able to show school kids that some energy is being stored?

    Not sure what you want a monitor for and needing to be able to see it at every moment of the day...

    I would rather put the money toward a larger array or save for larger storage. I have a monitor, and actually have some use for it now, just to see if I'm putting in enough energy into my new fork lift battery, but until now, I really mostly didn't need or want one.

    I find most people who use them don't understand them, or don't have them set up correctly. Much rather you got a feeling for your system with out, give your self an allowance, I can use 30 amps at 12 volts if the sun will shine tomorrow... the typical goal is to be in the top 20% of your battery capacity, at 100 amphours you don't have a lot of push-pull...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former, 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • TheBackRoads
    TheBackRoads Solar Expert Posts: 274 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Monitor

    Photowhit, you’re absolutely right... Do I need something like this? No. It's more of a novelty item. I'm in the networking/ IT business and always wanted it 'online' so to speak. I think the best option will be to just buy a good monitor, shut up and be happy :D:-) I found myself to not use any current during the day as being at work and then relying all on my batteries at night. I'd like to be able to run a few other things during the day (load shift off the grid) and I'd feel more comfortable about it and not come home and drained my batts or something like that.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,501 admin
    Re: Battery Monitor

    I ran across this small $130 DC Amp*Hour/WattHour/battery monitor/meter in a Ham Magazine (QST--Don't know anything about it--But it sounds very interesting. Includes a USB computer interface (with Windows Software) and Non-volatile memory stores more than 174,000 data points (over 4 months worth of data @ 1 point/minute) without [external] power.

    PowerCheck (60 volts @ 40 amps maximum)

    I started this thread a while ago:

    What "toys" (electronic meters/equipment/etc.) would you recommend?

    But I don't think there were any other computer based monitor listed there...

    We have a few people that have setup computer based data loggers--However, that may be a bit much (and power hungry) for a smaller off-grid system.

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