Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    17,489

    Question Monitoring of onboard electrical system

    My otherwise very well made electrical panel lacks the AC current absorption.
    I can always check it with a clamp meter of course, but that is neither convenient nor immediate.
    So, the first idea was to fit a small display like for instance this one - which btw is worryingly cheap - any thoughts?

    Then again, this got me thinking that it would be nice to have a similar device, not necessarily with an LCD display, but capable of wireless connection and accessible from a smartphone app.
    In fact, aside from the convenience of being able to check the values from anywhere onboard, theoretically this could also allow a remote access, through an onboard router permanently connected, which I already have. And this would be a very handy feature, obviously.

    I did make a quick search, expecting to find plenty of devices like the one I'm envisaging, also because their application field stretches well beyond boats, practically into every building.
    But I got patchy and confusing results, hence this thread.

    All suggestions welcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    4,865

    Default Re: Monitoring of onboard electrical system

    As you know we have a fairly sophisticated electrical monitor panel,
    But the display’s on it are really basic and cheap, (we bought from Alibaba for that occasion)
    So I think you are good with the device in your link,




    No personal experience with more sophisticated units,
    Except this here, which a friend (Peter) has installed in his electric installation at home
    I was really impressed with that, the unit can “listen to the sound” that all electric devices produce on the network.
    (the unit recognizes electric supply distortion…)
    It can learn all the different distortion pattern, and show the consumption of all separate devices on a smartphone or …
    It is very easy to install (all DIY)
    It used to be a one box solution for approx. 500euro iirc.
    It’s a Belgium co, They won several awards I’ve been told,

    https://www.smappee.com/be_en/infinity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    17,489

    Default Re: Monitoring of onboard electrical system

    Thanks B, that Smappee thing seems very clever indeed, on paper.
    It's way OTT for my needs, though - not only for its cost, but also its complexity.

    If a device similar to the one I previously linked but with remote accessibility exists, I'd happily spend twice its cost, or possibly also x 3 or 4.
    But I'd rather stick to the wired-only version, than fork out an x 50 or so amount...!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    17,489

    Default Re: Monitoring of onboard electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by MapisM View Post
    So, the first idea was to fit a small display like for instance this one - which btw is worryingly cheap - any thoughts?
    I didn't get an overwhelming support to this idea, the first time I posted it.
    But eventually, I decided that 10 quid or so was an amount I could afford to waste, so I bought the thing.
    And I'm pleased to confirm that it does what it says on the tin, and it's also pretty accurate, by comparing its results with my portable multimeter.

    There is just one thing I can't get my head round.
    Actually, I'm now asking for a solution to a problem I do not have, sort of.
    But hey, ain't this place notorious for debates on useless problems?

    So, here's the thing: on top of AC voltage and Amp absorption (which is really all I was interested to monitor, since in my otherwise pretty good electrical panel I was missing AC Amp), the panel measures also the power factor (PF), and transform A into kW accordingly.
    Now, this is purely academic, since I'm not on a metered connection, but I noticed a huge PF (hence kW) variation depending on what I am using onboard.
    All well and good, I know (well, barely) the theory behind that: capacitive vs. inductive loads etc.
    But it's the range of variation which I didn't expect to be so high.
    I mean, the PF reported by the panel stretches anywhere from 98% to well under 50%.
    I've even seen as low as 30% in one occasion, when I wasn't using any AC equipment other than the battery charger, which being on float was absorbing close to nothing.
    I usually see the highest PF values (unsurprisingly) when I have AC motors running, like dishwasher, washing machine, airco.

    Now, just in case it weren't already clear, it's the first time I'm using an instrument that shows the PF, and I don't have a clue about what to expect...
    So, over to the electrical experts: is what I'm experiencing normal and I should just stop looking at the PF, or is there anything I should do about it? TIA!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: Monitoring of onboard electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by MapisM View Post
    I didn't get an overwhelming support to this idea, the first time I posted it.
    But eventually, I decided that 10 quid or so was an amount I could afford to waste, so I bought the thing.
    And I'm pleased to confirm that it does what it says on the tin, and it's also pretty accurate, by comparing its results with my portable multimeter.

