Yesterday I took about 3 hours to wire in some additional features to my new power station of 8 batteries. One is a disconnect switch which can be turned off/on to allow current to and from the batteries. Handy if I'm storing it for a while or if I just need to disconnect power going to the batteries. This will be helpful when I have the solar wired in as it will allow me to disconnect the power from the batteries and confirm that the new Kingtec air conditioner is running purely on Solar Power.
The other thing I wired into the mix was something much, much, more useful. That thing is the amazing Trimetric battery system monitor by Bogart Engineering. This is such a useful item, as it's wired into the system via a Shunt(pictured below), which will allow you to monitor how many amps the system is draining, how many amps are going to the battery when charging, and how many amps you have left (i.e. how much juice you have left in the batteries.) A few years ago I had actually bought one and was planning on putting into my last RV, The Chinook. I just never quite got around to doing the upgrades I wanted to that rig before switching to the Beast. Anyhow, so I have an older unit, though still new: mine is the Trimetric TM-2025RV. I actually got lucky that I had bought the higher end model years ago, as this particular model allows you to monitor up to a 48 volt battery systems instead of the standard 12 volt which is prevalent in most RVs.
I just have the Disconnect switch and Trimetric roughed in for now, they simply need to be screwed in place somewhere. The Disconnect Switch I have a home for right next to the Shunt picture below you will see the hole next to it. The Trimetric I believe I'll be placing inside the rack with all of the electronic equipment(dvd player, stereo, etc.)
Here's some exciting photos of the above items!
|Disconnect Switch roughed in.|
|Blurry Picture of where the switch will be. This is under the bench in the dinette, because of the overhanging wood it would be impossible to accidentally switch it on or off. Also it has to be depressed and turned at the same time.|
|The 500 Amp shunt mounted and sending valuable information to the Trimetric.|
The Trimetric in action!
This is the Trimetric showing 51.8 Volts. When the batteries were brand new, they were sitting at 52 Volts. So I've lost .2 Volts over the last month while they sat waiting for me to work on them and also they got drained a little when I ran the A/C for a good 10 minutes on just the batteries. I have yet to recharge them, that's where the Solar comes into play very soon! Also on the to-do list is some serious wire management.