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Old 11-02-2013, 14:19   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New Zealand
Boat: Philip Rhodes 75 Custom
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Converting USA 230/115VAC to New Zealand 230VAC

Hi All,

I have a largish yacht I have brought down from the USA. All the systems (water makers, refrigeration, water heating, pumps, etc) on board the boat are USA 230V (standard USA L1 - N - L2 230V system), and are rated at 50/60Hz. This was done by a previous owner specifically so he could cruise the world and not have too many worries about shore power.

The house outlets are all 115VAC, with the power supply taken off between L1 and Neutral. I want to convert the house outlets to 230V, so my questions are these:

1) Can I just relocate the Neutral wire for the house circuits to the L2 post to make them 230V?

2) For the shore power hookup, what changes would I have to make to use a New Zealand L1 - N 230VAC style supply? One option I have been told is to just use an isolating transformer and be done with it; it won't care if the incoming supply is an L1 - N style supply or an L1 - N - L2 supply. Sounds good, but expensive. Could you instead feed shore L1 to ship L1, and shore N to ship L2? If so, what would happen with the "floating" ship Neutral?

Cheers.
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Old 11-02-2013, 22:51   #2
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Re: Converting USA 230/115VAC to New Zealand 230VAC

Hello,

This is Cameron off S/Y "Tranquility" We too have just moved back from the US to NZ up in Opua Bay of Islands. Where are you?

I have set up quite a few boats that are US power for cruising all over the world.

Yes you are correct that an International Isolation Transformer would be the quickest and easiest option. Normally this does work out cheaper not to mention safer in the long run. But I would really have to look at your full system to confirm

Cameron
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Old 12-02-2013, 13:43   #3
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Re: Converting USA 230/115VAC to New Zealand 230VAC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trans Marine View Post
Hello,

Yes you are correct that an International Isolation Transformer would be the quickest and easiest option. Normally this does work out cheaper not to mention safer in the long run. But I would really have to look at your full system to confirm

Cameron
Hi Cameron,

We are down in Whangapraoa. I am coming to the conclusion that as far as the shore power hookup is concerned, yes, an isolation transformer is the way to go.

As for the house AC circuits, and converting them from 115 to 230, currently 115V is achieved by joining the supply (shore or genset) neutral line to the house neutral, and joining the supply L1 to the house Phase line. Can I convert the house circuits to 230V by simply moving the house Neutral to the supply L2 phase?

My complication is that I have two gensets on board set up for L1-N-L2 230V distribution, so even if I get an isolation transformer for shore power hookup, all the systems on board will stay set up with the centre-neutral 230V setup.

Cheers,
James.
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Old 12-02-2013, 16:59   #4
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Re: Converting USA 230/115VAC to New Zealand 230VAC

You would not need to worry about any of that. All your 120 would stay the same as would all of your 240.

The isolation transformer would essentially do the same job as your gen-set's. The last large yacht that I did, I also set up a switch that was user selectable for the incomming shore power, it would change the internal windings/connections on the transformer to keep everything else on board the same. If you want to convert your 120 outlets and not rewire the Gen-Set which from what you explain is Split Phase 120/240 to a straight single phase 240, then just take the netural and hook it up to either L1 or L2 depending on your load balance on board. And leave the ground as it is.

What is your current Shore Power Cord and Gen-Set Size? Is it a 50amp?? 1 or 2? or are you using a 100amp lead???

Talk to you soon
Cameron Murray
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Old 12-02-2013, 17:30   #5
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Re: Converting USA 230/115VAC to New Zealand 230VAC

Hi,

It's a 50A lead, gensets are 10/12kVA. And Yes, I want to convert the house 115V to 230V.

So, the basic plan would be as follows:

1) Fit an isolation transformer on the shore power input, prior to the AC input selector switch.

2) Take the Neutral line of the house 115V circuits and move to the other phase (L2), leaving the incoming neutral free, but keeping all ground lines in place. And of course replace all the house outlets and RCD's....

I assume that if the house outlets are fed via L1-L2 instead of L1-N then I will need double-pole breakers for each house circuit?

Cheers.
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