Author Topic: Battery Bank Status Meter  (Read 4878 times)

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Offline tomw

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Re: Battery Bank Status Meter
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2012, 10:59:22 am »
The little meter was intended to be a very simple at a glance health check of the battery's. As has been pointed out it will only be dead accurate when there is not as big load or charge current. I think its most valuable tool is just as Chris has pointed out that at a glance status. It also lets you know the last time the bank was fully charged.

As for wire length I think that was hit right on the head it is a simple voltage drop issue. If 130ft of Cat5 has a drop of .12vdc I would say that is acceptable and if there where 2 pairs available that would cut that number down. The meter basically hooks to battery + and - with a 1-2 amp fuse/breaker.

Ryan

Sounds perfect for my plan to get the system status at a glance for Amy to be able to see if things can go on the inverter.  I spend time where the system lives so I am usually aware of what is going on. As soon as I start talking about watts, amps and volts VS wind power and PV the poor woman just gets lost.  ;D

I also discovered a full unused Cat5 cable so I can run it over pairs of 4 #24 to the house and pull something heavier from there.

Sorry to divert the original post.

Thanks for the info, Ryan. Now, where is the best place to buy one? Saw one on Amazon for list price but by the time I got it would be $85 after tax  and shipping I think.

Tom
 
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Offline tomw

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Ordered one..
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2012, 03:28:27 pm »
So, I did a bit of looking around and got a much better price than the one on Amazon. Northern Arizona Wind and Sun is shipping one to me Monday.  $63.84 delivered compared to $69 list plus tax and delivery for $85 through Amazon from Northern Tool.

Hope it helps simplify things for Amy.

Tom
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I thought that they were angels, but much to my surprise, We climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies

Offline ChrisOlson

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Re: Ordered one..
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2012, 08:03:09 pm »
Hope it helps simplify things for Amy.

Yep, it will.  My wife likes it.  She looks at it when she's using a lot of power and as long as nothing red comes on she knows everything is fine.  She doesn't really care about the details of what keeps the green LED's on.  It just gives her peace of mind that as long as it stays yellow or green that what she's doing is not killing our power system.

That's actually the main reason I put it in the kitchen instead of the utility room - for her    :)
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Offline Volvo farmer

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Re: Battery Bank Status Meter
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2012, 02:40:27 am »
This is the second time I have heard you refer to the colors of the LEDs changing to yellow and red.

The way I read the manual, it takes a full week of not reaching full charge to turn the LED yellow, and two weeks of not receiving a full charge to turn it red. I don't know exactly what the definition of "full charge" is, but wouldn't it be possible to see a green light down at 10% after six days of no wind, and wouldn't that be something to be concerned about?

Offline halfcrazy

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Re: Battery Bank Status Meter
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2012, 05:03:42 am »
There are 2 different sets of LED's there are 3 LED's vertically in the little window to the left of the 10-100% scale for the last time the battery's where full. Red, Yellow and Green. Red means the battery's have not been full in 2 weeks, Yellow means they have not been full in a week and Green means they have been full recently (Within a Week). The other set indicate the voltage of the battery at the moment in 10-100% increments.

In the picture below it is a little hard to see but you will notice a red LED on in the yellow circle. The MNBCM or battery meter has 10-100% LED's and the first 2 or 3 are red then there is 2 or 3 Yellow (I think it is 3) and the rest are green. I should know the correct numbers and will go look in a bit. The 10% red LED will also blink when you go below 10% ask me how I know  ::)

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Anyhow sorry about the bozo in the picture I did not take time to crop myself out or take the Kimber off either apparently  ::)

Offline ChrisOlson

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Re: Battery Bank Status Meter
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2012, 06:48:20 am »
but wouldn't it be possible to see a green light down at 10% after six days of no wind, and wouldn't that be something to be concerned about?

VF - maybe a closeup picture would help - this is the meter when I first installed it:

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You see the red LED on the left.  That means the bank hasn't been fully charged for two weeks.  It took it until the next day to figure out that the bank was fully charged and that one went green.  The 10, 20, and 30 are red.  The 40 and 50 are yellow.  60-100% show green.

So if the meter is showing All Green, it means the bank has been fully charged in the last week and it's above 60% SOC.  If there's anything showing yellow on the meter you're not treating your bank as nice as you could.  If there's anything showing red on the meter you're a very bad boy and you should give your batteries away to somebody who will treat them nicer.   :)

The three LED's on the left seem to require the bank to receive a full absorb cycle before it will go green.

Here's an example of why I find the little thing useful.  When we got up this morning the the SOC showed 100%.  The wind blew all night.  But now it's down to 60%:

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The reason?  My wife is cooking breakfast.  She's got toast in the toaster (about 1,200 watts).  She's got eggs and ham cooking on the induction cooktop (about 3 kW).  I'm brewing a pot of coffee (about 1,200 watts).  Plus the 'fridge is going, furnace blower is going, my computer, we got a couple lights on because the sun isn't up yet.  The load on our bank is probably about 5.5-6 Kw as I write this.

I look around me and see what's on and the meter is still showing Full Green.  That tells me immediately that my bank is right up to snuff.  I don't need an ammeter to know that we're pulling some decent power off the bank right now.  The bank is probably delivering 250 amps to the inverters.  If the meter had dipped down into the yellow with the breakfast cooking loads on then I know my bank is down slightly from 100%.  But there's not a cloud in the sky and the wind is blowing at about 10 mph.  So basically, all my system has to do is rebulk the bank and it will float all day.

That's how I find the thing useful.
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Offline bj

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Re: Battery Bank Status Meter
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2012, 06:49:01 am »
  I think it just went from the want list to the needed list.
"Even a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while"
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Offline tomw

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Re: Battery Bank Status Meter
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2012, 08:15:26 am »

Anyhow sorry about the bozo in the picture I did not take time to crop myself out or take the Kimber off either apparently  ::)

If that is a "work" photo, I am impressed that there are still American businesses that do not see armed employees as a threat!

Seriously.

Thanks for the share.

Tom
Do NOT mistake me for any kind of "expert".

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24 Trina 310 watt modules, SMA SunnyBoy 7.7 KW Grid Tie inverter.

I thought that they were angels, but much to my surprise, We climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies

Offline halfcrazy

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Re: Battery Bank Status Meter
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2012, 12:21:59 pm »
Tom
That is my garage but it was a work related photo. My wife pointed out that if the photo was going in Home Power I should not be packing :o

Offline ghurd

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Re: Battery Bank Status Meter
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2012, 09:02:26 pm »
The Kimber may be good for a work related photo?  May make for more polite customers!

Taking this down a notch for a guy with a much smaller system, I sometimes put a "Battery / Alternator Tester" hardwired into the battery cables at the controller.
It would take a few days for the person to understand it (14V at noon, 12.6V after dark), but they all loved it.

6 LEDs, $3 on sale.
http://www.harborfreight.com/alternator-battery-tester-46972.html

Can only find one pic, and its not a good pic, or the standard way I did it (unusual situation... obviously), but its just to the left of the 2 light oak boards with the controllers/fuses/etc.
G-


Offline ChrisOlson

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Re: Battery Bank Status Meter
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2012, 10:48:23 pm »
That is my garage but it was a work related photo. My wife pointed out that if the photo was going in Home Power I should not be packing :o

Damn.  We're hangin' out with some rough company here.   8)
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