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Thread: Euopean Power Generation

  1. #1
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    Euopean Power Generation

    I believe there is a simple answer to this, but I am asking because my customer got me thinking (or second-guessing my own knowledge). In European power generation, when reading across the 2 hot terminals, it's generally 230V. Is this the same as reading across 2 out-of-phase hots, OR is it one leg at 230 and the other a neutral?

    Customer thought it was the latter, but I am inclined to believe it should be 2 hots.

    Reason for asking, they moved here from Germany and have a coffee maker from Italy that requires 230V. I told them I could convert an outlet and the cord-end plug so they can omit the bulky converter in line with the system.

    Any support is appreciated!

    Bob

  2. #2
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    It would most likely be 230V or 220V, L-N, 1 phase off a wye. 50Hz. I think nominal IEC voltage is 380Y/220. Most houses only have 1 phase brought to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumper View Post
    It would most likely be 230V or 220V, L-N, 1 phase off a wye. 50Hz. I think nominal IEC voltage is 380Y/220. Most houses only have 1 phase brought to it.
    I see. I think I read something about that. Thanks for checking out my post and the reply.

    Bob

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMacky View Post
    I believe there is a simple answer to this, but I am asking because my customer got me thinking (or second-guessing my own knowledge). In European power generation, when reading across the 2 hot terminals, it's generally 230V. Is this the same as reading across 2 out-of-phase hots, OR is it one leg at 230 and the other a neutral?

    Customer thought it was the latter, but I am inclined to believe it should be 2 hots.

    Reason for asking, they moved here from Germany and have a coffee maker from Italy that requires 230V. I told them I could convert an outlet and the cord-end plug so they can omit the bulky converter in line with the system.

    Any support is appreciated!

    Bob
    Most residences in Europe have phase to neutral (not two hots) which is nominally 230V, 50Hz. The 230V generally comes from phase to neutral of a 400V 3-phase star (wye) distribution transformer.
    The 230V came about a few years ago as a fudge to harmonise voltages in the EU. Continental Europe was mostly 220V and UK was 240V. So it got called 230V but, in reality, very little changed. I'm in UK and my domestic supply is usually a little over 240V.

    Anyway, the coffee maker will probably work fine from the 240V obtained from your 120V-0-120V system but do check that it is OK for 60Hz.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Besoeker View Post
    Most residences in Europe have phase to neutral (not two hots) which is nominally 230V, 50Hz. The 230V generally comes from phase to neutral of a 400V 3-phase star (wye) distribution transformer.
    The 230V came about a few years ago as a fudge to harmonise voltages in the EU. Continental Europe was mostly 220V and UK was 240V. So it got called 230V but, in reality, very little changed. I'm in UK and my domestic supply is usually a little over 240V.

    Anyway, the coffee maker will probably work fine from the 240V obtained from your 120V-0-120V system but do check that it is OK for 60Hz.
    If it's an electronic coffee maker, it may have a switch in the back somewhere for 50 or 60Hz operation, mainly because the internal clock (if any) may be synchronized off of the line frequency. If it is a pump espresso maker it may have a motor, which may be an issue with frequency although many of them use a little PMDC motor, which would not care. You really need the manual for the coffee maker.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jraef View Post
    If it's an electronic coffee maker, it may have a switch in the back somewhere for 50 or 60Hz operation, mainly because the internal clock (if any) may be synchronized off of the line frequency.
    I thought most clocks these days were either quartz or atomic.
    I know the clock in my car is not even a second off and I've had this one nearly six months now. The previous one, even after four years, was still spot on with the Greenwich time signal.
    Same with the clock in my office.
    Mains frequency is not close to that level of accuracy.
    I think I remember reading or hearing that, even if the frequency varied within the statutory limits (its ±0.5Hz here but usually controlled to within ±0.2Hz), that the total number of cycles within a 24 hour period was correct.
    This was to keep mains synchronised clocks accurate overall.
    I have a notion that this is not now a requirement.

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