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Adding a voltage booster

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Bamboo, Oct 29, 2017.

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  1. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    I've done a quick search and not found a thread about this; who has added a voltage booster to their vessel or one they run/manage? Not a dock side unit but one installed into the vessel so that it's not seen nor had to be set up to do it's job. Give us the details of how you did this.
  2. motoryachtlover

    motoryachtlover Senior Member

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    I just had my Charles Iso Boost transformer replaced with one from Ward’s electric. It came with a remote panel for checking voltage and telling you if it was boosting or not. Also has some settings to change. The unit uninstalled was $6000. The Wards boost was 10% and I thought the Charles Boost was 15%. Charles no longer makes one. Can’t help you with install operation but thought the other info might be helpful.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I haven't had one retrofitted, but have run a lot of boats with the Charles. They worked flawlessy and would automatically switch over to boost. I have never ever fried any shore cord ends with one and never tripped shorepower breakers......they work well.......The install is easy, usually they're mounted near where the shorecord ties into the boat. You separate the wires and run them into and out of the booster you mount and a few other things......
  4. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    Installed an ACME 25 kva 100 amp single phase isolation buck boost x-former in line on the 100 amp shore power coming into the boat in the lazzerette. Install circuit protection on the primary and secondary side of the transformer (ABB 100 amp breakers) Galvanic isolator and a auxiliary contactor on the main shore power breaker controlled by a two position rotary switch. This is a manual system that has to be switched to select the taps in the transformer. You could install a sensing tap for auto if wanted. This same ACME transformer Wards sells for $4,800 can be bought through a commercial electrical warehouse for $1,500. Add another $1,000 worth of parts and control cable along with a good electrician and your done.

    Attached Files:

  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Here we go again;
    Please do some YF searches on this. Many have been here before. Some still don't understand.

    Just remember; NOTHING comes on-board free...
    You want more volts on your panel meter? Then tap different on your fancy boosting transformer. Volts go up, then that shore breaker starts tripping.
    Like FM.
    The original law of transformers; you want volts then you draw more amps to the boat service. More amps pop shore breakers.

    The Charles Auto-Iso-Boost gizmos are the worst. You have no control to keep it from boosting and tripping shore service breakers.

    New docks are using 3 phase to single phase transformers (208 / 115 Vac). It's O K.
    New equipment will still work fine to 200Vac. Read the manuals.
    Our old laundry equipment, water heater and stove-oven are still very happy on 208Vac.
    Further read your AC manuals on how to adjust the low ACv alarm setting. Usually takes just one digit up.
    It's a power delivery service that is coming to a dock you use and will be the standard on all docks soon.
    The 115Vac is still intact.

    Please don't start freaking out when you see 205 to 210 on your tiny lil volt meters. Your 115 is still there if you have a top or bottom leg meter on board also.
    Old boats with old (OLD) 230/240 Vac can be effected. I have never witnessed a real issue, just paranoid owners.

    Yes, there are old docks and poor wires out there still. At 1730 all come home and turn everything on. Old wires get warm trying to deliver the requested voltage. And V does go down.
    At these times, the boosted boats start tripping shore service breakers before the others.
    Like FM.

    I have 2 x 50A leads on our ole Bert. 7 A/Cs. Gobs of the old big appliances.
    We have no problems nor the weight/headache of step transformers.

    K.I.S.S.
  6. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    208 is still 104 ea leg and with v drop it gets worse..
  7. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    That's not really how it works.
    208 is from a 120/208 volt, three phase system.
    208 / 1.73 = 120 volts in perfect conditions.
  8. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    well, reality works for me, when I plug into a 208 shoreside dock connection, my panel reads anywhere from 100 to 106 volts ea leg. Now you can tell me there is something wrong with the Marina wire or my wire but..I have had electricians verify that what I see is factual. My 2c for what it's worth.
  9. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    NO.
    WYE (Y) transformers deliver 115 to each leg, 208 between each leg.

