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Old 05-01-2012, 07:07 AM   #21
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"What we need is a method of connecting the US 240v four wire system to the European three wire system"

To operate??

If your US loads are modest a good inverter , Trace 4024 (4KW at 24V input) will power many needs from a good sized batt set.

What US gear are you trying to power? For how long?

A dockside US power input and wiring for a few gadgets might be the simplest and safest .

With US 120 and 240 internal plugs and sockets very different from the euro style there should be little chance of a problem.

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Old 11-25-2017, 10:53 AM   #22
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We have a vessel that was built to European standards. We are wanting to use US (4 wire) 240v shore power on the vessel that is European (3 wire).
There is nothing on board that is voltage or frequency sensitive.

The other item that we are trying to accomplish is a step up transformer to increase the 120v shore power (it powers a battery charger, then the batteries run a 240v inverter) to 240v.
In your same situation, with a European sailboat. Ours came set up for 230volt/16amp AC power and 12 Volt DC. So I am not sure if I can provide any relevant advice on the DC side if you are set up for 24 Volt DC.

If you talk to a marine electrician you will probably get the safe but expensive advice to tear everything from the shore power inlet to the breaker panel and convenience sockets (and the wiring in between) out and replace it all.

If you talk to the guy on the dock you will get the unsafe but inexpensive advice to do a little wire surgery.

I wasn't happy with either extreme.

Since we ended up already having a 12 volt DC system, I left that alone.

Decided to go with the 240V/50A US standard instead of the 120V/30A standard. Put in the right US shore power inlet, and within ten feet a new 240/50 main breaker. Immediately downstream of that a Victron Isolation Transformer capable of accepting 110V-250V and outputting 230V. Hooked the output from that to the existing AC system.

Got a couple of 230-110 step-down transformes for $150 to use US standard stuff at the existing convenience sockets.

End result is the boat still thinks it is in Europe, I can run it as is for however long I want, and I have the initial setup for a very safe ABYC compatible US 240V/50A installation already in place if I decide to replace the original AC breaker panel, convenience sockets, water heater, battery charger and wiring in the future.

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:14 PM   #23
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The OP posted 5.5 years ago so I doubt it has helped him much!

Your solution does not address frequency. You can get 230 VAC, but it will be at 60 Hz whereas the Euro appliances are designed for 50 Hz. For resistive loads, no problem. For inductive loads there may well be issues such as premature failure.

A much better solution is to just use US shorepower to run a voltage AND frequency compatible battery charger. Victron make them for example. Then run all onboard AC appliances off a 230V / 50 Hz inverter. In this scenario the battery charger and inverter are separate - combined inverter/chargers don't handle both 50 & 60 Hz, just one or the other. Then your boat might well believe its still in Europe. The way you have done it, not so much.
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Old 11-25-2017, 05:29 PM   #24
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True.

However

Neither the OP and I had no frequency sensitive devices on board.

I did give your solution some thought but in the end didn't want the AC system to be DC dependent based on a series of inverters.

This also results in leaving the door open to a complete AC replacement in the future without changing the DC system.
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Old 11-25-2017, 05:50 PM   #25
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The OP posted 5.5 years ago so I doubt it has helped him much!

Your solution does not address frequency. You can get 230 VAC, but it will be at 60 Hz whereas the Euro appliances are designed for 50 Hz. For resistive loads, no problem. For inductive loads there may well be issues such as premature failure.

A much better solution is to just use US shorepower to run a voltage AND frequency compatible battery charger. Victron make them for example. Then run all onboard AC appliances off a 230V / 50 Hz inverter. In this scenario the battery charger and inverter are separate - combined inverter/chargers don't handle both 50 & 60 Hz, just one or the other. Then your boat might well believe its still in Europe. The way you have done it, not so much.
This is the route I took with Libra. Kept the Euro shore power cord and put a new plug in for that, added a US shore power cord and plug in for that. Routed both to a Victron charger that recognizes both voltages and frequencies to charge 12 and 24 volt banks of 2 volt industrial cells that total about 1500 amp hour equivalents at 12 volts. This is inverted to 230/50 by a Mastervolt inverter. The generators can also produce 380/50 for the windlass.

For US 110 we added a few of those little devices that plug into the Euro outlets to run those small devices.

Thus, for all practical purposes, the boat still thinks it is Euro with 12, 24, 230, and 380 volt power available to the equipment. WE scratched our heads about this for a bit but this seems to work nicely for us and is handy in terms of being able to hook up to about any power supply we may encounter at any port.
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Old 11-25-2017, 06:17 PM   #26
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The problem to consider when going from European 240 v system to the North American system is that one of the benefits of the European higher voltage is the smaller wire gauge which is needed because of the higher voltage. If you leave the wiring in place for a 240 v coffee pot from Europe but substitute a 120 v coffee pot you may be using wire which is too small for the North American 120 v system.
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:01 PM   #27
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The problem to consider when going from European 240 v system to the North American system is that one of the benefits of the European higher voltage is the smaller wire gauge which is needed because of the higher voltage. If you leave the wiring in place for a 240 v coffee pot from Europe but substitute a 120 v coffee pot you may be using wire which is too small for the North American 120 v system.
For sure Marty. Anything with a decent amp draw or even moderate draw but long duration, we keep Euro 230/50. This includes things like coffee maker, toaster, microwave, crockpot, hair dryer etc. These things are readily available on Amazon.
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