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Unread 11-07-2010, 11:14 AM   #1
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Default SOC Meters

I don't have a sparky golf cart but I do have a Yamaha gas cart. In addition I have a bus motorhome(converted) that has a battery bank for the "house" and I have some questions about SOC on the batteries. I have been reading the posts here about these meters and would like some feedback on how they work.

I have been looking at buying a Trimetric battery monitor system. This includes a display unit connected to a "shunt" on the batteries. Apparently, through the shunt, they are able to monitor the charge going into a battery and the discharge as well. By doing this they can determine the amount of charge left, etc.

My understanding is that with voltmeters, ampmeters, etc you are not able to get instanteous readings. For example, I read that a battery has to sit idle for a number of hours after charging (or discharging) before you can get an accurate reading.

I would appreciate any comments on the above. Is what I understand correct? Will these gauges do what I want them to do.

Thanks

Fred Mc.
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Unread 11-07-2010, 12:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: SOC Meters

I'm not sure what you want this type of gauge to do.
The Trimetric battery monitors are a selectable measuring device intended specifically for motorhomes, boats and solar systems.
1) It will measure the amount of charge you have left as related to % (percentage). This is just another type of voltmeter that reads in % of charge instead of volts.
2) It will measure your amperage draw and your charging amperage. This measurement is real time and reflects either the amperage being used or the amperage going back into the batteries.
3) It will measure your actual voltage and your charging voltage. It too is real time and reflects the actual voltage
There is a difference between measuring voltages in a battery when it is being subjected to a load or when it is idle with no load.
When batteries are subjected to a load they will show on a voltmeter to be lower than they actually are and when the load is taken away will take 15 minutes or so to settle down and read a realistic voltage.
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Unread 11-07-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: SOC Meters

"When batteries are subjected to a load they will show on a voltmeter to be lower than they actually are and when the load is taken away will take 15 minutes or so to settle down and read a realistic voltage."

I think this is what I was getting at. Except that what I read(I think) was that instead of taking 15 minutes it would take 2 hours.

What I want the gauge to do is tell me when the batteries reach 50 % discharge so we don't go beyond that as I understand that severely shortens the battery life.

On another thread someone was discussing building a SOC meter and I thought it might be something between the Trimetric and voltmeter.

Thanks

Fred
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Unread 11-07-2010, 01:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: SOC Meters

I have been messing around with voltmeters on my carts and I am getting accurate readings to the tenth of a volt in (less than) 1 minute after the load is removed on a golf cart. I can put a load on the cart then park it. Note the reading and return several hours later to the same reading. I have verified these results with 2 different everyday shop meters and feel this info is correct.
This is how we determine when a recharge is needed. I was very disappointed in the LED bar or dot meters and the analogue fuel gauges. I use what I consider real time voltage readings.
Try it with your voltmeter connected
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Unread 11-07-2010, 01:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: SOC Meters

Is this monitor for your motorhome or your golf cart?
I have a Xantrex Link 10 monitor in my boat, can't remember the RV one and both a voltmeter and Curtis SOC meter in my electric cart.
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Unread 11-07-2010, 03:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: SOC Meters

Its for my motorhome. Cart is a gasser.
I've looked at the Xantrex as well but is seems pretty pricey.

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Unread 11-07-2010, 07:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: SOC Meters

Depending on your level of expertise and expectation, you could use the Trimetric unit for $200 or if all you need is V &A readings, for less than $30 you could use this: http://cgi.ebay.com/200V-200A-DC-Dig...item2a04738e7b
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Unread 11-08-2010, 09:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: SOC Meters

Doug, what is the function of the shunt? This suggests to me it might have some of the function of the Trimetric where it keeps track of the charge going in and coming out giving you a kind of "fuel gauge" for energy left in the battery.
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Unread 11-08-2010, 09:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: SOC Meters

Meters will only take so much current, the shunt does nothing more than bleed off energy to a point where it won't blow the meter.
The shunt is wired in series with the main power going to the load and the reduced power from the shunt going to the meter input.
Here's an example of how a shunt and meter is wired into a circuit:

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Unread 11-12-2010, 11:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: SOC Meters

Doug, I looked at the volt/amp meter you posted. But it only has a 30 cm(1 ft) lead from the shunt to the meter. I want to go from the battery compartment into my motorhome(probably 6 feet) Can this be accomplished. I understand the length of the wire is important. Can you extend the wire but do a recalibration pf the meter. i.e. if the wire is 30 cm long and the battery reading is 12.5 that corresponds to a wire that is 10 feet long and the reading is 11.5)

Thanks

Fred
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