Re: European SM 240V looking to plug in 240V US Marina

Arno Luijten

The Victron isolation transformers are classic transformers, basically a lot of iron and copper. The model "3600 Watt Auto 115/230 V" is capable of converting 115 Volt into 230 V. That is one way to solve the US-EUR problem (apart from the 50/60 Hz) with the added advantage you can use both voltages more or less transparent at the input side.
However to get 16 Amps at the output you will need 32 Amps at the input. If you use the "double 115V" system to produce 230 you would be able to supply 230V32A at the output but that would require a different model transformer that cannot do auto-switching. In the latter case you would always require a 230-240 volt outlet in a USA marina. I'm not sure how wide-spread that is in the States.

On thing about classic transformers, these things tend to produce an annoying 50/60Hz humming noise that makes you need to be careful where to put it.

Myself I've installed the Mastervolt GI7 Isolation transformer. This makes virtually no noise as it uses high frequency transforming. The weight is much less as well.  They did miss a huge point designing the thing though. As they are using high frequency technology to galvanic separate the power, 95% of the parts were already included to change the the frequency as well, meaning you could have converted to 50Hz even when on a 60Hz outlet. Big omission as far as I'm concerned.

The other problem all of these isolation transformers have is they tend to increase the voltage a little bit to compensate for high loads (like the 1:1.05 ratio mentioned above). Again a bad idea. Here in St. Maarten the pontoon voltage is high already (sometimes up to 245 Volt) and behind the transformer I can see 255 Volt occasionally, 25 volts more then I would like to see. For the Mastervolt GI series even more dumb as they could have made the system adaptive because of the high frequency conversion. Trying to explain the Marina they need to look into their shorepower is a huge challenge with little chance on success.
The reason I installed the isolation transformer is because the crappy shorepower was affecting the cast-iron keel despite a perfectly working earth-bonding system in the boat. This is now resolved.


Arno Luijten
SV Luna,

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