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Old 06-16-2020, 05:28 PM
 
1,963 posts, read 495,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidValleyDad View Post
Not always.
The basic question is so lopsided it's almost impossible to give a sensible answer. The very short version is that while (I suppose) you could wire a house to run on 440 3-phase and buy, find or modify everything from phone chargers to clothes dryers to run on it, there's next to no point.

(I spent a while designing modifications for Australian products so that they would run on US power, including things like little add-in 50Hz timebases. But this conversation didn't seem to need deep technical discussion.)

The 50/60Hz issue is negligible; most equipment with adapting power supplies (like most PC power supplies, IME) don't really care what the input is as long as it's between 100 and 250 VAC and somewhere between 50 and 60 Hz. Clocks that run on straight AC power are an anachronism. Most motor-powered devices can be had or converted to run on either. And so forth.


And in the end, you'll have a houseful of stuff powered from the AC mains. Just like what you started with, only lots of money and pointless effort later. Except that that little 110VAC jolt from a toaster will now make your head asplode.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:55 AM
 
7,648 posts, read 3,605,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
*sigh*

This thread has so many misconceptions that the class are deserving of a barely passing grade. MOST dwellings in the U.S. have SPLIT-phase entrances. There are exceptions, and your basic premise is correct, but this is a science forum.

Distribution lines are far above 220/240 volt single phase voltage. There is no need to change anything. Split phase, loosely, is when the full 220/240 volts is measured at the extremes of the output coil of the pig on a pole, BUT there is a center tap in the transformer that is at ground potential. That makes for a relatively safe home source of power.
OK, so I used the wrong vocabulary word. Everyone knows what I'm talking about. 240V leg to leg, 120V leg to ground; and since they're sine waves, the two sets of 120V are 180 degrees out of phase with each other.


What I was saying is that almost every house in the US could be rewired to have only 240V outlets. It would be silly to do so, but it could be done.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:59 AM
 
7,648 posts, read 3,605,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
The basic question is so lopsided it's almost impossible to give a sensible answer. The very short version is that while (I suppose) you could wire a house to run on 440 3-phase and buy, find or modify everything from phone chargers to clothes dryers to run on it, there's next to no point.

(I spent a while designing modifications for Australian products so that they would run on US power, including things like little add-in 50Hz timebases. But this conversation didn't seem to need deep technical discussion.)

The 50/60Hz issue is negligible; most equipment with adapting power supplies (like most PC power supplies, IME) don't really care what the input is as long as it's between 100 and 250 VAC and somewhere between 50 and 60 Hz. Clocks that run on straight AC power are an anachronism. Most motor-powered devices can be had or converted to run on either. And so forth.


And in the end, you'll have a houseful of stuff powered from the AC mains. Just like what you started with, only lots of money and pointless effort later. Except that that little 110VAC jolt from a toaster will now make your head asplode.
The biggest issue of voltage is things that aren't digital.


The biggest issue of frequency is efficiency of capacitor and some split phase motors. In truth, depending on where a particular appliance was developed and whether they developed a 60-Hz-specific motor for it, or used the same motor to cover 50 Hz and 60 Hz, and the details of the compromises they made, 50 Hz could be more efficient, about the same, or less efficient.


Very few synchronous clocks exist any more.


Induction motors will probably run at different speed.
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
The biggest issue of voltage is things that aren't digital.
Yes, but it's a red herring here. You can get US-spec, 220/240VAC, 60Hz versions of most appliances. I ran into this when looking at Bosch washing machines; the better models are 240 for efficiency. Unfortunately, few houses have 240 wiring for the laundry space except for a dryer.

And all the way down to bare metal, if you really insisted on doing this, you can swap out motors and related components from 120 to 240 models, if they aren't already capable of both. Many motors can be wired for either by making some jumper changes.
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:37 AM
 
7,648 posts, read 3,605,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
Yes, but it's a red herring here. You can get US-spec, 220/240VAC, 60Hz versions of most appliances. I ran into this when looking at Bosch washing machines; the better models are 240 for efficiency. Unfortunately, few houses have 240 wiring for the laundry space except for a dryer.

And all the way down to bare metal, if you really insisted on doing this, you can swap out motors and related components from 120 to 240 models, if they aren't already capable of both. Many motors can be wired for either by making some jumper changes.
OK, but there's going to be a lot smaller selection of 240V appliances smaller than a washing machine, in the US. In my house, for example, we've probably got 20 lamps. Wall and ceiling mounted lighting fixtures. Electric fans. Blender. Kitchen mixer. Hair dryer. Electric drill and circular saw. Soldering iron. Electric coffee maker. Guitar amp. Not to mention that you've got to check all your equipment that runs off a DC power supply and make sure it's a wide range DC power supply and not a 120V-only one.


All that stuff CAN be sourced in 240V spec in the USA, but it's going to be a huge pain in the rear, compared to driving down to the local hardware store and buying one of the six fans they've got sitting right there on the shelf waiting for you to take them home and plug it in and start using immediately.
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:56 AM
 
1,963 posts, read 495,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
All that stuff CAN be sourced in 240V spec in the USA, but it's going to be a huge pain in the rear, compared to driving down to the local hardware store and buying one of the six fans they've got sitting right there on the shelf waiting for you to take them home and plug it in and start using immediately.
Of course it is. As would be all the technical issues of switching over the general wall juice. (I'm not even sure what code says about that — different plugs would be required, at a minimum.)

I think the thread has established that the US is pretty much stuck with 110, and no minor improvements in household energy efficiency are worth a switchover, either as a solo or large-scale project. But there's always someone who sees any tech/energy/eco improvement as worth any cost...
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