Buck booster transformer ? for a Euro Frig


Old 09-18-18, 04:51 AM
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Buck booster transformer ? for a Euro Frig

we are looking to purchase a European frig , runs 240V and 50HZ ( its a specialty frig so no a standard US frig is not posible)

what complexity to add a buck booster trasnformer to be able to use it reliably and safely? If out of the DIY, what is the ballpark figure for install by a qualified electrician ( which is more than likely my route)

looking to install in the basement, have room in our panel

Thank you
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Old 09-18-18, 05:17 AM
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An unknown is how well the frig would run on 60 Hz. The shortcoming would be reduced mechanical output from the compressor motor.

If the power draw of the frig is more than 7 amps at 240 volts you will need more than a 15 amp 120 volt circuit for it. For a large frig you might need more than a 20 amp circuit so find out the wattage or amperes requirement in advance.

Installing a plug and play buck boost transformer (autotransformer) or an ordinary transformer would be comparable to installing any appliance or installing "low voltage" lighting where you could not use the low voltage rules for the portion of the wiring feeding the lamps (bulbs). If you have to assemble a transformer package using discrete items such as capacitors, terminal strips, and receptacles then you need expertise for this kind of work since a ventilated enclosure is needed here to shield live wires, and protect the discrete items from physical damage.
Old 09-18-18, 01:37 PM
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The 50Hz is a definite problem.
I would consult with the manufacturer of the fridge for technical assistance.
Old 09-18-18, 04:38 PM
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buck booster transformer is usually used for small voltage changes. Converting 120V to 240V is done with regular transformer.
Most household in the use is supplied with 240V split phase, so you will be able to get 240V without using transformer. If 3 phase, then you will get 208V and that may or may not work with your fridge.
The problem is frequency. It is not easy to covert frequency.

Check if there is 60Hz model available. The manufacturer might be able to special order your fridge to run on 60Hz as well.
If it is inverter compressor type, it may not care frequency depending on it's design.

If all else fails, you will have to get frequency converter which won't be cheap. It can be done by converting AC to DC then inverting DC back to AC at 50Hz.
You could build your own by purchasing 240V 50Hz inverter (or 220V or 230V used in Europe), but will be safer to purchase one that is already made.

It could be done with electric motors coupled together with appropriate gear reduction, but this will be even more complicated. It is basically a generator run by a electric motor.
This is also commercially available and probably more expensive, but can handle higher current.

Another options is, if it is using a simple compressor (just on/off), you may be able to hire refrigeration tech to change compressor to comparable 60Hz model. Circulation fan will probably run faster, but usually will be acceptable.
Might even go far as replacing compressor and circulation fan to 120V 60Hz model and just plug directly into the wall outlet.
Old 09-18-18, 04:46 PM
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You need to keep in mind that most fridges today are loaded with electronics that may or may not respond correctly to 50hz power.
Old 09-18-18, 05:48 PM
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most fridges today are loaded with electronics
That actually can be a good thing. Most electronics run on DC and DC power is supplied by SMPS circuit. SMPS circuits don't really care about 50 or 60Hz because the first stage of the circuit is converting to DC.

Most inverter compressors don't care about the frequency for the same reason. It is run like stepper motor (BLDC to be exact) and it is supplied with DC at variable frequency supplied by the controller, which also runs in DC.

Motors are the only thing that are affected by frequency here.
Very few electronic circuits today utilize AC frequency from supply power. Only ones I know of are clocks and timers on microwave oven and range oven.

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