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Old 11-05-2020, 20:59   #1
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60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

I am a 230 VAC boat that will be visiting Canada for 2 seasons

Primarily off grid with ample solar and a robust 24v system with Victron Multi 24/3000/70 Charger/ invertors that handle all AC loads except Air Cons.

The Multiplus battery chargers has an input voltage range of 187-265VAC so will not work on 110VAC

My basic challenge is how to charge my 24v x 780 Ah house bank, on Shore Power, if Solar is not available and I donít want to use my generator.

No problem with 50/60Hz as all my appliances that I bought in the Philippines work fine on either 50 or 60 Hz as Philippines are a 220V 60Hz system

No problem with plugs as I hard wire shore power cable to a termibnal box under the Isolation Transformer

Unfortunately, my Victron 7000w Isolation Transformer is the only model that cannot step up from 115 V to 230 V.

As far as I can figure, I have 2 options:
  • Get a step-up transformer that handles 60A 115V to 30A 230VAC
  • Buy a 3rd Battery charger about 50amp 24V that works on 110 V Canadian Shore power.
Am I missing a simpler cheaper solution?
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Old 11-05-2020, 21:29   #2
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

there is no such thing as 60a 115v.

north america uses 30a 120v 60hz (normal on ~30' slips) or 50a 240v 60hz. (normal on ~50' slips)

you may rarly find 50a 120v but I have never personally seen it.

if you boat appliacnes and transformer can handle 60hz. find a slip with a 50a 240v shore plug. and feed 240v 60hz into your transformer

inverter chargers gernally only take one freq though. and they will shut off if the freq is wrong. you may be able to re program it to 60hz durring your trip. you'd have to talk to victron. most llikly if you feed 240v 60hz into your 230v 50hz inverter charger it will just shut off and stay in invert mode. the 2nd charger may work on 240v 60hz. the fact that is does not accept 120v might mean it can't accept 60hz either though.
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Old 11-05-2020, 22:19   #3
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

Ah!!! Thanks smack....been a long time since I've been on a small dock in North America

50a 240V is not a problem to run everything through my 30a 230V AC board and the mult charger accepts frequencies between 45-65Hz.

I guess where I'd run in to a problem is if only 120v was available.Click image for larger version

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Old 12-05-2020, 09:41   #4
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
No problem with plugs as I hard wire shore power cable to a termibnal box under the Isolation Transformer
Bless you. I chuckle about the discussions of shifting to Smart Plug connectors. I cut off my plugs and hard wire as you do. If it's good enough for ships it's good enough for boats.

North American 50A connections are 240V 60 Hz. You should be fine. Marinas don't look kindly on hard wiring to their power pylons so you'll need to buy a connector and wire to that.
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Old 12-05-2020, 10:09   #5
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
Bless you. I chuckle about the discussions of shifting to Smart Plug connectors. I cut off my plugs and hard wire as you do. If it's good enough for ships it's good enough for boats.

North American 50A connections are 240V 60 Hz. You should be fine. Marinas don't look kindly on hard wiring to their power pylons so you'll need to buy a connector and wire to that.
Yes, I'll buy the appropriate plug for dockside

I am still looking for a practical solution, if all I have available is 120V /30 amp?
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Old 12-05-2020, 10:16   #6
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

An important thing to note. A North America 50A 120/240 plug can supply 240 volt power BUT... as two hot wires with power 180 degrees out of phase. It is a four wire plug, but you will only use three of them. European 220/240 Volt power is one hot and one neutral.

This is important: With two hot wires all breakers MUST be double pole breakers.

If the above does not make sense to you, you'll need an electrician who does understand review your set up BEFORE YOU PLUG IT IN.

Without a transformer there is no way to go from a 110V/30A to 220V
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Old 12-05-2020, 10:22   #7
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVHarmonie View Post
An important thing to note. A North America 50A 120/240 plug can supply 240 volt power BUT... as two hot wires with power 180 degrees out of phase. It is a four wire plug, but you will only use three of them. European 220/240 Volt power is one hot and one neutral.

