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#139809 - 12/29/03 10:36 AM 230V use in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
Someone who worked with ESB (Ireland's main PoCo) was telling me that ESB and NIE (Northern Ireland Electricity) either discussed harmonising the domestic supply voltage at 230V 50Hz or actually did harmonise it quite a long time before the rest of Europe decided to go that route.

Lyledunn: do you have any idea if this is true?

It's definitely possible that the ESB began to actually install 230V Xformers quite a few years ago to give more flexibility as it would mean UK and European appliences would generally be happy if plugged in in the Republic of Ireland. It would have made a lot of economic sense, particularly in the days before the Euro when the Republic of Ireland's currency IR£ was tied to UK£ (sterling) etc.. and lots of UK approved appliences (rated 240V) were on the market alongside European ones (rated 220V)

I know I've definitely seen some 1980s ESB meters rated at 230V here.

Apparently North-South compatability also drove the Irish decision to completely drop schuko and adopt BS1363 officially as it would have been ridiculous to have 2 incompatable plug/socket systems on the same island. There were a lot of technical arguments in favour of schuko, particularly before BS1363 shielded pins were introduced

As a matter of interest we did some quick voltage checks and got these readings between 222V and 234V.

I know that older pole-mounted xformer rural supplies tend to give dead on 220V although that's all changing to 230 rapidly as there is a pretty massive programme to upgrade the rural networks to 20kV (from 10kV) meaning the old pole mounted cans are all being replaced with new ones.

It also gives the ESB a chance to upgrade some of the old 52A supplies to be capable of supplying 80A-100A

I know the difference between 220 and 240V supplies isn't a huge deal but for some sensitive equipment it can cause problems.


[This message has been edited by djk (edited 12-30-2003).]

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#139810 - 12/30/03 08:18 AM Re: 230V use in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
The IEC changed its recommended voltages from 220V and 240V to 230V in 1983. CENELEC didn't require this to take effect until 1995, but it is possible that Ireland and Northern Ireland felt that they should go with the IEC recommendation.

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#139811 - 12/30/03 08:44 AM Re: 230V use in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
It would be interesting to find out exactly what they did do.

I don't know if NIE could have adopted anything different to UK policy though if 240V was specified in British Standard or IEE rule.

It's quite possible that the ESB moved on its own to 230V in the 1980s though to bridge the gap.

----

Slightly off topic but..

There are lots of technical issues where Ireland's had unusual setups with the UK.

E.g. in Telecommunications:

Eircell and Vodafone (in Northern Ireland anyway) operated roaming on ETACS analogue! (from the mid 80s) As far as I'm aware the only place that ETACS roaming was ever used. From what I remember of it, in the early days it wasn't very reliable and you could only recieve calls on the roaming network. It developed and worked quite effectively though. You also had to advise Eircell or Vodafone that you needed the service switched on etc. I presume they passed your IMEI (or whatever ETACS called it) number over to the other network and gave you temporary access. It certainly wasn't as seamless as GSM and your incomming calls would be prefixed with "This call is being diverted.. please hold" (repeated about 5 times)

Did similar arrangements exsist between the countries using NMT in Scandinavia & Finland?
Or between Germany & Austria?
or perhaps the BeNeLux countries?
--------------------------------

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 12-30-2003).]

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 12-30-2003).]

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#139812 - 12/30/03 08:46 AM Re: 230V use in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
We're officially 230V in Britain now, but only because the powers-that-be have fiddled with the allowable tolerances, changing 240V +/-6& to 230V +10%/-6%. The bureaucratic mind at work!

I expect we'll see supplies which truly are a nominal 230V as transformers are replaced, but it's likely to be a long time.

Temporary sags and brown-outs excepted, my line usually averages around 238 or 239V.

