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110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?  
User currently offlineUTA_flyingHIGH From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 14327 times:

There seems to be only two voltages available for domestic power supply in the world; 110V and 220V.
What are the pros and cons of both ? Which is the best ?

regards,

UTA


Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline707cmf From France, joined Mar 2002, 4885 posts, RR: 29
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 14285 times:

And don't forget the standard voltage aboard aircraft : 400V .

As a European, I will point out an advantage of 220 over 110.

As P=UI (Power = Voltage*Intensity), the greater the voltage, the smaller the intensity can be for the same power output. So less current (Ampere) needs to be transported over a wire for the same powwer output.

Cheers,

707


User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2556 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 14279 times:

For 110V, it seems that most appliances are designed with it in mind-thus more flexibility. 220V is the standard for industrial machines, though a lot of them are designed for 480V as well. On the practical side, 110V will give you a nasty shock, but 220V or 480V can kill. When I was a passenger train conductor, our passenger cars were powered using under floor mounted diesel generators. The train line electrical system ran with 220V between the cars with step down to 110V for the onboard systems in each. However, we had to physically connect and disconnect the electrical jumper lines when coupling and uncoupling the cars to avoid damage. This required that the crewman working with the line ascertain that the electrical breakers on each car involved be opened. Also, when working in the electrical lockers we had to be very attentive. I was nearly electrocuted by making accidental contact with an energized relay while working aboard our Pullman sleeper one day. Intercity passenger trains utilize 480V trainlines.


"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3188 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 14244 times:

For this question http://www.google.com.au is your friend.
The quick answer which I suspected is that 110v is less likely to kill you.

Here is the long answer.
In terms of power production - all power is the same. It is then transmitted over High Voltage cables - usually above 10K Volts.
The power is then stepped down before it reaches our homes.

U.S, Japanese and some other countries receive 110V in the form of 2 wires - 1 Live and 1 Neutral

(2 phase system)

Other countries receive 2 live and in some cases 2 live in addition to 1 neutral to create this 220-240V.

Historically many countries originally used the 110V or 2 phase system.

Some may argue that the US is behind or has just managed to stay afloat with this old system longer.

The only advantage to receveing 110V is less injury to the nervous system in case of electric shock.

The downside is due to more current to compensate for the power you are more likely to get more burn (Yes skin burning) due to the 110V.

The disadvantage of 110V as compared to 220V is more losses due to resistence. Higher current needed to compensate for lower voltage creates more heat and therefore more resistence in the system and thus the need for more power.

Hope that helps.






Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineNotdownnlocked From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 943 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 14225 times:

I prefer 110 over 220. I have been shocked by each and can tell you from experience that 110 is much less painful and less dangerous.

User currently offlineSebolino From France, joined May 2001, 3682 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 14222 times:

The wires under 110 V tension must stand a greater current, the loss by resistance and EM emission is higher, they are more likely to overheat.

User currently offlineAir2gxs From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 14181 times:

Standard on a commercial aircraft is 115 volts operating at 400 hertz. Off hand, I can't think of anything on an airplane that runs at 400 volts. The max that can be produced through the genrators (if I rmember my schooling) is somewhere around 345 volts. Nothing runs there either.

User currently offlineJfkaua From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1000 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 14134 times:

well which does the US use?? that ones better  Big grin

User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 14112 times:

Because of I2R heating, you want as high a potential difference as possible.

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14127 posts, RR: 62
Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 14098 times:

European standard is 240 volts phase to ground, with 400 volts phase to phase as a three phase network, with a frequency of 50 hertz.

The 400 volts, threephase application is mostly for industrial use. Households receive single phase 240 Volts with a seperate grounding wire for safety.
This means one live wire (Blue), one grounded return wire (Black) and one direct ground connection for earthing the housing of the appliance (green-yellow). If you´ve got additional wire for a threephase application they will be brown.

Higher voltage means that you can use thinner wires for the same power and have less looses through ohmic resistance.

Some countries, like the Philippines or Japan use mixtures between European and American standards:
E.g. the Philippines use 220 Volts, but 60 Hertz and American two pin plugs and sockets without grounding wire.
So if you Americans plug an American appliance into a socket in the Philippines, just because the socket looks like the one at home, you´ll fry it.

