I’ve been holding steady here these last few grey days, never going below 87% battery capacity. I’ve only used the alternator to get a voltage boost during the day for office-related matters, with the 10A or so I’d get out of it being a nice bonus. The solar has performed beyond all expectations, sucking an average of 4 to 5A out of the swirling dark grey mass above us.
Last night, the battery monitor claimed that I was at about 93% and down 16.8A. Guess what all my volt metres were telling me? That even with the fridge and a light going, I was between. 12.58 and 12.61V. Which meant that with everything off, I’d be above 12.6V, which is considered a full charge.
But I knew better because my amp meter is calibrated properly. Without the battery monitor, I would have gone to bed smug and pleased that I got to a full charge last night and would have just run them down today as though I was starting over.
Imagine if I kept doing that over the lifetime of my batteries, just getting them near, but never at, full charge. That would eventually kill them. With the battery monitor, I know that they need just a little more charging them.
Voltage readings do matter and have a use; I’ll be doing up a post about that. But I don’t know how anyone can do any serious amount of time off the grid without a battery monitor because they really are the only way to know exactly where you stand.Share on Facebook