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Old 02-22-2014, 02:21 PM   #1
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New Battery and Solar Products

There is a group of battery junkies or solar enthusiasts that have been posting in an effort to get the most out of their batteries while boondocking and improving general longevity. One common device that is mentioned frequently is the Trimetric TM-2025 RV battery monitor. This is a product from a small California company that specializes in monitoring products for solar, wind and water power.

Bogart Engineering has just announced a new version of their TM-2025, they will soon be shipping the TM-2030. Beside simplifying the setup process the new monitor will talk to a new product they will release this month, the SC-2030 charge controller. This is the product I am most excited about.

I have been very frustrated in finding systems: both built into the trailer and solar options that will charge at the battery manufacturers recommended level. Here are some threads to bring you up to speed.
Portable Solar and Monitor Location
Replacing stock WFCO converters
Interstate 6 Volt Charging

The information is still brief on Bogart's new solar controller, but here is a quote from their website:
One distinguishing feature is the ability to program the amount of excess amp-hour overcharge, as recommended by US Battery, Trojan, and other major battery manufacturers. A four-stage charging algorithm optimizes both battery life and charge-discharge cycle depth.
At this time I have only been able to find two solar controllers that come close to the recommended charge levels recommended by Interstate Batteries. The Morningstar TriStar 45 and the Xantrec C35.

As an aside, wouldn't you know I just ordered a TM-2025 and had it delivered to Escape for installation.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
As an aside, wouldn't you know I just ordered a TM-2025 and had it delivered to Escape for installation.
Can you please tell me to what extent Reace will install your TM-2025 .

I spoke with Reace this month, and he said he would not install this monitor. He said he doesn't want to get into working with shunts, etc.. He said he would prewire the Trimetric wiring harness if provided.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:56 PM   #3
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I've been looking at the Blue Sky Sun Charger 30 for the same reasons, can customize the charge settings up to 17vdc and has the panel mount display built in like the Go Power does. I believe both the Xantrex and the Morningstar needs the optional remote display. Which is both good and bad, the remotes can go anywhere where the panel mounts "should" be close to the batteries. It does however add another cost. All can be had with the battery temp sensors. Kind of leery on the C-35 as I can't find it on the Xantrex site.

Have yet to see specs on the SC-2030 but it sounds promising. It's also their 1st foray into solar chargers but as it is matched to the Battery Monitor it does sound promising. I've got time so I'm waiting to see this one before deciding.

Cargofool
If I go with the Trimetrics, I'm going to see if Reace will run 5 conductors of 22awg or better from the location of the batteries to a place big enough to mount the battery monitor. Have yet to see pictures of the 5.0 TA so I can't tell where as yet.

Paul, if you get a chance look over the Blue Sky unit and let me know what you think.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:42 PM   #4
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You are correct, ETI will only install the wiring. When I ordered from wegosolar I planned to order a shunt as well, not knowing if ETI would need it or not. Once on their website I saw they had a special with the wiring cable, shunt and TM-2025, so ordered it all.

I think I will be able to complete the installation myself. Bogart has good directions and a good support center. If all else fails we are planning on a visit to Vancouver Island and will be going right by the wegosolar retail store. I can always ask them.
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:13 PM   #5
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Padlin
Thank you for the reference to the Blue Sky Sun Charger 30, I looked over the specs for the unit and I was impressed. Depending on what shows up from Bogart on their new controller the Blue Sky went to the top of my list. I like it was four stage, it has the optional temperature sensor, and those adjustments for voltages, times and frequency were excellent. With an absorption charge available up to 17.0 volts it is the first unit that I have seen capable of doing the recommended rate from Interstate Batteries of 15.3 volts.

The Xantrec C35 has had some critical reviews and seems to suffer from some failures, hard to measure how much. The Morningstar is a very established company but the TriStar 45 will only do 14.8 absorption rate.

I like it and have added it to my list. Like you, I have some time to make a final decision. One question I will have is placement. Do you think it has to be visible? With a Trimetric and once set up the only reason I can see looking at the display would be to do a manual equalization.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:11 PM   #6
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I'm thinking of doing things in stages. Put in the controller, array, and a shunt first off. Mount the controller down low inside the bench seat or something similar near the batteries, where ever they are on a 5.0. See what it gives me for readings and see if I still want the Battery Monitor or if the controllers panel is sufficient. With the prewire for the battery monitor, it's no big deal to install it at any time. Of course if the Trimetric controller looks good I well might go for the set.
Going to hold off ordering anything till I get my trailer, want to see what kind of room is available for panels.

Undecided on an inverter, and while I'm not crazy about the WFCO controllers (it's what I have now), they do work okay, I'm not planning on replacing it at unless there is a need.

If you want to go with the Battery Monitor I see no need to have the controller visible, as long as you can get to it.
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