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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    London
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    2,358

    Default Voltmeter for monitoring shore power - advice please

    On talking to another owner, I learned that it is good to know the voltage of the shore power supply, since a low voltage can damage the battery charger. However my boat is only fitted with an ammeter for shore power and not a voltmeter
    Can someone advise whether I should just get another analogue meter for volts, or can I get a digital display of both volts and amps that might fit in the space where the current ammeter it located? My present display is 72mm x 72mm
    Ammeter.JPG

    Thanks

    TudorSailor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    UK East Coast
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    36,979

    Default Re: Voltmeter for monitoring shore power - advice please

    I really don't think that the shorepower voltage is anything most people ever give a thought to. Surely there are more important things to worry about? In any case, most chargers will happily work on a wide range of voltages. The Sterling Pro Ultra, one of the most common chargers, works on 80-270V. The Victron Blue Smart charger I fitted recently works on 180-265V.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Me; Nth County Dublin, Boat;Malahide
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Voltmeter for monitoring shore power - advice please

    It would be possible that Tudorsailor's informant was confusing voltage with polarity, which is something that should be checked, as reversed polarity is a shock risk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Bristol
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    1,060

    Default Re: Voltmeter for monitoring shore power - advice please

    It looks like the metering is on the battery 12V not the mains 240v as its not normal to measure incoming current and I would not expect up to 40A incoming mains as that's enough to drive electric showers, cookers and the like and wont be carried by 13A mains lead to shore. .

    A low battery voltage can make the charger work harder, but that's what is for. If the battery is so defective due to internal shorting out of cells then the charger might well overheat, but it should have a cut-out for that. Measuring battery voltage is however useful but simple low/medium/high display will suffice for most purposes. Normally only time 12v system current is measured is as input from solar or wind turbine charging. Otherwise its not very useful piece of info

    I suspect that either the OP has misheard or the "Other Owner" was talking out of their bottom
    A boat is for going places

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Orwell
    Posts
    4,525

    Default Re: Voltmeter for monitoring shore power - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit (of Glenans) View Post
    It would be possible that Tudorsailor's informant was confusing voltage with polarity, which is something that should be checked, as reversed polarity is a shock risk.
    I think your right. A simple socket tester (looks like a plug with no leads but neon lights) will provide the answer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    9,217

    Default Re: Voltmeter for monitoring shore power - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by oldmanofthehills View Post
    It looks like the metering is on the battery 12V not the mains 240v as its not normal to measure incoming current and I would not expect up to 40A incoming mains as that's enough to drive electric showers, cookers and the like and wont be carried by 13A mains lead to shore. .
    Not necessarily, back in 1990 we were supplying Sealine with panels that had a digital AC voltmeter and two 32 amp bar-graphs for current, input 1 and input 2, may be DC, but do not assume it is.

    Brian
    Kddpowercentre VASR charge

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK East Coast
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    36,979

    Default Re: Voltmeter for monitoring shore power - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by oldmanofthehills View Post
    It looks like the metering is on the battery 12V not the mains 240v as its not normal to measure incoming current and I would not expect up to 40A incoming mains as that's enough to drive electric showers, cookers and the like and wont be carried by 13A mains lead to shore. .
    No, it's an AC ammeter; it has an alternating current symbol on it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Bristol
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    Default Re: Voltmeter for monitoring shore power - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by halcyon View Post
    Not necessarily, back in 1990 we were supplying Sealine with panels that had a digital AC voltmeter and two 32 amp bar-graphs for current, input 1 and input 2, ………….... Brian
    Noted. But why on earth did you do that? Was it to gauge energy use like a poor mans electric meter?
    A boat is for going places

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    9,217

    Default Re: Voltmeter for monitoring shore power - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by oldmanofthehills View Post
    Noted. But why on earth did you do that? Was it to gauge energy use like a poor mans electric meter?
    Partley to produce a standard panel that covered the boats going to the USA, though they could have a heavy AC load, from memory they had 12 AC circuit breakers.

    Brian
    Kddpowercentre VASR charge

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    1,060

    Default Re: Voltmeter for monitoring shore power - advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by halcyon View Post
    Partley to produce a standard panel that covered the boats going to the USA, though they could have a heavy AC load, from memory they had 12 AC circuit breakers.
    Brian

    fair enough but the OP is never going to get a combined AC 240 system ammeter and 12v DC system voltmeter and it would not be useful anyway.

    The battery charger may not work if its a simple one and incoming "240V" is too low but no harm will be done to it and battery so no point in monitory incoming mains in this domestic situation.
    Battery voltage monitor of 12V is however useful as general health check when battery not on-charge
    A boat is for going places

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