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Old 02-20-2007, 01:51 PM   #1
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I own a boat bought from the US (110V) and transported via conteiner to Greece (220V) where I reside. It has two shore AC input lines (30amp

each) and a generator. The source selection switch is a Kraus-Naimer C42-C17591 3 position switch (Line 1 - Line 1&2 - Gen. )

I wanted to retain the original 110VAC configuration, so I used a 220 to 110V transformer (Seven Star ATVR8000) before the main AC selection switch. All the connections were made by an experienced electrician.

When I use the generator as my 110VAC source everything works perfectly.

When I use either the 1st or both shore power lines something goes wrong. Most of the times the dock's power center anti-electric shock breaker "drops". The dock power center terminal has an installed anti-electric shock breaker for safety reasons which cannot be removed by any means. Two or three times for an unknown reason the breaker didn't "drop" and I noticed that some electrical appliances from the 1st AC panel (eg water heater, air condition) worked while others didn't (eg Microwave oven, all the inside wall-plugs). Nothing from the 2nd AC panel ever worked, because when I try to switch on the main 2nd AC panel switch, it "drops" automatically.

The shore line power worked fine in the US, but I found out that the dock power center there, didn't have anti-electric shock breaker installed.

The 220 to 110VAC transformer works fine when I connect it directly to a 110Vac device (eg a fan).

The transformer's breaker never "dropped".

The cable connections to the main ac selection switch were checked, confirmed and are correct.

I also tried a different dock power terminal, but the same problem insisted.

Could the problem be a minor electric leak somewhere in the system, which the generator is able to overcome while the dock power center cannot, and if that's true how can I locate and fix this problem?

The ground bus terminal is connected with the DC bonding system and there is a galvanic isolator/zinc saver somewhere in the ground wire system.

The electrician also tried unistalling the galvanic isolator and tested the system without connecting the green ac ground wire but nothing changed (again the dock's anti electric shock breaker "dropped").

We have tried numerous other tests but didn't accomplish anything. We cannot locate the problem so any help or suggestions would be welcome.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:26 PM   #2
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

If the items you are trying to power from European 220 volts came installed on an American commissioned vessel... your core problem may be the difference in cycles... as in 50 Hz verses 60 Hz. Some devices are immune to the difference but others are not...

Happy Hunting,

Kirk
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:49 PM   #3
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Thank you for replying but the problem isn't the different hertz frequency used in Europe.

The dock's anti electric breaker drops even when I apply NO LOAD at all. I just turn on the main breaker switch in the main AC panel while all the equipment switches are off and the problem insists.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:41 PM   #4
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summer75time,

I have been working on a detailed answer for you. I do not have time to finish it right now. I am going through your description like a dectective, but am missing information and have many questions. Hopefully I will have it posted in the next 24 hours, so check back. Mean while perhaps another can identify the problem.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:45 PM   #5
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Well done Aqua Man. When you're away from home it is sometimes very difficult to find information so I'm sure that "summer75time" will be very grateful for whatever you can find out for him.

Well done!
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summer75time View Post
Thank you for replying but the problem isn't the different hertz frequency used in Europe.

The dock's anti electric breaker drops even when I apply NO LOAD at all. I just turn on the main breaker switch in the main AC panel while all the equipment switches are off and the problem insists.
I suspect there is a fault of some type in the boats' system, improperly wired, something is grounded (chaffing or wet), or possibly shorted.

For now, I do not suspect the anti-electric shock breaker {residual current device (RCD), or residual current circuit breaker (RCC. In the United States and Canada, a residual current device is also known as a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) or an Appliance Leakage Current Interrupter (ALCI).

They can go bad, but usually do not. Having one trip is usually an indication of an underlying and potentially dangerous problem. A way to prove if it (the docks power supply and ground fault proctection) is working is to connect something else to it, say another boat, or an appliance with the same type of connection.

Unitl I can spend more time on this, maybe you can answer some of my questions. I am not certain how your electrical system is wired, and would like confirmation on some points.

You mentioned:

Your boat requires 110 VAC to the circuits.

The generator system works fine, and that it provides power to the transformer.

