Click for Lurssen Click for Westport Click for Llebroc Click for Seacoast Click for Mag Bay

Converting A/C system to US from Singapore

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by geriksen, Sep 16, 2010.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    San Juan Puerto Rico
    We had a 44 Sea Ray come in that had been built for and used in Singapore.
    The owner want us to convert the boat to US power since it will stay here.
    I have not been able to inspect the boat myself yet but I expect to find a 220volt 50z set up.

    I am thinking that a speed/governor reset on the generator should bring it up to 60hz and the rest of the job will entail swapping out equipment and outlets.
    However, if the electrical outlets are are 220 I will probably have to do some reconfiguring on the panel to get them on 110.

    TV's will all have to be replaced etc due to transmission standards and voltage.
    I would think that stove burners and water heater would be ok as is.
    I would have to see if the A/C units will operate on 50 or 60hz or if they will need to be replaced. Battery chargers too. etc. etc.
    Electrical outlets will all need to be changed.

    I will know more once I take a look at the boat and the existing panel.

    I would also plan on keeping as many items 220v as possible for efficiency. That boat could probably run on one 50amp 220 cord but might be better off with one 50/220 and one 50/110 as I have seen on other larger Sea Rays in the area.

    I know there are transformers available to make the whole boat convert but they sound expensive and it sounds like the boat will now remain in the US.

    I know there are several guys on this list who have probably done this conversion before. Is there anything special I am missing here or need to consider?

    I have taken a 110volt boat and converted it to a split 100/220 system with a new panel etc and did not have any issues. It seems like this should be pretty straightforward.

    Thank you in advance for any EXPERIENCED advice. :)
  2. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,393
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    A Transformer will change your voltage but won't do anything for your frequency.

    Remember when dropping to half the Voltage you will have twice the current for the same size consumer so you will need to rewire some circuits at least.
  3. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    San Juan Puerto Rico
    Good point,
    Anything changing from 220 to 110, I should recalculate wire size based on 110 and see if it need to go up. I could see that possibly coming into play on the outlet circuits.

    Thanks KIWI
  4. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,361
    Location:
    Coral Gables/Ft. Laud., FL
    geriksen, you say that Sea Ray did the mods at the factory?

    In my experience with a largish boat manufacturer in Miami, a boat would be coming down the assembly line and a change order came through as the boat was now being sold in Europe.
    Not a big deal. Some electrical pokery-jiggery was performed, and the TV was omitted (no PAL sets in the U.S.) along with changing the microwave oven for one with a mechanical timer.
    Reefer compressors and the like are mostly 50/60 Hz. Likely, the A/C raw water pump is the ubiquitous Shurflo 220 VAC model.

    Good advice: call Sea Ray and ask exactly what they did & how to revert to U.S.-spec.
  5. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,584
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    "I would also plan on keeping as many items 220v as possible for efficiency. That boat could probably run on one 50amp 220 cord but might be better off with one 50/220 and one 50/110 as I have seen on other larger Sea Rays in the area."

    Euro spec 220v (assuming that's what they use in singapore) is very different from US 220v: it has 220v between one hot and neutral whereas US 220 uses two 110v hots on opposing phase. they are incompatible systems.
  6. TESSllc

    TESSllc New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    In my experience it is often more cost effective, if there is sufficient space of course, to install a small shore converter. Most modern electronics will work on either 120/240 50/60hz, and motors as well. the A/C compressors, you should check the manaufacture name plate.

    As far as the generator, a speed adjustment is only half the battle. Most likely the stator will need reconfigured for 240/120, as Pascal states thats two phases and one neutral and one ground, 4 wire, so likely a replacement of the feeder cable to distribution boards.

    Shore power also would be three wire 240, 2 phases and one ground from the dock and a nuetral will be created on the secondary, so thats four wire from the transformer to the distibution panel or wherever the source is selected.

    Reconfigure distribution boards to accept 240/120 to have two busses and one neutral bar that will be grounded. if equipment is to be changed to 120v it will need to be split up in order to balance the load between the two phases as well.

    This can become quite extensive and expensive which is why i suggest a small 12-15kva shorepower unit for about $15k.
  7. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    San Juan Puerto Rico
    Yes, this is where it gets sticky and attention would have to be paid to the cord wiring. Any 220 equipment that has a 50/60z switch or alternate wiring scheme should work on the US 220 I would think. If it does not have that option I would replace it with a US version. I am guessing most things would need replacing.
  8. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,436
    Location:
    Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale FL

    Which means if the wire is the correct size for 110v (which I'd bet it is, since I can't imagine Searay rewiring just that boat for Euro AC) you won't have to run new wire.
  9. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    San Juan Puerto Rico
    Thanks TessIIc, your description is pretty much exactly what I had in mind to do. And yes, i was planning on having to reconfigure the stator connections on the genset. (I had to do that also on the boat I converted to 110/220 from 110). That brings up another point. I will also need to reconfigure the shore power/gen transfer switches to split up the 220 and 110.

    I will look into the "convertors". The only problem with that is that you still have incompatible TV's and outlets in the boat. If you start changing some of that you could end up backing into doing the whole boat anyway...?