    425px-Diapositiva14.PNG
    Crude but this pic will work.

    Look around the newer marinas and docks.
    Somewhere a big humming box, say 6 feet tall, near 5 wide and 2 deep.
    Electric service come in at 3 phases over 350 volts.
    Out put is nice, clean, boosted up (Remember, when V is lowered, A goes up thru a transformer).
    This standard Delta type winding provides 115Vac on any leg (R,T,S) to neutral (N).
    Because of the phase shift (1/3 cycle off per leg) and other variables, 208 Vac is found between the ends of the legs; R, T or S.

    At your boat power service is still the breaker with black & red leads from either 208 connect; R&T, T&S or T&R.
    Neutral may or may not be breaker protected.
    Of course our other headache, the green wire that also keeps you close to your neighbors is never on a breaker.

    This service will keep the auto step-up transformers steped-up.
    You could cook breakfast on it the next morning.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  10. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Is there a WYE transformer in use at your dock?
    Are you and your electricians reading RMS? (Uah,, close)
    Is it an old screwed up dock?
  11. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    I am talking about a 240 v plug into a 50 amp shore side 208 connection. not 2x 30 a plugs into 2 individual legs on a panel.
  12. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    Easiest way to deal with the OP's question:
    Auto transformer or a buck -boost transformer is the poor mans version of the desired frequency converter. Plug into any thing you like and have nice stable full sine out...
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Transformers don't change frequency.
    It changes money, to the sales person.
  14. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Must be my southern accent.
    Who mentioned 30A connects?
    You should not be thinking 30A plugs and 208 or 240Vac in the same thought.
  15. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Added a boost tsfmr years ago, manual switching...still does not alter my original findings, both here in Canada, Wa. Fla. Ca. a new main shore supply cord into the vessel changed nothing. So, you are telling me that a 50a breaker on one side of a 208 panel will distribute 120 V on ea leg . I know, my meters are all wrong, sorry about that guys.
  16. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    In this day and age even small production boats like 65 -70 ft Vikings are installing freq. converters as standard equipment . I agree @ $1,000 per KVA their a bit on the expensive side for the mom and pop boater but marinas are slowly eliminating the old 50 amp twist locks for a standard 100 amp three phase input for vessels 80 ft and up. Cant stop progress...
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  17. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    For years all Hatt's had manual boost x-formers installed as standard equipment. Broward's had auto formers as standard equipment. South Florida marinas were famous in the 80's & 90's for power drops or Brown outs when everybody would come home @ 6:00 pm and crank on the AC and fire up the stove. Many times you would have less than 100 volts per leg and it didn't matter if the dock transformer was a high delta or Y configuration. Freq. converter is the way to go for worry free output no matter what the input. Battery charger manufactures started producing ferro resonant chargers to control the out put of the units when the line side voltage would drop due in part to the south Florida phenom.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  18. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    If your not going to Europe, why do you need a freq converter?
    Could you mean an Inverter?
  19. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Oh wait, A start-up converter?
    Helps A/C compressors and large motors wind up with min Amperes draw?
    Applies voltage and cycles till the load is up running?

    Gad it's been a while, Syncro starter or something like that.

    This what your thinking of?

    Or I'm lost with the converter thought.
  20. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

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    20 years ago that was the thought. 50/60 hz conversion but as these machines became more prevalent aboard vessels and less expensive the practical uses for them to replace isolation transformers, boost transformers and line conditioners became evident to end users and manufacturers. Plug into three phase 208 to 440 volt 100 amp service and convert to the needed single phase 208- 240v at near 100 % efficiency @ the full 100 amps . Plug into single phase 240 if your a 440 v vessel and have 48 % efficiency converting . It doesn't matter what the incoming frequency is but that's now a given with these units. Google A-Sea or
    Atlas to name a couple well known brands. Basically a freq. converters take the input voltage and rectifies it to DC voltage and runs it through a bank of capacitors , regulates it and produces AC @ full sine wave for very stable output voltage.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017