I am assuming your generator produces both 110 VAC and 220 VAC. True or False?

I am assuming the generator is hard wired to the transformer. True or False?

I assume the generator output is from a 220 VAC terminal. True or False?

The Transformer reduces the voltage by half or 2:1, or down to 110 VAC.

The transformer than feeds into the Power Selection Switch.

What I do not know about your pair of 30 amp Power Supply Cables is:

They connect to a 220 VAC power supply on the dock. Is the Dock supplied voltage 220 VAC?

Where are these cables connected to on the boat? The reducing Transformer? Or the Power Selection Switch?

These question are critical to determine what voltage you are supply your system.

You mentioned two electrical pannels.

How are these supplied?

From the Power Selection Switch?

Do you have a volt-ohm meter?

I have to leave for a while, but anticipate your answers.

~ ~ ~

Admin,

Thanks. I didn't solve anything yet. I am trying. It is an enticing puzzle for me. I hope I can be of assistance. Being land locked, in a house, with some electrical experiance, with reference books and high speed internet access, I do have a few resources to work with. Trying to solve this across the internet makes it difficult. It would be so much easier to look at it, and test the equipment in person.

It seems I read somebodys' BLOG or profile, that we have a member of this board that is an electrical engineer. Who it was I do not recall.
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:14 PM   #7
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First of all I would like to thank you for your interest and immediate response.

The generator is a Kohler 9CCOZ23 60Hz 120Vac output which has the ability to output 220V but (I suppose) this function is not used, because all the equipment inside the boat works in 110Vac (except the 12V installation which has nothing to do with my problem). 3 wires (2 hot and 1 neutral) start from the generator and end at the craus naimer switch. The 2 hot wires are connected together at the same terminal of the switch.

The generator has nothing to do with the transformer.

The generator outputs 110V and is connected with the craus-naimer switch.

The dock terminal has one phase 220VAC (3 wire system: 1 hot, 1 neutral, 1 ground).

I use the transformer to make the 220VAC from the dock, 110VAC. So, I have 2 input wires at the transformer (1 hot and 1 neutral with 220V) and 4 output wires (2 hot wires connected at the same output of the transformer, and 2 neutral wires connected at the same neutral output of the transformer). The ground wire from the dock is connected to the transformer's gorund input and then from the transformers output it is connected with the ground bridge.

The reason I used this wiring is because in the US, the 2 shore power plugs on my boat used to carry 30amp each. I bypassed these two plugs and used a single cable to carry this load to the transformer because at 220V I can carry bigger loads with smaller cable. But I have two main ac panels at 110Vac and my main selection switch has the ability to select between shore power line 1 and both shore power lines 1 & 2. So I had to use two pair of cables from the transformer's output in order to make the correct connections for the 2 lines. These connections are propably ok, because I contacted Kraus Naimer, told them my problem, and they told me that everything seems to be correct. In fact, I tried to run the system with only the 1st line connected, so I had only 2 output cables from the transformer, but nothing changed.

The transformer is a Seven star ATVR8000 automatic voltage regulator. The transformer is used to reduce the 220Vac from the dock to 110Vac. The transformer's output is then connected to the correct terminals of the kraus-naimer switch. The connections at the switch are the following: shore power 1 hot at terminal 1. gen hot (2 wires) at terminal 5. shore power 2 hot at terminal 9. shore power 2 neutral at terminal 11. gen neutral at terminal 13. shore power 1 neutral at terminal 17. LOAD B hot at terminal 2. LOAD A hot at terminal 4. Load A neutral at terminal 18. Load B neutral at terminal 20.

So, from the kraus naimer switch I have 2 outputs and 4 wires (2 hot and 2 neutral) which go to the 2 main AC panels.

I never managed to operate the 2nd AC panel from shore power, while it works perfectly with generator power.

One or two times out of numerous attempts, I managed to get the 1st ac panel working, but only some of the equipment connected with it worked.

One strange thing is that the dock's anti electric breaker, drops whenever I try to turn on the main 1st Ac panel breaker without having any other equipment fuse turned on.

Yes, I have a Volt-ohm meter at the 1st ac panel. This is the only equipment I cannot turn off because it doesn't have a breaker, but I believe it can be disconnected.

