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Old 03-09-2016, 17:19   #1
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110v boat in Europe

Hi all,

I didn't really find what I'm looking for online, and the search function here on CF does not seem to ever yield the results I want, so please forgive the question.

We just arrived here in Europe from the other side of the pond. We have a dedicated 220 inlet which goes to a battery charger only, so we're not in terrible shape, but I would prefer to step the power down and plug into our normal 30A 110v service. It will cut the load on the inverter, and now that it's getting a bit colder, I'm trying to run a little 110v space heater off of the inverter, and it's not liking the wave form produced by the device.

Also, the water heater doesn't work this way off shorepower.

We're not in for a big project here, no suggestions to rewire the whole boat, please, or some terribly expensive piece of gear, since we're getting by ok, but if somebody knows a device that would do the trick BEFORE THE 110V SHORE POWER INLET, I'd love to hear about it. I'm not sure if anything can cope with the 50/60hz problem without spending big bucks.

Thanks much, TJ
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Old 03-09-2016, 17:59   #2
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pirate Re: 110v boat in Europe

Yes.. but I've had a 'Brain Fart' and cannot remember what they are called..
Its a yellow box about a foot square and is used on building sites to convert down to 110 and 12 volts.. 240 in one end and your good to go.
Bought one of E-Bay for 25 for my Hunter..
Someone will be along with the name shortly...

Transducer.. maybe.. Duhhhhhhh..
No... its a Transformer....


240 volt to 110 volt transformer double socket power tool transformer 1.5 kva | eBay
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Old 03-09-2016, 18:52   #3
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

the easy and cheap solution...

keep using the 220 to power your charger. run most stuff from the inverter. and run an extension cord to the dock and buy a 220v heater from a local store... plugged into dock.
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Old 03-09-2016, 19:52   #4
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

TJ,
I'll post the links to the definitive discussions and info...
But first, my personal advice would be to buy some 230vac UK/EU space heaters...

But, that's not what you asked!
So, what you are looking for is called a "transformer"....
And, what Phil ("boatman61) was referring to was a "construction site tool transformer" (which might be the cheapest transformer solution, BUT....but they are NOT continuous-duty rated, and will burn up in short order if run at their rated outputs for long periods of time....de-rate them by 35% - 40%, and you'll be good)
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
We just arrived here in Europe from the other side of the pond. We have a dedicated 220 inlet which goes to a battery charger only, so we're not in terrible shape, but I would prefer to step the power down and plug into our normal 30A 110v service. It will cut the load on the inverter, and now that it's getting a bit colder, I'm trying to run a little 110v space heater off of the inverter, and it's not liking the wave form produced by the device.

Also, the water heater doesn't work this way off shorepower.

We're not in for a big project here, no suggestions to rewire the whole boat, please, or some terribly expensive piece of gear, since we're getting by ok, but if somebody knows a device that would do the trick BEFORE THE 110V SHORE POWER INLET, I'd love to hear about it. I'm not sure if anything can cope with the 50/60hz problem without spending big bucks.

Thanks much, TJ
Here are the definitive threads, with all the details you'll need...

110vac to 220vac Conversion Revisited

220 vs 110 Volts...

https://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic...t=16546#p78539

European Power Onboard
This last one is Jack Tyler's wonderfully written article about this, and info on his experiences with "tool transformers"...

BTW, here are some photos of my BIG and HEAVY (~48 lbs) transformer in Gibraltar!






Fair winds...

John
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Old 04-09-2016, 01:48   #5
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

Thanks, all, particularly John. This'll get us rolling on things. I ran the heater for a few hours off the 110v inverter, and besides the buzz from the wave form, all is ok. Everything else (except the water heater, which is no big deal, really, as the engine heats the water when we're cruising and we have marina showers here) is working just fine with the 220v charger anyway.

I'm not sure if there is a second plug available on the dock, but the 220v space heater right to the pedestal is also a good idea, and is likely what we'll do.

Our Webasto heater is sort of too loud to run in the marina, so we are wanting the electric option to avoid ticking off the neighbors.

Thanks again, I can do some reading now.

TJ
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:07   #6
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

I doubt your heater cares about the waveform, it's just a resistive load. however it probably draws more power then your charger is putting out. so you are probbaly draining your batteries while using it even though you are plugged into the dock. you'll draw ~130a from a 1500w heater. how big is your charger?
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:18   #7
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
the easy and cheap solution...

keep using the 220 to power your charger. run most stuff from the inverter. and run an extension cord to the dock and buy a 220v heater from a local store... plugged into dock.
That's it


But if you want to do it safely, then just wire up an outlet or two to your 230v shore power inlet -- a "project", but only a half day or so. Run your space heaters from them.