Jan


User currently offlineDan2002 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 2055 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 14075 times:

I think here in the US, the line from the power pole to your house is 440V, then stepped down to 220V, then finally 110V. The highest voltage I have seen in use
was 600V, and it was used for some presses in a factory, and 600V was only able to power one press. I made sure to grab the 600V fuse after they closed down, the things about the size of a flashlight.

-Dan



A guy asks 'What's Punk?'. I kick over a trash can and its punk. He knocks over a trash can and its trendy.
User currently offlineAGC525 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 989 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 14055 times:

110 is basic house stuff, 220 is for larger appliances like washers and dryers, and I know at my fire station we have a 480 line for our outdoor siren.


My favorite line from the movie "Mr. Mom" -

"So, are you going to wire this 220?"

"220, 221. Whatever it takes" LOL  Smile



American Aviation: From Kitty Hawk to the Moon in 66 years!
User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4128 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 14054 times:

It seems from here that the only real issue involved is the heat generation. Since North America has been using this system for so long without an issue, one doesn't seem to be much better than the other. However, I would rather be shocked by a 110V rather than the 220V.


"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14127 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 14050 times:

Mdsh00,

Through the generation of heat you´ll loose energy. It is a way to reduce waste.

BTW, in Germany the next step up would be 750 V, 1000 V, 5000V, 10.000V, 25.000V, 50.000V, 100.000V and 200.000V for long distance transmission.

Jan


User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4128 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 14047 times:

Through the generation of heat you´ll loose energy. It is a way to reduce waste.

True. I wonder if there is a statistic which measures that.



"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3267 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 14028 times:

Most of the electronics I have work on both. Currently spending some time in the UK, and Europe, and most of the stuff I have only needs a plug adaptor.


Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineWhitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 14024 times:

Used to be 230-240v here, but in recent years it's been dropped to 220v or thereabouts.

User currently offlineBlackbird1331 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1894 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 14017 times:

You also need to consider the amperage, or, amps. 120v @ 15amps= 60v@30amps= 240v@7.5amps. The amps push the volts through the line, (emf) electro motor force. So, if you still have old style fuses, beware!, do not put a larger fuse on a line that is limited to a certain amperage. To do so is to let a larger surge of energy through the line. So, if the line is rated at 15 amps, you could put in a 10 amp fuse, if there is such a thing, but not a 20. Also, you need to know what the amp demand is for each appliance that is plugged into any one line. If you have three appliances that use 5amps each on a 15 amp circuit, the fuse would blow if you plugged in a device that consummed one amp.


Cameras shoot pictures. Guns shoot people. They have the guns.
User currently onlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3400 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 14012 times:

I think here in the US, the line from the power pole to your house is 440V, then stepped down to 220V, then finally 110V.

I believe in Canada 2 120V lines and a ground line come into your house and the lines are connected in series for the dryer and stove usually because they are 240V devices everything else is 120V @ 60Hz, this is the same as the US.

All countries are listed here

http://kropla.com/electric2.htm

I prefer 110 over 220. I have been shocked by each and can tell you from experience that 110 is much less painful and less dangerous.

Current causes the shock not voltage.






Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineDC10Tim From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1406 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 13993 times:

Interesting subject. The standard voltage in the UK is 230V. One of my uni lecturers who is the head of our Engineering School, was really into this kind of thing and he advised the government on 2003's energy white paper.

By and large, 230V is safer (don't get onto me for saying it), less current flowing makes a big difference. At 110V, the current is often large enough to actually feel the cable getting warm often, as the resistance is increased, which in turn leads to an overall loss of energy due to it being transformed into heat energy. This is due to Ohm's law (V=I.R). As a result, apparently, the US sees a larger number of deaths per annum due to housefires. Don't have any figures on this, only what I've been taught. The downfall to this argument as far as I can see however, is that it doesn't take into consideration building materials used to construct houses. Wood isn't used much over here, most houses are brick built.

Our railways run on 25kV AC, 50Hz, overhead pick-up, apart from South-East of London where they run on 750-850V DC. 25kV AC is becoming the new standard across Europe. It is used widely in France now and other countries. Germany uses 16kV AC (I think) and The Netherlands 3000V DC.

