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Old 19-07-2012, 04:38   #1
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frank gladney

I am an american boat with a 110 AC system. I would like to get my air conditiononing system working while in a foreign port with 240 V AC. When I turn the system on the cooling pump stays on but the indiviual unit trips off line. Anyone have any ideas of what I might try to get the system working.
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Old 19-07-2012, 05:29   #2
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Re: frank gladney

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Frank.
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Old 19-07-2012, 06:21   #3
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Re: frank gladney

Unless you happen to have an air con system (rare but they do exist) that works on European power you have to find a way to supply US style power to the system.

EU power is different in two ways. The voltage is 240V instead of 125V and the frequency is 50 Hz instead of 60 Hz.

Some of the ways to get US power.

1. Diesel generator. If you are already in Europe might be hard to find a US style 125V, 60 Hz generator.

2. Power converter. You can buy a big box that will input EU AC power and convert both the voltage and the frequency to US standards.

3. Battery powered inverter. This works like a generator in that it makes the US style AC power but from your existing battery system instead of from a diesel motor. But downside is it draws a LOT of power from your batteries so you will have to have a very, very large battery charging system to keep the inverter going.
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Old 19-07-2012, 06:28   #4
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Re: frank gladney

Welcome to the forum Frank.
The best way is with a dual voltage isolation transformer. This will take the 240 and covert it to 110 for your boat. It will not convert the frequency however, so you need to check your AIr conditioner and other AC appliances such as your battery charger are OK with the different frequency.
It will be expensive. It needs to have enough capacity, but also protects your boat against some corrosion problems when attached to shore power.
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Old 19-07-2012, 06:44   #5
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Re: frank gladney

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Welcome to the forum Frank.
The best way is with a dual voltage isolation transformer. This will take the 240 and covert it to 110 for your boat. It will not convert the frequency however, so you need to check your AIr conditioner and other AC appliances such as your battery charger are OK with the different frequency.
It will be expensive. It needs to have enough capacity, but also protects your boat against some corrosion problems when attached to shore power.
The transformer will change the voltage but as you point out, will not change the frequency. Not a motor expert but I do know that some types of AC motors are not happy with a different frequency. Some will work but will run +/- 15% slower some may overheat and burn out.

I know there are devices that convert frequency and voltage but understand they are pretty expensive for a unit with a few KW capacity. Googled around a little but couldn't track down any specific models or prices.

Also, as I think about the original post, it sounds like Frank has already tried to run his air con on EU power. If so the control panel or other parts could already be fried.
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Old 19-07-2012, 11:15   #6
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Re: frank gladney

It shouldn't be too hard to build a dynamotor. A Dynamotor consisted of an electric motor connected to an electric alternator. They were used in days gone by with DC motors to generate high voltages from 6 Volt batteries for old tube type radios. A 5 hp, 50 Hz, 220 volt AC, Synchronous Motor driving a 30 Amp 110 Volt alternator (the size common in diesel AC gen sets) either direct coupled or through a good sized serpentine belt with the right sized pulleys would make 220 V 50 Hz into 110 V 60 Hz with ease and about 90% efficiency. Might need some sort of motor speed control just to be safe. Too bad they don't make these any more. Sure would beat using a large 220 V battery charger and a big inverter running off the 12 Volt house bank.
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