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HelicopterOff Topics › Local Mains Voltage
10-23-2004 10:16 AM  13 years agoPost 1
Steamer

rrNovice

Mount Hakepa, Pitt​Island

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Why do some countries use 110/120 volts and some use 220/240 volts for their mains supply?

Which is best?

Pip Pip!
Steamer
Founding Member of GIRCHA

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10-23-2004 10:49 AM  13 years agoPost 2
nivlek

rrProfessor

Norfolk England

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The lower voltage is safer, the higher voltage probably a little more
efficient.Which is better?The lower voltage is probably the best bet for
muppets.

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10-23-2004 11:18 AM  13 years agoPost 3
Sar

rrElite Veteran

Saugeties, NY

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220 would be much more convenient. If you guys run 220 do you run a split 440 main?

--
Jon

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10-23-2004 01:49 PM  13 years agoPost 4
jerrythercpilot

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--South Florida --

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In Europe the "High Voltage" is 380 not 440-480 as it is here.


I heard the safety issue or 110 vs 220 a lot. I think its a bunch of BS. Lets face it 220 V is not going to jump a gap that much greater than 110.

As a matter of economicswith 220V, the you can run thinner wires and there is less transmission loss due to the lower amperage.

The whole thing probably started over George Westinghouse Vs Tom Edison 100+ years ago, simliar to Westinghouse being a proponent of AC and Edision a proponent of DC.

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10-23-2004 04:20 PM  13 years agoPost 5
Drunk Monk

rrProfessor

Preston, UK

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How can lower voltage be safe? You need more current to get the same power requirement. It's not really the voltage that kills anyway, I built an air ionizer at collage that ran 1,600V at 20mA, gave a nice little tingle anyway


Stephen

I only open my mouth to change feet.....

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10-23-2004 04:47 PM  13 years agoPost 6
Clayman

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Richer, Manitoba,​Canada

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Lower voltage means that less amps will be pushed through the same amount to resistance. It is the AMPS that kill not the voltage that is why if u get a shock from a spark plug wire it does not kill you. Normal voltage anywhere from 15,000V to 70,000V BUT less than a fraction of a amp. You need large voltage to jump a gap.

Example: 220V through a 10 ohm load produces a 22amp flow.
110V through a 10 ohm load produces a 11amp flow.

Much less of a chance of getting killed. But there is usally less amps flowing in a 220V circuit but if the same resistance is applied the 220V circuit it will push more amps through the same load than a 110V circuit.

If U Don't Fly U Don't Try

Trex 600 Pro OS50 Hyper

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10-23-2004 04:51 PM  13 years agoPost 7
Colibri

rrKey Veteran

The Netherlands

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It's not really the voltage that kills anyway
Yes it is. The current that flows is dependent on the resistance of your body. Of course the higher current that flows through your body the more dangerous it is but it is the voltage that determines the current.

The reason we don't get electrocuted by air ionizers etc is that the source can not sustain the high voltage when the resistance of your body is applied. The voltage will drop immediately and that's why only a low current will flow in these situations.
Lets face it 220 V is not going to jump a gap that much greater than 110.
True. It is not relevant. It takes about 10KV per cm through air to get a spark.

Tim

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10-23-2004 07:47 PM  13 years agoPost 8
ScareCrow_Delta

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Sebastian, FL

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220 is cheaper to transport..... More effecient.

Otherwise it's all the same. Current, Voltage and Power can be of the same magnitude. Power will always be the same as current and voltage are proportional.

to transport 1kw of power:

120V
1000 watts = 120V x 8.33 Amps =====needs twice the size of wire than 240V

240 V
1000 watts = 240 x 4.16 Amps

~~~~ Defy the laws of gravity....gracefully ~~~~

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10-23-2004 07:50 PM  13 years agoPost 9
ScareCrow_Delta

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Sebastian, FL

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It will also kill you the same way. It's how much power is being delivered!

