Saturday, June 28, 2014

Solar Controller and Battery Monitor

This sailing season, Speakeasy is getting solar power. One of the advantages besides the obvious one that batteries get charged when the sun shines is that I can monitor the charging system more easily. The Remote Meter reads the voltage and power use of each battery bank. It also monitors the temperature in the battery well and at the meter. 

The SunSaver Duo serves two battery banks either equally or in a 90% - 10% ratio. I have it set to give most of the power to the house battery (90%) and less power to the starting battery. This arrangement ensures that the starting battery is topped off and that the house is actively charging or floating. See Battery University for a good description of the battery charging stages (charging, topping, floating) and the importance of temperature monitoring. 

More about the Speakeasy's solar power in a subsequent post. Following are images of the meter and controller. 

List of Materials

Morningstar SSD-25
Kyocera 140W 8amp
Cable length is 5-6 m
Cable 2.5 sq-mm
Fuse = 20amp
Cross brackets and mounts.