# Commonly used AC voltage levels

AC voltage levels:

0.316V The most common nominal level for consumer audio equipment is -10 dBV, 0.316 volts root mean square (VRMS).

0.7746V The reference voltage for the decibel unloaded (0 dBu) is the voltage required to produce 1 mW of power across a 600 ohms load (approximately 0.7746 VRMS)

1V  The reference voltage for the decibel volt (0 dBV) is 1 VRMS, which is the voltage required to produce 1 milliwatt of power across a 1 kilo-ohm load

1.228V The most common nominal level for professional equipment is 4 dBu. A signal at +4 dBu is equivalent to a sine wave signal with a peak amplitude of approximately 1.737 volts,or any general signal at approximately 1.228 VRMS.

12V A low voltage lighting system usually operates on 12 or 24 volts.

24V A low voltage lighting system usually operates on 12 or 24 volts.

24V Used for controlling relay coils in some automation and control systems.

50V Low Voltage Directive is effective for voltages in range 50 – 1000 volts a.c. or between 75 and 1500V DC

75V Typical telephone line ring voltage is 75 V a.c.(20 or 25 Hz), it could be between 40 and 150 Volts (15-68 Hz)

100V Mains voltage in Japan. Reference voltage level used on electrical power stations measurements (100V = nominal high voltage on line being measured)

110V Mains power in USA, the voltage you expect to get from mains outlet
115V Mains power in USA, the voltage you expect to get from mains outlet
120V Mains power in USA, the output voltage on the distribution transformer

200V If the voltage is less than 200 V, then the human skin is the main contributor to the impedance of the body in the case of a macroshock—the passing of current between two contact points on the skin.

208V The voltage you expect to get between two phases in USA in case our apartment
gets two phase wires from three phase transformer (208/120V)

220V Old European nominal voltage, harmonized to 230V

230V Electricity supplies within the European Union are now nominally 230 V ± 6% at 50 Hz

240V the voltage you expect get between two hots in USA on your hous
240V Old nominal mails voltage used in UK, harmonized to 230V
240V the voltage you get between two hots in USA on the distribution transformer

277V Voltage between phase and neutral on 277/480V three phase system, used in USA for example lighting loads on big buildings

380V Voltage between phases on 220/380V three phase system (old European system)

400V Voltage between phases on 230/400V three phase system (modern European system)

415V Voltage between phases on 240/415V three phase system (old UK system)

450V If the voltage is above 450–600 V, then dielectric breakdown of the skin occurs

480V Voltage between phases in USA in commonly used 3 phase distribution

600V Three phase power voltage

690V Three phase power voltage used in industry for larger electrical motors (Europe)

1000V Isolation test voltage for 130V rated working voltage basic isolation (IEC950)

1000V Low Voltage Directive is effective for voltages in range 50 – 1000 volts a.c. or between 75 and 1500 volts d.c
1000V There phase power voltage used on 1 kV power distribution (in use in Finland)

1500V Isolation test voltage for 230V rated working voltage (IEC950) (basic isolation)

7.2kV Common distribution voltage in USA

10kV Common distribution voltage in Finland

11kV Common distribution voltage in UK, New Zealand and Australia

12.47kV Common distribution voltage in USA

20kV Common distribution voltage in Finland

25kV Electrical trains use 25kV 50Hz power in Finland

33kV Common distribution voltage in UK, New Zealand and Australia

34.5kV Common distribution voltage in USA

110kV Commonly used voltage level on long distance electrical transportation lines

220kV Commonly used voltage level on long distance electrical transportation lines

400kV Commonly used voltage level on long distance electrical transportation lines

1. ###### pompa submersibilasays:

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[...]Commonly used AC voltage levels « Tomi Engdahl’s ePanorama blog[...]…

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• ###### tomisays:

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[...] that can be realistically used in data centers: two basic types of alternating current (AC) power distribution and three basic types of direct current (DC) power distribution. These five [...]

