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Old 23-07-2016, 20:52   #16
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

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Originally Posted by SteveInMD View Post
And where exactly did I say the wire is sized for voltage?
here..
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I don't think it's a given that the AC wiring will be correctly sized for 110 power.
Please explain your reference to 110.

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How do you know the boat has 2.5 mm wiring and 16 amp breakers on the AC circuits?
Because every boat I've seen coming with EU wiring uses 2.5mm2 wire and 16amp breakers on branch receptacle circuits. Some smaller dedicated appliances are sometimes wired with 10amp breakers. What's been your experience?

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You are making was too many assumptions.
I don't think so.
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Old 23-07-2016, 21:18   #17
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

Hobie said it, why convert to 120v when you have a superior 240v already that will work in the rest of the world and here as well. For any small appliances you may want to add a step down transformer will give you a 120v outlet to plug it in.


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Old 23-07-2016, 21:33   #18
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

The bottom line is that converting a 220 circuit to 110 will mean your wiring can only safely carry half the power it was originally design for. I could be that 1/2 the power as originally designed is enough. The original circuit breakers will still do their job protecting the wiring.
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Old 24-07-2016, 05:57   #19
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

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The bottom line is that converting a 220 circuit to 110 will mean your wiring can only safely carry half the power it was originally design for. I could be that 1/2 the power as originally designed is enough. The original circuit breakers will still do their job protecting the wiring.
Hence, the word safety should not come into the conversation! Safety is achieved using a properly sized circuit breaker for a given size wire. Power has nothing to do with it. Power capability is an artifact of the designed circuit and voltage applied.

Every time this topic comes up, some try to scare people about 'unsafe' EU wiring. There is nothing unsafe about it. If the designed circuit works for you, it's very safe, in fact, for years, EU wiring designs were safer than ABYC/USA standards (due to the ELCI requirement).
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Old 24-07-2016, 06:32   #20
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

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Hence, the word safety should not come into the conversation! Safety is achieved using a properly sized circuit breaker for a given size wire. Power has nothing to do with it. Power capability is an artifact of the designed circuit and voltage applied.

Every time this topic comes up, some try to scare people about 'unsafe' EU wiring. There is nothing unsafe about it. If the designed circuit works for you, it's very safe, in fact, for years, EU wiring designs were safer than ABYC/USA standards (due to the ELCI requirement).
It is important to understand the fundamental concept that if you try to stuff the same amount of power through a wire using half the voltage, it takes twice the amps. More amps means more heat and could possibly require larger wires. Not every sailor needs to be an electrician, but these are simple basic concepts that all sailors of keelboats should understand. You should at least be aware what happens when you change the voltage of a circuit, no matter if it's 240, 120, or 12 volts ac or dc. I never said the OP should not buy an EU boat, that EU wiring is bad, or ever that the wiring would have to be changed out. It is prudent to have a certain level of awareness or how electricity works.
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Old 24-07-2016, 06:55   #21
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

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Hence, the word safety should not come into the conversation! Safety is achieved using a properly sized circuit breaker for a given size wire. Power has nothing to do with it. Power capability is an artifact of the designed circuit and voltage applied.
So there have never been electrical fires, because circuit breakers never fail?

Properly sized circuit breakers are important. Properly sized wires are even more important. And if you reduce the voltage serving a load, you may need to increase the wire size to accomodate the increased amperage. Simply relying on the circuit breaker is foolish. And if the first time you fully load something (the autopilot, say), you're at sea, and now the circuit breaker starts tripping, now what?
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Old 24-07-2016, 09:33   #22
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

Your best bet is to leave the boat wired as it is and install a 120V 60Hz to 240V 50Hz converter in your boat, so you could plug it in at a US marina. You will have to know how many amps your sistem main breaker is rated at.
http://www.frequencyconverter.net/si...nverter.htmlan buy
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Old 24-07-2016, 09:34   #23
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

Great thread. Listen, my issue is the inverse. I have a 115v 60hz boat. It's a 2012 Jeanneau, wired for the American market. Obviously, my preferred shore power hookup is 240v 60hz split phase. I've been forced, at times, to use 30a 120v 60hz shore power so as to charge my 12v batteries but certainly can't run an air conditioner on that. Now, after two seasons in the Carib where shore power was a mixed bag, I'm sailing to Europe next summer for an extended period. I have yet to find a marine product which allows me to safely convert 230v 50hz single phase shore power to the 240v 60hz split phase power I need for both battery charging and major systems use such as washer/dryer and air conditioning/heating. Your suggestions would be most welcome.
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Old 24-07-2016, 09:38   #24
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

