A month and a half ago, we upgraded our house bank battery monitor. We went from a Victron BMV-602 to a Victron BMV-712 Smart Battery Monitor. We re-wired our existing monitor to our engine start battery so we could monitor it separately. In this post, we are going to give you our impressions and review of the Victron BMV-712 Smart Battery Monitor.
A few months ago, we performed some major re-work of our house bank. At the time, we discovered our house battery bank was at the end of their service life and needed replacement. Since we were going to have to replace the batteries, we decided to upgrade the monitoring system as well. Though there are many options available, we settled on the Victron BMV-712 Smart Monitor to help us protect our new battery bank.
Our house bank is comprised of 6- 6 volt Trojan T-109 well cell batteries. The six batteries are wired parallel in pairs. Afterwards, the pairs are wired in series. This provides Banjo with a house bank of 675 aH of DC power. We purchased our new batteries from Batteries Plus in New Bern, NC who delivered right to Banjo, within an hour of our call. We also contracted an ABYC Expert, Jim Bonnett from Wavetop Technology, to help direct and implement the upgrades. As an aside, we highly recommend Jim as a marine electrical consultant. He will not only ensure your electrical needs are met, but he takes extra time to educate owners on proper use and safety. He really goes the extra mile to make sure you understand your boat’s electrical system. In our opinion, he is worth every penny.
Installing the Victron BMV-712 Smart could not have been easier. Also, we added a battery temperature monitor sensor which plugged directly into the Victron BMV-712 Smart 500mV 500A shunt. The temperature sensor was then connected to the battery bank to give an indication of the temperature of the batteries. We mounted the shunt to the bulkhead of our battery compartment. Afterwards, we connected the network cable and passed it through the conduit piping to the electrical panel control station.
Using a hole saw, we drilled out a space for the monitor, installed it with screws, popped on the cover, and done. The network cable was plugged in to the back and immediately, the Victron BMV-712 Smart came to life. After a brief setup, the monitor began to display, in real-time, the battery amperage, voltage, state-of-charge, temperature, time remaining, etc. I don’t know about you, but I have rarely seen anything electrical that was simple. The installation of the unit was ridiculously easy.
As mentioned earlier, the Victron BMV-712 Smart offers a host of features. Some of that more standard include voltage, amperage, state-of-charge, power, consumed aH, time remaining, and battery temperature. The unit is easy to read, especially with its blue backlight. The kicker for us is that the unit is also bluetooth compatible! After downloading the VictronConnect application from the Google Play Store, we are able to monitor the battery bank at any time. I set the application up on both my phone and my computer and LOVE being able to see exactly what we are using at any given moment.
The Victron BMV-712 Smart is exactly that, Smart. It also allows a user to set alarms for low/high voltage, low State-of-charge, low/high temperature. Also, it shows a history of electrical usage from the battery.
I find myself checking it several times each day, especially when charging with both wind and solar. And also at night, when our consumption is at its highest. I TRULY love the ease of use of the Victron BMV-712 Smart. It allows me to keep an eye on our system without ever having to leave our stateroom. It is my new favorite piece of equipment.
We love our ability to monitor our battery bank in real time. The Victron BMV-712 Smart offers us that ability. It also allows us to check on the state of our DC Electrical System from anywhere on the boat at a moments notice. The readings are near-instantaneous and accurate. We are able to monitor and determine our input/output through solar and wind charging as it happens. Also, the monitor allows us to keep an eagle-eye on our consumption. This is a great piece of equipment and we highly recommend it.