|Original solar dashboard|
Basically, it uses digital volt meters with LM34 temperature probes that produce a voltage that directly correlates with temperature so that 78.1° is represented by .781 V.
Over the years I have grown accustomed to looking at this dashboard to confirm that the system is working, and also to decide when to take a shower, run the dishwasher or clothes washing loads by looking at the storage tank temperature and seeing when it has peaked during the day. The only drawback is the displays did not include a back light and sometimes were hard to read in the evening and nighttime.
I recently came across a new temperature meter designed for monitoring heat exchangers in high-end gaming computers. They are much more attractive, include a back light and use standard 10K thermistors as temperature sensors so I ordered a few to see if I could adapt them.
|Temperature meter for heat exchangers|
When I received them, the first thing I did was cut off the computer power connectors and connected 5 VDC from a wall power supply to the red and black wires.
|Removed computer power connector|
|Original sensor above and standard 10K thermistor below|
I mounted the 2 meters in a standard plastic box and mounted it to the window frame above my kitchen sink in place of the original dashboard. I find these meters much more attractive and they are easier to read day and night.
|Updated solar dashboard|
I am quite pleased with the more contemporary styling of this new dashboard.