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Old 28-09-2015, 15:56   #16
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Your math is OK, but your assumption of 50amp dock service is not, it's typically 240v, not 120v. 50A/240v/60hz is 12,000va/watts.



Sorry, American 220 is really 220 (actually 2x120 = 240v). I believe you are confused by the 'neutral' designation. The American 240 has a center tap designated as neutral whereas the EU has one side of 220 (more correctly, 230v) designated as neutral. An EU appliance couldn't care less, it's the frequency that can cause issues.
I agree. Anybody who understands what be/she is doing can make an adapter to feed a European 220V boat from a US-style 220V dock. The center tap wire aka "neutral" in US scheme will not be used. Frequency will still be what it is and motors may not like it.

There is a little caveat in that such boat the AC supply will be displaced 120V from what Europeans are used to. Therefore the blue neutral wires, which in Europe would only be a few volts away from earth, will now be a whoooping 120V from earth. This means that it will not be safe to work on an appliance that is disconnected only by a single-pole breaker.

Most importantly, the story is completely different when a US boat goes to Europe. The US boat may have a mix of 240V circuits and 120V circuits and there may be no simple way to feed them all at the same time because the US system relies on two hots that are 180 degrees apart and in Europe they do not have that.

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Old 28-09-2015, 16:16   #17
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

When you are up to sizing a generator you worry about not overloading it, cause it will shorten the generator life.
Instead if you overload a transformer, it will heat up and as long as you do it for a short time you'll get no problem.
As some appliance have surge power 2-3 times bigger than the working power you tend to get a big generator, but that doesn't means you need so big transformer.
My advice is to do the math about your real life power needs, then you'll look for the better solution.

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Old 28-09-2015, 16:31   #18
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

OK, I'm from Missouri.
Show me how to run an appliance that has two wires, one being a neutral, and the other requiring 220VAC.
I'll supply you with two 110V wires and a neutral and a ground.

I'm going to assume your going to tell me to feed both the appliances wires 110VAC ?


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Old 28-09-2015, 16:37   #19
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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The best option I have found for this situation is to get a battery charger that will take either shore power voltage/frequency and then run all on-board AC appliances from the inverter. We've just re-done our boat's electrics to achieve that and can run everything (including electric cooking) from inverters.

Tom


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+1. This is probably the cheapest good option.

We found that most of our elec loads had an ac to dc conversion so we switched them to run off the house banks. This also improved our consumption by removing all the ac to dc conversion inefficiencies. They are substantial. Very few consumer devices are designed to be electrically efficient.

Only the microwave, oil heater, television, bar mix and toaster are left on ac. The tele we run on a 300w inverter. The rest can run from the inverter and are only intermittent loads. We have a diesel heater so only run the oil heater on shore power.

This process obviated the need for more solar panels. We have better redundancy because we're not dependent on the inverter which is ansingle point of failure.

We're not looking at having the space to put solar dedicated to water heating.

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Old 28-09-2015, 16:53   #20
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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OK, I'm from Missouri.
Show me how to run an appliance that has two wires, one being a neutral, and the other requiring 220VAC.
I'll supply you with two 110V wires and a neutral and a ground.

I'm going to assume your going to tell me to feed both the appliances wires 110VAC ?
If the two 110VAC wires are (180 degrees) out of phase, then there is 220VAC potential between them.

If you're actually in Missouri, then your house likely has 2 x 110VAC supplies, out of phase, into the house. All 220V loads (electric dryer, range, electric water heater, well-pump, A/C, air handler, etc.) will be connected to to the two out-of-phase 110VAC supply (and hopefully grounded as well). Some 220V appliances will be 4-wire connections (hot1, hot2, neutral, ground) and some will be 3-wire (hot1, hot2, ground).
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Old 28-09-2015, 17:19   #21
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Shorepower transformer for European boat

Still haven't told me how to wire that two wire 220VAC appliance to make it work?
I understand, or at least think I do how two 110 VAC sources if 180 out of phase could have a 220V potential, but that is a little like saying that each square meter of the earth has over 1,300 Watts of sunlight on it, how do you use it?


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Old 28-09-2015, 17:38   #22
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

I think I should make what I'm trying to get at a little more plain. It's not just simply that I don't see how you could make an adapter plug that would take US 220 VAC and make European "stuff" work, but I truly think you could easily get yourself killed trying.
Again unless I'm mistaken US 50 Amp service is two 30 Amp breakers, and 30 Amps at 110 VAC is plenty enough to kill.

