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Old 24-07-2014, 00:00   #1
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Converting diesel generator from 110v 60hz to 240v 50.

Looking at getting a bigger boat in the US. Most seem to come with a diesel generator. My question is, how or even can it be converted from 110v 60hz to 240v 50hz economically.

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Old 24-07-2014, 00:11   #2
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Re: Converting diesel generator from 110v 60hz to 240v 50.

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Looking at getting a bigger boat in the US. Most seem to come with a diesel generator. My question is, how or even can it be converted from 110v 60hz to 240v 50hz economically.

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This in principal possible.

With changinging the RPM of the Diesel engine you can adjust frequency from the generator to 50 Hz, not the voltage. Then you can transform the voltage with a Transformer from 110 Volt to 220 or 240 Volt @ 50 Hz.

In many areas here in Brazil we do the same from 110 Volt @ 60 Hz to 220 Volt @ 60 Hz
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Old 24-07-2014, 02:38   #3
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Re: Converting diesel generator from 110v 60hz to 240v 50.

All the good generators that I like- 3 cylinder 1500/1800rpm like kuboto and northern lights, etc have adjustments to switch between the Htz and volts.

You then might need to get the wiring changed to meet the different countries wiring spec, although going from 110v to 230v in Australia needs smaller sized cabling but perhaps higher voltage rated.
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Old 24-07-2014, 04:16   #4
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Re: Converting diesel generator from 110v 60hz to 240v 50.

If manufacturer has made provision for altering frequency and voltage, do it. If can't your best option may be selling it before you leave. It will still have use of course on board for the installed equipment, you could always get a 240 to 110 Transformer. That'll work for a while but when you need to start upgrading having multiple voltages/cables gets messy electrically, read risky.

If the vessel has a generator its very likely got Aircon, think that subject is a bit broad for sweeping statements but watch the refrigerant, customs will be very interested in it. Resistive loads such as lighting, heating current rating of CB's all will need to be looked at by a Electrician, oversized cables is good for you, insulation resistance won't be a problem. Fortunately a lot of equipment is suitable for multi voltage.
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Old 24-07-2014, 07:12   #5
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Re: Converting diesel generator from 110v 60hz to 240v 50.

Almost all generators have their windings tapped for 110/220. Changing voltage is as simple as removing a jumper or moving the tap connections. Changing frequency is as easy as adjusting the rpm of the engine. A screwdriver, 10mm socket and 15 minutes is all it usually takes.

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Old 24-07-2014, 09:15   #6
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Re: Converting diesel generator from 110v 60hz to 240v 50.

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Almost all generators have their windings tapped for 110/220. Changing voltage is as simple as removing a jumper or moving the tap connections. Changing frequency is as easy as adjusting the rpm of the engine. A screwdriver, 10mm socket and 15 minutes is all it usually takes.

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Now that was what i was hoping to hear. Thanks.

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Old 03-08-2014, 13:04   #7
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Really depends on the manufacturer.

My westerbeak mechanically governed generator talks about converting both frequency and voltage.

When I was looking at foreign vessels over a 10 year period I would say less than half were capable.

Voltage could be converted externally with an auto transformer.

In the case of frequency, if there was not an adjustment there was not a clean way to convert. Too many parts were different.
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Old 03-08-2014, 14:28   #8
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Re: Converting diesel generator from 110v 60hz to 240v 50.

You may have other issues than just voltage and frequency.

All of the appliances on the US boat will be either for 60 hz 120 or 240V and often no 240 appliances.

So if you are able to convert your generator to 240V/50Hz, you also need to replace almost every AC electrical item on the boat with a 240V/50Hz item. That could end up costing as much as a new generator.

FWIW almost all generator engines can be adjusted to run at the 1,500 or 3,000 rpm that 50Hz requires. And all can be wired to produce 240 V. The question is will the voltage regulator work with the reduced rpms. Some types yes, others, maybe no. But I am sure that every generator manufacturer has the parts to make it work.

Post the question on Trawlerforum. There are two generator pros that hang out there- Kevin and Ski.

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