My DIY Power Monitor for my DIY Power Well
I've been hankering for another upgrade to my ongoing DIY Power Well project. Yeah, I have a portable 100w folding solar panel now to charge it with, but it would be nice to know how well it truly performs (as well as any other method I can use to charge the batteries).
So a couple weeks ago I ordered a digital meter that can display voltage, current, power (watts) and total energy (kW). I had to wait until I received it before I could determine what I'll need to complete the project. After getting it, taking some measurements and hitting the innernets, the final piece arrived in the mail this morning... the plastic project box. First, I needed to make sure it will all fit in the box.
So after doing some noggin-scratching, I headed to the local hardware store and bought the few pieces I needed to git-er-done.
Display panel and shunt bar are along the top. 2-wire connector, project box, bolts & nuts, nylon bolts and screws for the box are on the bottom.
Now, I normally would use the metal bolts to mount the shunt bar, but that's out of the question as the bolts would then be part of the circuit. If there was any conductive path between the two ends, it would scew the measurements. So I retasked the low-current screws in the bar to mount it with, using the nylon screws.
My first task with the box was to shave off the three nubbins on the bottom so the bar will fit as close to the edge of the box as possible.
This will make it easy for the large bolts to rest against the edge of the box. Eyeballing the small screw holes in the bar, I mark the box and head off to the drill press.