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Old 12-15-2012, 03:20 PM   #1
Robert Mayberry
 
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Battery monitor

Hello,

Does anybody know the answer to the following questions:

1) What is actually being measured? (ie. total amp Hours, usable amp hours, voltage, etc..)
2) With the two house battery set-up, what are the total amp hours and usable amp hours?
3. With the monitor reading almost empty, how many hours do you need to drive to fully charge the batteries?

I'm an electrical dummy so forgive what might be silly questions.

Thanks.

Bob
San Francisco
2011 Solera
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:37 PM   #2
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This is the one I am using.
Battery Chargers | LinkPRO Battery Monitor | Xantrex
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:06 PM   #3
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Per the mfg,here are those features the monitor supposedly does, following a bit of info from me.

Essentially, a battery's capacity is measured in amp hours which, if you monitor your usage, this meter should tell you your remaining. As a rule, a battery should not go below 50%, although I try hard not to use more than 25% of the total. I hate buying batteries more often than necessary. Each battery has an expected recharge cycle number.

You would figure the total usage via an amp meter, of which this might tell you provided you push the right buttons. But, to understand what this means, consider a 12w light bulb used over an 8 hour period or 1 day's use (assuming night use of 8 hours). The formula: P=IE, should be used. Therefore, P=watts w, I=current in amps a, and E=Voltage v. So, (12a/12v=1amp)*8hr=8amps. If your battery contains 80 amps total, then 80a*50%=40a, which means your battery would last 5 days if this is the only thing running. 40a/8a=5 nights.

Unfortunately, you've got a lot more running, supposedly, so the meter will tell you about your availability which will be less than these 5 nights, including a surface discharge of a negligble amount.

Voltage is measured as E=IR, where E=volts v, I=current, and r=resistance. As the voltage changes due to use, so does your current availability, assuming the resistance remains constant. Unfortunately, voltage measurements are simply not as accurate a predictor of usage by itself.

Because you are probably like me, we don't want to do calculations more than simple algebra. As such, this meter should be much better than idiot lights normally on RVs.

Although I do not have this meter, my Link 2000 had similar attributes. You should consult the manual for exact settings and be sure to use the required wiring diagrams including the temp sensor on the battery. The type of battery, such as lead acid or GEL, etc, makes a difference so check them out.

Mike

Linkpro battery monitorbattery status at a glancedefining the amount of energy available in a battery is a complex task since battery age, discharge current and temperature all influence the actual battery capacity. high performance measuring circuits, along with complex software algorithms, are used to exactly determine the remaining battery capacity. a new shunt selection feature enables the linkpro to measure currents up to 10,000 amps.the linkpro selectively displays voltage, charge and discharge current, consumed amphours, remaining battery capacity and the time remaining of your battery bank. using a clear backlit lcd display and an intuitive user interface, all parameters can be recalled with just a button press. a second battery input is also provided to monitor voltage on a second battery.it is equipped with an internal programmable alarm relay, to run a generator when needed or to turn off devices when the battery voltage exceeds programmable boundaries.performance featuresread your battery bank like a fuel gauge provides critical information about the status of your battery bank displays voltage, current, consumed amphours and remaining battery capacity two battery inputs auto sensing battery voltage inputs large backlit lcd display quick nut mounting construction programmable alarm relay shunt selection capability enables flexible system integration splash proof frontpanel 500 amp shunt included ce and e-mark certified displays time remaining.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:17 AM   #4
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I believe the OP is interested in what the monitor that comes in his unit is measuring. Simple answer is the battery voltage. As to the amp hours you have, if they are 12 volt batteries you add the a/h together for the 2 batteries if they are 6 volt the a/h is what is stated on 1 of the batteries. To charge the batteries it is best to use a seperate charger to charge them if they are real low. Remember you can damage the batteries if you discharge them to far.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:24 AM   #5
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Mike hit it squarely.

I love my Trimetric Battery Monitor. It is inexpensive and will tell you everything you need to know about battery health and charge state.

Trimetric 2025 Battery Monitor
is one installation. additional searches will turn up mine.

Trimetric 2025RV


You would have to drive to the west coast and back to charge a pair of deep cycle batteries with just the truck alternator. Since it is a 1 stage charging device, and is designed to replace the electrons used to start your truck, it is a very poor charger for the umpty-trillion electrons you used to power your camper till a pair of deep discharge batteries died.
See the attached PDF for why.

You really need a generator and a dedicated battery charger to plug into the generator to have a chance of charging up a deep discharge battery bank in a few hours of generator run time. Even the camper's converter will take a day or two if you have two house batteries.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Automobile Alternators as Chargers.pdf (805.9 KB, 38 views)
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
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Rob,

1. Actually Voltage is measured as that is an indication of battery charge. ~13V is a fully charged battery and it goes down to 10.5V for an empty battery.

2. A Solera with the two battery setup you have 200Ah of total capacity. Can't remember if they are Group 24 or Group 27 batteries.

3. The converter/charger is rated at about 35A - but not all will charge the batteries. If you are almost empty (i.e. 50A left) it will take the generator over 6 hours to charge the batteries to almost full again (usable). For completely full it will take a few days.

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Old 12-16-2012, 03:18 PM   #7
Robert Mayberry
 
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Yes, we do a lot of dry camping. Our sailboat has one of these hitec battery monitors and I love it. There is a setting called scroll where I always leave it and all it does is constantly scroll through all the voltages, amp hours consumed, amp hours remaining and etc.. Its an amazing device and I can see now that with all the dry camping we do I need one on the RV.

Am curious though, when you are charging with shore power or with the Onan generator, then the AC electrons are going to an onboard charger? Is that
charger a single stage charger or a three stage computer controlled smart charger?
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertmayberry View Post
Yes, we do a lot of dry camping. Our sailboat has one of these hitec battery monitors and I love it. There is a setting called scroll where I always leave it and all it does is constantly scroll through all the voltages, amp hours consumed, amp hours remaining and etc.. Its an amazing device and I can see now that with all the dry camping we do I need one on the RV.

Am curious though, when you are charging with shore power or with the Onan generator, then the AC electrons are going to an onboard charger? Is that
charger a single stage charger or a three stage computer controlled smart charger?
Most campers have 3 stage chargers. As the battery fills, the battery voltage increases and the charger needs to "change gears" to slow the rate of charge to avoid boiling the battery. At 90% full, the Converter will switch it's charging circuit to "FLOAT" (or 3rd stage) and drop the charge rate to about 500 milliamps. That is why it can take days with the internal charger to completely fill a depleted battery.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Manual - Power Distribution Center WF-8900 English.pdf (1.89 MB, 36 views)
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #9
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It is true that with a good digital volt meter you can determine the amount of capacity left in a battery bank, a tenth of a volt has a big impact on the state of charge (see graph).

With a monitoring system, it measures the amperage across a shunt and can actually monitor the amps being used and the computer will remember the exact amount of capacity being used.

When you program the monitor one of the user inputs is the total number of AH your bank has. For example, I have two DC-24 Deka batteries of 75AH each. That makes my bank capacity 150AH.

As power is consumed the computer subtracts that power from the programmed capacity and shows that as a percent remaining. You can also see instant amps being used and volts on two systems (solar and battery, each battery, etc) depending on how you wire the voltage sensor wires.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:45 PM   #10
Robert Mayberry
 
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When you are driving, does the AC current from the alternator go directly to the coach deep cycle batteries or does it go to the smart charger and then to the coach deep cycle batteries?

Thank you

Robert
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