# Thread: 50Hz Vs 60Hz

1. ## 50Hz Vs 60Hz

Greeting all,
Hope you all are fine and good. I have one Question regarding to frequency and voltage as below.

In Asia, Europe and some other countries there is a 50 Hz and in some other countries there is 60 Hz frequency.

Can anyone advise me the advantage of 60Hz over 50Hz

same also in voltage as below;

In some countries there is

50Hz
380 Volt ( line to line ) 3ph
220 volt ( line to neutral ) 1ph

In some other there is

60Hz
240 volt (line to line ) 3ph
120 volt ( line to line ) 1ph

So, please advise me the main advantage of 60Hz, 120 volt 1ph or 240 volt 3ph Over the 50Hz, 220volt 1ph, 380 3ph.

Eventhough we know, using 60Hz, 120 volt 1ph or 240volt 3ph cost us much more than 50Hz, 240 volt 1ph, 380 volt 3ph in underground ditribution and cable sizing.

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That is a good question, I am properly way off with my reasoning so bear with me. I would think to generate power at 50 Hz it would be cheaper than 60 Hz, since you need less field poles and the mechanical speed of the rotor would be slower for 50 Hz than for 60 Hz.

3. Dear augie47,
Thanks for your useful information and I read it. But still I did not get the satisfactory answer the real advantage 60 Hz over 50 Hz or 120volt,1ph over 220 volt 1ph.
Eventhough 60 Hz cost us much more than 50Hz in distribution and cable sizing.

I remeber that when I had asked this question from my teacher, he told me that nothing advantage except safety.

Can you explain any exact advantage please?

Dear shams,
Good information but it is about the energy conversion system which we know

frequency(f) = n(revolution per minute) * P(number of Pole)/ 120

Yes, you are right the speed differs and I am agree with you. But my question is about the advantage of 120 volt 1ph, 60Hz over 220 volt 1ph,50Hz

Eventhough it 60Hz cost much more than 50 Hz in distribution underground and cable sizing.

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This info is from a fairly old source, 1950's:
In most foreign countries it is 50 cycles. As
a general-purpose distribution frequency 60 cycles has an
economic advantage over 50 cycles in that it permits a
maximum speed of 3600 rpm as against 3000 rpm. Where
a large number of distribution transformers are used a
considerable economic gain is obtained in that the saving
in materials of 60-cycle transformers over 50-cycle transformers
may amount to 10 to 15 percent. This is because
in a transformer the induced voltage is proportional to the
total flux-linkage and the frequency. The higher the
frequency, therefore, the smaller the cross-sectional area
of the core, and the smaller the core the shorter the length
of the coils. There is a saving, therefore, in both iron and
copper.

- I am not sure if those savings are current now.

5. Originally Posted by Hameedulla-Ekhlas
Yes, you are right the speed differs and I am agree with you. But my question is about the advantage of 120 volt 1ph, 60Hz over 220 volt 1ph,50Hz

Eventhough it 60Hz cost much more than 50 Hz in distribution underground and cable sizing.
One possible advantage is that 60Hz equipment like motors and transformers can be smaller, Higher frequencies generally allows size to be reduced. That's why, for example, chargers have switch mode power supplies running at much higher frequencies than the utility supply.

And, with 50Hz, is that you get nice numbers. A half cycle is 0.01s or 10 ms.
Not the ever recurring 8.33333333333333 ms.
:grin:

On the other hand, maybe there is a logical progression:
60 cycles in a second, 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 hours in.....oops.....2.5 days.

I'm not sure that one frequency has any clear advantages over the other.
And Japan has both.

6. This comes up a LOT in international forums. I'll give my same answer.

It's pointless to discuss it; the difference is irrelevant.

You have what you have. Nobody gets the opportunity to choose one or the other, the last time that happened was in Japan after WWII when a lot of American generation and distribution equipment got installed under the Marshal Plan and now Japan suffers from having roughly 1/3 of their grid at 60Hz vs 50Hz for the rest of the country.

The history is only of amusing interest. it goes back to Westinghouse in the US choosing 60Hz because it matched existing mechanical equipment speeds, and AEG doing roughly the same thing in Germany. Nobody discussed the issues at the time and the decisions had nothing to do with efficiency.

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Both 50 cycles and 60 cycles have advantages, but there is not much difference in costs etc in the real world.
Both systems remain very popular, if one system was much better then it would have replaced the other.

60 cycles permits of smaller and therefore cheaper transformers and generators, though the gain is small.
60 cycles gives less flicker on lamps.

60 cycles increases losses by induction and capacitance
Transformers emit noise at twice line frequency, this is more obtrusive at higher frequencies.

As regards voltages, higher voltages are more economical in house wireing, and allow the POCO to supply an area via fewer, larger transformers, which tends to be cheaper and more efficient than numerous small units.

Lower voltages are safer, less of a concern these days with strict codes/regulations, but certainly a consideration in the early days.
Lower voltage incandescent lamps used to be cheaper and more efficient than higher voltages.

Over the years, the trend has been towards higher voltages.
In the USA 2 wire 120 volt service was replaced with 3 wire 120/240, or with three phase 120/208.

In Europe many supplies were changed from 3 phase 4 wire at 127/220 volt to 3 phase 4 wire at 220/380 volt.

In the UK most early supplies were 3 wire DC at 120/0/120 volts, later changed to 240/0/240 volts.

In countries that have a mixture of 110/120 volt systems, and 220/240 volt systems, the usual policy is that new schemes will be at the higher voltage.
I am not aware of any major nation that previosly used a mix of voltages, and then standardised on the lower one.

3 phase supplies are cheaper to generate and transmit than single phase, and virtualy all single phase house services are obtained from 3 phase systems.
3 phase is preferable to single phase for motors and is therefore in near universal use in factories.
3 phase is seldom used in the home unless large central A/C plant is installed, in which case it is prefered.
Last edited by broadgage; 02-01-10 at 11:44 AM.

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I thought this was amusing:
The rate of oscillation of the electricity in a power systems around the world
is either 50 or 60 cycles per second (50 or 60 hertz – oscillation rate is named
after an early electrical scientist, Hertz). “American” type systems oscillate at
60 hertz, “European” type systems at 50 hertz. Both work just as well, and
neither frequency is noticeably better than the other, despite what one might
hear from heavily opinionated “experts.” Anytime one finds an engineer who
insists one is substantially better than the other it will turn out that he or she
“grew up” on that type of system and has a rather narrow understanding of the other type of system’s capabilities.

9. Originally Posted by shamsdebout
I thought this was amusing:
The rate of oscillation of the electricity in a power systems around the world
is either 50 or 60 cycles per second (50 or 60 hertz – oscillation rate is named
after an early electrical scientist, Hertz). “American” type systems oscillate at
60 hertz, “European” type systems at 50 hertz. Both work just as well, and
neither frequency is noticeably better than the other, despite what one might
hear from heavily opinionated “experts.” Anytime one finds an engineer who
insists one is substantially better than the other it will turn out that he or she
“grew up” on that type of system and has a rather narrow understanding of the other type of system’s capabilities.
You are getting close to meddling. :grin:

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