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  • Why so many voltage supplies?

    Why do you have so many different voltage supplies over there? In Australia we have basically 2, 240v single phase and 415v 3 Phase, makes things so much simpler. Very interested to know.

  • #2
    electrical supplies

    because that would be to darn simple to make everything run off of two plugs

    and then we would loose all those hours of joy hunting down and searching for the proper pig tail and electrician would loose work wiring our shops up for two and three phase.

    mainly case it make to much **** sense and it would cost jobs and the country would loose money lol

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    • #3
      Because, to put it in a nutshell....over here we invent stuff
      They all hit the market, and the world gets to cherry pick the best out of it.
      So over there are you saying you don't have 120v?? Do you have 240v stretched all over your house and kitchen?
      Basically we have a configuration for each amperage at a given voltage so you don't get them mixed up

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jake SS View Post
        Why do you have so many different voltage supplies over there? In Australia we have basically 2, 240v single phase and 415v 3 Phase, makes things so much simpler. Very interested to know.
        in houses, we basically have a single supply, 2ph 240v.
        for the most part, each leg of it gets split off and is used
        used independently as a single 1ph 120v line. for some
        things in homes, we use the 2ph/240v directly -- typically
        it's for electric heating things - such as electric clothes driers,
        electric ovens and stoves, and so on. big airconditioners also
        use it. it also gets used for the occasional welding machine or
        home shop power tool.

        sometimes we refer to 120v as 110v (and 240 as 220). if memory
        serves it's due to the rms effect with regard to ac voltages (or because
        we're wierd... take your pick :-)

        commercial/industrial use is a whole 'nother matter. the stuff
        that could be also used in homes uses 120v (eg computers
        or small power tools and so on). other things, however, are
        what they are. usually it's a combination of engineering
        and history. the engineering is "this thing would work best on
        357.2v so that's what we'll spec" and it becomes someone elses
        job to figure out how to supply it... (though there are common voltages
        that tend to constrain this).

        The historical bit is becuase that's the way it was done in 1904 (or
        whenver) and we can't change things... You laugh, in my day
        job I develop communications gear ... all of which has to run on
        -48vdc ... and that's because when the telcos built out their
        networks 100 yrs ago, they ran off of batteries, because the
        mains supply was not reliable back then -- and they never changed...

        Electric railroads & subways are the same. in the 190x's, for
        instance, the New Haven railroad in the north-east US electrified
        a chunk of their tracks and chose 11kv, 25hz (if i recall right)
        for what were then good reasons. The locomotives all were built
        for that power supply. After the initial build, they couldn't change
        everything over at once if they wanted to use a new voltage,
        so the locos built & used today use the same power...

        frank

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        • #5
          Most of the U.S is 110/220 or 229/240 then 277/480. Transmission lines if I remember are 1380/13,800/138,000. The higher voltages are more efficient which is why when you buy an A.C or Stove the larger they are usually run on 220/240. The higher the voltage the lower the amperage on AC circuitry.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
            So over there are you saying you don't have 120v?? Do you have 240v stretched all over your house and kitchen?
            yeah that's exactly what they have in australia. i wish we had that in the US.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
              Basically we have a configuration for each amperage at a given voltage so you don't get them mixed up
              So do they, and just like us they have an ungrounded two pronger for double insulated equipment. And a standard 10A three prong w/ ground (flat pin), a similar one with a round ground pin, and a 15A and 20A with larger pins (flat).

              Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
              So over there are you saying you don't have 120v?? Do you have 240v stretched all over your house and kitchen?
              I'm pretty sure they have 240V hot with neutral and ground power though, which makes for a good jolt should you come in contact with the hot. Unlike our 120V + 120V = 240V system, where you'd have to contact both hots to "light up" with 240 volts.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mr Bigs View Post
                Most of the U.S is 110/220 or 229/240 then 277/480. Transmission lines if I remember are 1380/13,800/138,000. The higher voltages are more efficient which is why when you buy an A.C or Stove the larger they are usually run on 220/240. The higher the voltage the lower the amperage on AC circuitry.
                higher voltages are not more efficient, per se... it's that voltage drop is a constant per the amount of current. if you're going to lose 10V volts over a given run of wire, it's a much bigger deal at 115V than it is @11,500V.

                The most common power supply in the US is center tapped 240, which runs into every house. The next most common would be 120/208 wye 3 phase. Once you get into industrial applications, all **** breaks loose. In the midwest you've got 240delta 3 phase, which is 2 120 Volt legs and 1 177 volt "wild" leg. The delta and wye describe how the 3 phases are connected in the transformer and they're VERY different. Then of course you've got 440V,460V,480V and onwards and upwards.

