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  1. #561
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerhardvr26 View Post
    Eggie, any recommendation as to what "proper" battery monitors to consider?
    Victron has quite a range to choose from: BMV-600, BMV-602, BMV-700, BMV-702, BMV-712
    No doubt you will find others by using Dr. Google.
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  2. #562
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Eggie View Post
    Just be careful when you use battery voltage as a means to measure state of charge.

    A battery at 70% full may easily read 13,2V while charging.
    Use a proper battery monitor if you really want to know how your battery is doing.
    Good point, so the voltage should always be read with no load and no charge. Think it’s a common mistake.
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  3. #563
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Eggie View Post
    Just be careful when you use battery voltage as a means to measure state of charge.

    A battery at 70% full may easily read 13,2V while charging.
    Use a proper battery monitor if you really want to know how your battery is doing.
    I have one of those voltmeter/ammeter combos from 4x4direct. I'm aware that during charging it would be much higher, and even for a short while after charging. The 12.8V reading I mentioned was after charging had stopped for some time, and also with the load circuit disconnected temporarily. That should be a reasonably accurate measure if I'm not mistaken?

  4. #564
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyG View Post
    I have one of those voltmeter/ammeter combos from 4x4direct. I'm aware that during charging it would be much higher, and even for a short while after charging. The 12.8V reading I mentioned was after charging had stopped for some time, and also with the load circuit disconnected temporarily. That should be a reasonably accurate measure if I'm not mistaken?
    I agree with this, as it is my experience too. I have two of those little gauges connected.

    For our purposes this is as close to bulls eye as we're going to get given the above. At least 90% accuracy I would estimate.
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  5. #565
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    I agree with this, as it is my experience too. I have two of those little gauges connected.

    For our purposes this is as close to bulls eye as we're going to get given the above. At least 90% accuracy I would estimate.
    These 12V A/V meters have served me well for a few years. As shown in one of Fluffy's docs, I have three meters showing solar input V/A, Controller V/A and load V/A. What a pleasure as I am always aware if the system is gaining or losing in the power battle and I am able to take action accordingly. The only regret I have is choosing the meters with the bulky shunts having to be installed, resulting in many meters of cabling having to be installed and fuse-protected in order to have the meters installed in a convenient overhead console. There are new meters available which dont require an inline shunt.
    Pic attached of system in full swing..with solar top left, controller bottom left and load bottom right. This was in 38°C in Caprivi mid-day, two fridges running and 180W panels in blazing sun. Showing that the system was losing the battle at times. Later that eve I had to switch off one fridge to protect the battery from over-discharge.
    Last edited by Subok; 2018/02/14 at 10:35 PM.

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  7. #566
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Yes they do exactly what I require them to do.

    I'll quickly see if I can find a pic or two from my setup.

    Not exactly sure what you mean with "inline" shunt. I presume this to be the internal shunt? That is in the gauge itself? These are what I have.

    Although they are only rated for 10Amps, I believe this to be more in terms of accuracy as opposed to safety judging by what Eggie and Fluffy had to say.

    And this turned out to be true. The gauge that monitors the source (coming from the Ctek D250S) has shown figures of close to 20 Amps when the vehicle is started and it merrily keeps on going.
    Last edited by Die SwartKat; 2018/02/15 at 08:19 AM.
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  8. #567
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Mine is set up in the rear near the battery and the fridge.

    Left one monitors the current coming in from alternator or the solar panels, and the right one monitors amps drawn by the fridge.

    The only time I would want to keep an eye on them is when stationary, when obviously the fridge is accessed a lot more and is dependent on solar panels only.

    Therefore an inside the vehicle installation was not really crucial for me.

    I actually have pics somewhere where both shows amp readings with only the solar source deployed but cant seem to find them now.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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  10. #568
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Subok View Post
    These 12V A/V meters have served me well for a few years. As shown in one of Fluffy's docs, I have three meters showing solar input V/A, Controller V/A and load V/A. What a pleasure as I am always aware if the system is gaining or losing in the power battle and I am able to take action accordingly. The only regret I have is choosing the meters with the bulky shunts having to be installed, resulting in many meters of cabling having to be installed and fuse-protected in order to have the meters installed in a convenient overhead console. There are new meters available which dont require an inline shunt.
    Pic attached of system in full swing..with solar top left, controller bottom left and load bottom right. This was in 38°C in Caprivi mid-day, two fridges running and 180W panels in blazing sun. Showing that the system was losing the battle at times. Later that eve I had to switch off one fridge to protect the battery from over-discharge.



    Is the 6.3 amps on the solar before any load? If so, shouldn't you be getting more from a 180w panel? Maybe to much heat?
    Last edited by DC Polokwane; 2018/02/15 at 10:29 AM.
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  11. #569
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Great set up!

    Those don't look like 4x4direct meters??
    Where did you buy them..


    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Mine is set up in the rear near the battery and the fridge.

