I'm looking to monitor a two battery bank system. One bank for the house, and one for starting. I've been looking at the SmartGauge destibuted by Balmar, and another one by Victron. What I like about the SmartGauge is I don't have to calculate the aH my battery bank can currently hold. What I like about Victron monitors they tell me the draw on the battery and as well as how well my charging system is doing. What I don't like about SmartGauge is it doesn't tell my how much draw I'm currently using and how well my current charging is doing. What I don't like about the Victron monitors is I have to manually determine how much my aH are for my battery and need to re-sink the thing as the battery gets older. What I'd like is one that automatically can calculate the aH my batteries hold regardless of age, as well as provides me additional output like how much current is being drawn out of my batteries and how well my charging system is working, whether it is the alternator on the motor, solar panels, or wind generator. Is there a single meter that is easy to install correctly and does everything I need. Or do I need to buy the SmartGauge, and another monitor to show draw and charging of my batteries. What are others doing to monitor all there batteries without breaking the bank($)?
I have come to conclusion I need both. I replaced an old Link monitor a year or so ago with the Victron. The Victron is much easier to install with all the wires in 1 cable. The Balmar SmartGuage seems pretty easy to install as well.
The SmartGauge gives an accurate as possible SOC.
Are they fully charged or not ?
At the bottom of the charging/use cycle how low I am running the batteries - 70% of capacity, 50% of capacity (lowest recommend for my Trojan lead acid golf cart batteries), below 50%.
The Trojans have been cycled pretty hard a couple of times when loads were left on (refrigeration) and the 110V supply not reattached or shut off at some point (battery charger running off the 110V). How much capacity does my originally 400AH house bank actually have now ?
The Victron provides the desirable information on loads and sources.
How many amps is the alternator putting out ?
How many amps are the solar panels putting out thru the course the day ?
How many amps is the DC refrigeration unit using ?
How many amp-hours did I pull out of the batteries last night ?
What is reduction in the amp-hours the anchor light is using after the switch from the incandescent bulb to the Lopolight LED ?
The only issues seems to be is funds to purchase both and that if I ever make the switch to Lithium-Ferrics, the SmartGauge ceases to function.
Crazy Fish, Crealock 37 Hull 207