As we go round the world we want to be self sufficient for power and that means understanding what power is coming in and going out of the batteries. The main type of battery monitor available is an amp hour counter which counts the amps going in and the amps going out. We went with the e-xpert lite based on Olly’s recommendation. Over time, these type of monitors become less accurate though and need to be reset but they do provide useful data about what is happening right now such as amps in or out. However, anyone with an understanding of our approach to the refit will not be surprised that we would not be happy with a single way of measuring these things which could become inaccurate. There is another type of battery monitor which has a very complex algorithm within it and measures the battery itself to calculate a percentage of charge in the battery bank. This system actually gets more accurate over time as the algorithm helps it to tune it’s settings to “learn” about the batteries it is monitoring. The combination of these two monitors gives us a powerful way of understanding our power use and state of charge. This will allow us to manage our power use much more effectively. We can monitor and adjust our power use and it will also help us to understand the effectiveness of our charging mechanisms: engine, shore power, generator and solar power. We will report on how well this works in practice in future posts.
Of course the decision making process was difficult and involved a lot of research and expert impartial advice from Oliver at Seapower who also installed all the equipment for us.