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Old 11-05-2018, 06:38   #1
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50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

Hi, for the first time I am sailing in an area where I can only get “European” power, meaning 120vac at 50hz. I know of the issues generally and that I should be concerned.

I’ve just gone through my entire manual for my inverter/charger and can’t find any spec on allowable input Hz. It is an older Trace U2512.

My only vac systems on board are the Trace, a microwave, and compressors for air conditioning. Minimally I want to be sure I can power up the Trace and charge batteries and keep 12vdc systems happy (mainly refrigeration). If I can safely run the other systems that would be a bonus.

Sorry I haven’t done a deep search on the forums on this as I am underway with sketchy data service.

Any quick help appreciated.

Thanks, JR
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:35   #2
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Re: 50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

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Originally Posted by jr_spyder View Post
Hi, for the first time I am sailing in an area where I can only get “European” power, meaning 120vac at 50hz. I know of the issues generally and that I should be concerned.

I’ve just gone through my entire manual for my inverter/charger and can’t find any spec on allowable input Hz. It is an older Trace U2512.

My only vac systems on board are the Trace, a microwave, and compressors for air conditioning. Minimally I want to be sure I can power up the Trace and charge batteries and keep 12vdc systems happy (mainly refrigeration). If I can safely run the other systems that would be a bonus.

Sorry I haven’t done a deep search on the forums on this as I am underway with sketchy data service.

Any quick help appreciated.

Thanks, JR
For what it is worth 120V/50Hz is not a European power standard. Europe is 220V/50Hz (or sometimes 240V/50Hz or 230V/50Hz) 120V/50Hz is an oddball that is seen in a few Caribbean countries.

The trace should be fine between 40 and 70 Hz. You might want to turn off the "inverter" function so if dock power drops out, you don't get sudden switches of frequency. I am sure the Trace is not smart enough to match phse and frequency of output power.

Air conditioners are a "maybe"... some do fine and just run a bit a slower with 50 Hz power, with others the controllers are unhappy. We have one Cruisair and a MarinAire and both do fine on either frequency. The microwave, probably needs to be kept off if power is 50Hz.
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:35   #3
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50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

When I lived in Germany, all our US 60hz stuff worked, TV’s VCR’s Microwave, everything. It all had to be run through a transformer of course to get 110VAC.
All of it was placarded 60hz.
Electric motors run slightly hotter and slower I believe and manual clocks won’t keep time, but I think you will have to try to and see.
Our microwave sounded different and I think cooked slower.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:00   #4
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Re: 50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

The European standard is 220v 50Hz.
You can of course use a transformer to reduce the voltage to 110v but the frequency will still be 50Hz. This could mean that some equipment designed for 60Hz will not operate correctly.
Motors will certainly run slower as in general Induction motor speed (rpm) is determined by Frequency x 60 (seconds per minute) x 2 (positive and negative pulses in the cycle)/ no of Poles.

Hence at 60Hz a 2 pole motor = 60 x 60 x 2 / 2 = 3600 rpm

at 50Hz = 50 x 60 x 2 / 2 = 3000 rpm.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:09   #5
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Re: 50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

personally I wouldn't try. I would disconnect the AC to the inverter. (it should have breaker input)

buy a battery charger that is 50/60 hz 120/240. charge batteries with that.

turn inverter on. power outlets with 120v/60hz.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:17   #6
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Re: 50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

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.

The trace should be fine between 40 and 70 Hz. You might want to turn off the "inverter" function so if dock power drops out, you don't get sudden switches of frequency. I am sure the Trace is not smart enough to match phse and frequency of output power.

.
inverter chargers are always trying to phase snyc the input with the inverter. that's it's job. when you first turn an inverter / charger on, it takes 30 secs before it allows the power to be used. because it's checking it, and syncing to it.

a good (60hz) inverter charger would simply fail the 50hz input, and not allow it to pass or be used, and stay off.

this is why you can't buy multi voltage / mutli hz inverter chargers.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:27   #7
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Re: 50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

The European standard is actually 230vac, although you're unlikely to ever come across this - see the article I've pasted below as that was easier than me explaining it

I think the one thing you should note is that some areas of Western Europe use 240v. This being the case, a 2:1 step-down transformer would give you 120v, not 110v, which could potentially be a greater issue than the 60/50hz one.

