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Thread: 110VAC 60Hz Appliances from USA

  1. #1
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    110VAC 60Hz Appliances from USA

    I have family returning from the US and they insist on bringing their appliances with them. They want me to find out about installing one 110VAC outlet in each room of their house. The standard outlet in USA is usually rated at 20A, which equates to about 2200VA (depending on final voltage). This can get expensive very quickly, but that's for them decide on. I can't see any of the appliances requiring such a large current though.

    What I'm asking is the following:

    • What is the legal requirements regarding such an conversion/installation?
    • What will be the effect of our 50Hz supply on inductive loads such as a refrigerator?
    • Does anybody have any experience, or know about a contractor, with such an installation/conversion (the house will be in Mosselbay)?


  2. #2
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    It can be done within the framework of local regs but....and this is a big but...It's not going to be a worthwhile exercise.

    The electrical installation is going to be hellish expensive. The problem isn't really stepping down the voltage, it's the fact that even if a large enough transformer is used to supply the high load, the 110v output will still be at 50hz and not 60hz which is what the equipment is designed to run on.

    Some of the low tech appliances would be fine but as soon as there's an electronic control board or a motor involved the result will be catastrophic in the engineering sense of the word. Intelligent PCB's (control boards) often pick up their internal clock speeds from the supply frequency so 50hz will play havoc. Motors will run at lower than their design speeds, their electrical efficiency plummets, their shaft power is reduced and ergo they run hotter than they should. 20 years ago it might have been viable but nowadays motors are designed on such tight specifications that even 5% more than their design running current will result in very rapid failure.

    Certain heating appliances can easily be reconfigured to run on 220v by rewiring elements in groups of 2 and making them series wired instead of parallel across L+N. Unfortunately this type of appliance is the exception rather than the rule and every single appliance would need to be considfered regarding its viability.

    The other problem is that the AC/AC converter or transformer will also cost a small fortune to install so in a nutshell, unless they've got money to burn and then some, it won't be feasible.
    I am special and so is Vanash.

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    douw (30-Jan-13)

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