This is important: With two hot wires all breakers MUST be double pole breakers.

If the above does not make sense to you, you'll need an electrician who does understand review your set up BEFORE YOU PLUG IT IN.

Without a transformer there is no way to go from a 110V/30A to 220V
CE boats all use double pole breakers. The underlying assumption is someone flipped hot and neutral so there are breakers in both lines.
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Old 12-05-2020, 10:36   #8
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

In the PNW in the fishing harbors you'll generally find you can get 240V, especially at a slip for a vessel of your size. In some of the smaller, and recreational harbors, however, you'll be lucky to find a true 30A 120V connection.

Depends on how long you think you'll be plugged in in those situations, for short periods then a new battery charger is probably the least expensive option. If you think you might be plugged in for a longer period then I would probably suggest a 120/230 step-up transformer. You should be able to find a 4-5kVA transformer in that style for not too many $. I wouldn't worry about whether or not it is an isolation style, hook up 120V shore power to the step up, then connect the output to the input of your existing isolation unit (might have to test this, the inrush of two xfmrs might tax a 120V circuit, unless you do one then the other). You'll only have 15A available on the 230V side, so you'll have to manage your loads.

We have a Euro boat in the PNW and we use dock power so rarely that we just use a good, dedicated 120V charger for those rare occasions (through an RCD). (we have the same Victron/Multi charger as you for when 240V is available, works fine).
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Old 12-05-2020, 13:45   #9
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVHarmonie View Post
An important thing to note. A North America 50A 120/240 plug can supply 240 volt power BUT... as two hot wires with power 180 degrees out of phase. It is a four wire plug, but you will only use three of them. European 220/240 Volt power is one hot and one neutral.

This is important: With two hot wires all breakers MUST be double pole breakers.

If the above does not make sense to you, you'll need an electrician who does understand review your set up BEFORE YOU PLUG IT IN.

Without a transformer there is no way to go from a 110V/30A to 220V
Many Thanks for the warning,

I am NOT an electrician so will get a professional approval before I buy and plug anything in. (but not here in the Philippines!)
  • This Paneltronics 240 30A board is what I have
  • When I first bought the boat, it was so tightly crammed into a small space, you could not pull it out to check the connections.
  • My first interim step was to make a whole bunch of pigtails and terminal strip, so that I could pull it out.
  • Now it is relocated in electrical locker and can be inspected / tested / tightened from behind.
From what I can tell, it appears to be just single pole breakers, but I'm not sure, so hence all the photos if anyone can confirm from the labels.
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Old 12-05-2020, 14:02   #10
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
In the PNW in the fishing harbors you'll generally find you can get 240V, especially at a slip for a vessel of your size. In some of the smaller, and recreational harbors, however, you'll be lucky to find a true 30A 120V connection.

Depends on how long you think you'll be plugged in in those situations, for short periods then a new battery charger is probably the least expensive option. If you think you might be plugged in for a longer period then I would probably suggest a 120/230 step-up transformer. You should be able to find a 4-5kVA transformer in that style for not too many $. I wouldn't worry about whether or not it is an isolation style, hook up 120V shore power to the step up, then connect the output to the input of your existing isolation unit (might have to test this, the inrush of two xfmrs might tax a 120V circuit, unless you do one then the other). You'll only have 15A available on the 230V side, so you'll have to manage your loads.

We have a Euro boat in the PNW and we use dock power so rarely that we just use a good, dedicated 120V charger for those rare occasions (through an RCD). (we have the same Victron/Multi charger as you for when 240V is available, works fine).
Great to hear that the Multi will work fine on 240V. Didn't realize you were up in Petersburg. we will be stopping there or Wrangle next year on the way to Canada from the Philippines via Japan and Dutch.

Hopefully, we won't need power or docks too often as we are pretty solar sufficient and like to anchor. However, I've never used Solar in the PNW year round, so this is a backup, if we tie up for a while in winter.

What size/make 120v/24vdc did you buy? we have 780Ah @ 24v
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Old 12-05-2020, 14:47   #11
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

Would the Victron Auto transformer add any Shore oiwer advantages?