You should ask yourself, if it could be done, why isn't it? It's like the 100 MPG carburetor nonsense of years ago, if it could be done, it would be done. We would all know about it and the answer would be just go to the local West Marine and buy the adapter plug.


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Old 28-09-2015, 18:02   #23
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think I should make what I'm trying to get at a little more plain. It's not just simply that I don't see how you could make an adapter plug that would take US 220 VAC and make European "stuff" work, but I truly think you could easily get yourself killed trying.
Again unless I'm mistaken US 50 Amp service is two 30 Amp breakers, and 30 Amps at 110 VAC is plenty enough to kill.

You should ask yourself, if it could be done, why isn't it? It's like the 100 MPG carburetor nonsense of years ago, if it could be done, it would be done. We would all know about it and the answer would be just go to the local West Marine and buy the adapter plug.
I will give it a try. I will not make a fuss about the difference (if any) between “110” and “120” or between “220” and “230” or “240”. I will also disregard frequency.

Let´s assume you have:

a) a European/Brazilian/Argentine appliance that has two wires (blue= neutral and brown=L1 or hot). There is no green wire because the appliance has double insulation. Example: my Black & Decker electric drill purchased when I was still in the UK in the 1990s.

b) a US-style 240-volt dockside outlet with four wires: black=first hot; red = second hot; white = neutral; green = protective earth
Here is how you wire it: blue to black and brown to red, or blue to red and brown to blue. Green and white are left unused. I have done it many times. One time I made an adapter to run UK appliances such as that drill from the 4-wire US-style outlet for the clothes dryer of my house in Los Angeles.

If instead of an electric drill you have a shiny French Beneteau then the recipe is the same, you just add the connection of the protective earth wires (green+yellow on the boat to green on shore).

If you give me part numbers for the existing connectors of the European boat and US-style dock (not the other way around) I would be happy to spec out an adapter that will do the trick without any changes to the boat´s own cord or the pedestal.

Now that we are done with the very little bit of engineering there is to this, lets go to your question of why isn´t there an adapter you can buy in West Marine. At least in the places in Europe where I have lived, people do not buy ready made “proprietary” (eg Marinco) shorepower cords that you buy in a chandler West Marine, they make their own using cable and IEC-standard connectors that they buy in an electrical supply place. Way cheaper and the connectors are better!

There are plenty of boats like this in the Caribbean. Look for any Beneteau or Lagoon with 220V wiring as in made for the European market in a marina with US-style supply and you will see that they changed the plug.
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Old 28-09-2015, 18:27   #24
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think I should make what I'm trying to get at a little more plain. It's not just simply that I don't see how you could make an adapter plug that would take US 220 VAC and make European "stuff" work, but I truly think you could easily get yourself killed trying.
Again unless I'm mistaken US 50 Amp service is two 30 Amp breakers, and 30 Amps at 110 VAC is plenty enough to kill.

You should ask yourself, if it could be done, why isn't it? It's like the 100 MPG carburetor nonsense of years ago, if it could be done, it would be done. We would all know about it and the answer would be just go to the local West Marine and buy the adapter plug.


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1) As svlamorocha explained how, it's no problem feeding a EU appliance with L1 and L2 and not connecting the US neutral. A neighbor from EU who uses his US house as a vacation home brought a few receptacles from EU, we wired them to US 240v so he could use his EU appliances (rechargeable shaver, hair clippers, etc.). All works fine, in fact the local electrical inspector blessed the installation.

2) You are mistaken, 50 amp shorepower service is 240V with (2) 50a breakers, one on each leg. As stated earlier, it will deliver 12,000 va/watts. A 30amp shorepower is 120v and delivers 3,600 va/watts.

If one plans on connecting to various shorepower in various locations, it would be best to have an isolation transformer with multiple inputs such to support any/all input voltages while maintaining a secondary compatible with the on-board appliances.
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Old 28-09-2015, 21:27   #25
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

to me I wouldn't be switching between US and EUR shore power without an isolation transformer (all other things aside). yes both are around ~220 volt if you only grab 2 wires. but the north American one will have a ground floating in the middle and the EUR one will have a ground same potential as one of the hots. (similar to US 120v) that floating ground can't be safe for anything using and needing the ground wire.


an isolation transformer on the boat will always put the ground at the same potential on the boat no mater what you connect to, depending on what you are aiming for. (us 240 or Eur 230) and wire you correct it boat side. so you don't end up with a floating ground on a eur boat pluged into N.A. and you'd still up with with a netrual and ground (eenter taped 240v iso transformer making 120 avail) when pluging into eur 230v from a N.A. wired boat


