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Old Nov 26, 2004, 12:12 AM
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Manila, Philippines
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why 110Volts in U.S.A. and 220 Volts in the Philippines / European country

We know Power = Voltage X Current, Say a 1100 Watts Flat Iron, if you're in the US the current is 1100 Watts/110 Volts = 10 Amps, but if you're in the Philippines 1100 Watts/220 Volts = 5 Amps only.

I guess, the US citizen is more concern on the Safety of their people than the cost of savings in copper wiring, cause you get less electrical shock in 110 Volts than in 220 Volts.

While here in the Philippines, we usually have a 220 volts, I was thinking of huges saving in the cost of copper wire, thats why we use 220 volts.

And I just notice, in Japan they use 100 Volts, I guess, Japanese is more concerned on their people, than those in the US.

I've been looking for this answer in a book, but never found it, I like to hear your opinion.
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 04:54 AM
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East Anglia, UK
Joined Sep 2002
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The short answer is why not?

The long answer is a bit more difficult.

Oce w went frm DC to AC power, and I an;t remember who pioneered it, it became obvous that for long distance transmission, you could use thinner and cgheaper wire if very high voltages were used. Thse days, the main UK grid is at 132KV, or possibly higher. Not sure. Think there mak be a 255Kv Super Grid backbobne somewhere.

That gets transformed down to around 11KV for local underground and/or overhead diostribution because 11KV is a bit esier to do on poles only 5 meters tall, or in undergrond cables that do not have huge insulation.

At street (or in my case single property) level, that 11KV is stepped down to a level suitable for domsetic use. In most of the world (except the USA) that is around 200-250V/50Hz. This is reckoned to be about right, as it means sensible power does not require hugely fat cables, and although its still a lethal voltage, its not THAT lethal. We also have has traditionally a system of earthing (gronding) and fusing that makes it relately safe to use, with three pin polarised plugs being the norm since 1945 or so. Two pin plugs are simpy not allowed, period.

The USA stuck to 110V/60Hz, because thats the way it started. History. And kept two pin plugs much later than anyone else, AND in some cases used transformerless valve equipment., with one side or trhe other connected to the metal frame of the equipment.

Ther have been more than one case of Rock musicians dying when they had one hand on the guitar, whose strings were earthed to the chassis of a tube amp, connected to one side of the 110v supply, and they grabbed a microphone, earthed to the chassis of another tube amp, connected to the other side of the 110v AC supppy..somethiong that never happened in this country..

Electrical safety is way ahead in Europe striull, simply because we have to be aware, because it's more lethal.

Ultimately there is very little difference between 110v and 250v in terms of anything - you can design equipment to work on one or the other just as easily. The is slightly less shock hazard on 110v - we use it a lot on professional outdoor power tools for that reason - but the cables are a bit smaller and easier to lay for 240V or so. And teh standards of installation mean that in practice we probably get less shocks off it than the US does off 110v.

If you think the US is more concerned with the safety of its people than money however, I suggest you go visit

Its history pure and simple.
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 05:40 AM
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Manila, Philippines
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Vintage1, Thanks for the info.......I remember when Tomas Edison, 1st invented the light bulb, the electricity is in DC form, then they later change it to AC, so that power can distribute easily thru transformer, I guess, its the History, its very difficult to change all US appliances to 220 Volts....I guess the higher voltage is more efficient, cause it use less current, means less voltage drop.

here in the Philippines, we have lots of mixed appliance, cause some products is made in the US, thats why, there are lots of busted equipment due to carelessness, an 110 volts equipment plug into 220 volts outlet.....its good that most electronics equipment now is Auto-volts.

one more question, why are some country use 50 hertz and some use 60 hertz......I guess may be 60 hertz is more effient for transfer of power thru Transformer......I have not done an experiment, to prove this if its true.....or this might have something to do with the motor RPM inside the CLOCK (40 years ago our clock is AC power 220 Volts)....this is just my opinion, I have not found an answer in the book.

Well, this is just a question, where I can not find an answer in a book, I have been asking the same question to my college professor, their answer is as good as mine....Thanks again.

Ellion Cham
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 06:08 AM
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Backwoods Alabama
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Thomas Edison pioneered the electrical distribution system, in DC, and Nicola Tesla advocated AC power. There was a big AC/DC (electricity, that is) struggle at the time. Tesla was an amazing inventor, google his name and read up. He actually built an RC submarine in the 1890's!