This article explains

https://shop.pkys.com/autotransformer.html
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Old 12-05-2020, 15:19   #12
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

No, the autotransformer really doesn't do much for you. As used in the article it is really for American vessels that want 120V from a Euro 240V (or a US 240V) connection.

Probably the simplest, in overall terms, is just to add the little brother 3600W Victron isolation unit to your system. Set it up for 120V in, 240V out. Hardwire your 120V shore power cable to the input. Connect the output in parallel with your existing isolation transformer (put a switch/breaker on the output of each so you don't waste power feeding the xfmr that is not in use).

If you are at a dock with 120V power you drag out that cable, connect it, and just carefully monitor your load so you don't exceed the capabilities of the 120V 30A circuit. If you are at a dock with 240 V power you drag out the cable connected to your existing 7000W unit.

It's extra expense and weight, but the 3600W can be had for about US$700 and it saves any fiddling around, allows long-term connections over the winter if needed, etc. You might be able to save a little getting something other than the Victron product, but not a ton.

For us, we have a 12V system and only 520Ah, so we have a 30A charger. Even if we happen to come in deeply discharged it can get us pretty much topped up overnight. We rely mostly on solar, it does pretty well during the summer. And there's not a lot of sailing on the inside, so the motoring makes up any deficits.

We love Petersburg, and the marina is right in town, but Wrangell has a few more options for eating out if you like meals away from the boat and are planning to spend the winter. I doubt you could find a slip in town in Wrangell, but you might be able to find one at Heritage Harbor just south of town. Shoemaker is several miles south and not convenient without a vehicle. IIRC Denali Rose (here on CF) keep their boat in Wrangell.
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Old 12-05-2020, 15:30   #13
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Ah!!! Thanks smack....been a long time since I've been on a small dock in North America

50a 240V is not a problem to run everything through my 30a 230V AC board and the mult charger accepts frequencies between 45-65Hz.
Attachment 214890
I'm not so sure this will work. I suggest you double check. Be aware that the North American 240V is 3 phase, not single phase.
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Old 12-05-2020, 15:52   #14
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

The "standard" (used loosely) US 240V, 50A shore power connection is a NEMA SS2-50P. This is a split-phase connection with two hot wires and a neutral. Each hot wire is 120V from the neutral and they are 240V between the hot legs. There is a 4th conductor for protective earth.

For use on a Euro boat the two hot legs get connected to the input of the isolation transformer, the neutral gets ignored, and the protective earth goes as it would anywhere else (I'm vague about that because there are options).

In an industrial harbor you may encounter 240V, 3-phase but are more likely to get 480V if you get to 3-phase.
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Old 12-05-2020, 16:00   #15
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Re: 60a 110V Shore Power to 230V Boat System.

I would suggest that the easiest thing for 120v-only slips, in your situation, would be to just carry a suitable transformer, in a rainproof housing, with a short cord on it for the marina connection and a connector (or cord and connector) for the connection to the boat.


Here's one for $500, though you would have to add cords and connectors.


https://www.grainger.com/product/ACM...nsformer-4WUD8


The idea is that you put it on the dock when you are using it, not on your boat. You would want to make some sort of stand or bracket for it, to keep it upright.

Then when you leave North America, you can just sell it. No need to modify your boat in any way. The main disadvantage is that the transformers weigh around 50 pounds (for a 3000 watt transformer) and you have to move them -- but only if you're at a dock where you need shore power and 120v is all they have.

That one's 3000 watts; U.S. shore power is ordinarily 30 amps so that is about the right size. I would fuse it at 25 amps for safety. Some marinas have setups like that they can bring out, for European boats that dock at their facilities.



You can get proportionally lighter and cheaper transformers if you can live with less capacity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokanee View Post
I'm not so sure this will work. I suggest you double check. Be aware that the North American 240V is 3 phase, not single phase.
It depends on the dock. Only very large slips would have that configuration. With the proper connector it can still be used on a European-wired boat.
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