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#133900 - 10/05/02 09:24 AM International voltages
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Trumpy started a thread on international wire colour codes. This reminded me that I had recently compiled some statistics on voltages used around the world, to see how many countries uses 230V and how many used 115V.

I hope I can get the table into this message:
(Testing...one...two...three...)

Nominal Supply Voltages Worldwide (2002)

50 Hz
 Quote:
 Code:
100V	1	Japan

110V	1	Jamaica

115V	1	Barbados

120V	0

127V	6	Indonesia, Libya, Madagascar, Morocco, Netherlands Antilles, Vietnam

220V	85	Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Azores,
 		Balearic Islands, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina,
 		Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canary Islands, Cape Verde,
 		Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo (East),
 		Ivory Coast, Djibouti, East Timor, Egypt, Equatorial Guineas, Ethiopoa,
 		Faroe Islands, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Gabon, Georgia, Greece,
 		Greenland, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Kazakhstand, Kyrgyzstan,
 		Lativa, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macao, Macedonia, Madeira,
 		Mali, Martinique, Mauritania, Moldova, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia,
 		New Caledonia, Niger, Norfolk Island, Paraquay, Portugal, Réunion Island,
 		Russia, San Marino, Sao Tome & Principe, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovenia,
 		Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Turkmenistan, Ukraine,
 		United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, South Africa,
 		Yemen, Indonesia, Madagascar, Morocco, Netherlands Antilles, Vietnam

230V	68	Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bhutan, Botswana,
		Bulgaria, Cambodia, Congo (West), Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark,
		Dominica, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana,
		Grenada, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel,
 		Italy, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malawi, Maldieves, Mauritius,
		Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan,
		Poland, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain,
 		Sri Lanka St. Vincent Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania,
 		Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Zambia, Indonesia, Boliva, South Africa,
		Yemen

240V	24	Brunei, Channel Islands, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Fiji, Gibraltar, India,
 		Isle Of Man, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Nauru, Nigeria,
 		Oman, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands,
 		St. Lucia, Tonga, Uganda

60 Hz
 Quote:
 Code:
100V	1	Japan

110V	14	Anguilla, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guam, Haiti,
 		Honduras, Panama, Taiwan, Turks & Caicos Islands,
 		Virgin Islands US & UK

115V	2	El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago

120V	14	American Samoa, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands,
 		Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Liberia, Micronesia, Nicaragua,
 		Puerto Rico, United States, Venezuela

127V	5	Aruba, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Suriname 

220V	9	Belize, Brazil, Cuba, French Polynesia, Peru, Philippines, South Korea,
 		Saudi Arabia, Vanuatu

230V	3	Antigua & Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis

240V	2	Guyana, Tuvalu

Note
Compilation for statistical purposes only. Do not use as reference.
Contains errors and omissions. Reliable data is available only for industrialised countries.
Voltage variations in developing countries are common.

For up to date information: www.kropla.com

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 10-05-2002).]

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 10-05-2002).]

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#133901 - 10/05/02 03:53 PM Re: International voltages
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I've often looked through such lists as these and pondered over the reasons why certain places ended up with certain systems -- Colonial influence, proximity to other industrial nations, etc.

Some of the lists seem to be a little inaccurate (to put it mildly), but the Kropla ones don't seem to have any glaring mistakes.

The definition of nominal voltages is open to argument and political wrangling, however. As the list shows, for example, officially the U.K. is now a 230V country, although in practice in most areas nothing has changed since standardization at 240V some 30 years ago.

The "electrical bureaucrats" here decided to fall in-line with the EU-mandated 230V standard by simply adjusting our allowable supply tolerances. Previously it was 240V +/-6%, now it's specified as 230V +10%, -6%.

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#133902 - 10/05/02 04:25 PM Re: International voltages
David UK Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/02
Posts: 134
Loc: Inverness, Scotland
Hi Paul
I hear what your saying, I haven't noticed any change in UK voltages (my loop tester displays mains voltage), mostly it displays 240V give or take 5V depending on time of day, loading etc.
230V Is just a paper exercise in harmonization, it would be my guess the same is true in continetal Europe.

David

[This message has been edited by David UK (edited 10-05-2002).]

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#133903 - 10/05/02 04:52 PM Re: International voltages
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
C-H — That is an interesting way to present international voltage numbers. One comment about the US’ 120-versus-115…a lot of appliances are labeled 115 {so-called utilization voltage} but the circuits are usually 120V {termed service voltage.}

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#133904 - 10/06/02 01:10 AM Re: International voltages
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Scott,
A lot of (American) electronic equipment from the 1960s seems to be specified for a nominal 117V.

For some countries especially, there is also the question of whether the supply is well regulated or not. It makes little difference whether we specify 220 or 230V if the regulation is as poor as 15% or more.

David,
Same here in Norfolk. I still see an average of 240V, and even during peak demand it seldom drops below 235V, temporary power problems excepted, of course (like last night, when it was zero for two hours! ).

