When it comes to dampening the anxiety around how much juice is left in the leisure battery, we look for some way to measure the battery performance.

Measuring the leisure battery can be done in 2 ways; installing a simple voltmeter – these are the ones that have that overly bright red/green or blue glow from the cab at night and display 12.something volts – which doesn’t tell you anything. The second option is to add a battery monitor to your system – these are also referred to as battery computers as they provide a significant amount more information about the state of your battery and it’s health.

Victron energy produces a range of battery monitors that not only tell you how your battery is doing right now but how long you have based on consumption and a host of other factors. 

There’s also a range of complementary accessories. Added to all this is the free and ever-popular VictronConnect app, plus the VRM Portal (also free) – where device monitoring, product configuration, firmware updates and data can all come together.

The beginning and the BMV range

In this blog (content originally appeared on the Victron Energy Blog) I want to draw your attention to where all this integration started – the stalwart BMV range.

The BMV range consists of products with BMV-7 in the model name; earlier versions had a 6 prefix. Below I highlight the differences between the various current models – so you can be sure you choose the right one for your application and budget. The range consists of:

BMV-712 Smart (6.5 – 95 V, 1 – 9999 Ah, Bluetooth built-in, Auxiliary input)

The models below, without Bluetooth built-in, we collectively refer to as the BMV-700 series:

  • BMV-702 (6.5 – 95 V, 1 – 9999 Ah, Auxiliary input)
  • BMV-702 [Black] (6.5 – 95 V, 1 – 9999 Ah, Auxiliary input)
  • BMV-700 (6.5 – 95 V, 1 – 9999 Ah)
  • BMV-700H (60 – 385 V, 1 – 9999 Ah)

This BMV (Battery Monitor Victron) range are a group of high precision battery monitors. Their essential function is to calculate ampere-hours consumed and the state of charge of a battery. Think of these monitors as your battery ‘fuel gauge’, with a time-to-go indicator and much more.

Each model comes with a square bezel overlay (if you wish a square gauge look as opposed to round), a securing ring for rear mounting and screws for front mounting.

Any model can be mounted in a panel of your choice with a 52mm (2.0 inch) aperture or in one of Victron’s optional bespoke wall enclosures.

A 500A/50mV shunt, fitted with a quick connect PCB is part of every product package. Alternatives shunts are available if required: 1000A-50mV, 2000A-50mV, 6000A-50mV.

All models come with 10m of 6 core UTP cable with RJ12 connectors and a power supply cable complete with a fuse.

The BMV range is all compatible with VE. Smart Networking.

Note that although the BMV-702, BMV-702 (Black), BMV-700 and BMV-700H do not have Smart Technology built-in, they can all be updated to use it with the optional VE.Direct to Bluetooth Smart dongle. The only downside is that means the VE.Direct communication port is now in use for the dongle, so you cannot connect it to a Victron GX device as well.

If you want Victron Smart Technology and GX device connectivity, then buy the BMV-712 Smart. If you don’t need the added functionality of the 712 Smart or are on a budget, then choose one of the other models to suit your needs.

BMV-712 Smart

This model is the latest evolution of our ever-popular BMV range of battery monitors. It has the same functionality as the earlier BMV-702, but with the added benefit of integrated Victron Smart technology; which implements Bluetooth (as in many other Victron Energy products) – giving wireless communication between various products.

Victron Smart technology simplifies system setup, monitoring and firmware updates using the free VictronConnect app.

The **2 in the product name refers to the fact this product features a second input which can be programmed to measure the voltage (of a second battery), or battery temperature, or midpoint voltage.

BMV-702

The 702 has the same features as the 700 but also (just like the 712 Smart) it has an auxiliary input. This can be used to measure the voltage of a second battery, or temperature using the temperature accessory, or midpoint voltage.

The BMV-702 also comes in either black or grey.

BMV-700

This is the base model for batteries in the 6.5 – 95 voltage range and battery capacities from 1 – 9999 Ah.

Unlike the BMV-702 and BMV-712 Smart, the 700 the does not have an auxiliary input.

To see the Victron products in action – check out the video below: