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US vs Europe Generators

Discussion in 'Generators' started by tirk, Apr 12, 2013.

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  1. tirk

    tirk Member

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    I'm sure this is a dumb question, but I've noticed that when boats have a US and EU spec, the US spec generators seem to be slightly higher power...

    Is this simply because the 60Hz US gennies spin faster to generate the higher frequency (27kW is about 50/60 * 32kW), but are otherwise identical? If so, are their dual frequency generators available?? :rolleyes: :confused:
  2. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

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    As I used to tell my students: the only dumb question is the one never asked :D

    European generators will also be regularly 240 volts (or 380 if 3 phase) (another common configuration would be 220/360) whereas US generators will be a regularly 120 volts (or 240 if 3 phase).

    AFAIK practically every 50 Hz generator can be reconfigured as a 60 Hz generator and visa versa. You may need to delve into the generator's manual or call a technician but it can be done. I know I can do it on my 20 Kw Kohler.
  3. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    In a simple answer, yes. Turning the drive engine faster moves its rated power output up a little further along the curve. At a higher rpm it is capable of producing more horsepower which may in turn be converted to a higher wattage electrical output.
  4. tirk

    tirk Member

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    Ah, thanks (and to Navtech while I'm writing too). I also saw some comments elsewhere on the forum about 1500/3000RPM (50Hz) vs 1800/3600RPM (60Hz) generator speeds. All makes sense now (even thought it's 35 years :eek: since I last studied Physics!)
  5. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Where do you find 360v gensets?. The main European voltage these days is 400v 3 phase
  6. Chasm

    Chasm Senior Member

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    He probably meant 220/380V, the older voltage in Europe.
    Physics says that in three phase AC the voltage between two phases is single phase voltage *√3.

    210/360V AFAIK not used
    220/380V used in most parts of Europe until 1987
    230/400V used in Europe since 1987
    240/415V in the UK until 1987, still in Australia until 2000

    There is also a +/-10% tolerance, which is the reason why actual voltages in the UK and AUS are still higher than in other places.


    There are also slightly higher voltage systems, not that uncommon in industrial applications.
    380/660V older systems
    400/700V today
    (Still below 1kV. 1kV is usually the point at which additional training and certification requirements kick in.)
  7. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

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    Sorry, I meant to refer to 230/400 and 220/380 volts
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Most US generators in 40'-150' are 240Volt single phase. You only see 120volt generators on the small boats. 3 phase on larger than 150' give or take.
  9. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

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    I am quite sure you'll die if you plug a 380v into a 400v shore power supply!
  10. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

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    Do you think that one fine morning the Europeans changed every piece of electrical equipment? Of course they didn't. So it follows that 220/230 and 380/400 are different but compatible standards.

    I know it's not the same but I once connected a 110 volt item to a 220 volt outlet. There was a sizzle, some acrid smoke and that was it. Of course, the item was literally "smoked" but that was it.
  11. tirk

    tirk Member

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    Whilst the UK has changed it's voltage standard from 240v to 230v to match the rest of the EU, the tolerance is +10%/−6% (216.2 V to 253 V), which covers pretty much the same range as the old values. Pragmatism sometimes triumphs, even in bureaucracies! :D
  12. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    It was a cold and grey morning as usual.

    All new electrical equipment ships from the factory pre loaded with a smoke charge, once that smoke escapes you ust have to reload it and it will be ok.
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I thought only Lucas electrical parts came with that?
  14. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

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    I'm guessing here but have you ever owned a British sports car (e.g. Triumph, MG)? I'm betting you did :D
  15. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

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    I only own British cars...

    The funny one is in France its left hand drive country like the US and the rest of the world, not counting those down under. The Range Rover has this thing where the body control computer keeps reverting back to right hand drive... and the passenger seat controls everything... gone back to the dealer time and time again to get it reset.

    Whats funny my classic Rolls has the same problem... the new Rolls too... and the MB too... the Lotus cars never have this problem...

    Finally figured it out it was a "problème féminin".... as she never rides in the sports cars... they are immune.
  16. Ju52

    Ju52 Senior Member

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    Yep, this is the classical "smoke test" - switch on and look for any smoke :D
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Try installing a new battery with more cranking amps. It sounds like voltage is getting low when trying to start the vehicle and it's losing the programming saved on the Eprom section of the computer possibly due to losing voltage for a second or so.........
  18. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

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    You may be right... the Rover and Rolls cars set in the garage for long periods between use...

    But I do drive the Lotus cars all the time... except when they are being fixed.

    "Problème féminin" never ever rides in the Lotus cars... drives only her electric cart... never had a drivers license... knows all the rules... knows how to direct correct operation... as this does not change with any of the 'passangers' in the house... I just think the front right hand seat instills automatic control... . On second thought thats it... .
  19. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Always find it funny how British cars the subject of Lucas jokes while the Italian cars get a pass even thigh their electricals are no better

    And I won't mention how many XJS have gone up in flame because of Marelli ignition !

    (E-type and Alfa owner)
  20. tirk

    tirk Member

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    Going misty eyed and OT for a moment...

    I owned an Alfa Sud many years ago. Lovely car to drive, but the build quality :eek: :eek: :eek: !! From new, the radiator fan was not connected, nor were the heater controls (I found them in the ash tray). Within a year the steering rack fell off because the U bolts supposedly securing it were not tightened up (an interesting experience when driving along!) and the body was rusting badly in under 2 years. Any running examples that haven't rusted to nothing must be worth a fortune now! :D

    The 164 I had many years later was *much* better I'm glad to say!