I expect we will start to see 230/400V appearing as xfmrs are replaced, but that's going to take many years. I'm sure the same has happened elsewhere; certainly most of France is still nominally 220V in practice, even if in theory they are now 230V like us.

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#133905 - 10/06/02 06:19 AM Re: International voltages
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Austria has really changed the Voltage, at least here in Vienna. I just measured 234V at a receptacle, which semms to be normal voltage here (got that result pretty often).
However, I guess it'll take me pretty long time to get used to these figures. For me it's still 220/380 running out of our receptacles. Even our physics book at school is only partially updated. There's a schematic showing the 3ph delta and wye systems. The picture shows 230V between ph and N and 400V between phases, but the text below said 220V ph to N and 380 between phases. So much about the accuracy of school books.

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#133906 - 10/06/02 06:55 AM Re: International voltages
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Paul — Agreed. "Passive" fluorescent ballasts used to be labeled 118V. [?!? \:\/ ]

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#133907 - 10/06/02 10:42 AM Re: International voltages
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Wow - I got a lot of responses! Thanks guys!

With reference to the difference between measured and nominal voltage:

Normally the measured voltage should be within +/- 10% of the nominal voltage. This is what equipment is built to handle. For a variety of reasons, countries, regions or individual companies may choose to have a narrower span.

If the nominal voltage is 230V and you actually get 240V this is just a bonus. It means that voltage drops in long runs or long (outdoor) extension cords will not become a problem. However, if it is close to the upper limit, like 250V, the equipment will be wasting much energy. Of course, it does so already at 220V, but the effect is smaller. Few of the things with a transformer will have any use for the extra voltage, and will therefore simply convert it into waste heat. Also, the lifespan of light bulbs will be reduced.

If the supply voltage is at the low limit, you can get into trouble whith long runs, extention cords, high loads, voltage dips etc. The upside is that there will be little wasted energy. Hence, the power companies have every incentive to keep the supply voltage as high as possible, without causing problems to the consumer.

My point is that it doesn't matter if the measured voltage is 220V or 240V, it is still 230V nominal. Some people will tell you that "we are still on 220V and the UK on 240V". This is not so, IMHO. The 230V nominal doesn't mean you get 230V, it only means that 230V equipment is guaranteed to work. Previously, it was 220V +/-10%, i.e. minimum 198V. Now the minium is 207V.

Paul
 Quote:

Some of the lists seem to be a little inaccurate (to put it mildly), but the Kropla ones don't seem to have any glaring mistakes.


Several lists are of very poor quality. Kropla is the best I have found, but still incomplete. I have made an attempt to make an improved version of the Kropla list, compiling information from numerous sources. Unfortunately, it turned out to be harder than I had thought.
The data above comes from this attempt.

I want to issue a warning about some lists, like that of WalkAbout Travelgear. It looks thrustworthy, but I've gone through it country by country checking with other sources and some informationn appears to be extremly outdated or in several case made up.
Some of the listed countries vanished from the map thirty years ago. The information cannot be any newer, can it?

(But they do have a huge assortment of adapters and transformers.)

BTW: Whatch out with those adapter vendors. Some use the cheap trick of vending Ireland adapters and UK adapters, with different order #. (The same goes for all other countries, of course)

Bjarney
 Quote:

One comment about the US’ 120-versus-115…a lot of appliances are labeled 115 {so-called utilization voltage} but the circuits are usually 120V {termed service voltage.}


Thank you for pointing that out. I have seen this for other countries as well, e.g. Spain, where the nominal service voltage is 230V and the utilization voltage is 220V. If one takes into consideration that the maximum recommende voltage drop is 4-5% (9.2-11.5V) it becomes obvious where the figure comes from.

Paul and Bjarney
 Quote:

A lot of (American) electronic equipment from the 1960s seems to be specified for a nominal 117V.


Isn't the maximum measured service voltage in the US 125V and the minimum 110V? The average works out to 117.5V, which can be rounded off to 117V or 118V...

Paul
 Quote:

For some countries especially, there is also the question of whether the supply is well regulated or not. It makes little difference whether we specify 220 or 230V if the regulation is as poor as 15% or more.


Echo that. One of the problems with lists are that people have measured the voltage, and entered that into the list. If the regulation isn't very strict you can easily end up believing the country is on some odd voltage like 190V.

Now I have to go cool off my fingertips.
/Clas-Henrik

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#133908 - 10/07/02 06:31 AM Re: International voltages
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Such as the african country (forgot which one) having 150 or 175V according to one of these lists, one of them added that this was the actual voltage, and the nominal was 220V, but only one.

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#133909 - 10/07/02 08:32 AM Re: International voltages
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
>Such as the african country (forgot which
>one) having 150 or 175V according to one of
>these lists, one of them added that this
>was the actual voltage, and the nominal was
>220V, but only one.



I saw one report (from Vietnam, I think) which stated that the voltage fluctuated between 90V and 220V... I wonder what lightbulbs you need under such conditions?

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 10-07-2002).]

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