Tim.



Obviously missing something....
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14127 posts, RR: 62
Reply 20, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 13989 times:

The electric railways in Germany use 16 kV at 16 2/3 Hz, don´t as me why. Berlin´s underground system uses 800V DC.

Jan


User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 13990 times:

Neither is "better." It's like arguing BMW vs. Mercedes. The only thing I don't like about European systems is that the outlets and plugs are so big. For example, you can get 8 outlets in a space of 20 cm by 10 cm in the North American 110 volt system.



User currently offlineDC10Tim From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1406 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 13986 times:

Just forgot;

It's better to be shocked by 230V AC than by 110V AC. The lower 110V AC is actually more likely to kill you. Voltage is essentially the 'pressure' by which the electrons are being forced down the cable. Current on the other hand is the actual amount of electrons that are traveling down that cable. This is the deciding factor. Massively high voltages are harmless if there is no current. Remember the Van Der Graaf generators in school. They can produce voltages of over 1 million, but are harmless as there is no current.

Tim.



Obviously missing something....
User currently offlineSccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5579 posts, RR: 28
Reply 23, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 13969 times:

Tim, you have the right idea but the wrong reality.

You can be shocked by very high voltage and sustain no injury, so long as the source has current capacity too low to harm you. But the voltage you get out of the wall socket has more than enough current capacity to do you plenty of harm.

There are advantages to both systems, but not substantial enough to justify any change to either.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineBlackbird1331 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1894 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 10 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 13964 times:

Speak American. Edison designed the system in NYC. You Europeans can re-invent the system if you want to, but the principals remain the same. It will always be a combination of Volts/Amps/Ohms. If you do not understand the concept, then stay away from it!


Cameras shoot pictures. Guns shoot people. They have the guns.
25 DC10Tim : Blackbird1331, I don't get you exactly. Who is reinventing any systems? I was merely pointing out scientific fact. There's no argument on this one. By
26 777236ER : There are advantages to both systems, but not substantial enough to justify any change to either. There are substantial advantages, for example the 22
27 Blackbird1331 : DC10Tim: Simply trying to point out the fact that this is a dangerous medium. No disrespect intended. Yes, what you say is true, but, Edison put it al
28 MD11Engineer : Edison´s system was a pure DC system. He was in a continous feud with Westinghouse, who proposed an AC system. One of Edison´s inventions to show ho
29 Post contains images DC10Tim : Of course..... Volta was Italian......... I'm thinking of Volk, as in Britain's first electric railway. I don't do any elec. eng. anymore so it's forg
30 Blackbird1331 : Okay, then who made the system work?
31 Post contains links MD11Engineer : Edison invented a shortlived DC system, which didn´t spread, because you can only transmit DC over short distances without huge losses. Without Maxwe
32 Vikkyvik : 110 versus 220? Come on now. We use up to 150 kV at my workplace. Needless to say, we are extremely careful around those power supplies/cables and wha
33 Trvyyz : What a topic and what all answers, really intersesting. Which is safer? (neglecting the protective mechanisms)If you are going to touch a live line of
34 Post contains images Solnabo : Reading this topic, I always think of H-woodmovies when you see someone drops a hairdryer/ toaster/ lawnmover (a comedy) in the bathtub Does it works
35 MD11Engineer : Once, while redecorating a flat in a really old house in Berlin (built somewhere around 1900), I touched a life wire reaching over my head (over the y
36 Iakobos : Technically it is not 110 and 220, it is 117 and 234V (and 380 for the 3-phase). Both have pros and cons, the main thing is that any device requiring
37 Post contains images Logan22L : What is it about A.netters touching live wires? Logan
38 MD11Engineer : Iakobos, Electric cattle fences often use 12 V or 24 V rechargable batteries for transportability, but inside the control box the current gets pulsed
39 Air2gxs : Iakobos, the worst shock I ever received was a 28 volt DC hit from the hot battery buss on a DC8. Laid me out for several minutes. The hair dryer in t
40 Iakobos : Yes Jan, though this one was connected through a box to the AC grid. Fact is, I have touched that dozens of time in dry weather, you can easily keep i
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