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Old 02-17-2014, 11:43 AM   #1
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Bay Pelican's Avatar
City: Chicago, IL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bay Pelican
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,880
Converting European Electricity to North American

At last, Bay Pelican is now able to accept European shore power. Bay Pelican is a North American boat set up for 220v (4 wire) 60 hertz electricity. She exists however in the Eastern Caribbean dominated by European 220 volt (3 wire) 50 hertz electricity. The two electricity types don’t mix.

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Frequency meter showing 50 hertz

With the help of a technician at Charles Marine, and a friend who is an electrical engineer, we were able to construct adapter wiring to feed the European shore power to our isolation transformer, which steps it down to 110 volts, and power a couple of 50 hertz capable appliances, including a battery charger. North American 110 volt, 60 hertz power is supplied to the rest of the boat by an inverter set on invert only. Thus the shore power feed is 50 hertz but the AC plugs on Bay Pelican are 110 volt 60 hertz.

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Kill A Watt Meter showing 60 hertz at 110 volt outlets

The Eastern Caribbean and most of the rest of the outside of North America operates on 50 hertz. For those of us who frequent these waters our choices are limited. A few marinas will supply 110 volt power, even fewer will supply both 110 volt and 60 hertz. Using your generator in the marina is a frequent alternative for those boats who are just passing through.
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