                Basically the larger the electrical load anticipated, the higher the voltage the engineers are going to specify, so you're not running 0000 cable to everything.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bretsk2500 View Post
                  higher voltages are not more efficient, per se... it's that voltage drop is a constant per the amount of current. if you're going to lose 10V volts over a given run of wire, it's a much bigger deal at 115V than it is @11,500V.

                  The most common power supply in the US is center tapped 240, which runs into every house. The next most common would be 120/208 wye 3 phase. Once you get into industrial applications, all **** breaks loose. In the midwest you've got 240delta 3 phase, which is 2 120 Volt legs and 1 177 volt "wild" leg. The delta and wye describe how the 3 phases are connected in the transformer and they're VERY different. Then of course you've got 440V,460V,480V and onwards and upwards.

                  Basically the larger the electrical load anticipated, the higher the voltage the engineers are going to specify, so you're not running 0000 cable to everything.
                  I've only had to deal with the Delta(******* Leg) in commercial environments and it's usually used for lighting which they make special ballast for.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                    Because, to put it in a nutshell....over here we invent stuff
                    They all hit the market, and the world gets to cherry pick the best out of it.
                    So over there are you saying you don't have 120v?? Do you have 240v stretched all over your house and kitchen?
                    Basically we have a configuration for each amperage at a given voltage so you don't get them mixed up
                    At every house we have 240V single phase (active & neutral) no 120V, our ground is connected to the neutral at our consumer mains it is called an MEN (main earth neutral) point, also a lot of houses have 415V 3 Phase with a neutral (415V star connected to give the neutral) I have 415V 3 phase at my house which I can connect 240V single phase circuits to supply whatever and I use the 3 phase 415V to supply air con, my shed, whatever, I have 100 amps per phase available. We have 3x 415v cables plus neutral which runs passed just about every home, most only use 1 and neutral to give them 240v, our system is one of the safest worldwide and definitely the easiest to work on and connect any welder at the drop of a hat, we also have transformers every so often in our grids to handle voltage drops.
                    If you invent stuff you should "invent" a simpler system or come over here to do some "cherry pickin". We have electrical rules which apply Australia wide so country wide everything will be constant.
                    A quarter of an amp is enough to kill someone
                    I service, sell, repair all welding equipment both electric and gas so I do know a bit about the subject, which is basically why I joined the forum, to help people if I can, after all you are a long way away from me so I am not losing any business, unless you want to send your gear over to me to fix! lol
                    Cheers

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jake SS View Post
                      At every house we have 240V single phase (active & neutral) no 120V, our ground is connected to the neutral at our consumer mains it is called an MEN (main earth neutral) point, also a lot of houses have 415V 3 Phase with a neutral (415V star connected to give the neutral) I have 415V 3 phase at my house which I can connect 240V single phase circuits to supply whatever and I use the 3 phase 415V to supply air con, my shed, whatever, I have 100 amps per phase available. We have 3x 415v cables plus neutral which runs passed just about every home, most only use 1 and neutral to give them 240v, our system is one of the safest worldwide and definitely the easiest to work on and connect any welder at the drop of a hat, we also have transformers every so often in our grids to handle voltage drops.
                      If you invent stuff you should "invent" a simpler system or come over here to do some "cherry pickin". We have electrical rules which apply Australia wide so country wide everything will be constant.
                      A quarter of an amp is enough to kill someone
                      I service, sell, repair all welding equipment both electric and gas so I do know a bit about the subject, which is basically why I joined the forum, to help people if I can, after all you are a long way away from me so I am not losing any business, unless you want to send your gear over to me to fix! lol
                      Cheers
                      By the way hope to learn things off you guys as well

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fjk View Post
                        ... we basically have a single supply, 2ph 240v..
                        (In Butthead's voice): He said two phase. Heh, heh, heh. Heh, heh, heh.
                        Originally posted by bretsk2500 View Post
                        ... In the midwest you've got 240delta 3 phase, which is 2 120 Volt legs and 1 177 volt "wild" leg...
                        It's two 120s and one 240 to common around here.
                        Originally posted by Jake SS
                        Why do you have so many different voltage supplies over there? In Australia we have basically 2, 240v single phase and 415v 3 Phase, makes things so much simpler. Very interested to know.
                        We are too retarded to be allowed to have 240 running through our house, that is why we have 120. Honestly, it was a supposed safety thing. Since there is so much stuff that runs on 120, an economical solution in factories was 240 3 phase, but as stated above, it only gives two legs of 120 for lighting and etc. in the building. Hence the introduction of 208 3 phase, each leg to common is 120. 240 is being phased out. (Bad pun intended) 480 is becoming more and more common outside of heavy industry, I guess the cost of all the transformers that these humongous buildings need is justified by the smaller motors, and a building full of lighter guage wire. Since I'm already into speculation, the reasons for even higher voltages totally evade me, except in steel mills.
                        And I go along with ridesideways saying that e should have 240 everything in our house, except that I think it should be 208 3PH.

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