Summary of charging, split charging and battery monitoring.
So finally we have the ideal split charge system. It does exactly what we require. Nothing more, nothing less.
This same system can also be added to an installation with 2 existing alternators with 2 huge benefits....
1. The system allows the spare (otherwise unused) capacity from the engine start battery alternator to be diverted to the other battery thus increasing the available charge current. This of course can reduce charge times.
2. It gives built in "redundancy" in that any one part (i.e. either alternator or the split charge system itself) can fail and the entire system will still operate and both batteries will still be charged, albeit at reduced capacity.
Monitoring the Batteries
What about monitoring the state of charge of the batteries? After all, this is intimately related to the charging process, and hence to the split charge system.
Let's (again, just briefly) forget the rule about ignoring what has been done in the past. Let's take a quick look at what is available.
There are basically 2 options. A voltmeter is the first, most basic option. Unfortunately this will not show the state of charge as shown here. There is no getting away from this fact. However a volt meter can be very useful.
The next stage up in battery monitoring is the amp hours counter. These really are all singing and dancing devices. Unfortunately they do not show the true state of charge of the batteries as shown here and here. Despite their sales literature. They show lot's of other information, some of which can be very useful. But they do not show the state of charge. Many amp hours counters attempt to show it, but they fail, miserably.
So what are the other options?
Well firstly, what exactly do we require?
Quite simply, we want a "fuel gauge" for the batteries. We want to know how much power is left in the batteries. A fuel gauge on a car does this by showing "half full", "quarter full", "three quarters full" and any other fraction in between.
The same system is used on fresh water tank gauges, black water tank gauges, kettles, mobile 'phones, time remaning for downloads etc. In fact on just about everything we come across, that contains "something" that may run out, we have got used to having a gauge that shows how much is left as a fraction or percentage. It doesn't show litres, or pints, or furlongs or hours. It simply shows the fraction we have left. i.e. half, or a third etc.
This system is used because it is the most intuitive for humans to understand. This is what we really require.
And this is exactly what SmartGauge shows.
SmartGauge is presently the only state of charge meter that will show the true state of charge and cannot run out of synchronisation with the batteries. It does not matter if the batteries lose capacity as a result of ageing, SmartGauge shows the power remaining as a percentage of the actual power that your batteries currently posses. SmartGauge also integrates with the SmartBank split charge system giving an extremely simple to fit, totally integrated solution to split charging and battery monitoring.
Split charging and battery monitoring are intimately related and therefore it makes perfect sense to combine them into one system.
The SmartGauge/SmartBank combined system is much simpler to install than any other system currently available. It also works better, is more accurate, cannot run out of synchronisation, integrates the battery monitoring and split charge system, is far simpler to understand and what's more, you can actually speak to, or email, the actual designer with your questions! That alone has to be worth more than any promise of backup any other company could ever offer.
SmartGauge was designed by someone who needed a battery monitor that worked. For his own use. Simply because nothing else worked properly. It was not designed by someone who wanted to design yet something else to sell.
Page last updated 02/04/2008.
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