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Old 03-03-2021, 22:05   #1
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Portable Generator for Imported Boat

Hi everyone,

Apologies if it's a dumb question but I've been looking into a power solution for my boat on consecutive cloudy days, where solar isn't enough.

The boats imported from the US and has AC 120v wiring, however the boat is currently in Australia where the standard is 240v. I'm thinking of buying a portable generator to help charge my house bank, having it plugged into the boats shore power outlet. However, Australian bought generators deliver 240v AC.

Would anyone have suggestions on what the best course of action might be? I suppose I either buy a 110v Generator, or rewire the boat for 240v AC?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-03-2021, 23:23   #2
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

How much 110 equip is on the boat?
What do you really use?
How much $ to replace?
Are you ever going to take the boat back to NAmer?
Have you considered buying a 110v inverter to run the existing equip, 240 gen to run any new equip that way the cost of replacing equip is spread out over time?
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Old 04-03-2021, 00:09   #3
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
How much 110 equip is on the boat?
What do you really use?
How much $ to replace?
Are you ever going to take the boat back to NAmer?
Have you considered buying a 110v inverter to run the existing equip, 240 gen to run any new equip that way the cost of replacing equip is spread out over time?
Not that much 110v Equipment onboard.
Not planning to take the boat to NA
Boat already has a 110v Inverter to run existing equipment. I was thinking in terms of charging batteries through shore power outlet.

Perhaps I buy a 240v Generator with a step down transformer and plug it into the shore power outlet...

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 04-03-2021, 00:15   #4
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by zams 1006 View Post
Not that much 110v Equipment onboard.
Not planning to take the boat to NA
Boat already has a 110v Inverter to run existing equipment. I was thinking in terms of charging batteries through shore power outlet.

Perhaps I buy a 240v Generator with a step down transformer and plug it into the shore power outlet...

Thanks for your reply.
The problem is hertz. 230v 50hz vrs 120v 60hz.

You could buy a 230v 50hz gen and feed it only to a 230v 50hz batt charger. Then let the inverter run 120v 60hz to the plugs. This would also work on the dock.

Or you could buy a 120v gen and just plug the boat as is. But you still can’t use a dock.

Or redo the whole boat into 230v 50hz.
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Old 04-03-2021, 02:46   #5
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

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The problem is hertz. 230v 50hz vrs 120v 60hz.

You could buy a 230v 50hz gen and feed it only to a 230v 50hz batt charger. Then let the inverter run 120v 60hz to the plugs. This would also work on the dock.

Or you could buy a 120v gen and just plug the boat as is. But you still can’t use a dock.

Or redo the whole boat into 230v 50hz.
The boat has a Freedom 10 Inverter/Charger.... I'll check if it accepts 50hz.

If my battery charger will accept 120v at 50hz then I can just use a transformer...

How big of a problem is Hz if I could transform 240 to 120v 50hz?
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Old 04-03-2021, 03:09   #6
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

Buy a universal charger for example https://sterling-power.com/products/pro-charge-ultra Sterling Power will accept 90-300v 50&60 hz input. Any generator will run this. Also very robust in poorly wired marinas where voltage can vary significantly.
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Old 04-03-2021, 05:09   #7
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

Do you even need a generator? Are you on shore power? If yes, just get a 240v-50hz charger and run it off shore power.

In the long run, you will want to consider converting the AC system to 240v-50hz. Every time a device fails, you will be scrambling to find a 110v-60hz model in a land where they aren't meant to be used.
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Old 04-03-2021, 05:13   #8
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Do you even need a generator? Are you on shore power? If yes, just get a 240v-50hz charger and run it off shore power.

In the long run, you will want to consider converting the AC system to 240v-50hz. Every time a device fails, you will be scrambling to find a 110v-60hz model in a land where they aren't meant to be used.
Hi mate! I was thinking more at Anchor when a series of cloudy or wet days don't give me enough solar. I'm not planning to be connected to shore power much if at all.

