If you have upgraded your bank battery system, you should also invest in a battery monitor. Battery monitors have a broad range of features. The simplest of voltmeters can quickly tell you the voltage of the battery, giving you an estimated percent of charge remaining. Unfortunately voltage alone can be quite misleading and isn’t an accurate measurement of battery. For voltage readings to be accurate there needs to be no load on the battery for at least 24 hours making it an inconvenient way of measuring.
Battery monitors work in a similar way that your car’s gas gauge. You’re able to tell how much battery charge is left so you know when to recharge. Other features that battery monitors offer is a real-time current draw, how much power has been used and how much current is going in while charging.
Typical battery monitors use a cable called a shunt which is a high precision resistor that goes between the negative battery cable from the battery bank and the battery bank terminal. This means that the current going in and out of the battery bank must pass through the shunt. The voltage difference between the shunt terminals is measured and sent to the monitor to be calculated and displayed. Correct connections must be properly made in order to make correct readings. Here is some of our popular battery monitors that function like this:
As technology progresses we see battery monitors that are becoming easier to install with less wires like the BM Pro Battery Check. This product is designed with an internal shunt and is to be used via bluetooth on a smartphone with a simple application. All the parameters that are measured on a regular battery monitor are measured on this too. However, we understand that not everyone wants tech savvy options but it’s useful to know what is available on the market.