question

dauntless avatar image

Battery Monitoring

Complete newby with no real experience of multiple battery bank setups.


I have just purchased a trawler style motor cruiser, the boat has three battery banks, 6 x 12v house batteries, 1 x 12v engine start and 1 by 12v generator start. I have a Victron Invertor - Charger. I would like to install a battery monitor so I can easily verify the status of each battery bank. The boat has a "Onan" selector switch to change from Shore Power to Generator Power. I have no Solar Panels but may incorporate either panels and / or a wind charger at a later time. I would also like to incorporate some sort of automatic charging system to manage the charging of each battery bank to ensure I don't cook the batteries.


All suggestions and any help would be greatly appreciated, as I am just learning this stuff it would also be appreciated is responses were in simple English and that jargon and abbreviations were kept to a minimum


Many thanks

chargingmonitoring
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1 Answer
Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA avatar image
Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA answered ·

@Dauntless, the Victron BMV-712 is likely your best bet for this, as it offers full monitoring of your house bank and voltage-only monitoring of one additional bank (typically your start battery, but that would be up to you). The built-in bluetooth functionality makes it exceptionally easy to perform the necessary initial programming of the device from your smartphone using Victron's free and ad-free VictronConnect app.

Since it's a shunt-based monitoring system, so long as it's connected to the system correctly it will remain perfectly serviceable and accurate no matter how many charge sources you add to the system later, whether solar or wind or whatever else.

Since you already have a Victron inverter/charger, it can be (hopefully already has been) programmed to the charging specifications of your particular batteries; no need to worry about "cooking" them from that.

When you add solar, I'd of course recommend that you buy a Victron Smart MPPT solar charge controller to control the solar panels, and the MPPT will be programmable to the particular charge profile of your batteries, so again, no need to worry about cooking your batteries from that.

A wind generator controller will be another matter, but most wind kits that I'm aware of come with a controller that is programmable to various battery chemistries, so with careful shopping you shouldn't have any issues.

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