The Basics of Battery Monitoring with Projecta
— July 27, 2021 | 2 min read
We take a look at the basics of battery monitoring and the Projecta BM320
As dual battery setups become increasingly common, so too is the need for accurate battery monitoring. Your auxiliary battery supplies power for a complex and demanding array of accessories, but is often forgotten about – out of sight, out of mind – until something goes awry.
To ensure your auxiliary battery delivers optimal performance and long service life, it’s recommended a battery monitor is installed. A battery monitor will provide simple current and voltage readings while also regulating current draw to minimise the risk of the dreaded ‘flat’.
The best way to avoid auxiliary battery discharge is to understand the behaviour and limitations of your setup. Voltage is influenced by charge, discharge, and rest periods, so knowing how these contribute to battery health is the key to understanding abnormal performance as it relates to your battery’s size and chemistry, and conditions including temperature and altitude.
Find the fault before a flat
It sounds pretty obvious, but if a battery’s voltage remains low despite high input current, then that battery is severely discharged and will take a long time to charge. Conversely, if the voltage is high and the input current low then your battery is nearly full. Unfortunately, this is about all most basic battery monitors can tell you.
The critical missing piece is diagnosing and notifying faults before the battery runs flat. If a battery’s voltage and the input current are both high, then it’s possible there’s a fault with the battery and that excess energy may be converted to heat. Similarly, low battery voltage and low input current could indicate an issue elsewhere in your system, including your alternator, DC/DC converter, or solar array.
It why an advanced, alarmed battery monitor with meaningful and easy-to-understand data like the Projecta BM320 is an imperative part of your dual battery setup. The Projecta BM320 provides highly accurate performance readings and uses self-learning capabilities to track and monitor the health of your battery.
The system allows users the opportunity to pre-emptively recondition or change a failing battery before a ‘flat’ occurs and uses a real-time clock and date display to graph battery performance over time [this is also a useful tool for understanding peak loads at times of highest demand].
Designed for ease of use
An advanced battery monitor like the Projecta BM320 doesn’t need to be a chore to use. That’s why we’ve designed the BM320 to be user-friendly, while still offering more functionality than our nearest competitors.
Even newcomers to 4WDing, caravanning, or camper-trailering will find the BM320 easy to use. Data is accessed via a full colour, 2.4-inch LCD monitor which offers battery performance, voltage, charge/discharge status, remaining capacity, and time to empty/full information. A second screen provides more in-depth information including ambient temperature, state of health, and Ampere hour (Ah) capacity.
As a safeguard, the BM320 includes two built-in alarms: one for low capacity, the other for low state of health. These are set on initial start-up and installation of the device and can be adapted for different battery types (including Wet, AGM, Gel, and Calcium-type batteries) up to 320Ah.
Importantly, and despite its many features, the Projecta BM320 offers very low power consumption meaning your battery monitor isn’t the very thing draining your auxiliary battery! The Projecta BM320 draws just 1.5mAdc during normal use.
To find out more about the Projecta BM320 Visit: 12V SMART BATTERY GAUGE