Thank you for your patience, and your time spent on someone else's problem.
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:22 PM   #8
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Recently, I discovered a minor "short" in my 12V system regarding a wrong connection at my mast head lights. Could this affect the 110VAC system? I assume not, but I thought it's worth mentioning.
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:42 PM   #9
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EDITED TO ADD:

I was writiing this while you posted your two past responses. Keep that in mind when you read this. You have provided more insight and answered some of my questions. Our messages got crossed. Please allow me to sort through this information. I need some time, as well as take care of business here.


summer75time,

How are you doing?

We know:

* Something works, something else does not. Why? What is the difference?

* The generator works. That is a good thing, besides the obvious reason you expect it to, it provides a basis for solving the problem.

* When Dock power is attempted, it usually does not work, but sometimes does, but only in some circuits, or some appliances. That leaves a lot of variables to investigate. It becomes a process of verification and elimination. Assumptions are easy to make. Doing so falsely will keep the problems un-discovered, un-solved.

An easy assumption is to blame the Anti-Electric Shock Breaker or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, because one is not used with the known working generator, but is used on the Dock power which does not work. That device is there maybe because the local electrical codes require it, and/or because of the people installing it insisted on peoples' safety, and/or were concerned about liability.

Just because it drops or trips does not mean it is not working or causing the problem; but could be. Eliminate that question; Verify that the Dock Supply is working properly. You already attempted that, by trying a second connection in another slip. That still did not prove anything definitely, though it did reduced the odds. It narrowed the field to your boat's system, somewhat. Do other boats obtain Dock power without problems? Specifically from the same source? Is yours the only one that does not work?

~ ~ ~

Letís move-on and investigate your system.

A schematic would help greatly, but likely there is none. Do you have a digital camera? Good photos would help. My e-mail is:

Dacotah7@Yahoo.Com

Solving this, one has to start somewhere; the beginning is the best place. I am attempting to establish and verify if the correct power is being supplied for your system, as it was intended or designed. I want to compare the working system to the non-working, and find the malfunction.

I need to understand the electrical path; the connections of the primary power supply, from the 3 sources through the transformer and selection switch to the 2 distribution panels.

What is the name plate data on your generator?

Kw

Volts / Amps

Cycles or Hz

What is the power supplied from the dock?

Voltage 110 or 220?

Amperage 30 Amps per cable?

What is the Amp rating on the breakers?

Cycle - 50 or 60 Hz?

There has been discussion about the correct Cycle or Frequency in Hz, and the potential mismatch. I have not eliminated that, yet. If it is a mismatch, and the Docks' Anti-Electric Shock Breaker has sensitive internal electronic controls, Hz could be a problem.

Following are simple schematics.

The abbreviated key:

GEN - On Board Generator

D1 - Dock power supply #1

D2 - Dock power supply #2

XMER - Transformer with built-in over load breaker

PSS - Power Selection Switch

DP1 - Distribution Panel #1

DP2 - Distribution Panel #2

Is the following correct?

Your three sources of power, all enter the transformer, and exit to the power supply selection switch.

GEN →

D1 → XMER → PSS

D2 →

Or is this correct?

The generator provides its power to the transformer which reduces it and passes it to the selection switch. The dock power goes directly to the selection switch.

Gen → XMER → PSS

D1 → → → → → ┤

D2 → → → → → ┘

Or is it something else? Does either of the Dock cables go directly into either of the Power Distribution Panels?

~ ~ ~

We have much more to verify. Your appliances, capacitive and inductive loads; grounding, shared DC and AC bus, bonded vs. non bonded bus.

I wish I was there.
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:54 PM   #10
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@Aqua Man

This is what the "spirit" of cruising is all about. I hope you can help him out.
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summer75time View Post
Recently, I discovered a minor "short" in my 12V system regarding a wrong connection at my mast head lights. Could this affect the 110VAC system? I assume not, but I thought it's worth mentioning.
I doubt it, I don't think so, because 12 VDC and 110 VAC are two seperate systems.

But until the problem is found it is something to keep in mind. The two systems can be associted or connected with each other, usually in the conversion from one to the other, via, inverters, converters, transformers, chargers and the like.

