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Old 09-11-2019, 15:52   #1
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How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

There are other threads on this but I am still confused. The boat is being built at the moment and I want to have it so I can plug into shore power anywhere in the world but still have my AC panel come out at at European frequency's and voltages.

Does anyone have a boat which has this capacity or an American boat in European? I know I can wing it on the cadence side as it is only rotating motors which really see the difference in hz but I would rather not.

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on this.
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Old 09-11-2019, 17:55   #2
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

Going to a full-boat transformer is only good for load devices that don't care about 50Hz vs 60Hz.

Setting aside huge loads like aircon, clothes driers, electric ovens, HWS. . .

One approach is, the **only** shore power connection is your "world power" universally compatible battery charger(s).

Then the AC loads and circuits on the boat are run off the House bank through inverters.

This lets you mix and match 110Vac and 240Vac appliances as you like, even sensitive 50/60Hz ones, fed by any marina power pedestal worldwide,

or your genset, or by a robust alternator setup while off-grid, reduces the need for (or runtime of) an AC genset, especially with a big LFP House bank.

No transformers nor transfer switches required!

Even those huge-amp loads above could be accommodated, but that gets expensive.

Some just use dedicated circuits for those, separate from the inverter-powered ones.
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Old 09-11-2019, 18:42   #3
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

^^^
This is how we run our Euro boat, but everything we have can be run off a 2kVA inverter. The exception is the water heater, but it runs (slowly) on 120 as well as 240.

One thing to consider since you are in the building process is to specify that all AC breakers be two-pole, that way you can safely use 240 w/neutral and 240 w/ two hot legs (typical US). You may also want to specify that all AC wiring be sized for loads based on 120V, that way if you ever want to move to 120 power the wires will be sized for the loads (i.e. don't size on current, size on Watts used in the circuit based on 120V). The wire will be bigger than needed for 220/240 but that never hurt anything other than the wallet.
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Old 09-11-2019, 20:30   #4
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

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Originally Posted by Mischief1945 View Post
There are other threads on this but I am still confused. The boat is being built at the moment and I want to have it so I can plug into shore power anywhere in the world but still have my AC panel come out at at European frequency's and voltages.

Does anyone have a boat which has this capacity or an American boat in European? I know I can wing it on the cadence side as it is only rotating motors which really see the difference in hz but I would rather not.

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on this.
There are shore power frequency converters for very large boats, which are big, heavy and very expensive. I have no experience with these.

The easiest way to have different frequency on-board than shore power is to use Inverters and/or dual frequency appliances (if available).

My boat is built around 230V 50Hz, but accepts 110/230V, 50/60Hz shore power. All on-board appliances, except the microwave and clothes washer, are 230V 50/60Hz. So, when I'm connected to 60Hz shore power, I can not use these two appliances unless I run the generator. Or, I can replace these appliances if my boat is permanently in a 60Hz country. This is not a problem for me.

I could run the microwave and clothes washer at 60Hz, but it would reduce their life. I do not know by how much. Again, this might not be a big issue.

To convert the shore power voltage, use a Victron Isolation Transformer. It can Up or Down convert voltage. It does not change the frequency.

I hope this helps...
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Old 09-11-2019, 20:49   #5
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

As others have said, the easiest way to deal with this is with an inverter or bank of inverters.



The boat electrical system should be specified for whatever type of power you will be using most.


This should have a charger/inverter with enough capacity to run all your gear off the inverter. If you use a Victron Multiplus, a popular choice, you can also gang two or three of them to get the needed capacity, if necessary. This should be in the voltage of the shore power you will be using most of the time depending on your cruising plans.


THEN, you have a separate shore power inlet for the OTHER type of power. This is connected ONLY to a battery charger, like the Victron Skylla. IMPORTANT -- the charger needs to be large enough to supply all your AC loads, and if that is too large for charging your batteries according to the size (more than about 0.25C for lead/acid batteries), then it is crucially important that it should have a control which will allow you to reduce the charging rate when the batteries are in bulk charge. The Skylla will do this together with one of the Victron controllers.