We have the same issue...we bought our boat in Singapore, have sailed through Asia and the Medd, and are now in the Caribbean. Our boat, built in and for the Asian market, is wired for 230v, single phase, 50Hz power. The BIG difference, however, is that the Asian/European 230v power systems use a 3-wire scheme(hot, neutral, and ground, with 230v between the hot and neutral). The US system uses a 4-wire system for 220v (2-hot, neutral, and ground, with 110v between each hot and neutral, and 220v between the 2 hot). While it is true almost all marinas have 220v available, it is all a 4-wire system. After 2+years here in the Caribbean, we have been unable to convert the US 4-wire systemto our 3-wire scheme....except to either use our genset in aa marina or to use a step-up transformer to convert the 110v shore power to 220v, then feed that to our boat. And...it works!!! The standard 30amp, 110v(or 120v-it varies) marina power pole is connected via a standard 30amp shore power cord to our transformer. Then we connect the xfmr output to our boat via the same power cord we used in Asia and Europe...just change the ends to match what you have. And the 30 amp 110v(or 120v?) supply is converted to a 16amp 220(or 240v) supply (the same as what is available at the [power pole in Asia and/or Europe) and the boat knows no difference....as long as all your connected equipment is 50/60Hz tolerant.
The conversion transformer is important. do NOT buy a China-made cheapy from Amazon or Ebay....don't ask me how I know!! Buy a Charles or other well known brand-costs alittle more up front, but for a reason.
Also, as our boat is all 230v we bought and installed a 1500w step-down xfmr and connected it to a hand-ful of 110v outlets throghout the boat. Our genset puts out 230v, 1 circuit goes through the small xfmr and gives us some 110v outlets, for a few galley and bathroom needs. We've lived on our boat since 1998, had no issues throughout Asia and Europe, and since 2014 been in the Caribbean. The system works, and there are NO issues worth talking about. Just be aware that any electrical motors wired for 230v, 50Hz will run just fine, but approx 10% faster, on 60Hz power. Electronic items are a different case, and if not labeled 50/60Hz may malfunction on 60Hz....and may need to be replaced. As it turned out we had none on our boat, only the motors for the 2 aircons, the watermaker, and the refer! And you can pick and chose which of those you want to operate when.
Your issue is just that...an issue, but NOT a showstopper!
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Old 24-07-2016, 09:39   #25
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

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Originally Posted by aucoingc View Post
Great thread. Listen, my issue is the inverse. I have a 115v 60hz boat. It's a 2012 Jeanneau, wired for the American market. Obviously, my preferred shore power hookup is 240v 60hz split phase. I've been forced, at times, to use 30a 120v 60hz shore power so as to charge my 12v batteries but certainly can't run an air conditioner on that. Now, after two seasons in the Carib where shore power was a mixed bag, I'm sailing to Europe next summer for an extended period. I have yet to find a marine product which allows me to safely convert 230v 50hz single phase shore power to the 240v 60hz split phase power I need for both battery charging and major systems use such as washer/dryer and air conditioning/heating. Your suggestions would be most welcome.
There's a thread running right now on your situation. Not on wifi, hard for me to find it.
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Old 24-07-2016, 09:52   #26
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

Be careful of the helpful information that you will be hearing. Do not attempt to rewire your whole boat.
You can purchase exactly what you are looking for.
Leave your boat as it is.
There are many companies that can provide the converter that you need.
The one below is only one of the many:
Good luck with your hunt for a suitable boat.


