Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Electricity, BeBe, America, and the World

We recently received a message from someone following our blog regarding questions about 230 Volt 50 Hertz electricity on-board BeBe and the electrical convenience items we have in addition to the major appliances such as water maker, water heater, clothes washer, dishwasher, Air Conditioning & Heat. This person was from North America where the electrical voltage is 110v 60htz. BeBe is French made, so we are 230V 50htz. 

230 Volt Plug

The issue of 230V 50htz is a tough thing for Americans to get their head around, but when you are outside the shadow of North America, 230V, 50htz is the norm. The North American 110 volt 60 hertz appliances simply will not work on 230V 50htz. Some Amel owners add a transformer to change the voltage from 230V to 110V, but a transformer cannot change the frequency (hertz) from 50 to 60, and some electrical devices cannot run on the different frequency. 

We have added following 230v 50htz items:
Galley Conveniences:
  • Microwave
  • Mixer
  • Blender
  • Stick Blender
  • Bread Maker
  • Toaster
  • Kettle
  • Vacuum Sealer
Other Conveniences:
  • Oscillating Fan
  • Television/Monitor
  • DVD player
  • Clothes iron
  • Vacuum
  • Dehumidifier
  • Hair dryers
  • Electric Razor
  • Computer/Printer/Scanner ( 110-250V 50-60 cycles...many electronic items are dual volt)
  • Rechargeable hand held vacuum
  • Wet/Dry Vac - this is important for a lot of maintenance things
  • Pressure washer
  • Soldering Iron
  • Electric drill
  • Sander
  • Polisher
  • Hot air blower
  • Dremel Tool
  • Line cutter (hot knife)
  • Battery trickle charger 6amp 12v for the starter battery
We also have a small 230v to 110v transformer (up to 300 watts). This is rarely used, but is nice to have when grandkids show up with a rechargeable 110V device.

We have an inverter that converts our battery power from 24vDC to 230v 50htz AC...capacity is 1800 watts. This gives us 230V 50htz of power from our battery bank without having to run the generator when we are not plugged into shore power. This is convenient for a few minutes of microwave time, or TV/DVD, etc.

Our generator has a capacity of 7.5kw at 230V 50Htz. 

We charge our house battery bank of 12 batteries with either: An engine driven 175 Amp 24 volt alternator (when engine is running), or with either of two 230V 50htz 24 volt battery chargers that run with either the generator or shore power.

BeBe Solar Arch added in 2013
As long as the sun is shining, we use solar power to charge our 12 batteries. We have 3 each Kyocera KD135GX-LP 135 watt panels and a Victron BlueSolar charge controller MPPT 75/50. This will maintain our 12 house batteries at full charge with normal everyday use of: refrigerator, separate chest freezer, computers, WiFi, VHF radio, GPS, navigation instruments, AIS, lights, fans and miscellaneous 24 volt devices.

We have a 24v to 12v transformer that feeds a small 12v breaker panel for numerous 12v things like a 12v PC/Monitor, and other 12v things. We also have a 12v to 5.6v transformer that feeds a 7 outlet USB block where you can recharge tablets, iPhones, etc. without turning on the computer.

We bought a few of the above small electric appliances before we started cruising at a 230v store in Houston, Texas...they were a little overpriced. Most of the items we accumulated when we were out of the shadow of the US.

We believe the secret to longevity in cruising is comfort. The Amel 53 is the most comfortable and safest circumnavigating boat available...especially when you add all of the above. 
230 Volt Shore Power Connector

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