Articles: Battery Monitors

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Importance of Remote Battery Switches

A common conundrum with battery banks and their main disconnect switch is that batteries are often located in the engine room space. The cable to disconnect switch for the battery should be as short as possible and by commonly accepted standards, within 72” from the battery terminal post. The problem arises that in the situation of a catastrophic event, like a battery exploding, it should be possible to easily access and disconnect the battery without entering the space in which the battery is contained.

Battery Voltage vs Battery Capacity

The best way to determine remaining battery capacity is by using a self-learning battery monitor with a percentage state of charge function (SOC). However, not every boat is equipped with that type of device nor does every boat owner have such a device in their budget. If the only means of estimating remaining battery capacity is a voltage meter, then a reasonable approximation can be made based on an accurate digital voltage measurement with a battery utilizing lead/acid chemistry.

Battery Monitors

A boat’s battery bank is at the heart of its DC electrical system and the banks state of charge (SOC) is critical information. Not only is it important to know how much energy remains stored so you do not deplete the bank and no longer have the power needed to run boat’s services, but it is also necessary information to maintain the batteries in good health to maximize the number of cycles possible from the bank.

Calculating Full Load AC and DC Needs of a Boat

When the house batteries are being used to fulfill the requirements of both the AC (through the use of an inverter) and DC components of the boat there needs to be a complete and thorough energy analysis. This analysis will help...

The Pros and Cons of Wiring a Boat for 12 or 24 Volts

If weight is a major concern on your boat, or if the vessel size requires long cable runs, there is always the option of wiring your boat for 24 volts. With a higher voltage, the currents pulled by the various electronics are much smaller and hence the cables only need to be...

The Importance of Testing your Bonding System to Prevent Galvanic Corrosion

Galvanic corrosion is destructive and can amount to costly repairs. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to prevent corrosion is to install a DC bonding system. This bonding provides an electrical path between all the metals on your boat, which come in contact with water, to a sacrificial anode. The reason we bond a sacrificial anode, (usually zinc) to our vessels on the hull under the waterline is to provide an electrical path between metals that are connected electrically through electrolyte fluid to a higher freely eroding material. This allows the zinc to be consumed first over all the other materials on your vessel.

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