BM PRO Intelligent Battery System Monitor
PRICING INCLUDES: Display, wiring harness, shunt, fuse, etc. Basically a 100% complete kit, ready to install.
Our new BMPro Intelligent Battery Monitor. It learns as it monitors your battery input, output, and capacity, and works with any 12VDC Lead-Acid, Gel, VRLA, or AGM battery bank.
We finally got tired of stooping over with our reading glasses on, trying to remember which tiny button to push to try to understand our battery bank's condition. In our search to find something better we found that most devices on the market have too small of a display, too dim a readout, and too many abbreviated messages. Most battery-monitors are really just simple amp-hour counters that don't take Peukert's Law into consideration, and therefore must be continually re-synchronized to prevent misrepresenting the true battery capacity.
What we needed was something with a large graphical display, a sort of "dashboard" that would tell us everything we needed to know with large understandable digits and icons. We needed the most critical real-time information presented in an "at-a-glance" display. It turns out that a forward-thinking Australian engineering company that makes power-supplies and battery management systems for the military and RV markets, was also thinking along the same lines. So, we got together to offer this fantastic unit here in America. Our wishes came true with this unit.
Its backlit LCD presents information such as:
- Battery voltage
- Current flowing in (charging)
- Current flowing out (discharging)
- Calculated battery charge status and the estimated time to discharge
- Time (digital clock) with am/pm
- Low voltage warning
Features also include:
- Back light which can be set as a night light
- Built-in USB charging port (for cell phones, etc) with on/off switch
- Auxilary on/off switch for actuating chargers, starting gen-sets, etc.
- Spec Sheet Here
It is really simple to install and use. You simply mount the display bracket on your panel or nav station bulkhead, and slide on the removable display. Connect your 12VDC power to the per-configured wiring harness, and plug it in. You now attach the shunt on the negative terminal of your battery bank, and then attach all the other negative feeds to the shunt. Two wires connect the shunt to the display. After a quick initial setup, the unit immediately begins learning your battery's capacity and discharge time using a proprietary self-correcting algorithm. After just a few cycles, the unit has learned the capacity, and provides accurate information. The display is so easy to use and understand that it takes only moments to make it 100% useful. No more scrolling through menus, deciphering abbreviations, and re-synchronizing amp-hour counts. Truly a fantastic system, and worth every penny.
So how does it really work?
First, it is important to know what it isn't. It isn't an Amp-Hour counter. Amp-Hour meters are just simple counters that tally the amps and hours. So, they are nothing more than counters, and they can't take into account how the amp draw variances affect total remaining charge. They quickly get out of sync with the real-world, and don't provide meaningful information regarding remaining capacity. The BMPro, however, is continuously monitoring current, and comparing the data to internal models of battery behavior, then close-looping its results. It is a learning algorithm that continually compares its values to the expected results, and adjusts to arrive at the actual capacity based on the real-time information. These results display as a measurement of actual remaining capacity (in percent of total real capacity). Basically a fuel-gauge approach that everyone can understand and use.
How does it compare to other "self-learning" battery-monitors?
We are aware of only one other battery-monitor system which can calculate and display actual battery-capacity. We evaluated this system, and discussed its features and methods with not only the UK developer, but also with the US subsidiary, as well as the alternator company which re-brands it in the US market. While it is clear the system works, and works well, not a single person we spoke with could articulate how it actually worked. If the manufacturer can't explain how it works, then we can't explain how it works to the customer. Because the system measured only battery voltage, it could obviously not display incoming or outgoing current (Amps). While this makes the installation a breeze, most of our customers rely heavily on solar, wind and other energy sources, which they want to be able to monitor as well. This was not possible with a voltage only system. We were also not that fond of the 1970's styling with 7-segment LED dsiplay, and membrane switches. in contrast, the BMPro has a gorgeous and super-efficient backlit LCD interface with proper buttons, at-a-glance graphical icons, and non-abbreviated information displayed.
Are there any shortcomings?
Yes. The system is 12VDC only at this time, so 24VDC customers are presently not able to use this system. Additionally, the real-time calculations are limited to a continuous draw of 100A. While you can certainly draw 100A or more, it stops calculating values above and beyond 100A. So, for instance, a 105A draw would be calculated as only 100A. The good news is that if you are drawing more than 100A at a time, you certainly should have a 24V system, so this limit would not apply. If you did occasionally draw more than 100A, it would be for an extremely short time, and it would still calculate the load as 100A, so the error would only be on the difference, and only for the time spent above 100A. So, a very modest error, which would self-correct quicky. Finally, the included shunt terminals are somewhat small for terminating many large cables, but there are junction terminal blocks, and aftermarket shunt alternatives which can be substituted.