Even if it did have a bearing on the main AC problem, fix the short and eliminate it. Easy to say, but who wants to go up the mast! ....much less with a pocket full of tools.

I got a chuckle out of, "a MINOR short". Reminded me of the saying, "a little pregnant".
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:55 AM   #12
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[[[An easy assumption is to blame the Anti-Electric Shock Breaker or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, because one is not used with the known working generator, but is used on the Dock power which does not work. That device is there maybe because the local electrical codes require it, and/or because of the people installing it insisted on peoples' safety, and/or were concerned about liability.

Just because it drops or trips does not mean it is not working or causing the problem; but could be. Eliminate that question; Verify that the Dock Supply is working properly. You already attempted that, by trying a second connection in another slip. That still did not prove anything definitely, though it did reduced the odds. It narrowed the field to your boat's system, somewhat. Do other boats obtain Dock power without problems? Specifically from the same source? Is yours the only one that does not work?]]]

All the above are correct. Tried with a different dock terminal but nothing changed. I believe that the problem is inside my boat though with the first change my electrician will try to test the system by uninstalling the safety anti electric shock breaker. Of course, this will not solve the problem, it will only help us narrow our search. The dock supply works perfectly and that is verified. Also, the transformer works perfectly because I have connected two 3000watt 110V fans and they operated normally. The hertz frequency is different but this cannot justify this kind of "pathology".

I uploaded a hand-written schematic of my main cables connections, hoping that it might help

The generator is a Kohler 9CCOZ23 60Hz suppling 100-120Volt or 100-120/200-240V. The generator is set to work at 120V, 60Hz and gives 75Amp and 9kW

The dock supplies 220V, 50Hz and approximately 35amp which I believe increase when I lower the voltage to 110V. (The problem arises with NO load). I don't know the dock's breaker rating.

The schematic was written before reading your last post, so I didn't use the abbreviations you provided me.

Thank you once again for your reply. You are always welcome in Greece, if by any chance you decide to spent your vacation cruising the greek islands.
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Old 02-22-2007, 08:25 PM   #13
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summer75time

I had trouble acessing your schematic, but Admin fixed that. Thanks Admin.

That helps a lot. Now I understand the basis of your system. I am not seeing the problem there, yet, except there is no GROUND shown going into the panels. Perhaps it exists in the system, and the panels have a central ground. I noted the GROUND Bus on the left / Port side of the schematic.

I haven't much time since my last long post to read yours and study it in detail. It will be a while until I can as I have a prior committement for this afternoon and evening. I am aware to the time zone differances between you and I.

Meanwhile what are you doing for power? Using the generator, or solar, or just getting by?

From what I am reading you have an electricain attempting to help you there?
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I am not seeing the problem there, yet, except there is no GROUND shown going into the panels. Perhaps it exists in the system, and the panels have a central ground. I noted the GROUND Bus on the left / Port side of the schematic.
In fact, I have two electricians. One specialized for 12v systems and one for 110V. Neither of them could identify the problem dispite their numerous efforts, so for now, my last resort is the internet for any possible ideas.

In one attempt, we disconnected completely the green wire from the system. We also disconnected the galvanic isolator-zink saver and tried to power the system but nothing changed. We faced the same problem.

There is a ground bridge-terminal inside the main ac panel where all the green wires end and there is also a galvanic isolator-zinc saver nearby. That's all I managed to find out yet, because I don't have the electric connection diagram of the boat manufacturer, which would propably not help because the previous owners have made a lot of modifications.

I am no expert, but I 've been told that the anti-electric breaker at the dock is not connected with the ground wire, but instead it is connected with the hot and neutral wires.

I am also working full time, so my only chance to visit my boat, is during weekends, whenever I have some free time.

For the time being, I prefer not to power my boat in order to protect it from further damage, until I find out what's wrong.

The 12Vdc system, seems to be OK, although I had to replace a burnt regulator, but this is another story, maybe the topic of a new endless conversation.

Finally, I would like to state that I not looking for solutions, but just for ideas on where to focus my search or what could help narrow the problem.
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