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Battery monitoring shunt install location with Xantrex inverter


Ivan K
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I am going to install a battery shunt to monitor charge/discharge/SOC status and deciding on a location to install it out of the elements since these are not weather proof. I was thinking to put it right beside the inverter ground terminal (where my solar charge also grounds) since I don't know where the other side of the ground cable terminates. I know some of you are using Victron shunt or similar type that uses ground path and had gone through this already and could offer an advice.  Thanks.

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Not sure what inverter you have I just installed one last winter and I went with the BMK by magnum. I installed the Shunt and module in the battery compartment and put the module in a weatherproof electrical box. I looked into Victron shunt and After reading others that had installed them I opted not to use that. It had something to do with the Bluetooth capabilities. I think the one I installed is awesome I know exactly what the batteries Capacity is  and I know exactly how many amps are being drawn from the batteries at any given time. Hope this helps

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Thank You Kevin, does the shunt get hot in the box? My inverter is by Xantrex, 3kw. My concern was also with tension on the cable when sliding the battery shelf out but suppose a good rigid mounted box would take care of it. I also read the Bluetooth range concerns and that's a shame because my controller and volt/temp monitor are Victron and work fine with their network app. I decided to test this cheap $40 monitor because of it's good reviews. No BT and no history but crazy low price. The display cable routing would be a pain with our floor plan so I would mount the display in a basement compartment for now which it usually open to watch outside TV anyway.

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The ground for our Trace Xantrex inverter was in the main basement compartment from the inverter up to the frame rail.  I added the shunt to the basement ceiling and made up one new cable to go from it to the frame rail.  

I later upgraded to a Magnum inverter with a Magnum ME-BMK, but the wiring remains the same.  

Magnum ME-BMK installed.jpg

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Ivan, I installed the Victron BMV-712 in the electrical bay next to my battery compartment. I made my own cable for the monitor and ran it to the cabinet where my inverter controls are. That was a chore. The Bluetooth comes from the monitor so no issue for me. If you opt for the model that has Bluetooth and no display it could be an issue to get signal to the pilot. I have a DC to DC smart charger and I rarely see the signal up front, My mppt solar controller sometimes has issues with the signal as well. As long as I know the SOC I'm good. I learned a lot when putting this stuff in. My system works great for me.

 

Monitor.thumb.jpg.96a53ee417eebcdbd3ba2061445eb4f8.jpg

Inverter.thumb.jpg.93feb03bf2601b6851f15f9bb6224b99.jpg

 

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Great pictures gentlemen, thank you! Very nice work. I do not have an electrical bay since most of that 12V stuff is in the engine room and my inverter and Victron controller hang on driver side basement ceiling. Seems similar to Vito's configuration. I'll try to trace down the inverter ground to frame rail connection, that would make it easier if in the compartment. Just need to take down the huge ceiling cover for the hundreds time to see if I missed it previously. But if there, I can route the display cable up through toilet cabinet into the hall just like for the EMS. Fingers crossed. Thanks again!

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The shunt needs to go between the batteries and the ground, not at the inverter… you have other things drawing on your batteries than just the inverter and my alternator charges my house batteries.

Like Ivan ^^^ I went with a $40 SOC/shunt on my 600AH of Lithium batteries I built. Was able to mount the round indicator in the BR…handier than the basement.

Planning on adding another 600AH of Lithiums with another $40 SOC/shunt with the indicator in the BR too. I need to run 120V power to the battery area so I can heat it (light bulb or heater) when it’s below freezing. Will run the indicator’s cable through the same hole in the floor… hopefully one already in it.

Edited by Ivylog
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Yeah, that is true in my case too, however my charts show that the only element bypassing the inverter ground is a maintainer. I realize that it could possibly take up to 15A of unaccounted current but since I have a dedicated panel and controller setup just for chassis, I think the only time I see it maintaining is when plugged in under carport. I'll have to decide whether to accept some yet unknown inaccuracies in lieu of possibly easier install... I am imagining that as the solar quits in the evening,  house voltage drops below AMP-L trigger and maintaining quits, taking itself out of the equation. Evenings are when I watch that batteries most since we tend to stay up late. Not quite sure what that may do to SOC calculations. 

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Pretty sure the house + batteries cable is a Y to the inverter and the Rear Run Box. Everything the “Salesman” switch controls is powered from the RRB. The alternator charges the engine batteries and once they get to 13.4+/- the BIRD energizes the BigBoy in the RRB connecting the 2 battery bank’s together letter the alternator charge the house batteries…this could be hundreds of AHs that go unmetered.

Sorry, but I think you’ll be wasting $40 and the time to put the shunt in the wrong place at the inverter.

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Yes I agree that positive battery branches out but negative should only go to ground through inverter and originally Lambert, now AMP-L. In my case, the only way the battery banks would connect is with boost solenoid and that would only be a manual emergency action. Don't have a BIRD. I am not really concerned with what happens when alternator runs while driving, only when longterm stationary boondocking. But no doubt, to take full advantage of the $40 'investment' I should put the shunt in battery negative lead. Just trying to figure out an elegant installation since my battery compartment regularly gets nasty with all the vents and flooded batteries. A picture of the install would help. Thanks for the comments to keep me thinking.

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  • 3 weeks later...

To close this post, off, at the end I have decided to add a junction box inside the battery compartment and put the shunt in it, between battery negative and ground lead. Since I installed SeeLevel monitor at the same time and it only needed 2 wires (one of them ground) from all the sensors combined,  it left me with 5 existing leads to use for the new battery display right to where I wanted it, in the original control panel. Replaced the old tank level gauge with the new display. Worked out great and works. Thanks for the pointers you all gave me on this subject. 

20211112_145335.jpg

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