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#139813 - 12/30/03 02:39 PM Re: 230V use in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Germany never had an ETACS network, they had some very bodged NMT clone and then went to GSM. Austria AFAIK had NMT but no roaming and ETACS until 2002 but I never heard of roaming. So-called D network was way cool, much cheaper than any GSM offer and the last phones weren't much bigger than GSM phones. I had one in use until 02/28/02 and was really sad when they cancelled service.

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#139814 - 12/31/03 12:59 PM Re: 230V use in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
There were some really tiny TACS/ETACS phones around just before they pulled the plug on the Eircell "088" network. I remember one Sony phone that was approaching credit card size !

The early GSM phones were quite clumpy in comparison and were a lot pricier. Initially you were paying for "digital" (even though it gave worse reception in the early days) and for the ability to roam in Europe. I still remember a lot of "ping-pong" noises during calls back in about 1993/4

Eircell continued to market ETACS products at non-business users for quite a few years after GSM launched. Including the first Prepaid system "ready to go" which was an exclusively analogue product for the first year.

Then they started to push ppl over to GSM rapidly. When Digifone, the second GSM network (now O2) launched they tried to peer-pressure ETACS customers into switching over.. If you had an (088) number (ETACS) you were suddenly unfashionable and associated with stone age technology and prob. used a brick phone

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#139815 - 01/01/04 04:39 AM Re: 230V use in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Our mobile phone networks here had letters. A network was an operator-based car phone network, probably in the 2m band. In 1974 (?) the B net with automatic dialing opened, the only analogue network that was ever compatible with its German equivalent and even had roaming. However, the phones were still huge, so they were always built into cars, and it wasn't a cellular network. Some time in the early 80ies the C net (NMT) came up and was in service until 1997. 450 Mhz cellular network, 0663 code + 5-digit number. The phones were still pretty bulky. In 1988 the ETACS D net went in service. 900Mhz cellular, 0663 + originally 6-digit numbers, later 7 digits were used for new subscribers. In 1995 the first GSM network came up, named E net, soon renamed to A1 with the advent of private providers. D soon became unfashionable, even though the Mobilkom tried to get more customers by drastically lowering their rates (in the end D was the cheapest mobile service in history) and their B-Free compact prepaid service. In the last days of D there were about 90000 of the once about 200000 subscribers left and they decided to pull the plug because UMTS needed the frequencies. i'm still mad at them because when i bought the phone they assured me the network would be operating _at least_ until 2007. When i got the phone in 2001 it was already mostly for the fun of seeing all jaws drop whenever I gave somebody my number. 0663 numbers were pretty much out of fashion back then, most young people didn't even know D still existed. Main disadvantage of D: with the old equipment Mobilkom had you couldn't send nor receive SMS. Since SMS is the most important thing for younger cell phone users (When i was about 14 I knew a lot of people who _never_ made a call but sent SMS all the time) D was out of question for them.
I had an Ericsson EF 738, a really nice, small phone. My Siemens S10 GSM I got afterwards was much bulkier.

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#139816 - 01/01/04 10:10 AM Re: 230V use in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
The NMT 450 and NMT 900 networks did offer roaming. The system was developed jointly by the Nordic countries and thus offered inter-Nordic roaming. In addition, roaming with some, but far from all, other countries that had adopted the NMT system was offered, sometimes more because of some glitch than by intent.

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#139817 - 01/01/04 01:13 PM Re: 230V use in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland

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#139818 - 01/06/04 03:55 PM Re: 230V use in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?
lyledunn Offline
Member

Registered: 06/30/02
Posts: 159
Loc: N.Ireland
djk,
The supply here in NI was always 230v nominal and thus when CENELEC harmonization was introduced it was relatively unimportant. As PaulUK says there was no real effect in UK.
I have many contacts in NIE so I will run your comments by them. Discussions may have been prudent on the HV system as we have a significant network at 110kv.
Belfast used to have a 6kv system with phase rotation opposite to everywhere else in NI!
Maybe that was the start of our troubles!
Regards,
_________________________
regards

lyle dunn

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