Electricity (European to American)
I have found a couple of Privilege cats that I am planning to travel to see. One is set up with standard North American power 110V 60 hz and the other one is set up with 230-240V / 50 hz. I have read articles about Eurpean power conversion considerations for N.A. boats visiting European waters but I have not seen anything regarding the opposite.
The European boat that interests me has lots of electronics, and electrical stuff and it is likely that the wiring and fuses are all designed for 230 Volts. A partial option would seem to be to install an isolation transformer to boost N.A. power up to the 230 volts (the isolation transformer would also protect against galvanic corrosion from shore power I have read).
This seems to me to only be a partial fix because the 50 hz vs. 60 hz would still be a problem for anything with a motor in it particularly. I am not aware that hz is changed in such transformers as well as the voltage but I assume would rather require a more complicated electric motor/generator system I believe to run ship systems like an air conditioner, fridge & freezer while hooked up to land.
Does anyone have suggestions or referrals to articles that have been written on this subject from others experiences?
If you have a boat setup for Europeann 230VAC 50 Hz... and wanted to set it up for 110VAC, you will probably need to re-wire it completely on the AC side because the wiring will generally be too small to handle the same power loads at the lower voltage, since the amperage will double. 1500 Watts at 220V is 7 Amps, at 110V it is 14 Amps.
A isolation transformer is probably your best bet.
The frequency isn't too much of an issue, as many electrical motors and such can run over a range of frequencies... 50-60 Hz in general. You should check the equipment labels, most will state what frequency range the equipment will work over.
If you are not running an emmersion heater or something else with a high Watt load, the wiring will be OK. In any case, its only the wire running up to the transformer that takes the 110V 2x Amps load. Beyond it, the voltage is 220 V and current normal for a 220V wired boat.
Most things will be running on the DC circuits, which are the things that are intended to run offshore, so its only the direct AC loads are a worry. Check the battery charger is not worried by 60 Hz. If the boat can drive its 220V installations through an inverter from the batteries, then the charger may be the only item sensitive to 60Hz.
Before re-wiring check the guage of the wire to the various a/c items. You will probably find that it is minimum #12 AWG equivelant. You will want to replace any receptacles with 120v/15a NA ones. The battery charger and hot watertank (OR at least the element) will have to be replaced if you want to convert the boat to NA standard which to me makes more sense than mixing systems.
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