When on the OTHER type of shore power, the battery charger provides DC power which the charger/inverter will then invert to supply the boat's AC power system at its normal voltage and frequency.


Make sure not to mix up the shore power inlets.
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Old 09-11-2019, 21:28   #6
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
As others have said, the easiest way to deal with this is with an inverter or bank of inverters.

The boat electrical system should be specified for whatever type of power you will be using most.

This should have a charger/inverter with enough capacity to run all your gear off the inverter. If you use a Victron Multiplus, a popular choice, you can also gang two or three of them to get the needed capacity, if necessary. This should be in the voltage of the shore power you will be using most of the time depending on your cruising plans.

THEN, you have a separate shore power inlet for the OTHER type of power. This is connected ONLY to a battery charger, like the Victron Skylla. IMPORTANT -- the charger needs to be large enough to supply all your AC loads, and if that is too large for charging your batteries according to the size (more than about 0.25C for lead/acid batteries), then it is crucially important that it should have a control which will allow you to reduce the charging rate when the batteries are in bulk charge. The Skylla will do this together with one of the Victron controllers.

When on the OTHER type of shore power, the battery charger provides DC power which the charger/inverter will then invert to supply the boat's AC power system at its normal voltage and frequency.

Make sure not to mix up the shore power inlets.
The above is another way to connect things. There are many ways...

In my case, I also have two shore power inlets, 120V 60Hz and 230V 50Hz.

The 230V 50Hz, goes to the chargers and other systems as everything on board can accept this voltage & frequency. Note that I also have a 230V 50Hz interter (cleaner power) for sensitive equipment.

The 120V 60Hz shore power goes through the Victron Isolation Transformer which converts it to 230V 60Hz, and then it goes to the everything that accepts this frequency.

In both cases, I use the same battery chargers (I have two, 60a & 100a) as they accept 50 or 60Hz.

My point is that there are many devices that accept both frequencies. You just have to convert the Voltage and then use the same devices. You can also use inverters.
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Old 09-11-2019, 21:36   #7
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

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The above is another way to connect things. There are many ways...

In my case, I also have two shore power inlets, 120V 60Hz and 230V 50Hz.

The 230V 50Hz, goes to the chargers and other systems as everything on board can accept this voltage & frequency. Note that I also have a 230V 50Hz interter (cleaner power) for sensitive equipment.

The 120V 60Hz shore power goes through the Victron Isolation Transformer which converts it to 230V 60Hz, and then it goes to the everything that accepts this frequency.

In both cases, I use the same battery chargers (I have two, 60a & 100a) as they accept 50 or 60Hz.

My point is that there are many devices that accept both frequencies. You just have to convert the Voltage and then use the same devices. You can also use inverters.

Your way is better and simpler PROVIDED you don't have any electrical gear on board which is sensitive to frequency. Not my case, but might work for many people.
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Old 09-11-2019, 21:59   #8
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

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Your way is better and simpler PROVIDED you don't have any electrical gear on board which is sensitive to frequency. Not my case, but might work for many people.
I am just saying that there are many ways to deal with shore power frequency. I was fortunate to be involved in the electrical design phase of my boat. The fact that Amel used dual frequency devices, except the Microwave & clothes washer, made it easier for me. It all depends on what you are starting with.
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Old 09-11-2019, 22:14   #9
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

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I am just saying that there are many ways to deal with shore power frequency. I was fortunate to be involved in the electrical design phase of my boat. The fact that Amel used dual frequency devices, except the Microwave & clothes washer, made it easier for me. It all depends on what you are starting with.

I know what you are saying and I agree with you.


If you're building a boat from scratch, this is surely the best way to do it.


