UTA_flyinghigh
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110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 5:10 pm

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
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707CMF
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 5:26 pm

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
 
57AZ
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 5:33 pm

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.
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BNE
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:00 pm

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.



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notdownnlocked
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:36 pm

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.
 
sebolino
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:44 pm

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.
 
air2gxs
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:23 pm

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.
 
jfkaua
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:38 am

well which does the US use?? that ones better  Big grin
 
777236ER
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:07 am

Because of I2R heating, you want as high a potential difference as possible.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:30 am

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
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dan2002
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:30 am

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
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AGC525
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:04 am

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
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mdsh00
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:05 am

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.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:11 am

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
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
mdsh00
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:12 am

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."
 
Go3Team
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:19 am

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.
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whitehatter
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:24 am

Used to be 230-240v here, but in recent years it's been dropped to 220v or thereabouts.
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Blackbird1331
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:40 am

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.
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StarAC17
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:55 am

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.



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dc10tim
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:47 am

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.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:52 am

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
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AsstChiefMark
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:53 am

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.

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dc10tim
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:55 am

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....
 
sccutler
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:19 am

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.
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Blackbird1331
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:32 am

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!
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dc10tim
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:48 am

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 the way, Volt, Ampere, Ohm. Sounds like two Germans and a Frenchman to me, very European.

Tim
Obviously missing something....
 
777236ER
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:48 am

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

There are substantial advantages, for example the 220V system has 1/16th the energy losses due to I2R heating effects, it's just that the 110v systems are so engrained that they can never be replaced.
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Blackbird1331
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:00 am

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 all together and made it work.
Cameras shoot pictures. Guns shoot people. They have the guns.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:11 am

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 how dangerous AC was, was the electric chair.
BTW, the generator was invented by Siemens; Ampere, Ohm, Volta, Örstedt were all Europeans.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
dc10tim
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:18 am

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 forgivable. Also it's late here............too late  Smile

Night all,

Tim.
Obviously missing something....
 
Blackbird1331
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:20 am

Okay, then who made the system work?
Cameras shoot pictures. Guns shoot people. They have the guns.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:31 am

Edison invented a shortlived DC system, which didn´t spread, because you can only transmit DC over short distances without huge losses.
Without Maxwell, Siemens, Schuckert and all the other inventors, Edison and Westinghouse wouldn´t have succeeded. Though edison was a great inventor, he didn´t invent the light bulb (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_bulb#History_of_the_light_bulb), he improved it and was the first to see a way to market it. Essentially he took inventions of other people, assembled them and made them a commercial enterprise.

Jan
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vikkyvik
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:47 pm

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 whatnot. It's pretty cool when you start cranking up the voltage and you can hear the capacitors charging up.

We only run the current up to 40 mA though, but even then, assuming 20 mA and 125 kV (fairly typical numbers for what we do), that's still 2,500 W. Needless to say, I'm having to relearn all my electricity/circuit stuff fairly quickly.

~Vik
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trvyyz
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:33 pm

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 220V, it is going give you double the current. ie, Current is proportional to Voltage(Potential difference),in this case the Potential difference between the line and the ground. Your body resistance is the same( Say a constant 'R') for both the cases.
By Ohm's law V=IR or I=V/R, where V is voltage, I is Current and R is resistance.
so at 110V I=110/R and
at 220V, I=220/R ie 2x(110/R).
So, it means that at 220V you will get double the current. ie, Europeans will get double the electric shock as compared to an American when he touches accidently the Live(hot) wire by accident.
But if you are wet, your 'R' goes down and you are dead.

The other things like heating and current will be more for 110V for appliances but it safer from an electric shock point of view.
Actually 110V can be considered as a luxury because it's accessories are going to be more expensive as it has to handle double the current.
 
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solnabo
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:54 pm


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 that way: some spasm and theyre dead as a doornail????
I strongly doubt it....

Micke  Confused
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MD11Engineer
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:07 pm

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 years the natural rubber insulation had lost it´s elasticity and crumbled of on a length of about10 cm) . Fortunately the shock made my legs collapse, so that, while falling down, I got disconnected.
Mind, I was standing on dry floor, wearing working boots with an insulated sole. I felt my heart stop for a moment.

This was the worst electrical shock I ever received, on the other hand 115 V at 400 Hz feels completely different.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
iakobos
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:54 am

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 significant power makes 117 an obsolete option, unless you have a good insurance and a good friend to handle the post-fire assessment.
Both 117 and 234 can be lethal under some circumstances and/or environments. AFAIK all bathrooms in Europe must have a very low differential fuse.

I have been knocked down for the count and had a sore elbow and shoulder for several days, after touching an electric fence with the back of my leg, in wet ground. This was 24V.

I have been deeply burned when touching antennas when the transmitter was running.
100 Watt of RF energy (roughly 70V - 1.4A) is like putting your finger or hand in front of a laser surgery instrument, the cut is deep and clean. You realize it first by the smell.

I was perhaps 30m from a worker when he slipped between a bank of DC batteries in Brussels subway. I will not explain...


 
Logan22L
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:05 am

What is it about A.netters touching live wires?  Nuts

Logan
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MD11Engineer
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:12 am

Iakobos,

Electric cattle fences often use 12 V or 24 V rechargable batteries for transportability, but inside the control box the current gets pulsed and the voltage stepped up to something like 20.000 V to give a sting. But as I said, since the control box output is pulsed, the total current is very low.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
air2gxs
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:18 am

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 the tub would kill rather quickly if the dryer and bathroom outlet were not GFCI (ground fault current interrupter) equipped. I believe GFCI is required in all jurisdictions in the US for kitchens and bathrooms. I havn't seen a hair dryer sold in the states in years without a GFCI plug.
 
iakobos
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RE: 110V Or 220V, Who Is Right?

Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:18 am

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 it in hand and feel the pulse every second or so, but with your feet in the mud it is a killer.

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