I just got word back from the buyer of the Outback MPPT
controller I sold
: it was shipped with USPS ground from Florida
and arrived in perfect condition.
In the mean time I have received the new 24V units which means I do have a good box to ship this unit in as the dimensions are the same.
Itís not cheap
was priced at $65 for a potential buyer in Maryland
(he cancelled as he needed a 120V unit) so shipping
is possible and doesnít add too much to the price if youíre not too far from Florida.
This ad is apparently not clear for US code wired boats so let me expand on that: if you buy a 120V inverter/charger, as used to be the normal way to go, this was exactly what you got: 120V. However, that is not the US standard as used ashore, where you get 120/240V service, which allows for more powerful appliances
stoves, cooktops, ovens, dryers etc.
Now that new boats come with all electric
galleys and many boats are converting, having 120/240V service aboard is becoming more common. There are two ways to do this: using two 120V inverter/chargers interconnected in a special way, or using a 240V inverter/charger (or multiple units in parallel for more power), followed by an auto-transformer. The auto transformer creates a new neutral so that you get 120V between neutral and L1 as well as between neutral and L2, just like shore installations.
The big advantage for the transformer setup is that you have perfect balancing. When you use the first option, each inverter/charger can only be loaded up to itís maximum power. This can make it impossible to run an appliance because neither unit can handle the extra power, while both combined would have more than enough.
With the auto transformer, the transformer takes care of any imbalance. The Victron auto transformer can re-balance up to 32A which is always enough for use aboard. Itís also cost effective and much smaller and lighter than an isolation transformer.
So the perfect upgrade to a US boat
with 120V 30A shore power
is like this: upgrade the shore power
connection to 120/240V 50A service like standard in marinas
. You will need a new breaker after the inlet. Now connect either a galvanic isolator
or an isolation transformer. After that, connect L1 and L2 to a 240V inverter/charger like Iím selling here. You donít connect the neutral at all.
If you have a generator
, it needs to be changed to 240V as well. I had to reconfigure two wire jumpers (put windings in series instead of parallel) as well as a little jumper in the voltage regulator
to set that at 240V. Now connect the generator L1 and L2 to the Quattro input as well. Again, do not use the Neutral from the generator, but do ground Neutral it at the generator (it probably already is).
On the Quattro output you get 240V L1 and L2 just like what was put in. The settings of the Quattro are set to 240V, 60Hz and not use ground relay (the rest of defaults are fine). Now the output is connected to the auto transformer, which adds the new neutral (which must be permanently grounded with a jumper, no need for the relay as the neutral from shore is not used) and you have the same 120-0-120 service as is common in the US.
Since we did this, we found we could change jumpers on the motor
of our watermaker
to 240V so it runs much better (startup surge and running amps halved!), we changed the water heater
element to a 240V version and when we bought a new A/C we changed that to 240V as well. Also, now you can install a real 2-4 burner induction cooktop in the galley
, which are all 240V.
If the above is abracadabra to you, please use a qualified installer.