I won't get into freq or other stuff.
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Old 29-09-2015, 04:25   #26
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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to me I wouldn't be switching between US and EUR shore power without an isolation transformer (all other things aside). yes both are around ~220 volt if you only grab 2 wires. but the north American one will have a ground floating in the middle and the EUR one will have a ground same potential as one of the hots. (similar to US 120v) that floating ground can't be safe for anything using and needing the ground wire.


an isolation transformer on the boat will always put the ground at the same potential on the boat no mater what you connect to, depending on what you are aiming for. (us 240 or Eur 230) and wire you correct it boat side. so you don't end up with a floating ground on a eur boat pluged into N.A. and you'd still up with with a netrual and ground (eenter taped 240v iso transformer making 120 avail) when pluging into eur 230v from a N.A. wired boat


I won't get into freq or other stuff.
I agree on what you say about US boats going to Europe (need iso transformer if you want to run 110 and 220 circuits from same source).

I also agree that an iso transformer is the best (but expensive) way to have take the green "back to the source" with copper (essential when there is no ground fault device).


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Old 29-09-2015, 05:16   #27
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

These FAQs explains the effects of Changing between a 50 and 60Hz supply
Motors: Changing between a 50 and 60Hz supply. - Electric motors, generators & controls engineering FAQ - Eng-Tips
Changing an Induction Motor's Power Supply Frequency Between 50 and 60Hz > ENGINEERING.com
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Old 29-09-2015, 07:39   #28
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

You might try installing a Victron 3600 isolation transformer it apparently switches between 110 and 220 automatically and supports both 50/60 cycles.
I have been considering one - does anyone have experience with these?
Paul



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Old 29-09-2015, 07:45   #29
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
to me I wouldn't be switching between US and EUR shore power without an isolation transformer (all other things aside). yes both are around ~220 volt if you only grab 2 wires. but the north American one will have a ground floating in the middle and the EUR one will have a ground same potential as one of the hots. (similar to US 120v) that floating ground can't be safe for anything using and needing the ground wire.

an isolation transformer on the boat will always put the ground at the same potential on the boat no mater what you connect to, depending on what you are aiming for. (us 240 or Eur 230) and wire you correct it boat side. so you don't end up with a floating ground on a eur boat pluged into N.A. and you'd still up with with a netrual and ground (eenter taped 240v iso transformer making 120 avail) when pluging into eur 230v from a N.A. wired boat

I won't get into freq or other stuff.
I disagree with a couple of things you say here.

First of all, the solution I propose does not lead to "floating" anything. There would be a floating neutral onboard (which floats together with the onboard green wire) if there was an iso transformer. With my proposed solution the green wire is at shore earth potential (real earth) and the two current-carrying wires are 110V RMS away from it and with opposing phases. Furthermore, the green wire provides a low impedance path to the source that will most likely trip a normal overcurrent breaker if any of the two current-carrying wires touches a "mass" of metal that should not have current and for that reason is connected to the green wire.

In the absence of iso transformers, European boats are used to having one current-carrying wire 220V away from earth the other one close to earth potential, but the safety approach still works if we "center" the two current-carrying wires around earth as in my proposal. I take for granted that in the 21st century no one will rely on a single-pole breaker as the only tool to keep you safe while working on the wiring without interrupting the "neutral", and no one will touch the copper of the blue neutral wires just because they are supposed be close to earth potential..

Most importanly, the most significant "new" risk exposure to that European boat would be that US-style docks (unlike modern European docks as in the UK) typically do not have residual current devices at the pedestal. Therefore I would add a US$50 RCD device onboard to compensate for that.

I understand all this is difficult to grasp when we start from the US mindset that tries to teach electricity and electrical safety without understanding the underlying physics. I do concede that the the "memory based" approach in US codes is useful in that training people to design and install safe wiring without understanding how things really work, but in odd situations like this it does not work.
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Old 29-09-2015, 08:00   #30
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

I thought I was going to hear what I did, you guys are proposing to make the neutral leg "hot", do you think that's safe?
Is it not all that uncommon that the neutral and grounds are connected somewhere? If you make the neutral hot and there is a connection between the neutral and ground, then your shorting to ground?
Shorting to ground being the best thing that could happen, making say the metal outside of the toaster "hot" is just as likely?
You can maybe get away with this for individual appliances, especially if double insulated, your drill for example, but I'd only do it if I had to to affect a repair or something.
But then I admit, electricity and water scare me
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