Currently, ALL Western European supplies are classified 230VAC. In reality there is no 230VAC supply unless you create one locally. 230VAC was a “standard” created during European "harmonisation" to give a single voltage standard across Western Europe, including UK and Irish Republic.

Although the ideal would have been to have a single voltage there were too many political, financial and technical obstacles to reduce UK voltage to European levels or to increase European voltage to UK levels, so a new standard was created to cover both. This was achieved by changing the tolerances of previously existing supply standards. UK voltage to 240VAC + 6% and - 10% and European to 220VAC +10% and -6% (thereby creating a manageable overlap) and we would call these two combined 230VAC, despite the fact that nobody was intentionally generating at 230VAC!

Depending on the voltage sensitivity of the product and the variance from nominal of the actual supplied voltage, it may not be advisable to use a 220VAC specific device in the UK or a 240VAC specific device in Mainland Europe etc. For instance a 240VAC supply can rise to as high as 254.4VAC and still be within tolerance, but the maximum rated voltage for a 220VAC product is only 242VAC. A 220VAC supply can drop as low as 206.8 within tolerance but the minimum rated voltage for correct operation of a 240VAC product is 216VAC It may work perfectly well either way but it could be, technically, outside the specification of the equipment with obvious implications. A 230VAC product must be compatible with all voltages across this range
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:23   #8
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Re: 50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
inverter chargers are always trying to phase snyc the input with the inverter. that's it's job. when you first turn an inverter / charger on, it takes 30 secs before it allows the power to be used. because it's checking it, and syncing to it.

My Magnum MS 2812 is so fast it is actually a UPS, you can kill shorepower and it will pick up the load so fast the TV won’t even flicker.
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Old 11-05-2018, 19:46   #9
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Re: 50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

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My Magnum MS 2812 is so fast it is actually a UPS, you can kill shorepower and it will pick up the load so fast the TV won’t even flicker.
exactly because it's already synced with the input and "waiting" to go.

I can't see how the 60hz 120 output could properly be syncing with a 50hz input. normally it would just "fail" it and not allow it to pass through. and stay in inverter mode
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Old 11-05-2018, 19:48   #10
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Re: 50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

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The European standard is actually 230vac, although you're unlikely to ever come across this - see the article I've pasted below as that was easier than me explaining it

I think the one thing you should note is that some areas of Western Europe use 240v. This being the case, a 2:1 step-down transformer would give you 120v, not 110v, which could potentially be a greater issue than the 60/50hz one.

north america is 120 / 240 v

at the end of dock is maybe down to 110.

normally see about 117-118
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Old 11-05-2018, 19:58   #11
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Re: 50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
inverter chargers are always trying to phase snyc the input with the inverter. that's it's job. when you first turn an inverter / charger on, it takes 30 secs before it allows the power to be used. because it's checking it, and syncing to it.

a good (60hz) inverter charger would simply fail the 50hz input, and not allow it to pass or be used, and stay off.

this is why you can't buy multi voltage / mutli hz inverter chargers.
Um, to the contrary, Victron Multi Plus is indeed a multi hz inverter...
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Old 20-05-2018, 14:27   #12
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Re: 50hz dock power and my charger/inverter

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The European standard is actually 230vac, although you're unlikely to ever come across this - see the article I've pasted below as that was easier than me explaining it



...



Currently, ALL Western European supplies are classified 230VAC. In reality there is no 230VAC supply unless you create one locally. 230VAC was a “standard” created during European "harmonisation" to give a single voltage standard across Western Europe, including UK and Irish Republic.



220 V is long gone, mains voltage in Europe has been 230V +-23V @50Hz since the late 80s.

Attached image shows a voltage reading taken from a German outlet today.
Click image for larger version

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