I guess "we" use 60 Hz AC because 60 is a neat multiple of time. "50 Hz" must be metric minutes or something.

--Bill
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 06:46 AM
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Joined Jul 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazy-b
I guess, the US citizen is more concern on the Safety of their people than the cost of savings in copper wiring, cause you get less electrical shock in 110 Volts than in 220 Volts.
safety?? i build houses both here and in the states and the standard over there is a big joke compared to the european system we use here.

now go stick a nail in a 110 outlet and then into a 220 outlet and see if it feels any different ...both hurt!


dave
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 07:15 AM
When in doubt whip it out
French Polynesia
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Vintage1,

I think the name you where looking for was George Westinghouse.
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 07:54 AM
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Joined Jul 2004
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i think tesla developed the transformers for the westinghouse AC system. must have been a real wild world back then if a major industrialist like edison went around demonstrating the harms of AC by electrocuting elephants...


dave
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 08:39 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Harris
I guess "we" use 60 Hz AC because 60 is a neat multiple of time. "50 Hz" must be metric minutes or something.
60 Hz is much nicer on the eyes than 50 Hz. 70Hz would be nicer still.

Yes, 60 is more efficient.

Andy
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 11:11 AM
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Lewist's Avatar
High Wycombe, Great Britain (UK)
Joined Jul 2004
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i have been zapped more than once by 220-240 volt power.. OW..

It can be lethal but not usually.. i also think that is more likely to kill you if you touch it with one hand and earth the other, rather than earthed through your feet because it travels right across the body (your hearts inbetween your two arms!)

either way its bad and i was all over the shop for about 20 minutes on one occastion.. that was a nasty one though!
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 11:40 AM
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UK
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Tell you what does hurt - about 20KV from a Piezo ignighter on an oven !!

My mother had a problem with the grill not lighting, I noticed that the electrode was out of line and I grabbed it between thumb and fore-finger to rotate it back into line, when my mother pressed the button to see if it worked... next thing I remember was being the other side of the kitchen with a numb-tingling in my arm !

She was amazed that a 1.5 volt battery could cause me so much discomfort and throw me across the room - I then informed her that for a spark to jump across a half inch gap the votage must of been in the order of around 5 - 20 Kv !!!
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 12:02 PM
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Stavanger, Norway
Joined Feb 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc C
I then informed her that for a spark to jump across a half inch gap the votage must of been in the order of around 5 - 20 Kv !!!
Indeed. IIRC a 10mm spark need ~17kV.
(1/2" = 12.27mm)
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 12:41 PM
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Hovertime's Avatar
Chicago
Joined Feb 2003
5,924 Posts
Soviet Union once had 110V grid, but then (top heads) decided to change it all to 220, and for a few decades there were places that used both, and all appliances had switches to select the right voltage. I'm sure the cost to change it all was tremendous...

US motto is ACAP (as cheap as possible) and there are many owners of grid, angry old people who resist change, cost is high, and seems like there is no need for it , so they are stuck on inefficient voltage, and this will not change without a strong hand, similar to change to SI system....

I have no idea however as to why there are 50 and 60 Hz used? I guess it was dictated by the electric needs, and both has advantages and dissadvantages...
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 12:57 PM
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USA
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From http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionar...ing%20current:
"It is generally accepted that Nikola Tesla chose 60 hertz as the lowest frequency that would not cause street lighting to flicker visibly. The origin of the 50 hertz frequency used in other parts of the world is open to debate. "

The nice thing about 60Hz is that it does shrink transformer size a bit (compared to 50Hz). If technology was more advanced in Tesla's time, a slightly higher frequency standard would have been a better choice {in my opinion}.

RC-CAM
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 01:27 PM
That's a funny word
NE Ohio
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Thanks for the info.......I remember when Tomas Edison, 1st invented the light bulb, the electricity is in DC form, then they later change it to AC, so that power can


You must be older than me.......
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 03:20 PM
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Santo, Tx.
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Generally, the higher the voltage is more efficent, but in small appliances its almost negligible. Here on North America, High amp items, electric cook stoves, A/C and motors much over 2 horse power (1500 watts) do use single phase 220-240 volts. lots of commercial people run their equipment on 3 phase 440 volts. As far as 50 vs. 60 cycle is concerned, isn't 60 divided into 360 (cycle) easier? Jim
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