    There is just one thing I can't get my head round.
    Actually, I'm now asking for a solution to a problem I do not have, sort of.
    But hey, ain't this place notorious for debates on useless problems?

    So, here's the thing: on top of AC voltage and Amp absorption (which is really all I was interested to monitor, since in my otherwise pretty good electrical panel I was missing AC Amp), the panel measures also the power factor (PF), and transform A into kW accordingly.
    Now, this is purely academic, since I'm not on a metered connection, but I noticed a huge PF (hence kW) variation depending on what I am using onboard.
    All well and good, I know (well, barely) the theory behind that: capacitive vs. inductive loads etc.
    But it's the range of variation which I didn't expect to be so high.
    I mean, the PF reported by the panel stretches anywhere from 98% to well under 50%.
    I've even seen as low as 30% in one occasion, when I wasn't using any AC equipment other than the battery charger, which being on float was absorbing close to nothing.
    I usually see the highest PF values (unsurprisingly) when I have AC motors running, like dishwasher, washing machine, airco.

    Now, just in case it weren't already clear, it's the first time I'm using an instrument that shows the PF, and I don't have a clue about what to expect...
    So, over to the electrical experts: is what I'm experiencing normal and I should just stop looking at the PF, or is there anything I should do about it? TIA!
    From memory from college 40 odd years ago:

    Power (Kwatt) is calculated by multiplying Volts and Amps and only works for pure Resistive loads, eg a kettle giving a power factor of 1 or 0% ie multiply you reading in Watts by 1.
    A power factor is produced when the current sine wave is out of phase with the volt sine wave. To a max of zero or 100% at 90 deg. This occurs on purely inductive loads eg motor or transformer (disregarding winding resistance).
    The resulting calculation of multiplying V and A can give a reading of zero (at 90 deg out of phase max V at the same time as zero current) This is why on an inductive load its info plate will give the power consumption as Va instead of Watts.
    If I remember correctly the measured Power (if pure W) can be corrected by divided by the Pf fo give the equivalent power W
    Without going back and reading the spec of the instrument I don’t know if the displayed reading in Kwatts is an actual or derived reading.

    Happy to be corrected as it is a few years since I have had to think about this. Got much more important stuff going on, like where did I leave my other sock this morning?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: Monitoring of onboard electrical system

    For £10 that does look like a useful bit of kit. Especially if no Ammeter if fitted to indicate when your shore power is going to trip.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2,232

    Default Re: Monitoring of onboard electrical system

    Is this going to be marketed like BodgeFlow™©® ? AmpFlow™???

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Volos-Athens
    Posts
    4,809

    Default Re: Monitoring of onboard electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by MrB View Post
    Is this going to be marketed like BodgeFlow™©® ? AmpFlow™???
    nah, most ppl have an Amp meter on their dash (actually quite astonished DP doesn't! )

    sorry P., cannot help with your problem, never studied electronics/powersystems at Uni

    V.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Monitoring of onboard electrical system

    Not so long ago i stumbled across Power-store, I remember them being on the scene about 5 years ago and they where great! I contacted them about an electrical system problem i had myself and they responded very promptly, i was able to order the part there and then off of their site. Maybe worth a shot, they have a good selection of battery monitoring systems. I used support@powerstore.com to contact them. and the website is www.power-store.com

    Hope they can help!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    ation, Loc: ation, Loc: ation.
    Posts
    16,321

    Default Re: Monitoring of onboard electrical system

    Quote Originally Posted by vas View Post
    nah, most ppl have an Amp meter on their dash (actually quite astonished DP doesn't! )
    Well actually, I don't have one for 240v either. As P says, unless you're being metred it's an academic exercise.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest YBW News

Find Boats For Sale

to
to