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Old 19-01-2014, 16:50   #16
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
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Re: Ammeters and solar panels

The most important instrument is the battery monitor. Knowing the net battery AHrs in/out is the most vital information. Some monitors support more than one shunt so you can get information about solar and/or wind etc.

However, a more sophisticated solar controller with a digital display, as Mark says, is generally the best way to detailed information about the solar output. The advantage over a simple ammeter is that you get an AHr counter for solar as well as A. In other words you can see the total output as well as the instantaneous production.

The next level is to integrate the battery monitor and solar regulator. This is overkill for most boats, but the communication between these two instruments allows for a more accurate charging algorithm.

The cheap ebay meters are still great and can be easily modified to read voltage,current, temperature etc.
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