    Left one monitors the current coming in from alternator or the solar panels, and the right one monitors amps drawn by the fridge.

    The only time I would want to keep an eye on them is when stationary, when obviously the fridge is accessed a lot more and is dependent on solar panels only.

    Therefore an inside the vehicle installation was not really crucial for me.

    I actually have pics somewhere where both shows amp readings with only the solar source deployed but cant seem to find them now.
    Paul

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  13. #571
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Thank you I saw those but they are only rated 10Amp.
    Ctek and solar can push out a lot more than that.

    They have others which go to 100Amps but they say not very accurate at lower levels?

    I am trying to avoid buying an expensive but accurate Victron 700!
    Last edited by Paul Dold; 2018/02/15 at 11:00 AM.
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Yes they do exactly what I require them to do.

    I'll quickly see if I can find a pic or two from my setup.

    Not exactly sure what you mean with "inline" shunt. I presume this to be the internal shunt? That is in the gauge itself? These are what I have.

    Although they are only rated for 10Amps, I believe this to be more in terms of accuracy as opposed to safety judging by what Eggie and Fluffy had to say.

    And this turned out to be true. The gauge that monitors the source (coming from the Ctek D250S) has shown figures of close to 20 Amps when the vehicle is started and it merrily keeps on going.
    I am referring to the one with the external shunt.
    http://www.4x4direct.co.za/4852-tm_t...unt-20-amp.jpg

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  15. #573
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    DC Polokwane, that is the voltage over the panel terminals and current supplied to the HCDP 12V12A under load. And yes, verrrry hot, and it was late afternoon. Also, as mentioned a few posts back, the true state of charge of the battery is only known when it is not doing anything.
    Afaik, the HCDP manipulates the panel voltage so it can stay at max power point. Perhaps Fluffy can confirm?

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  17. #574
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsitsa View Post
    Hi guys, I'm still quite new to the forum and have just been stealing with my eyes. I must say kudos to CrisF on a very informative thread.
    I'm currently planning a dual battery system for a prado a welcome any comments.
    The plan is to put everything under the bonnet with two wires running to the back, one to the trailor for future expansion and one to a fridge and worklight to be installed in the back.
    that diagram looks spot on, I like the fuse points on both sides.
    I would add a proper batt meter monitor somewhere.

  18. #575
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Subok View Post
    DC Polokwane, that is the voltage over the panel terminals and current supplied to the HCDP 12V12A under load. And yes, verrrry hot, and it was late afternoon. Also, as mentioned a few posts back, the true state of charge of the battery is only known when it is not doing anything.
    Afaik, the HCDP manipulates the panel voltage so it can stay at max power point. Perhaps Fluffy can confirm?

    Hey, my name isn't Fluffy, but the HCdP has been discussed before.

    That HCdP unit utilizes a MPPC (max power point controller) design that sets a predetermined value for the optimum solar panel voltage. So, no tracking of the max power point, but rather a safe guess, average value that is fixed. The electronics for this is less complex, and although the end result is not the same, it is not far off it either. It will only work for standard 12V panels in parallel.
    Eggie.

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  20. #576
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Eggie View Post
    Hey, my name isn't Fluffy, but the HCdP has been discussed before.

    That HCdP unit utilizes a MPPC (max power point controller) design that sets a predetermined value for the optimum solar panel voltage. So, no tracking of the max power point, but rather a safe guess, average value that is fixed. The electronics for this is less complex, and although the end result is not the same, it is not far off it either. It will only work for standard 12V panels in parallel.
    Eggie, thanks man. We all love you...
    I will take the HCDP at the price any day. I have several other battery boxes (toys originally, but now powering several 12V water pumps on solar here in the Cape) using PWM controllers. They do the job, but in the bush when every Ah counts, the PWMs won't do, unless you have space for matching panels.

    Thanks for all your contributions over the years...

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  22. #577
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    This little meter also works quite nice.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #578
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocatus View Post
    This little meter also works quite nice.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Got one of these and it works well BUT is an ugly design with the writing protruding from the sides with the result that you can't mount it on the side of a cupboard in a caravan for example, without the wires showing.

    I'm currently looking for an alternative for this very reason. Would be great to find a Bluetooth enabled meter.

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  25. #579
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerhardvr26 View Post
    Got one of these and it works well BUT is an ugly design with the writing protruding from the sides with the result that you can't mount it on the side of a cupboard in a caravan for example, without the wires showing.

    I'm currently looking for an alternative for this very reason. Would be great to find a Bluetooth enabled meter.
    Agree with the wires on the side. I'm busy installing mine in a small plastic box with perspex cover that is the size of the meter screen. Wires are then concealed going through the back of the box. . No wires visible then.
    Last edited by Advocatus; 2018/02/15 at 10:36 PM.

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  26. #580
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    Default Re: Electrickery for camping

    That is a neat solution.

    Could you give me the approx size of the meter as well as the depth.
    Paul

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