looking for a decent digital volt/amp meter to install in my trailer. not looking for anything from ebay. hopefully something reliable and accurate at a decent price. i just want to be able to monitor my battery level and charge rate when i add the new solar panel. thanks
Checking the voltage to determine battery level is not a very accurate method(maybe you already know this). A monitor that records amp/hours is what you need. The link 10 does that and a Trimetric TM-2020 will also do it($169 in Canada). Make sure you get a shunt($27) with it. Both of these will also give volts and amps from the panel as well. I have just ordered the Trimetric monitor and a Blue Sky Solar
Boost SB2512ix MPPT solar
charge controller($269) from www.renewcanada.com
. I bought a 24V 115 W solar
panel closer to home.
The MPPT charge controller 1)converts 24V solar panel output to 12V for the battery, 2) can pull 10 to 30 % more power from the solar panel, 3)Provides 3 level charging for deep cycle battery, and 4) the x means optional equalizing charge plus battery temperature sensor. The 24V panel allows using lighter wire to the charge controller and if I had to add a second panel this controller will accept 48V(panels in series) and maintain the same amps for wire size. I hated to spend that much on the controller but after looking at it decided it made sense for a number of reasons.
I'm stuck now on design for the roof mount for the panel. I want to try leaving the panel flat on the roof but may have to tip it to get enough power. I would like to incorporate hinges in the original mounts so I don't have to redesign later.