My boat unfortunately has built-in electrical gear (washer/dryer and microwave, specifically) which is sensitive to frequency; plus I have plug-in gear (induction hob) which wouldn't like 60hz, so if I ever take my boat into 60 cycle waters I will need to add the battery charger if I want to use shore power with these devices.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:36   #10
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

One would HOPE that after so many years since man harnessed electricity that the entire world would have came to an understanding and have adopted a World-Wide Standard having therefore adopted One Or The Other. The same can be said to which side of the road to drive on. If we only knew the Worldwide Costs involved as a result of not having One Standard Worldwide then perhaps the Dieharders would finally get all of their Excreta In One Sock.

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Old 10-11-2019, 11:18   #11
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

Nah, the best solution is to have two inverter/chargers that can take either 50Hz or 60Hz input, like Victron Multiplus 230V/50Hz which can be reprogrammed to create 240V/60Hz.

You set the inverters to what you want aboard (i.e. 60Hz) and only feed shore power to one of the two, of which you don’t use the output. The other unit will invert and that is the output you use with the other one supplying the 12/24V to the unit that inverts. This way you create your own power conversion system and gain redundancy and gain double charging power if you wish etc.

See attached schematics.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Jedi AC input.pdf (275.8 KB, 73 views)
File Type: pdf Jedi AC distribution.pdf (342.0 KB, 75 views)
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:22   #12
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

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One would HOPE that after so many years since man harnessed electricity that the entire world would have came to an understanding and have adopted a World-Wide Standard having therefore adopted One Or The Other. The same can be said to which side of the road to drive on. If we only knew the Worldwide Costs involved as a result of not having One Standard Worldwide then perhaps the Dieharders would finally get all of their Excreta In One Sock.

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OK, so go tell 60 million Brits, 90 million Japanese, 1.2 billion Indians, plus South Africans, Australians, and assorted others, that they'd better change sides of the road and convert their entire stock of cars and trucks. Or else. Let us know how you get on


Then, after your success with that, then tell 300 million U.S. Americans, plus Canadians, Mexicans, and Japanese, that they need to get rid of their inferior 110v power systems and get with the program -- toss all their electrical gear out, overhaul their entire electrical power distribution systems nationwide, and go to 230v/50 cycle power.


Great plan!
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:35   #13
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

Have you considered just having it wired with an appropriately sized isolation transformer? [If the boat being built is metal, an isolation transformer will likely be in the specs anyway...]

Flexible voltage input; output selected and fixed to suit your vessel. Sub US$1000 for 3600 watt and around US$1K for a 7000 watt sized Victron units.

This is a very cost effective solution if you have a lot of AC demands, and eliminates the posibility of electrolytic corrosion and raw water shock hazards.

In case this is of interest.

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Old 10-11-2019, 12:00   #14
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

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Nah, the best solution is to have two inverter/chargers that can take either 50Hz or 60Hz input, like Victron Multiplus 230V/50Hz which can be reprogrammed to create 240V/60Hz.

You set the inverters to what you want aboard (i.e. 60Hz) and only feed shore power to one of the two, of which you don’t use the output. The other unit will invert and that is the output you use with the other one supplying the 12/24V to the unit that inverts. This way you create your own power conversion system and gain redundancy and gain double charging power if you wish etc.

See attached schematics.
I do not know of a MultiPlus that will make 60Hz out of 50Hz and vice-versa...

The MultiPlus is an Inverter & Charger. Chargers generally accept 50 & 60Hz. Inverters are usually preset on the output frequency. Maybe, that is what you mean.

I had a MultiPlus fail on me and I was out of the Charger and Inverter. Since then, I prefer to have individual devices. It is less of a hit when they fail.
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Old 10-11-2019, 12:02   #15
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Re: How can I run a European system (50hz 240v) in America (60hz 120v)?

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OK, so go tell 60 million Brits, 90 million Japanese, 1.2 billion Indians, plus South Africans, Australians, and assorted others, that they'd better change sides of the road and convert their entire stock of cars and trucks. Or else. Let us know how you get on

Great plan!
Well, the Swedes did try it and it didn't work out too well for them. Might be easier to solve global warming

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