Single Phase 60Hz to 50Hz Converter

Single Phase Frequency Converter Model List
Capacity 500VA 1 kVA 2 kVA 3 kVA 5 kVA 8 kVA 10 kVA 15 kVA 20 kVA 30 kVA 45 kVA
Model HZ-50-500W HZ-50-1101 HZ-50-1102 HZ-50-1103 HZ-50-1105 HZ-50-1108 HZ-50-1110 HZ-50-1115 HZ-50-1120 HZ-50-1130 HZ-50-1145
Output Current
Low-grade (L-N) 4.2A 8.4A 16.8A 25.0A 41.6A 63.0A 83.2A 125.0A 166.4A 250A 375A
High-grade:
(L-N) 2.1A 4.2A 8.4A 12.5A 20.8A 31.5A 41.6A 62.5A 83.2A 125A 188A
Weight (Kgs) 17 21 45 60 70 80 120 130 150 200 265
Size (mm) 365*570*138 350*530*675 350*630*855 450*630*1000
(inch) 14.6*14.8*5.5 14*21.2*27 14*26*34.2 18*25.2*40

General Specifications
Input Voltage 1 Phase 2 Wire: 110V/120V, 220V/230V/240 10%
Frequency 50 Hz, 60 Hz or 400 Hz 5%
Output Voltage 110V Setting (Low grade): 0-150V
220V Setting 0-300V (High grade): 0-300V
Load stabilization Rate ≤1%
Frequency 50Hz, 60Hz up to 400Hz (optional) adjustable
Frequency Stability ≤0.01%
Harmonic Distortion Pure Sine Wave ≤2%
Frequency meter 4 digit, digital frequency meter, resolution 0.1Hz/Step
Voltmeter 4 digit, digital voltage meter, resolution 0.1V
Ammeter 4 digit, digital ammeter, resolution 0.1A
Watt meter 4 digit, digital Watt meter, resolution 0.1W
Protection With overload, short circuit, over temperature
Instantaneous power failure protection and alarm device
Working Environment Temperature 0 - 40 deg.℃
Humidity 0 - 90% (Non condensation)
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Old 24-07-2016, 10:01   #27
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

I bought a French built Beneteau wired for 220.

I maintained the 220 wiring system and outlets completely.

I installed a 125v breaker panel. Two actually with 3 breakers each.

I installed new outlets where I wanted them around the boat and then ran wire to those outlets.

Most modern battery chargers are multi-voltage. I ran the appropriate wire to the battery charger. I disconnected the 220 wires and secured them at the charger. I connected the new wire and set the appropriate dip switches to the new settings.

I purchased a 115V heating coil for my hot water heater and installed it. I put the 220 coil in a box for reuse later if needed.

I installed two 30 amp 125V shore power connectors.

Now my boat works on 125V but could be converted back and forth quickly if I needed to go back to 220. My air air conditioner is the only problem.

If routing and connecting new outlets and wire concerns you it could be done quickly by someone who works on boats and understands electricity.
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Old 24-07-2016, 10:26   #28
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

We did exactly what Hobie_Ind said, nothing much.

We left the 220 alone which was a blessing as most of the world uses it. If you go cruising no prob.

In the US most all marinas offer 220, I dare say all.

We did add a 12v inverter to 110v and installed 4 outlets strategically to allow for what needs there might be for 110v.

Most electronics charge on both, 110/220. I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it :-)
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Old 24-07-2016, 11:06   #29
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

I have done just the opposite, taking a North American boat into 50 Cycle country of 230-240V. I have had no problems running my North American proprietary Trace M2512 inverter for over 15 years. The charger has packed up on me this last year and I haven't found the need to check it out. The inverter still works, used it very recently.

My boat was wired with heavier gauge wire for the increased current and I have put in a transformer but could have just changed all the plugs without concern as it has been stated the current trip circuit breakers would have worked quite well. I put in an additional circuit board and some additional 230V/50hz circuits including double pole circuits for the larger units. These are required in the Philippines where the 230V/60hz runs two hot wires without a ground. Not good.

I have put in a transformer that runs the 120/60hz through a contactor that separates the 120V/hz input(port side) from the 230/50hz input (startboard side) just for safety.

We can return to NA and just do the opposite so everything runs, power tools, microwave, chargers, inverter, etc.

Oh yes, there is the 12 volts system as well that is the main operating system on board.
Like they said above, everything electronic except for proprietary stuff in NA is 100-250V 50/60 hz so enjoy your European boat.

Check out the boats made by the same company as yours that are sailing in NA. They had to meet the requirements to come into the county.
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Old 24-07-2016, 11:06   #30
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Re: Converting from 220 volts to 110

Some European boats are wired with a large enough gauge of wire for North America and some aren't. It depends on the manufacturer.

In Europe the main breaker is 16 amps and branch circuits are 8 amps. If this is the case the breakers will have to be changed for North America. The wire may have to be upsized if too small. A 1500 watt kettle is about 12.5 amps on 120 volts.
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