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  #1  
Old 11-14-2009
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Convert yacht to 240 Volts

Has any1 converted a 110v system to 240v

My dilemma is I am about to purchase a PSC 37 recently imported to Australia. Nice set up withHeart inverter/charger, has portable step down tranny on board, lacking Aust. style plugs (no prob there though,I am an electrician)
Now should i just leave as be, and just source on board appliance which chief petty officer (wife) requires from US, (blender, microwave) or put a step up tranny between inverter and outlets, then changing outlets to Aust.

or

are there small, plug in transformers available.

I am going to have to check out some of my apliance more closely to see if they have 110 volt function.

No plans to go too far from Australia.

Appreciate any sugestions
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Old 11-14-2009
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here is a thought, how about upgrade everything on the boat to 240, including the chargers, then use a US inverter for the 110 volt loads off the batteries, which will charge of the 240 volt power. best of both worlds and i would bet it would be cheaper to install.

i am an electrician too, and we know transformers put out heat and take up space

edit i would bet you can sell off the parts you dont need like the transformers and chargers to people sailing to the US or who have bought other US boats

Last edited by scottyt; 11-14-2009 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 11-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83XT4 View Post
Has any1 converted a 110v system to 240v

My dilemma is I am about to purchase a PSC 37 recently imported to Australia. Nice set up withHeart inverter/charger, has portable step down tranny on board, lacking Aust. style plugs (no prob there though,I am an electrician)
Now should i just leave as be, and just source on board appliance which chief petty officer (wife) requires from US, (blender, microwave) or put a step up tranny between inverter and outlets, then changing outlets to Aust.

or

are there small, plug in transformers available.

I am going to have to check out some of my apliance more closely to see if they have 110 volt function.

No plans to go too far from Australia.

Appreciate any sugestions
As a sparky, you will have no dramas with this. There is an AUS standard for mains-ships 240V power. I'll see if I can source the document for you. The wiring probably will need replacing anyway - insulation requirements and standards.

Safer changing the lot fully. Many/most yachts have piecemeal upgrades.
cheers
David
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Old 11-14-2009
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240 really, is just 2 - 120 lines side by side. the neutral is what completes the circuit. what would you really have to change? Light bulbs? Don't most shore power boxes have 30 amp 120 and 50 amp 240? I was actually thinking of going to 50amp for when I do put ac in my boat.
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denise yes 240 is just two legs of 110 ( 120 ) with a neutral, at least here in the US. in europe i dont think it works like that, because they dont have neutrals. i also dont think the 50 amp shore powers are 240 volt, i could be wrong.

as for your boat its cheaper to add a second 30 amp shore power plug and either use a splitter on a 50 amp or use 2 30 amp cords. just install a second 30 amp jack, and a small panel for the air conditioner. that keeps them separate and when you dont need ac you run a smaller cord.
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Old 11-14-2009
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FWIW I had exactly the same dilemma you have - I bought my boat in the US and brought it to New Zealand. My thinking was/is:

I started off thinking that 110v appliances were going to be hard to source so let's change to 220v. Then I saw the cost of a new Heart Freedom25 inverter in 220v to replace my existing 110v unit and that slowed me down considerably.

Here's what I had in 110v on the boat and what I did/intend doing with them
  • Fridges - will change to 12v unit next year meantime they run on the inverter
  • Hot water heater element - left as is, runs off inverter
  • Television - ditched the old one and bought new dual voltage 220v/110v unit. That packed up after 10 months I have just last week replaced it with a 12v unit.
  • Microwave - most overrated appliance on my boat, converted to breadbox
  • Fan - ditched it - never used it
  • Coffee machine - ditched it - use a percolater on the stove
What I added was a computer which is also dual voltage and runs on 110v with no problem. A lot of other accessories like printers, cellphone chargers etc are dual voltage. The only issue for me is the recharging of portable hand tools that in NZ need a 220v charger and my wife says she needs a hair dryer. My advice was - if you REALLY think you need one, import one from the US.

In addition to this I installed a Xantrex 220v mains battery charger for when I'm lucky enough to be on shorepower. Otherwise I have two alternators (Balmar 180A) and an uprated Hitachi (80A) and I am busy rebuilding a Fischer Panda genset and then I have all my charging bases covered.

I now have no worries about power - everything works to our satisfaction and with minimal effort.

So given the above, my advice is don't stress about changing anything immediately - live with it and look at the solutions that exist in your back yard - you'll find them a whole lot simpler than you expected.
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Old 11-15-2009
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Thanks for the quick responses.
Ummm..... denise and scotty, please dont do any electrical work your self on your boat as 240V is NOT 2 x 110V.
And yes we do have neutral.
I think the do nothing approach appeals most

Thanx Omatako
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Old 11-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83XT4 View Post
Thanks for the quick responses.
Ummm..... denise and scotty, please dont do any electrical work your self on your boat as 240V is NOT 2 x 110V.
And yes we do have neutral.
I think the do nothing approach appeals most

Thanx Omatako
in the US 240 is two legs of 110/120. the 2 phases are 180 degrees out of rotation to each other. if you open my electric panel or any house panel in the US you will find 2 hot legs. if you read between the legs its 240, if you go from either leg to neutral or ground its 110/120.

as i said i did not think you had a neutral like we do, ie neutral and ground are bonded or connected in the panel. it looks like i am wrong from what you said, if you measure from the hot to the ground do you get 240v? i kind of thought europe used 2 legs, with neither being a ground/neutral like we have. i could be wrong i have never worked on electric in europe or even been there.

the reason the US has set up our power like this, is one we have had it this way for a long time. the other reason is for normal things like lights, tv's, microwaves etc using 110v is safer from the shock point of view ie less likely to get killed. now running higher amperage to get the same wattage is more likely to burn a house down. we started with 110 v, then as things like electric dryers that needed more juice came around it was easier to install the 120/240 v system like we have with out throwing everything 110 volt away. it was easy to install a transformer out on the pole that had a second tap 180 degrees out in the freq to get the 240 and then run another hot leg inside.

the funny one is commercial electric is 3 phase 277/480 where the are 3 phases at 277 to ground. then we use a transformer to step it down to 120/208 with 3 hot legs in the panel. now not all places have the 277/480 coming in some go straight for the 120/208

btw i am a master electrician here

edit 83xt4 here is a wiki answer web site you might get a kick out of
wiki answer

Last edited by scottyt; 11-15-2009 at 03:55 AM.
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Old 11-15-2009
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AS/NZS 3004:2002
is the Aus standards for electrical installations - Marinas etc
There probably is a more current one - excuse the pun
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In UK domestic electricity supply is 240V line to neutral . neutral is normaly bonded to earth at the supply company transformer. Industrial supply is usualy 3 phase 440 volt. all at 50 cycles. the US frequency is 60 cycles . this can create problems when motors are imported /exported as thespeed changes . also inverters etc dont like it (anyone want a heart inverter 110 V )
the rest of europe uses similar voltages and frequencies but the earth bonding system varies .I do not know re austrailia etc .K
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