Meters & Monitors
Monitoring Your System
System monitors all have a common goal: to keep you informed about your system’s state of charge and help you prevent the exceptionally deep discharges that sap the life out of your batteries. Not having a system monitor is like driving a car without any gauges on the dashboard...you’d be much more likely to exceed speed limits, run out of gas, or do accidental damage. Monitors can be as simple as a red or green light, or as complicated as a PC- or web-based system that logs dozens of system readings in real time. At the simplest level, displaying the battery voltage gives an approximate indication of your battery bank’s state of charge at any given moment. More robust monitors show how many amps are flowing in or out at the moment, and the best monitors keep track of all this information, and give it to you as a simple “% of full charge” reading. Many charge controllers offer some simple monitoring abilities, but the best monitors stand alone and get mounted in the kitchen or living room where they’re more likely to get some regular attention. With the right monitoring interface you can even view your system monitor’s data over the web via your smart phone or any mobile device, giving you some peace of mind when you’re away.