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I’ve been getting a lot of queries lately about nuisance tripping of the new ELCI devices and whether or not some of the European systems that we see on a lot of the Beneteau and Jeanneau boats are OK and comply with US Standards and so forth. Well, we talked about the ELCI thing in my January 3 rd post (scroll down the home page for that). Today, let’s compare and contrast the European units used and the common US units. Below you see one of the commonly used 30 amp Blue Sea Systems ELCI units installed in a new shore power system.
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OK, but the problem we have is that some folks have complained that getting the 50 AMP service units is still tough and that on some installations nuisance tripping is still occurring. This is especially likely if the boat is equipped with an inverter. Seems the ELCI will trip when the switching goes from shore power to invert mode. We’ve had some go off when keying the VHF mic to transmit. The designers are supposedly working on this, but my boat builder friends are not necessarily seeing good results.
So, the question becomes, can we get European product that will work? I’ll go back full circle on all of this to the fact that Our French friends and other have been using shore power RCD (residual current device) 30 mA devices for 15 or 20 years and I have not heard of these nuisance trip problems. So now the question is, will these devices work on a US built boat with US wiring? Will that boat be compliant with ABYC standards? The answer: Yes, ut it depends on the specifications for the RCD device. The ABYC E-11 standard (2013 version) allows for it as long as the voltage and frequency specs for the device match up properly. Basically that means 12 Volts and 60 Hz. The photo below (sorry, not such a good photo) proves the units are available and used.
Both of the units above are dual rated. You need to check with companies like, Eaton and Schneider Electric to find product. The units above are labeled “legrand”. It is a French boat, I can’t remember whose. Although I’m not familiar with the particular brand in this case, they are indeed labeled as meeting the specifications needed.