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Old 29-09-2015, 09:07   #31
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by Catalysis View Post
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
Paul

Those Victron iso transformers are good for a European boat that comes to US-land but they are not good to take to Europe a US boat with dual US-style 220-110 wiring (as in a US house) because those transformers do not have the three taps that would be required.

That said, if your PDQ 44 is similar to the Antares 44s I am familiar with, then that caveat does not apply to you because your washer dryer uses 110V and your two 110V shore inlets are not "combined" to "make" 220V onboard, hence you should be fine with one of these.

I understand that s the little glitch that this transformer does not meet ABYC standard 11.7.1.1.2.3 on shield faults (only relevant if the transformer itself fails) but it will make sure the green wire does its job even if the shore wiring is defective.

Summarizing on the safety side, this trafo helps on safety even when connected to a US dock where you do not need to change voltages, but IMHO you should consider that a better bang for the buck on safety comes from taking your boat to compliance with current ABYC standards by adding a whole-boat ground fault device that I bet your boat does not have. This is cheaper than an iso transformer and there is a reason why it is mandatory on new boats, while the iso transformer is not mandatory.

Regarding frequency, this and most transformers will tolerate both 50 and 60 Hz, but they will not change it, hence if you take your boat to 50Hz land you should be aware that your washer dryer (if the same as newer boats) will not like 50Hz at all and the air con units will cope with 50Hz but may suffer.

If all you want is voltage stepdown to go to 220V land marinas and use everything but dryer and watermaker and probably air cons while connected to shorepower, then this piece of kit will do the job. Just note that this unit is designed to be mounted inside, hence you either need to make a box to leave it at the dock (and plug both cords to that box) or buy one for each shore circuit and install them "permanently" replacing the existing galvanic isolators.

Summing up:

If you are interested in safety I think you should consider retrofitting ground fault devices first. If you send me a PM I can give you part numbers for a drop-in replacement of your shore breakers that will add ground fault devices that cover the whole boat.. This cheaper and more important than an iso transformer under most circumstances.

If you are interested in connecting to 220V-only docks ocassionaly then I would suggest you also look at chargers that can take both voltages such as the Victron Centaur that are installed inside the boat and can be used as an alternative to the shore connection while in 220V land (say Pacific 220V islands), while you run all AC loads (including air con) off the inverter (assuming it is up to the job). There are also "no mounting required" step-down transformers such as the one used by the Antares yard in Argentina.
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Old 29-09-2015, 09:21   #32
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
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
We are talking about solutions without an iso transformer. Any electrician or system that connects "neutral" to ground onboard a boat without an iso transformer (following a US code for houses) deserves the electric chair, full stop.

The green wire should go ashore and then be handled as per local shore practice, (ie connected to shore neutral at the specified location as in US or just to a dedicated ground rod as in TT land).
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Old 29-09-2015, 09:40   #33
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

Go here
NEXT-GEN - Marine Power Units
Download their manual, look at page 23 where it shows and tell you to connect the neutral and ground together.
I tell you, it's not all that uncommon.
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Old 29-09-2015, 10:33   #34
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Go here
NEXT-GEN - Marine Power Units
Download their manual, look at page 23 where it shows and tell you to connect the neutral and ground together.
I tell you, it's not all that uncommon.
Good point.

The connection between neutral and green at the genset as per ABYC 11.5.3.2.3 and the manual you provided is not a problem because the gensetīs neutral (together with its hot) is broken by the OFF-GENSET-SHORE transfer switch, which is not "made" to the genset until broken from shore. Therefore the green wire in one of the boatīs circuits does not see both connections at the same time. See diagram 2 form ABYC E-11, attached for your convenience.

My wording was sloppy. I should added the "shorepower" word that I now add in capitals:
Any electrician or system that connects SHOREPOWER "neutral" to ground onboard a boat without an iso transformer (following a US code for houses) deserves the electric chair, full stop.
There is also a related point on inverters but the ABYC and equivalent standards take care of that very elegantly.

Now that I have corrected my wording, I insist that it is safe to connect a Euro boat to a US dock as described.
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Old 29-09-2015, 11:26   #35
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

My issue is different. My Outremer 45 was built with 110 wiring, but the shore power was a 220. I had a 110 marinco 50 amp shore power installed but then had to rely on the marina having 110 which some do. In the southern Caribbean it is mostly 220. I am going to install a 220 shorepower which will go straight to a transformer built in the boat and have the 110 as well that should cover all the bases.
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Old 29-09-2015, 12:02   #36
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
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
You are mixing/confusing the fact that we are proposing to NOT connect the US neutral to the EU boat/appliance. Nor are we proposing to connect the EU neutral (blue) to ground (yellow/green).

