djwiscombe avatar image
djwiscombe asked

Campervan design for 240V 50Hz and 110V 60Hz shore power

I was planning to use the Easysolar with a lithium battery bank for UK and Europe but also want to be able to use this in the US.

I want to run a 240V 50Hz AC unit.

Would an autotransformer work in this situation?


system design
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2 Answers
wkirby avatar image
wkirby answered ·

The autotransformer will step the Voltage up to 240V, but the frequency will still be 60Hz when in the US. This 60Hz will be passed through the Easysolar when it is on grid supply. Without grid supply then the Easysolar's inverter will be running at 50Hz. So, you see it's not very simple.

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mfortinberry avatar image
mfortinberry answered ·

I have been tackling the same thing. Found a common solution used by a lot of cruisers that is basically what I am adopting for my boat.

You can put all of the 50hz appliances on the opposite side of an inverter, so that the inverter always powers the appliances. You will not use the EasySolar to do this. You will have a good charger and then an large inverter. The Quattro's seem like a good choice. Size the inverter to handle all the 50hz items you want to run at once. Might be 8k, or even bigger. I am using a 15k on a big power hungry boat. You would also have an isolation transformer to handle the voltage difference. IT is a good device anyway, regardless of where you are plugged in.

Then just use a separate Smart Solar controller. (which will talk to the Victron chargers and inverters) This goes from your 1 device plan, to a 3 device plan, but you can then be delivering 50hz power all the time as everything will be running through the batteries first.

Your lithium batteries will handle the charge/discharge easily, but it does take some configuration to keep them at that 90% SOC sweet spot they like.

A 10kw frequency converter is about $14,000 - so this is a more practical solution.

One other option is to get serious about converting 50hz appliances to 50/60hz versions that take both. Some things are easy to find that way, but some items (microwaves) tend to only be built in one version or the other. If you can get to that point, you can then just use the Isolation Transformer to get the voltage right.

Hope this helps

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djwiscombe avatar image djwiscombe commented ·

Thank you for the comments. I assume then that the Quattro inverter will still power the load when connected to shore power, is this correct?

I think i will still need the autotransformer to step up/down the voltage though.

Phoenix charger and Phoenix inverter?

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mfortinberry avatar image mfortinberry djwiscombe commented ·

Yes - the Quattro will integrate your shore power - it accepts multiple inputs (generator & shore power). An isolation transformer is a great addition even if you did not have voltage variations to deal with.

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