Change out the immersion heater element in your calorifier, and connect that to 230v as well.

So what you need is:

1. Connect shore power inlet to an RCD. Install the RCD at your main panel if you have room, but could be installed somewhere temporarily if necessary.

2. Connect RCD to two breakers. Same breakers will generally work for either 110 or 230 so if you have spare breakers in your main panel, and they are not on a bus bar, this would probably work.

3. Connect one breaker to an outlet or two. You can use existing 110v wiring if you like because it will be heavier than you need for 230v.

4. Connect the other breaker to your immersion heater element.


And Bob's your uncle. It's about a three beer job I would say.
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:58   #8
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

we have a USA boat - ie 110 - and have been over here for going on 4 years now- we have 500w of solar that takes care of our boat needs when not near an outlet - in a marina we have a 3000w transformer that takes care of our needs from hot water to a small electric heater we use in the winter - our water heater uses 1500w as does our electric heater so we do not run both at the same time -
we store the transformer below when underway or not using - you do need a cord that goes to the boat that has a standard boat connection on one end and will accept a standard 110extension cord on the other - they sell them - no issues on our part with it
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:09   #9
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

A properly sized 220v battery charger and properly sized 110v inverter is the best option.


Remember with a step down transformer (yellow work site box shown in other posts), you aren't addressing the 50hz vs 60hz issue. Not a problem for resistive loads like a toaster. For motors it may or may not be an issue depending on the design. Also, if you have an AC clock, it likely will be wrong pretty much all the time. Battery powered electronics are usually OK as the chargers can handle anything from 110-220v and 50-60hz (check the label to be sure).
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:36   #10
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

Ok, we've got it. Thanks for the help.

Our charger is big, 80@ at 24v, and our inverter is 2500W. We only use a 1000W 110v heater (if that doesn't do it, on comes the diesel unit...), so we're not even close to depleting batteries with this setup, nor are we maxing out the inverter.

But, even if it is not in fact a problem, the buzz coming from the heater is disconcerting to my ear, so we'll go with the 220 space heater option plugged into the dock, which seems to have adequate circuit protection, and just live without hot water for now. If we decide that we simply have to have hot water on board, we'll dig a little deeper and go with Dock's program.

By the way, Dockhead, I still can't email you, but I'll give you a call tomorrow or Tuesday.

TJ
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Old 04-09-2016, 14:16   #11
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

Its a transformer - readily available from many hardware stores or second hand from places like eBay.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Yes.. but I've had a 'Brain Fart' and cannot remember what they are called..
Its a yellow box about a foot square and is used on building sites to convert down to 110 and 12 volts.. 240 in one end and your good to go.
Bought one of E-Bay for 25 for my Hunter..
Someone will be along with the name shortly...

Transducer.. maybe.. Duhhhhhhh..
No... its a Transformer....


240 volt to 110 volt transformer double socket power tool transformer 1.5 kva | eBay
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Old 04-09-2016, 14:23   #12
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

I had a modification done. A new male inlet fitted to accept 220V shore power, which goes direct to my multi (110/220) voltage battery charger. Battery charging is sorted. I only use 12Volt stuff so don't have a need for an inverter. Phones, laptops etc are charget by 12V sockets and USB 12V sockets. Have a mini 12V socket inverter to charge the odd camera battery, my shaver.
Works fine. Suppose you can run whatever inverter setup you want after the batteries are charged.
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Old 04-09-2016, 14:24   #13
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pirate Re: 110v boat in Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
Its a transformer - readily available from many hardware stores or second hand from places like eBay.
Ahah..!!
You've just confirmed it.. you never read the whole post..
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Old 04-09-2016, 14:24   #14
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

The right way to solve your problem is with a step down transformer. Remember, it needs to be able to handle the entire load your boat presents. The safest thing is to buy one that's intended for marine use.

The heater doesn't care about the waveform from the inverter but running a battery charger to charge a battery to run an inverter to run a heater is terribly complicated and inefficient.

The transformer won't convert the 50Hz current to 60Hz so anything that's frequency sensitive should still be run from your inverter. The heater won't care about the frequency. The fan might run a bit slower.
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Old 04-09-2016, 15:00   #15
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Re: 110v boat in Europe

TJ D,
You should consider installing a Victron Auto isolating transformer which will allow you to plug in any voltage from 110-240v and get 110v out.
Of course cycles don't change but inductive loads don't care.
An added benefit is that you get protection from reverse polarity and stray earth current induced corrosion.


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