    I am thinking the AC's will be able to do 50/60hz but again, I have not been able to get the numbers off the units yet to see.

    I wonder if I should try to get a complete US shore power panel from Sea Ray or Flounder Pounder/Great Lake Skipper?

    I did send an inquiry in to Sea Ray but it looked more like a "sales lead generator" system from the way the form was laid out. They have been helpful before. I will see what they say.
  10. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    San Juan Puerto Rico
    I wonder if the color coding will be an issue. US 220 is red/black- hot, white-neutral, green-ground. Euro colors are?
  11. TESSllc

    TESSllc New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    The purpouse of the convertor is the equipment on board will stay the same. No modifacations at all because the vessel will still be 220v 50hz single phase. being one hot one neutral and one ground. The only problem will arise if the owner decides to say replace the microwave or install a flat screen tv. But as i said most electronics now adays will operate on 100 to 240v 50/60 hz. like your cell phone or laptop charger.
  12. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,584
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    it's been a while but i'm pretty sure that black is neutral in europe... ground is green with a yellowish stripe so that's no problem.

    "Any 220 equipment that has a 50/60z switch or alternate wiring scheme should work on the US 220 I would think."

    I dont' think so. Euro 220v equipment is powered with 220v on the hot... the US 220 power you will hook up to the boat will bring 110v on one hot and 110v on the second wire...

    euro:

    220
    Neutral
    Ground

    US:
    110
    110
    Ground

    VERY different animals!

    years ago when i built my house on St Barths, I wired it for both US 120 and the local 220. dual outlets everywhere and a 5KVA transformer behind the panel to convert on 220v feed to 110. that was easy... the tricky part was to use a US 220V appliance like a cloth dryer... had to use TWO transformer to convert two 220v hots to two 120v hots to power the dryer.
  13. TESSllc

    TESSllc New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale

    Color coding will not be an issue. install some electrical tape or heat shrink of the correct color and you will comply with ABYC. Take a Cheoy Lee for example, they use all yellow or orange wire??? Its fun tracing that stuff. As long as you are sure you have your hots and neutrals identified and terminated in a safe manner there will be no issues.

    FYI euro colors are typicaly Black- hot, Blue - neutral, Brown- ground. but i have seen it backwards were Black was ground and Brown was the hot leg. and that was on the same Feadship. It all depends on the technician, which is why it is wise to always use your voltmeter to double check.
  14. TESSllc

    TESSllc New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale

    Pascal, i agree, it is the safest practice to use a green/yellow striped conductor for the ground. That way there is no doubt. cable manufactures use different color codes, so it depends on what the builder has purchased.
  15. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,393
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    For those posting here TessLLC is name of a very well known and respected Marine Electrical business in Ft Lauderdale.

    I have personally known and done business with the Owner for over 25 yrs, he is second to none in the business in my opinion and has been of great help to me in my career as a Marine Engineer when the invisible stuff ( electricity) was causing me problems that I couldn't nut out.

    Carl, If this is seen as too much of a commercial plug please delete it.

    I will introduce you to the guy at FLIBS anyway.
  16. TESSllc

    TESSllc New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    K1W1,

    Thanks for the kind words, but as always our actions and quality speak louder then words. We are all in this together and are always available to help each other out. I can only hope that whatever advice I can offer will help a brother out. I look forward to becoming more involved with YF.
  17. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    19,745
    Location:
    South Florida
    Tess has not mentioned his business, nor promoted it. You simply endorsed him. He has provided relevant information that adds to the collective knowledge base. Welcome Tess.

    Look forward to it!
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,938
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I too have worked with Tess electric on a few boats and they do great work.
  19. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    San Juan Puerto Rico
    I am going to meet with the owner and check out the current equipment and configuration of the boat. I will give him the option of the convertor also.
    We can probably make an informed decision after I figure out what equipment we can keep and what will have to be replaced.
    I am confident we can get it right either way since we do this type of work every day but I will admit this would be the first "un-euro" conversion so I am being careful that I am not missing something.
    Thanks for your help so far guys.
  20. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    San Juan Puerto Rico

    Looks like I am going to get little or no help from Sea Ray due to extended furloughs etc.etc...

    Paneltronics made the original panels and can make me a US panel once I get them some numbers off the one in the boat. Got a parts book on the boat and it looks like the US version is all 110v. I am not thrilled with running four A/C units (boat has cockpit air) off of what looks to be one 30amp 110 cord and one 50amp 110 cord. The a/c units are all "50hz only" so they would all have to be replaced anyway but I would much prefer running those on 220.
    Four 110 A/C units raises my concern for wire size in the boat. I would not need to run the extra wire for the third leg but I am pretty sure the 220 Euro units draw a lot less than 110 AC's will. The main inlet breakers on the euro unit are "smaller" which also makes me this this will be the case.
    While making it all 110 simplifies the job, it seems to me like that is a marginal set up from the factory in the US version.
    I have one of our distributors looking into a "convertor box" to see if that is a better alternative.
    Who makes those? I saw that Charles had some but their website seemed very vague about the applications.