~~~~ Defy the laws of gravity....gracefully ~~~~

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10-23-2004 08:21 PM  13 years agoPost 10
Crusty Commie

rrApprentice

Wales

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In regard to human tissue 220 volts ac is indeed quite noticebly more dangerous than 120, for the reasons allready mentioned above, (we are not talking about jumping airgaps here, the human body is very conductive at 220v ac and measurably less so at 120, thats why site workers use 120v in industrial enviroments over here) studies have shown that 220 volts at the mains frequency of 50 hz is actually a perfect mix for doing nasty stuff to your body

I am dsylexia of borg..resistance is fruity...your arse will be laminated

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10-23-2004 09:15 PM  13 years agoPost 11
dschertz

rrApprentice

Jackson, MI

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residential voltage is 120/240 at 60 Hz in USA, Industrial,commercial is generally 480/277 , 240/208 and high tension towers 120,000v or more. Now overseas voltage frequency is 50 Hz, that will be noticed in a fluorescent lighting, it will tend to "strobe" 120v generally kills more people one reason is there is more of it but also the lower voltage tends to "hold" on to you longer higher voltage will generally throw you quicker and I do have experience at that. also as the voltage goes up the arc will "jump" further, ever seen lines going through trees or by them on a wet day?

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10-23-2004 09:17 PM  13 years agoPost 12
MPA

rrElite Veteran

Australia

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The lower voltage is safer
Not by design..

Edison fought Westinghouse for many years trying to keep the DC system alive in the USA and by the time they adopted the Westinghouse AC they where well and truly wired to the DC system and used tothe lower voltages.

Being they had the DC system and some where used to the lower voltage, replacing it they opted for using 120v AC on the same system because they (possibly rightly) assumed that would cause the least amount of Edison driven public backlash.

Using 240v AC would just give Edison more fuel to throw at Westinghouse about higher voltages and dangers of it, that Edison would exploit in his scare campaign to save his DC system.

Informing folks the truth that a DC of 1/4 the voltage of AC was far more dangerous and far more likely to burn their house down was a little hard fo folks to comprehend back on ye olden days of electricity.
So they just used a similar low voltage taking the wind out of Eddisons sails on that score.

It had nothing to do with Safety
That just seems to be a reason given by some of avoid admiting they where conned by Edison for long enough to get lumbered with a DC network at their own cost that was doomed never to run very far from the power generation stations.

The story about 50hz being more harmfull to heart rythm than 60hz is total bunk and seems to be a throwback form the Eddison days when he had all sorts of wives tales running across the USA to try to pooh pooh the Westinghouse AC.

The reason it is 50hz not 60hz is simply a construct of the way the single phase is delivered as I understand it.

But then some others say 60hz is used for 110v to increase output but to my rekoning and sums the frequency of AC doesnt make any diff to AC current output.

In the USA it is 2 phases 220v used to run heavy equipment like hot water heaters and and furnace blowers etc..
2 single phases (directly opposite in phase) at 110v for everything else

Single phase 240v system here is from 3 phases into the home at 415v for hot water heater and and furnace blowers etc..
Each of the 3 phases is 220-240v.

If the USA had to build an AC power network from scratch in current days (no Edison political factor to deal with).. the system it would be 3phase, each phase being 220v.

Anyway thats how I heared it from a qualified sparky mate of mine.

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10-23-2004 11:53 PM  13 years agoPost 13
cfranks

rrVeteran

Adelaide South​Australia

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My workshop is wired for 3-phase 415 volts. Drives my lathe, milling machine and, if I ever finish it, a band saw. Much more efficient for bigger motors plus, a big advantage, reverse any two of the wires and the motor reverses.

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10-24-2004 01:28 AM  13 years agoPost 14
debogus

rrApprentice

Beauklahoma,peoples​republic of​mexifornia,USSA

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No history lessons , Jerry
And if Tesla didnt sell patents to westinghouse , edison wouldnt have invented the electric chair.
Greed the mother of invention

Dave

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10-24-2004 02:31 AM  13 years agoPost 15
S_Owen

rrApprentice

Wichita Falls, TX.

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I had the same question so I asked a friend of mine, an electrical engineer for TXU, the same question. Why the different voltage levels.

His reply was this...... A good portion of our infrastructure was in place already, at 120 volts, when other countries started setting up electrical utilities. It was found that higher voltage levels cause the muscles to convulse, rather than simply contract. At our voltage, if you grab hold of a hot wire, the voltage causes the muscles to contract, you can't let go. At much higher voltages, you can't help but let go.

[b]Murphy's Constant:[/b] Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.

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10-24-2004 04:17 AM  13 years agoPost 16
jerrythercpilot

rrVeteran

--South Florida --

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Thanks MPA for the detailed post. I figured as much but did not know the details.

BTW Edison's electric chair used Westinghouses AC to help prove his position that DC was the way to go and AC was unsafe.

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10-24-2004 02:58 PM  13 years agoPost 17
MPA

rrElite Veteran

Australia

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Good point jerry, it shows the degree of unscientific tricks Edison went to with the aim of trying to stop AC being used.
Some of those myths have carried to current day.

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