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Old 27-12-2018, 13:04   #1
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50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

Trying to understand the dynamic of how electricity is delivered to a boat's AC devices, when plugged into shore power.

If my inverter is powerful enough to run a given appliance (like a microwave), will it feed that appliance 50hz power (from batteries), or will it send 60hz power from the shore power input? Let's assume I have enough battery power and a large inverter. 1000Ah & 5kVA

What I am trying to get to is if I can somehow deliver 50hz power from the inverter (batteries), while charging the batteries with the 60hz shore power.

Not as efficient due to power loss in the conversion of course, but when plugged in that does not impact me as much.
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Old 27-12-2018, 14:02   #2
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

There isn't "one way".

Completely depends on how the system and its components are designed to work.

My preference is **the only** connection to shore power (or generator) is the battery charger, which accepts universal world power.

As much as possible, everything on the boat runs off DC.

Exceptions running AC can be any country's standard, run from inverter.

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Originally Posted by mfortinberry View Post
If my inverter is powerful enough to run a given appliance (like a microwave), will it feed that appliance 50hz power (from batteries), or will it send 60hz power from the shore power input?
Whatever the spec'd output of the inverter, is what it will output.

Being fed from DC, it does not care how the bank gets charged.

The world power charger that accepts 50 or 60 Hz, say 100-250V, will feed the bank from any shore outlet, just need plug adapters.
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Old 27-12-2018, 16:14   #3
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

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What I am trying to get to is if I can somehow deliver 50hz power from the inverter (batteries), while charging the batteries with the 60hz shore power.
Is your inverter of the synchronizing (or hybrid) variety? If no, it will only deliver the frequency it was designed for. If yes, it should sync with shore power. It sounds like you don't want it to sync. If it does you might try Googling "AC frequency converter" or "AC converter transformer" for a different $200-300 approach.
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Old 27-12-2018, 18:27   #4
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

Hi, if your shore supply only feeds the battery charger and if your charger can handle the input voltage, the frequency does not really matter as the charger rectifies the incoming AC to DC. You are only using shore power to charge the batteries. The batteries will supply 12V or 24V or whatever and that is all your inverter will see. The danger is if your shore supply is paralleled with the inverter output: you get a small fireworks display and your inverter is toast. Hope this helps
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Old 28-12-2018, 04:13   #5
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, mfortinberry.
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Old 28-12-2018, 05:18   #6
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

While in Europe I used a Sterling charger to connect to shore power. It is capable of handling 110 or 220v as well as 50 or 60hz. It charged my batteries. I then used an inverter to produce 110v 60hz to run US appliances like a drill, hair dryer or vacuum. The system worked for the 6 years I was there.

The same of arrangement would work for you except I assume you want 220v 50hz out to run European appliances. If so you would use an inverter with that output. The charger would remain the same. Is that what you’re trying to achieve?
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Old 28-12-2018, 12:59   #7
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

The inverter will supply 50 hz (assuming 50 hz unit) when inverting and 60 hz (assuming conn to 60 hz shore power) when feeding through. It is likely that your microwave will operate properly on either frequency provided the voltage is correct.
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Old 28-12-2018, 13:47   #8
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

First, your “inverter” converts direct current (DC) from the batteries or other DC sources like solar or wind generators, to AC to run your AC appliances, like a microwave. Direct current is direct, it has no frequency (HZ).
Second, now trust me, your batteries have no HZ they are direct current and they are not being charged with alternating current (AC), neither 50hz or 60hz, even if your battery charge is plugged into an AC power source like shore power. A battery charger contains a “rectifier” which converts AC to DC in the right DC voltage to charge the batteries, say 14VDC. Some inverters have a dual capacity to function as both an inverter (DC to AC) and battery charger (AC to DC. The combo units require an AC source from shore power or an onboard generator set to provide battery charging.
Finally, solid state devices and appliances like microwaves which do not have large motors that produce reactive loads are not particularly effected by the frequency of the current, 50hz or 60hs. Microwaves and small computers have very small fan motors and are not likely to be effected.
Larger motors like those in air-conditioning equipment and power tools may suffer shorter life spans if operated at the wrong AC frequency (HZ). Diesel generator set are usually set to run and 1500rpm to produce 50xz (European Power) and 1800rpm to produce 60hz.
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Old 28-12-2018, 14:44   #9
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

First, your “inverter” converts direct current (DC) from the batteries or other DC sources like solar or wind generators, to AC to run your AC appliances, like a microwave. Direct current is direct, it has no frequency (HZ).
Second, now trust me, your batteries have no HZ they are direct current and they are not being charged with alternating current (AC), neither 50hz or 60hz, even if your battery charge is plugged into an AC power source like shore power. A battery charger contains a “rectifier” which converts AC to DC in the right DC voltage to charge the batteries, say 14VDC. Some inverters have a dual capacity to function as both an inverter (DC to AC) and battery charger (AC to DC. The combo units require an AC source from shore power or an onboard generator set to provide battery charging.
Finally, solid state devices and appliances like microwaves which do not have large motors that produce reactive loads are not particularly effected by the frequency of the current, 50hz or 60hs. Microwaves and small computers have very small fan motors and are not likely to be effected.
Larger motors like those in air-conditioning equipment and power tools may suffer shorter life spans if operated at the wrong AC frequency (HZ). Diesel generator sets are usually set to run and 1500rpm to produce 50hz (European Power) and 1800rpm to produce 60hz with the appropriate voltages.
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Old 28-12-2018, 15:28   #10
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

I tend to the opinion that the question may provoke different answers depending upon whether the charger and inverter are separate stand alone units or whether a combined inverter/charger is used.
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Old 28-12-2018, 16:22   #11
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

more fundamentally, how the OP's system is designed wrt this issue
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Old 28-12-2018, 17:21   #12
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

Transformer = AC to DC
Inverter = DC to AC at fixed Hz
VFD= AC to DC then back to AC at variable Hz
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Old 28-12-2018, 19:24   #13
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingfin View Post
Transformer = AC to DC
Inverter = DC to AC at fixed Hz
VFD= AC to DC then back to AC at variable Hz

Transformer is AC to AC

typically 110 Volt AC to 220 Volt AC There is no change in frequency (Hz)
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Old 28-12-2018, 19:28   #14
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingfin View Post
Transformer = AC to DC
Inverter = DC to AC at fixed Hz
VFD= AC to DC then back to AC at variable Hz

Transformer is AC to AC

typically 110 Volt AC to 220 Volt AC There is no change in frequency (Hz)
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Old 28-12-2018, 19:34   #15
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Re: 50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

Great information - slowing forming an electrical strategy here.

Importantly --- very important ---- it is questions/answers like this that reaffirm why this forum is one of the best ways to learn anything about anything when it comes to sailboats!

Thanks to everyone
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