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Old 30-11-2018, 20:34   #1
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Now, need to pick out Breakers and stuff for AC Electrical System

Okay, I have an isolation transformer on the way to the house. It is a Charles 120/240 32a unit but at some point I will probably upgrade to 50a or bigger. So first of all I want to have a Shore Power breaker, two pole, 30a, ABYC compliant in all respects so UL Marine approved. I would like to have it in its own enclosure by itself unless there is some compelling reason to do otherwise. I WILL be needing to upgrade that breaker in the future to 50a.

Next I need a distribution panel and enclosure. Lighting on one branch circuit, 110/120v outlets on another, one for icemaker, one for fridge, one for main battery charger, and a couple of spares.

Between transformer and distribution panel things get more complex. I will be installing a genset within the year, and very soon, a 3kw and a 300w inverter. I want to be able to switch between. Transformer, generator, and inverter, in full compliance. Generator will be somewhere between 3kw and 10kw. I would like to have the source switching all on one panel and in one enclosure. I don't know if I should combine source switching and branch circuit breakers in one box, or not. Again, I want to end up totally in compliance with ABYC standards. Correct wire, terminals, meters, enclosures, everything. I can whip up a system from Home Depot stuff that would be safe and effective, sure, since I or someone I train will be operating it all, but this boat needs to keep its resale value and insurability especially since it is 40 years old and 14 tons and a hull worth fitting out properly.

So, starting with the shore power breaker, anybody have any favorite ones that will work worldwide and protect my transformer, and be conveniently upgradable?
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Old 01-12-2018, 13:19   #2
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Re: Now, need to pick out Breakers and stuff for AC Electrical System

All of the stuff is expensive, and totally different between 30a (all double pole). And 50a. All triple pole.

Doing one and changing later is crazy. Wire it all today for 50a

You can still plug it into a 30a dock, if that is your existing limit. (Edit: actully not really with the ISO transformer, you'd need dual 30a out of phase plugs to get 240 to the ISO trans. But more complex wiring could be done to allow both.


There are many ways of controlling ac power.

One of the easiest would be with an inverter that takes 2 inputs like a victron Quattro. And has 2 outputs for inverter loads and non inverter loads. Everything then is automatic. And the wiring is fairly easy. Note for 120v vrs 240v there are huge differences here. (Either 2 inverters stacked or autotransformer for 240v). Not something easily changeable down the road. So do it right now.

Yiu will need to decide the gen size and voltage before you start so components in the system can handle it.


For the shore main breaker it should be an elci, it goes before the transformer. So it will have its own box likly inside near the shore inlet. (Within 10')

https://www.bluesea.com/products/311...cuit_positions

https://www.bluesea.com/products/312...on_Transformer
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Old 01-12-2018, 13:54   #3
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Re: Now, need to pick out Breakers and stuff for AC Electrical System

Growley,

I was reading somewhere that a transformer should be rated for 50hz (and it will work at 60hz) if you want to be able to adapt to European standards, but then everything else needs to work at 50hz too. - was that you?

What are you getting specifically?
The ELCI Switch is a new ABYC standard.

I was considering using a 40a Sterling Charger to accept european 240/16a 50hz, if needed. That setup would require two different shore receptacles and a way to switch the Sterling power input to the appropriate shore plug.
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Old 01-12-2018, 14:11   #4
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Re: Now, need to pick out Breakers and stuff for AC Electrical System

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Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
Growley,


I was considering using a 40a Sterling Charger to accept european 240/16a 50hz, if needed. That setup would require two different shore receptacles and a way to switch the Sterling power input to the appropriate shore plug.
Why would you need two shore receptacle? You just use an adapter at the end of the shorepower cord to fit Euro powerposts. An even better set-up is to add an additional cord with euro male 16amp on the post end and a female 30amp they are cheap since small gauge wire) to attach to your US shore power receptacle on the boat. If you need extra length, you can then plug the your 120v showerpower cord in between the Euro cord and your boat.