That's true, I'm considering converting the system...

My Inverter/charger says AC Freq is either 50Hz or 60Hz, however on the body of the inverter it says input is 60Hz. Pretty confused and not sure if it will take 120v 50Hz. see Attched Images.
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:21   #9
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

I would suggest a Honda 2000 very quiet, will even run a 5000 btu ac
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:33   #10
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

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Originally Posted by floydmiami1 View Post
I would suggest a Honda 2000 very quiet, will even run a 5000 btu ac
His question is around how to obtain a 120VAC generator that runs 60hz, which is what his US based boat is wired at, however in Oz he can only obtain 240VAC @ 50hz. Otherwise he needs to find a way to make he whole thing work.

In other words: Please read the post and thread.
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Old 04-03-2021, 11:09   #11
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by zams 1006 View Post
Hi everyone,

Apologies if it's a dumb question but I've been looking into a power solution for my boat on consecutive cloudy days, where solar isn't enough.

The boats imported from the US and has AC 120v wiring, however the boat is currently in Australia where the standard is 240v. I'm thinking of buying a portable generator to help charge my house bank, having it plugged into the boats shore power outlet. However, Australian bought generators deliver 240v AC.

Would anyone have suggestions on what the best course of action might be? I suppose I either buy a 110v Generator, or rewire the boat for 240v AC?

Thanks in advance!
I think putting a stepdown transformer aboard and and buying an Aussie gen.
may be your best bet. It will allow you to use dock side electricity adding a 240 receptacle on deck not replacing the 120V one. You would be good to go any place in the world.
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Old 04-03-2021, 11:30   #12
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

It’s funny I didn’t read anywhere in the gentleman’s question about 60hz nor did I read anything about the boat based in the US
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:40   #13
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

Don't try to parallel two sources of alternating current. Shore power to genset power as you suggested. Nasty things can happen. Characteristics of voltage, frequency and phase must be matched within very close tolerances.
I'm familiar with paralleling AC systems in large three and four engine jet airplanes with very expensive equipment that can monitor these variables and trip one of more generators off the line if they act up. These airplane generators as typically 120VAC, 400HZ, 3-Phase power. Don't try to plug a 60HZ vacuum cleaner into a 400HZ outlet. I've seen it done by ground personnel. The vacuum burned up in about 2 seconds. Unfortunately the receptacles are, or were back in the day, very similar and the vacuum cleaner plug could be forced into 400HZ one.
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Old 04-03-2021, 19:17   #14
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by zams 1006 View Post
Hi everyone,

Apologies if it's a dumb question but I've been looking into a power solution for my boat on consecutive cloudy days, where solar isn't enough.

The boats imported from the US and has AC 120v wiring, however the boat is currently in Australia where the standard is 240v. I'm thinking of buying a portable generator to help charge my house bank, having it plugged into the boats shore power outlet. However, Australian bought generators deliver 240v AC.

Would anyone have suggestions on what the best course of action might be? I suppose I either buy a 110v Generator, or rewire the boat for 240v AC?

Thanks in advance!
Where in Australia are you?

The easiest way is to get a step-down transformer. This will also give you isolation (a nice safety factor).
Cheaper than that, you can get an auto-transformer (no primary and secondary windings, therefore no isolation, but significantly cheaper).

Otherwise it's a matter of converting everything, and replacing the units on board that run on 110V - a significant and expensive job.
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:43   #15
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Re: Portable Generator for Imported Boat

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Where in Australia are you?

The easiest way is to get a step-down transformer. This will also give you isolation (a nice safety factor).
Cheaper than that, you can get an auto-transformer (no primary and secondary windings, therefore no isolation, but significantly cheaper).

Otherwise it's a matter of converting everything, and replacing the units on board that run on 110V - a significant and expensive job.
Boat is in Sydney! I'll get an Aussie generator with a step down transformer. Fingers crossed its all going to work.

Apparently the old battery charger can handle 60Hz or 50Hz

Thanks!
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