To manage an extended electrical system there must be some way to measure and monitor it.
Both Maringrets have tended to be electrically intense compared to other boats we have seen. Our plans for electrical upgrades and extensions (click here for details) meant we needed to be able to manage a large electrical system – both monitor performance and diagnose problems.
On the Maxi we had installed a Sterling Power Manager and soon found it indispensable. We fit one onto the HR 41 soon after purchasing her, for the short term it was mounted under the companionway and we initially connected it up to the house and engine batteries. There are 4 monitoring circuits in the power manager and we decided to use the remaining 2 for the bow thruster battery and the soft energy input (i.e. wind and solar).
As part of the rewiring the power manager control unit was moved onto the breaker panel.
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The Sterling Power Manager is capable of measuring both 12 and 24 volt systems. Only one circuit has an amp-hour counter, we use this circuit for the house battery. By dedicating a shunt to the soft energy collection we can get an idea of what is being gathered from wind and solar at the push of a button. If it is a windy and sunny day we will get the total figure from both, we would need additional switches and wiring to be able to read the values separately. We can use the display to tell us how many DC amps the inverters are drawing when we run AC appliances.
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