Thread: ELCI Article
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Old 04-02-2019, 07:46 PM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 13

Of course an ELCI will not resolve leakage issues but also installing a isolation transformer may not also. The ELCI is simply a two pole breaker installed on the AC input side that will trip if the current difference between the power and neutral leads is greater than a set amount (typically 30 - 100 ma ). An isolation transformer isolates the whole of the boats AC electrical system from the AC shore power by introducing a null transformer. If there is "leakage" the ELCI will detect it and open the breaker. With the isolation transformer by definition there will be no detectable leakage since the power and neutral lines to the transformer are in equilibrium. However depending on the installation there may still be significant leakage current on the boat and danger to those who might be swimming in close proximity. It resolves the issues of the boat plugging into the updated power pedastals of marinas but doesn't necessarily resolve issues of stray current being introduced into the water surrounding the vessel.

For vessels having issues with leakage current, I always recommend resolving the leakage current issues first then making a decision to install an isolation transformer. By the way there are many advantages to having the isolation transformer installed.
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