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Old 08-03-2019, 21:09   #1
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Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

Does anyone have this new Balmar SG200 battery monitor system in use? I wasnít very impressed with the Balmar Smart Gauge, but this one looks like it might be an improvement with the integrated shunt. Iím looking for reviews.

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Old 08-03-2019, 21:52   #2
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

Some info here: https://forums.sailboatowners.com/in.../#post-1485755
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:42   #3
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

I purchased. it last fall and wired it to my batts in the basement for the winter. It just works. I like it. Gone through about 4 charge cycles.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:41   #4
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

I'm looking for something easy to check at a glance to monitor solar panel production.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:59   #5
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I'm looking for something easy to check at a glance to monitor solar panel production.
I have both the SmartGuage and the SG200. The SG I bought first, and wouldn't have bothered if the SG200 was available. The former is measuring SoC for the starter bank and the latter is wired to the LiFePO. SoC of the SG200 seems accurate, although SoH seems to still be learning. One thing I haven't figured out is why the amps supposedly being used by the Li bank when being discharged is about 30% higher than the Link20 shows. I suspect the shunt for the Link may be in the wrong position to catch every draw, but then again, if SoC as implied by the Link total amount amps used for the Li bank is about the same as the calculated value of SoC on the SG200, and it is, I'm not sure which one is incorrect.

Bottom line, too early to tell.
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Old 09-03-2019, 13:06   #6
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Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

I see no need or use for it, if you have a lead acid bank and an amp counter, and the old SG.
My amp counting battery monitor and my SG agree within 1 or 2% in the morning, I fully recharge every day and the amp counter resets daily so it never drifts.
The SG lags behind actual SOC when charging and indeed even when discharging initially, I may be at an actual 90% by say 10 PM and the SG may say 95% but by morning itís caught up.

I had some accuracy issues with the SG after having it for about a year, it began to be consistently inaccurate.
That was traced down to corrosion in the SG supplied fuse holders, I replaced them with sealed ones and used silicone grease, and since then itís been accurate.

My bet is if you didnít like the original SG and have a lead acid bank, the new one will be a waste of money, especially if you already have an amp counter.
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Old 09-03-2019, 13:50   #7
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

I have a 38í sedan bridge with twin diesels and a 8.0 Westerbeke generator. I have a ProMariner 1260 c3 60 amp charger, a 8D start, 8D house and grp 27 for the generator, each with a on/off switch and a combiner to tie the start and house together, always off. The only thing I have is a analog volt gauge with a switch to check each battery. Iíve never had any problem running batteries down when anchored out for several days at a time because of using the generator a couple times a day to cook meals. Iíve often thought of adding a soc meter so I know the amps out and the amps in and this sounds like it may be a good choice. How difficult is the wiring required, where exactly do you tap into the circuit to get the proper information? Thank you for any information youíre willing to share on what to use better know my battery condition.
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Old 09-03-2019, 13:59   #8
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

If you donít have a battery meter this is likely the best there is.
Iím sure you can download manual here
http://www.balmar.net/sg200-battery-monitor/
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Old 09-03-2019, 14:59   #9
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

Also have a look at:


Balmar SG-200 Battery Monitor


SG200 State of Health calculation Help


I have been running a Victron amp counter and the original Merlin/Balmar Smartgauge. Unfortunately the Balmar didn't have any logging, but the attached are a couple of data points of comparison. My gut feel was that the Smartgauge was more accurate.


I am switching the original Smartgauge to the SG200 for this summer. No logging on the SG yet, but it is supposed to offer it eventually...





Allan.
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Old 09-03-2019, 15:15   #10
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

It has a display & control unit that needs panel installation instead of a nmea2000 port so it doesnít even make it to the list
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Old 09-03-2019, 16:48   #11
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
If you donít have a battery meter this is likely the best there is.
Iím sure you can download manual here
http://www.balmar.net/sg200-battery-monitor/


Thank you for the link, I see another project worming itís way on to the list.
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Old 18-06-2019, 22:59   #12
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

I installed an SG200 a couple months ago on my sailboat (with 4 Lifeline AGMs).

I love the device - it provides a few simple pages of info:
- State of Charge (SoC%)
- State of Health (SoH%)
- Charge/Discharge Current Flow
- Time Remaining
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Old 19-06-2019, 04:54   #13
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, pawnmove.
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Old 20-06-2019, 09:19   #14
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

@ Chris


Has Balmar seen this effect in their testing of LiFePo? If so, does the "brain" recognize it? How does it recognize it? -Simply %SOH goes down?


LFP memory effects thread



https://phys.org/news/2013-04-memory...batteries.html


Since I don't even have LFP batteries at this point, I am just trying to learn about it.
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Old 23-06-2019, 20:44   #15
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Re: Balmar SG200 Battery Monitor System

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
@ Chris


Has Balmar seen this effect in their testing of LiFePo? If so, does the "brain" recognize it? How does it recognize it? -Simply %SOH goes down?


LFP memory effects thread



https://phys.org/news/2013-04-memory...batteries.html


Since I don't even have LFP batteries at this point, I am just trying to learn about it.
IMO, that effect is the result of low rates of charging combined with PSOC. I can't answer the question of whether the SG200 can detect it, and if so, how. My SG200 seems completely bamboozled by my LFP bank and charging routine, so I would have my doubts whether it can manage that additional bit of legerdemain, but maybe. The paper that describes this effect is very interesting. What the electronic signature of the chemical effect of Li "rich" vs. "poor" ions would be would seem to be tough to nail down.

Again, only in my humble opinion, the highly variable ways that users would charge their banks, to what SoC, following what level of discharge would seem to present some real challenges to characterizing what is going on with SoC and SoH reliably. I hope Balmar can get it wired for larger banks like mine, as it would be a useful additional data point to consider.
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