You are also mixing the purpose for neutral and ground. Neutral does not connect to the outside of a toaster, ground might if it's not a double insulated appliance.
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Old 29-09-2015, 13:02   #37
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
You are mixing/confusing the fact that we are proposing to NOT connect the US neutral to the EU boat/appliance. Nor are we proposing to connect the EU neutral (blue) to ground (yellow/green).

You are also mixing the purpose for neutral and ground. Neutral does not connect to the outside of a toaster, ground might if it's not a double insulated appliance.
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Old 29-09-2015, 13:06   #38
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by admiralslater View Post
My issue is different. My Outremer 45 was built with 110 wiring, but the shore power was a 220. I had a 110 marinco 50 amp shore power installed but then had to rely on the marina having 110 which some do. In the southern Caribbean it is mostly 220. I am going to install a 220 shorepower which will go straight to a transformer built in the boat and have the 110 as well that should cover all the bases.
In my experience your proposed solution works great, particularly if you have an inverter that will let you run all your AC appliances. I like to have separate shorepower cables for US-style 110V and Euro-style 220V, just like that. This type of solution ("inverter-based boat" as per Calder) looks even better with the current shift to lithium batteries...
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:34   #39
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

I have a 1979 Trintella 44 with the same problem. Difference is that I don't use much onshore power. When in the Caribbean I would rely mostly on my wind generator, and when at Marina I would use a simple inexpensive transformer which you may find anywhere, like this:
AC voltage transformer 220V to 110V, Buy AC voltage transformer 220V to 110V, Step Down Transformer, Step Down Transformer Products on transformer-online.com
The one I used was rated at 1000 W in 220v thought. It worked both ways to step up or down. Seems to be the same solution as Sailcrazy.

This was the cheapest solution, because in the US and many islands in the Caribbean 220v is only supplied in two phases, while European boats have 220v in a single phase as highlighted by A64pilot above.

Unfortunately I connected it in the opposite direction when in Norfolk, VA, and it burned out. I could not find anything similar in the US, so I bought another model, more complex, where you have to select the voltage input and output, but also works both up or down. similar to this one:
http://www.alibaba.com/product-detai...613807517.html

These models are very inexpensive and work fine, but I have never seen anything above 5000 watts. Mine is rated at 1500w.

As I said I don't use much shore power, I only have a small fridge which uses 125W, notebooks rated at 60 to 85W, a few lights that fun on shore power and the battery charger. My wife has uses a hairdryer sometimes.

But as I said, I am not even close to 11 KWA... I suggest you figure out how much power you really use before deciding what to buy. But unless you run an electrical water heater out of it, it is very unlikely you will need more than 5 KWA.

Best,

Gus
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:51   #40
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by gtpinhei View Post
This was the cheapest solution, because in the US and many islands in the Caribbean 220v is only supplied in two phases, while European boats have 220v in a single phase as highlighted by A64pilot above.
Just to correct the confusion. In the EU, they use 460v which is then "split" into (2) 230v legs via center tapping the transformer. In the Caribbean/US, they use 240v which is then "split" into (2) 120v legs via the same. This is called "Split Phase" (not to be confused with (2) phases of a (3 or 4) phase system).

As described earlier in this thread, you can safely use Caribbean/US 240v as a substitute for EU 230v, given the appliance will accept the difference in frequency (60 vs. 50). If you need 120v 60hz and only 230v 50hz is available, then you need an autotransformer as described, or certain isolation transformers can also perform the step down in voltage. Again, a transformer will not change the frequency, hence your 60hz appliance must accept 50hz in order to work.
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Old 19-11-2015, 16:06   #41
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

Our 2003 Outremer built in France has a 110ac volt system. As the boat spends most of its time in the Caribbean this is not handy even if some places now have 110. I am installing a 3kw transformer in line from the 220 to the 110. I also have a 110 plug for places that have that. Yes there will be a selector switch
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Old 24-02-2017, 15:55   #42
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by thoreed View Post
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.
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We handled the situation likewise.

Which chargers did you and others go with to be best suited in this instance? What did you do for the shore power inlet?
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Old 26-02-2017, 01:56   #43
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Re: Shorepower transformer for European boat

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Originally Posted by admiralslater View Post
Our 2003 Outremer built in France has a 110ac volt system. As the boat spends most of its time in the Caribbean this is not handy even if some places now have 110. I am installing a 3kw transformer in line from the 220 to the 110. I also have a 110 plug for places that have that. Yes there will be a selector switch


BrettB solution is one very acceptable and interesting solution. We are outfitting our 44 ft Morgan center cockpit for Europe and went a different route. Appliances that accept 50 or 60 Hz and a 7.5 KVA transformer from Charles industries. Contact Larry Budd at (800) 830-6523 and mention Mark Fay referred you. I don't get anything out of this but he is acquainted with my situation and it will cut to the chase quicker. They have refirb transformers at a substantial discount.
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