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Old 01-12-2018, 15:42   #5
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Re: Now, need to pick out Breakers and stuff for AC Electrical System

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
All of the stuff is expensive, and totally different between 30a (all double pole). And 50a. All triple pole.

Doing one and changing later is crazy. Wire it all today for 50a

You can still plug it into a 30a dock, if that is your existing limit. (Edit: actully not really with the ISO transformer, you'd need dual 30a out of phase plugs to get 240 to the ISO trans. But more complex wiring could be done to allow both.


There are many ways of controlling ac power.

One of the easiest would be with an inverter that takes 2 inputs like a victron Quattro. And has 2 outputs for inverter loads and non inverter loads. Everything then is automatic. And the wiring is fairly easy. Note for 120v vrs 240v there are huge differences here. (Either 2 inverters stacked or autotransformer for 240v). Not something easily changeable down the road. So do it right now.

Yiu will need to decide the gen size and voltage before you start so components in the system can handle it.


For the shore main breaker it should be an elci, it goes before the transformer. So it will have its own box likly inside near the shore inlet. (Within 10')

https://www.bluesea.com/products/311...cuit_positions

https://www.bluesea.com/products/312...on_Transformer

Yeah and I am not sure whether my marina's twin 30a shore power boxes have in phase or out of phase circuits. I can't check right now because I am on a ship and won't be home until Feb. Out of phase would seem simpler, simply sharing the neutral between the two hot legs, but who knows. I will check first thing when I get home.



Nice looking enclosure but yeah awfully expensive for what it is. Unfortunately nothing fully compliant will be easily found on the used market so stuck with full price, new from the vendor stuff on this. Too bad they didn't change the standards 30 years ago.



Since 50a 120v 60Hz service is not so common, I won't make allowances for that. 50a 240v 60Hz U.S. style service with two hots and a neutral, I can wire for that later with an additional transformer, breaker, and receptacle, wiring the secondaries in parallel with polarity matched as required. I have decided it is unlikely that I will be running any 220v equipment so my output will be 120v only. I will still be able to plug into 240v single phase 32a shore power with a few reconnections. Meanwhile I will have a totally compliant 30a 120v single connection system. The upgrades that the boat needs will take me a couple of years, during which time it is unlikely I will be in any foreign marinas, or require 50a service. With a 30a shore power breaker upstream of the transformer, I can still plug in, at slips with only U.S. 240v 50a service, with an adapter, using only one hot leg.



This will allow me to use the 70lb transformer already shipped to the house, instead of a 230lb behemoth that GF would not have the faintest clue about how to take delivery. It would get me shore power. It would put a warm smile on the face of a surveyor.


Genset will probably be 110 only, 60Hz, around 5kVA. Again, I don't think I will have much need of 220/240 service. Haven't picked out a specific unit because I will be watching for a suitable used one or possibly building it myself based on a Beta 10 at 1800RPM or maybe a bigger engine, but I am thinking the Beta 10 would do it. I am not exactly leaning that way right now due to the complexity of the engineering involved. A good used one will be my preference unless GF gives me a new one for christmas LOL. I had my head up my ass thinking I would just use the inverters I already have, from the small boat, but duh they are 48v and Brute Force will initially only have a 12v bank. I will be going with a bigger one about 2-3kVA and a smaller one probably about 300w for small loads when I don't want the overhead of running the big one. The 300w unit will be stand alone, not connected to the breaker panel, just used for plugging small loads directly into its output receptacle. The big one will need to be on a breaker for supplying the main breaker panel, same as the genset. So there will be another enclosure upstream from the main distribution panel, for selecting source, between inverter, genset, or shore power. For obvious reasons I need a setup that will allow only one of the three breakers to be closed at any given time.



