as part of the upgrades we had installed a solar
system with a MPPT regulator
. Part of the information that the regulator
gave us was the amount of current
being fed into the batteries and the state of the charge. I became concerned that this was not an accurate reflection on what state the charge of the batteries were in when after one day the regulator display advised that we were down to 45% of our battery capacity.
We have two six volt batteries in series which in total supplies 410 Amp hours storage
capacity. The voltmeter indicated we never went below 12.3 volts and in rough terms this is equivalent to 70% capacity.
I was pulling my hair out trying to determine how much power we were using per day. My current
usage based on the theoretical load was substantially lower then that was being displayed. A few checks revealed that the meter being used on the regulator was not reading the current being fed into the batteries via the motor
and in fact not taking into account the actual charge rate of the batteries.
In the end I decided to install a dedicated electrical
instrument that would accurately read, immediate current drain, current being fed into the batteries via any feed IE solar
, real time power consumption
, not only in amp hours but also in Watts, hour of battery usage based on present power consumption
, voltage and percentage of battery capacity left IE 90%.
What a revelation to find an instrument that can accurately advise of the current charge status of your batteries.
. After much research
I installed a Victron system that utilises a current shunt connected to the negative side of your house batteries to determine the charge state. There are many other comparable systems out there but I chose Victron due to their reviews
here in Australia
It is an absolute pleasure to check one instrument and see what is exactly happening with your power usage. I can now see the current input from our solar panels
alternators and also what power is being used by the boat at the same time. Brilliant
. It is indeed a relief and comfort to know the exact state of charge of your batteries. This is of great importance to us cruising the east coast
. If the sun is not inputting enough or if we are using to much power we can adjust the method of supplying more power very quickly by supplementing with the motor or generator
I would be most interested in hearing what other peoples views and experiences on this topic based on what we have found out over the last few days since installing the power meter.
Greg, Sue and Bella the Sea Dog