mkove electronics

Why the need for a Battery Monitor?


Lead acid batteries are the oldest form of rechargeable battery[1]. They are still the most efficient and economical solution for high capacity battery systems.


Properly cared for a lead acid battery system will last for many years. On the other hand there are plenty of ways to kill a large and expensive battery system and it is not uncommon for battery systems to be replaced after a season or two due to improper use.


A typical modest battery system for a boat or RV will cost upwards of $1000. A battery monitoring system like the MK70 will cost less than a third of this. If by having a battery monitoring system the life of the battery bank can be doubled or even just extended for a year, the economics of the battery monitor are clear.


Beyond just maintaining batteries, the energy cost of a battery system is optimised when the batteries are discharged to no more than 50 percent in each cycle. Discharges to less than 20 percent can be very damaging to the battery.[2] The only practical way to see the current state of charge of a battery system is with a properly configured and accurate battery monitor.


Battery monitors also offer precise instrumentation of the battery systems. This allows the operator to check and manage the various loads and charging sources that are applied to the battery.



cycle life dod

Source PowerSonic PDC-121100 datasheet

Lower discharges provide a longer battery life but the total energy provided by the battery system is optimised when depth of discharge is around 50 percent.



[1] Wikipedia. Lead Acid Battery.

[2] Living on 12 Volts with Ample Power. David Smead and Ruth Ishihara.