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Old 12-01-2010, 08:38   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Spain
Boat: 45' Asphalt Cruiser
Posts: 16
50amp Shorepower Installation

My profile shows a 45' Asphalt Cruiser, but please don't shout me off just yet. We have many things in common with boats and since we are now in Europe with this thing for a tour () we need some urgent advice from the international yachting set.

We are 50-amp, two 120vac lines sharing a common neutral.
Leg "A" (non-inverter) runs air-con1, air-con2, aqua hot electrical element, electric cooktop, washer dryer, and a base floor heater.

Leg "B" (inverter) runs lights, plugs, Headhunter Mach5 water pump, 2x TV, entertainment gear, microwave and residential fridge.

Leg "B" (non-inverter) runs air-con3
Our Automatic Transfer Switch connects a 12K genny and the ShorePower. Hot1, Neut., Hot2 (x2). There is a generator relay circuit board and neutral de-energize relay also in there. Output runs to the distribution circuit breaker panel (load centre), which also shows polarity on the main breaker, with individual breakers for each appliance. There are connections to our Trace 3000w inverter/converter and onboard charger. I think all pretty normal, but no EMS.

Also Onboard
We installed a separate Mastervolt 100/12 (90v~260vac) 3-stage charger, with shunt, that we plug in separately in low amperage situations so we can run off the Trace 3000w inverter. No aircon, no heavy appliances unless by genny. We also have 600w of solar panels and an MPPT controller to the Mastervolt shunt. This is our living situation presently.

Desired Technology Additions
We wish to order the Victron Autotransformer 32, which accepts European 240vac, max 32-amp, on input and outputs to two separate legs at 120vac, sharing a common neutral generated by the Autotransformer.

Before the unit, on the shorepower side, we will purchase a Mastervolt soft-start. We would also like to place before the Victron32 a PowerMaster or Hughes AutoTransformer to boost low voltage, but cannot find a European version and do not want to purchase two of these aft of the Victron32. These "dedicated" boost devices seem uncommon in Europe.

The Victron32 should make European shore "look" like incoming four-wire (one is ground), 50-amp US, except at 50Hz. Is that right? We initially purchased a 16-amp Victron Isolation Transformer with stepdown, but this only has one leg output and we would have to jumper Leg "A" and "B" aft of the transformer, in a separately installed curcuit breaker and be content with a max 16-amp 240vac input, which may bring us power consumption problems in summer or winter if a 32-amp connection can be found.

Without going to something like the Mastervolt MultiTap, is the Victron32 with a Mastervolt soft-start prior the right working technology. We like the 32 since we "may just find" a 32-amp incoming 220 somewhere on our tour. Just maybe, and want to be prepared. I am also not understanding what Victron says about balancing loads between the neutral and how that will affect my two legs.

Victron 32A datasheet
Thanks for your consideration and recommendations or advice.

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Old 13-01-2010, 12:37   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Spain
Boat: 45' Asphalt Cruiser
Posts: 16
I believe we found a solution, provided to us by Nick (s/v Jedi) in his thread discussing the new electrical layout in his boat.

We will purchase two units from Victron Energy, a 32-Amp Isolation Transformer and a 32-Amp Autotransformer.

Will connect to European 240VAC (50Hz) shorepower (either 32-Amp or 16-Amp) by cable to the onboard Victron Isolation Transformer (max. 32-Amp input) and output 240VAC into the Victron Autotransformer, which steps down AC to two 120VAC outputs who share a common neutral generated by the unit.

This "should" appear to our Automatic Transfer Switch as Leg1, Leg2 and common neutral as found on a standard 4-wire 50-amp connection in the USA. (The ATS also connects to the 12K generator).

The Victron Isolation Transformer maybe overkill for a shore vehicle application, but will provide us with the needed soft-start functionality, better AC safety and hopefully a 4% boost (admittedly not much) in the event of low shore voltage.

The Victron Autotransformer will perform stepdown to its two 120VAC Leg 1 and Leg 2 outputs that share a common neutral produced by the Autotransformer itself.

Although in Europe, we mostly connect to 16-Amp 240VAC (the norm), we wish to be prepared in the event we can get a 32-Amp shore breaker.

Still unsure
I do not fully understand how the Victron Autotransformer adjusts unbalanced loads between Leg1 and Leg2 via the common neutral as it outlines in its datasheet. We do not have a load shedding EMS onboard, but the Trace Inverter does have a common AC connection for both legs (as seen on our wiring diagram -- not sure how that will figure in). Comments?

In the meantime
We are "surviving" with the Mastervolt 100/12 3-stage charger since the rain has been belting down for two weeks now in Malaga, Spain, and the solar hardly registers enough.
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Old 14-01-2010, 06:21   #3
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Location: Black Hills, SD
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My previous boat was wired similar to what you propose. It had a Charles Isolation / conversion transformer that could accept any 240 / 120 input and provide 120v 60hz to the breaker panel. Don't know the specific model number.

Knowing the cost of anything Victron you may find similar function - in one box - for less money if you go with Charles.

Good luck with it.

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