Originally Posted by j_morrison
Thanks for your feedback, gents.
And sorry for the late reply, it's been a crazy month for our family
so I had to give up my boating
hobby for a while.
And it seems like we have a winner!
I was thinking about Noco at first (something like Noco Gen-2D
or even Gen-4
), but in the end it seems to me that Victron is a more interesting option. So I'm waiting for Blue Smart IP67
to arrive. I really like that it has a battery control since I've been thinking about this option lately - to know how much we are using, and how much is left. My father's batteries
are pretty old, so this should be extremely handy.
So thanks again for recommendations!
I hate to disillusion you, but better earlier than later I suppose: No chargers have a real battery monitor
built-in... yes, when the Victron is plugged in to shore power
it will tell you (through the VictronConnect app) what your battery voltage is and how much current
the charger is supplying to the batteries, but it won't tell you how much current
your various loads might be using or how much of your capacity is left - that would be an SOC calculation, and only a shunt-based battery monitor
can do that, because all current into and out of the batteries needs to be measured, and the only way of reliably measuring that is with an inline shunt. A charger can only see what *it* is doing, not the capacity of the batteries or how much current is being consumed by any loads.
Victron still takes the prize in terms of accurate battery monitors - the BMV-712
is the most popular, though if you don't need a dedicated display, the SmartShunt
is a viable option (though be advised that, after the first shipment to the US was sold out very quickly, the SmartShunt won't be readily available again until likely sometime in June).
Balmar's SG200 is also a reasonably accurate monitor, and has some cool features... but I've been running one against a BMV-712 on my test bench for a little over 6 months now, and although the Balmar
is easier to set up initially, it also costs more and is significantly less precise than a properly programmed BMV-712, so... eh... Victron still wins on that one, as far as I can tell. Balmar's customizable color display is pretty cool, but at the end of the day I'm not sure that's worth the added expense and lower accuracy.
Regardless, the Victron charger will do well for you, I just thought you should be prepared for the disappointment if you expected it to give you SOC readings.