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Old 07-02-2016, 14:47   #1
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kWh Meter for Battery Bank

Dear Friends & Sailors,

I need some help: I am looking for a kWh (Kilo Watt Hour) meter (counter) to monitor the total kWh consumed from my battery bank per charge.

I know that most systems (and most people) prefer to use amp-hours (AHr) but I do not. I come from the world of electric propulsion (electric cars, etc.) and I specifically want to measure how many kWh my battery bank can produce in total, between charges, and use 'total kWh consumed' as a state of charge (SOC) indication.

Thus, my question: Does anyone know of a decent, digital kWh meter (counter) for a 12-volt DC battery system?

My boat, which is a Swan 391, has a brand new Magnum charger/inverter system, operated by the popular Magnum Energy ME-RC50 remote (a very common and widely used remote, as most of you are likely aware--and most of you probably have one). This unit will not measure watts consumed from the battery (yes I know, watts are volts x amps, and it does display battery voltage and current in/out of the battery bank); this unit does all power calculations and displays in amp-hours (AH), which I do NOT want. I specifically want a kWh in/out meter (technically a kWh counter). I wish this unit could be reprogrammed easily to display a kWh meter, but to my knowledge it can't.

I'm happy to install a second meter with it's own current shut, if needed.

Does anyone have a recommendation?

Thanks so much!

Mark
Swan 391: USS HUSKA
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Old 07-02-2016, 14:51   #2
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Re: kWh Meter for Battery Bank

I looked on ebat and find dozens giving Wh consumed.
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Old 07-02-2016, 14:53   #3
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Re: kWh Meter for Battery Bank

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Originally Posted by sailormed View Post
I looked on ebat and find dozens giving Wh consumed.
Yes, and none are made for DC 12 volt system. That is, a panel meter (that can be flush mounted to a wall, can run on 12 volts DC, and is designed for a DC battery bank (versus a house). Unless you can find one? If so, share it? Thank you

-Mark
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Old 07-02-2016, 15:02   #4
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Re: kWh Meter for Battery Bank

Our Link 2000 actually measures kW and simply converts it to ah. kW can be displayed. The popular Victron units may have these display features.
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Old 07-02-2016, 15:10   #5
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Re: kWh Meter for Battery Bank

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Our Link 2000 actually measures kW and simply converts it to ah. kW can be displayed. The popular Victron units may have these display features.
Thank you. I found this:

https://www.victronenergy.com/battery-monitors/bmv-700

Seems like it can measure (count) kWh! This looks like just what I need. Do you have one of these? Thank you! Mark
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Old 07-02-2016, 18:17   #6
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Re: kWh Meter for Battery Bank

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Originally Posted by seegem View Post
Thank you. I found this:

https://www.victronenergy.com/battery-monitors/bmv-700

Seems like it can measure (count) kWh! This looks like just what I need. Do you have one of these? Thank you! Mark
I have the Link 2000, but the algorithms are pretty much the same. They measure kW and convert.

The Victron's very highly rated. You should read this, and also consider downloading the Link 2000 manual, which gets into a lot of detail about the unit, perhaps more than the Victron, although I haven't personally read it.

For everyone installing a battery monitor: The "Gotcha Algorithm" thread, a "MUST READ"

Link-series Charging Algorithms -- The "Gotcha" Factor!

DEFAULTS are factory settings that are made to be modified to suit your setup.

****************

DISCONTINUED XANTREX PRODUCTS LINK

Discontinued Power Inverter/Chargers

and for Link products:

Discontinued Power Accessories
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:07   #7
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Re: kWh Meter for Battery Bank

Midnite Classic 150 has loads of features. Also has ethernet connection to show graphs on your laptop and daily charge cycles for up to 350 days or something. Displays volts in, watts out, total kw charge per day and amps out, on the main screen. Take a look at that and see if you like it. Cheers
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:38   #8
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Re: kWh Meter for Battery Bank

Hi Everyone,

An update:

Magnum Energy (the ME-RC50) charger/inverter/battery-monitoring-system that I have does not have a kWh functionality. It does, of course, capture all the data necessary, but the software menu item for this has not been written. I spoke with their engineering team and asked for an upgrade, paid-for requested feature, or a custom firmware build (which I offered to pay for), but this is unlikely to happen.

Thus, I have gone with the Victron Energy BMV-702:

https://www.victronenergy.com/battery-monitors/bmv-700

(Thank you Stu!)

I'll post pics when it's installed.

Cheers all, and thank you!

Mark
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Old 08-02-2016, 14:10   #9
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Re: kWh Meter for Battery Bank

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Originally Posted by bluegreen View Post
Midnite Classic 150 has loads of features. Also has ethernet connection to show graphs on your laptop and daily charge cycles for up to 350 days or something. Displays volts in, watts out, total kw charge per day and amps out, on the main screen. Take a look at that and see if you like it. Cheers
I just wanted to add that the Midnite Classic will not be able to read or report on battery output amps/KW by itself. They do make an add-on unit called the Whizbang Jr that you install on a shunt to do this. While it is an extra purchase (under $50 for the device and $30 for the shunt), it wires into an AUX port on the Classic and the info appears on the same screen. I have a home-based battery system with a Midnite Classic and just ordered it as an add-on. I'm not sure, but it may also report the data through the internet connection as well. Anyway, that only applies to people who own or are buying a Classic.

Seems like OP has found a solution. I'm just curious as to why the specific need for KWh instead of Ah? Since I am just getting into battery monitoring, I wonder if I'm missing something.
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Old 08-02-2016, 14:21   #10
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Re: kWh Meter for Battery Bank

For years I've used a Watts Up power analyzer in various testing situations. These are inexpensive and reliable, and provide kwh, among other things.

On mine I've installed a couple of 50A Anderson connectors so I can easily put it into line, and reverse it as needed.

Here's a new one: "Watt's Up" RC Watt Meter Power Analyzer WU100 Ver 2 | eBay

Bill
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Old 08-02-2016, 14:40   #11
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Re: kWh Meter for Battery Bank

I gave up to buying a Battery Monitor


Best one, STUDER, has a 109page manual, yet it needs a second unit to provide SOC....!
BALMAR, VICTRON, BOGART (I liked it!) are all good, but...

What do we need, eventually???

To know when to charge, and when to stop charging
For this, we just need a 12VDC AMMETER, placed along the B+ of the alternator, or by reading the charger monitor.

Do we need algorithms, integral of consumption, or a 109pag manual, to operate those f.....g batteries!? No, please.

BMs are an induced need imposed to zealous,well-to-do sailors.. :-)
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