I don't want to rely on an inverter alone for AC power, due to my preference for more redundancy. And I definitely have the space and weight capacity for a small generator. On a smaller boat I might consider skipping the genset but for Brute Force, I think I should have one.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:21   #6
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Re: Now, need to pick out Breakers and stuff for AC Electrical System

So far, for the electrical systems I have spent


Charles isolation transformer, 93-IXFMR3/81-A, 3.8kva, 32 amps, used $469.76 ebay
3116 SMS Surface Mount System Panel Enclosure - 120V AC / 30A ELCI Main - 3 blank circuit positions, $240 ebay
8366 AC Rotary Switch Panel 30 Ampere 3 positions + OFF, 2 Pole, $199.99 Amazon
4026 AC Isolation Cover for above, $17.99 amazon
8084 AC Main + 6 Positions/DC Main + 15 Positions, $756.63 amazon
3002 Heavy Duty Battery Switch, 500A continuous rating, $61.36
total = $1745.73



Still to get: inverters (a big one and a little one), genset, (ouch) generator breaker, 6 1000ah FLA cells, 2 8D batteries, 200a fuse holders and fuses for the batteries, marine grade wire and cable and terminals, solar charge controller, solar panels, outlets for 110, 12v, and 5v(USB), DC LED nav and house lights, AC lighting, and other miscellaneous doodads. Wow electricity sure is expensive, even when you go cheap. No wonder we still have so many luddites living in the kerosene age. I decided to go with a combined AC/DC main panel to save space. I know a lot of folks don't like doing that but I don't have a problem with it. I may add on a sub panel for chargers and maybe one for outlets. Later. Maybe another 30a service. Later. I don't know that I will really need it. Anyway money is tight and I would rather have a single 30a supply done right, than 50a done Home Depot style. So why the 1000ah cells for the main bank? Why not good old golf cart batteries or 8D trojans? Well, I have a strong dislike for parallel battery connections, but I want a nice fat house bank that will just chuckle at a windlass or bow thruster or whatever. Oh and not yet considered, an alternator upgrade for the Westerbeast to charge them big boys. Reserve bank will be an 8D and another 8D will be a totally isolated emergency battery for a backup backup bilge pump and for comms. I have two 8Ds, one is okay I think (haven't done any testing yet) and one is dead dead dead, most likely beyond all hope of redemption.


Yeah, crazy top of the line battery switch, I know. But those red Perkos and me just don't seem to get along very well.



I had considered a 96v bank of golf cart batteries, a big inverter, and a 12kw PMAC motor for a wing motor and shaft generator, but I am leaning away from that presently due to the apparent good health of the Westerbeast. I think I can do without redundant propulsion systems since it is, after all, a sailboat, and I don't want to have two giant giant banks, neither do I want to rely on a big honking inverter or DC/DC converter that contains a whole basket full of transistors just waiting to stop transisting.



Am I forgetting anything?
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Old 02-12-2018, 19:55   #7
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Re: Now, need to pick out Breakers and stuff for AC Electrical System

Yiu have now limited yourself to a 3.6k 120v gen with that ac switch. (And main panel but that breaker and all cable can be replaced)
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Old 02-12-2018, 21:09   #8
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Re: Now, need to pick out Breakers and stuff for AC Electrical System

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Yiu have now limited yourself to a 3.6k 120v gen with that ac switch. (And main panel but that breaker and all cable can be replaced)
Im actually sort of okay with that. But I won't be hard limited to 3.6kVA generator, only to a 3.6kVA load. The genset can be slightly bigger depending on availability, condition, and price. And anyway I will have to wait a while for the generator.
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Old 23-12-2018, 10:02   #9
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Re: Now, need to pick out Breakers and stuff for AC Electrical System

And another question regarding the ELCI shore power breaker in the transformer primary circuit. Why wouldn't it be in the secondary circuit? Seems to me that the secondary side is where the protection is needed. Would having two ELCI breakers, one for each side of the transformer, be a good idea? And what about GFCI, 5mw level protection? Will a single GFCI device on each branch circuit do the job, or not? On Mr Wiggles, I have a 50A GFCI outdoor rated spa breaker as the main breaker, and 120v outlets are household grade GFCI outlets. Most likely not ABYC compliant, but less redneck than some of my other wiring. The 50a breaker is not, AFAIK, UL Marine approved but it is inside, up high, and is nowhere near any water. Still, my goal with Brute Force is full ABYC compliance.
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