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Old 04-02-2018, 08:13   #1
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Isolation Transformer

I'm currently re-wiring our boat prior to taking it on an extended cruise.
I'm considering adding an isolation/voltage changing transformer to allow plugging in to countries with different voltage standards from the US.
Any opinions on whether this is worth the cost and effort?
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:08   #2
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Re: Isolation Transformer

Iím still waiting for our boat to be built so I have no experience, but the plan is to install an ANG Transformer for just such a reason. I think itís reasonably priced at $9000 for a 6kw capacity.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:29   #3
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Re: Isolation Transformer

We wired a isolation transformer into our boat prior to a two year European trip and it work flawlessly with our many systems. It is the only way to go IMHO. There also is the benefit of decoupling from the shore ground.


Check to make sure all systems can operate on 50 hz.


BTW, seems like a pretty steep price for the transformer.
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:05   #4
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Re: Isolation Transformer

I'm looking into installing an isolation transformer too. It's being required by the marina due to their new updated wiring system that is very sensitive to GFI. Apparently all marinas will be required to update to this new standard.

I'm considering and ISO G2 transformer that can accept 120VAC or 240VAC and can output 120VAC or 240VAC. It's a 3.8KVA transformer. Cost is approx. $800. Has anyone used this?
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:10   #5
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Re: Isolation Transformer

Our boat was designed for 30 Amp 120 Volt shore power. We crossed the Atlantic in 2015 and have been in the Med since. Before leaving I installed a Charles Marine ISO G2 3.8 KVA isolation transformer. By configuring jumpers under a cover, the transformer can be configured as a 120/120 or a 240/120 transformer. I saw this transformer available today from Hodges Marine for under $600 with free shipping. Other places may have it cheaper but I only did a quick look.

For me, having this transformer permanently installed belowdecks was the only way to go. Another benefit was the fact that the isolation transformer stops stray currents.

One thing to note, our 30 Amp circuit breaker for shore power is located upstream of the transformer. Once we were in the Med, to protect the transformer I replaced this with a two-pole 16 Amp breaker. When we come back to the Caribbean I will reinstall the 30 Amp breaker at the same time I reconfigure the transformer internal jumpers.

Cheers!

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Old 04-02-2018, 10:49   #6
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Re: Isolation Transformer

The ISO G2 is a special order item at Hodges and shipping is $275! These things weigh 60 lbs are are shipped in a wood crate. Fisheries in Seattle has them for $675.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:13   #7
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Re: Isolation Transformer

Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeofreilly57 View Post
I'm currently re-wiring our boat prior to taking it on an extended cruise.
I'm considering adding an isolation/voltage changing transformer to allow plugging in to countries with different voltage standards from the US.
Any opinions on whether this is worth the cost and effort?
You will have to answer two questions:

1. How much time will you spend in marinas, rather than on the hook?

2. To what extent does your boat and your boating lifestyle depend upon 120v?

I personally would opt for other solutions unless I had specific plans to stay in marinas and run the air conditioning.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:22   #8
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Re: Isolation Transformer

I have used the Victron Isolation Transformer and it worked great during our S. Pacific cruising. My ex L450 was a 110V, 60Hz boat. Due to the voltage up/down convert feature of the transformer, I managed to connect to shore power in every country I visited. It does not change the frequency.

https://www.victronenergy.com/isolat...-3600va-7000va
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:06   #9
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Re: Isolation Transformer

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Originally Posted by boom23 View Post
I have used the Victron Isolation Transformer and it worked great during our S. Pacific cruising. My ex L450 was a 110V, 60Hz boat. Due to the voltage up/down convert feature of the transformer, I managed to connect to shore power in every country I visited. It does not change the frequency.



https://www.victronenergy.com/isolat...-3600va-7000va


I neglected to mention that the ANG Transformer also changes frequency. Anything in, 120v 60hz out.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:26   #10
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Re: Isolation Transformer

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I neglected to mention that the ANG Transformer also changes frequency. Anything in, 120v 60hz out.
Did you look at these GoHerz ones?

10 kVA Pure Sine Wave Frequency Converter | GoHz.com
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:42   #11
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Re: Isolation Transformer

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Did you look at these GoHerz ones?

10 kVA Pure Sine Wave Frequency Converter | GoHz.com
I did not. I had never heard of them before, but interesting. I don't think that it is the same as the ANG unit though.... Here's a link to look and compare with the GoHz specifications. If they are the same the price difference would make selection a pretty easy choice, though the weight difference is tremendous (ANG 6kw=54kg, GoHz 10kw=130! kg).
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:28   #12
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Re: Isolation Transformer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawbonz View Post
I neglected to mention that the ANG Transformer also changes frequency. Anything in, 120v 60hz out.
Yeah converters get pricey. Not to long ago they were all well over 10k.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:09   #13
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Re: Isolation Transformer

I installed a Victron Iso transformer and an auto transformer when I was in Turkey. At the time I had struggled with the extra cost of the Victron compared to the Charles. It was a big mistake and unfortunately can't be undone. The first Victron lasted 18 months before it burned out but because I didn't have a receipt for the purchase and the installer didn't register the warranty, Victron wouldn't cover it. - so another $2k.

The Charles has zero electronics to burn up and can either step up or down. It also automatically splits the phase so I wouldn't have needed the Victron Autotransformer.

Get the Charles.
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:30   #14
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Re: Isolation Transformer

Unfortunately, Charles Industries discontinued many of their marine products... I am not sure about their isolation transformers.

Charles Industries: Marine and Industrial Group

I used the Victron Isolation Transformers (not the Auto transformers) on two different boats and never had a problem.
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Old 06-02-2018, 13:54   #15
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Re: Isolation Transformer

The auto transformer just converts the 230v single phase to 115v split phase.
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