Whole Boat Permanent Inverter for 220VAC 50Hz

Gary Wells

There have been a couple of recent discussions about getting 220V aboard while plugged in to U.S. (North American) shore power and some of the considerations between the 50Hz/60Hz difference. While we've enjoyed Adagio's collection of adapters which allow easy connection to shore power pretty much anywhere, the 50Hz/60Hz  consideration has been on my "list" for some time now. 

It is certainly not "critical" that we have 50Hz aboard all the the time as most of the appliances (most importantly the Air Conditioners!) tolerate the disparity without complaint.  However, I feel the microwave and the washing machine both are sensitive enough to warrant proper Hz. We do have a small inverter already (1bout 800w) and if we want (need) to do a small load of laundry in cold water we can indeed use the washer by stretching an extension cord from the inverter to the washer.


I  have been thinking over providing inverter power to the boat on a permanent basis and was wondering if anyone else has done this or considered it.  It would mean installation of a large inverter (perhaps 4,000 watts, pure sine wave) and using that output exclusively to the boat's power input switchover box (where the shore power comes in now).  The shore power would come aboard and run to the batter charger and nothing else.  (The Genset and "magic switch" cutover would be the same).


So, then we would have 220VAC at 50Hz regardless of the situation of the shore power .. it would be a kind of power conditioner as well, smoothing the voltage and frequency if the shore power is shaky.  I do see an advantage to this, as the battery charger can accept a wider range of voltage/Hz variance than the appliances.


The obvious downside is that the whole boat would be essentially powered by the battery bank. Shore power comes only to the battery charger, then gets converted to 24VDC and then gets inverted back to house power at 220VAC 50Hz.  This is obviously less efficient and presents a potential additional battery drain should the Inverter be left on while underway .. although .. with wind and solar providing some power, the use of a 220VAC 50Hz appliance without the need to run the Generator could be a good advantage..


Oh, my ..  it's quite a dilemma :)


Any thoughts on the idea? 


Thanks kindly,

Gary W.
SM209, Adagio
Georgia, USA

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