5. ###### jumpjack says:

I think there is an error:

400V Voltage between phases on 220/400V three phase system (old European system)

415V Voltage between phases on 230/415V three system (modern European system)

Actually:
220/380V before
230/400V now

• ###### tomisays:

Thank you for your feedback.
You found an error in my article, and that for correction.
I just updated the corrected information to the article:

380V Voltage between phases on 220/380V three phase system (old European system)

400V Voltage between phases on 230/400V three phase system (modern European system)

415V Voltage between phases on 240/415V three phase system (old UK system)

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7. ###### Carlos says:

13.8 kV Common distribution voltage in Brazil

• ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

Thank you for addition.

I was slightly wondering where does this specific voltage come from and I have a theory.

In Europe (50 Hz power) we have on three phase power voltage is typically 400V and medium voltage of 10kV or 11 kV (sometimes 20 kV but that’d different story).

In USA (60Hz) the three phase power is typically 480V, which is actually 20% higher than in Europe just like the frequency.
For example many transformers and motors designed 400V 50Hz can work acceptably at 480V 60 Hz (or is pretty trivial to design one that does both).

That 13.8 kV is around 20% higher than 11 kV… And Brazil is 60 Hz country.

• ###### ECM says:

I have been scouring the internet to figure out where exactly 13.8kV comes from, and your comment helped lead me there…

If Europe wanted to supply 10kV at 50 Hz to customers, and USA Hz were 20% higher, by comparison USA would want to supply 12kV (20% higher than 50Hz countries).

11kV came from assuming a 10% voltage drop from source to load, so 10kV + 10% = 11kV. Subsequently, 13.8kV is exactly 12kV + 15%, so USA must have considered larger voltage drop (possibly due to being more spread out).

The rest of the USA typical transmission voltages follow suit:

13.8 x 5=69kV
13.8 x 10= 138kV
13.8 x 25=345kV
69/2=34.5kV

345/3=115kV
115×2=230kV

8. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

AC/DC Power Supplies: Four Questions to Ask
http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1330587&amp;

1. Can you connect the power supplies in parallel to provide higher output power or configure them to provide multi-phase or split phase outputs?

2. What voltages and currents can I expect from modern power supplies?

Voltage ranges have increased, particularly in military/avionics applications. Examples include:

Standard avionics power plant simulation, which currently runs from 360 Hz to about 800 Hz.
Simulation of next-generation avionics power plants already requires 1200 Hz and that will increase. Power at these frequencies is needed to test the electronics that will connected to those power plants.
Torpedo alternator simulation, 3 kHz-4kHz, is needed to test the downstream power converters and electronics that will be connected to those alternators.

Instead of the traditional 150 and 300 VAC ranges, the latest generation of AC/DC supplies now produce voltage ranges of 200 and 400 VAC, as well as DC voltages of 250 VDC and 500 VDC. These higher DC voltages come in handy in many applications. For example, MIL-STD-704, Test Method HDC302 requires voltage transients up to 475 VDC.

3. I need to test my equipment at multiple ranges. What do I need?

4. What features should I look for?
Many of today’s AC/DC power sources have features that make testing easier and more effective. These include touchscreen displays dashboards and control panels where you can save your GPIB address or set your RS-232 parameters, or set up your LAN connection.

9. ###### Jon says:

12v – car battery

16volt – door bells

24v – PLC controls, Boiler Controls

110v- single phase – PLC Controls

120/240volt – single phase residential power, Lighting Panel in Commercial and Industrial

120/208volt- Single phase taken from 3 phase in small commercial apps

120/208volt- three phase small commercial apps or Lighting Panel in Commercial and Industrial

240volt three phase – three phase old industrial sites (generally no neutral, etc delta) sometimes wild

240/480volt – single phase – not used much anymore

240/416volt- three phase very old commercial, or what we connect to euro equipment, while still supplying 60hz

277/480- three phase old larger commercial apps

480volts three phase (generally no true neutral, could have high resistance grounding) -older industrial, and oilfield sites

347/600volt -three phase large commercial, schools, and hospitals

600 volt – three phase (generally no neutral, could be high resistance grounding) new larger industrial, some Oilfield

2300v- three phase larger motors

4160volt – three phase big industrial, larger motors

2300/4160 three phase, big industrial, and oilfield

7.2kv – single phase voltage REA overhead lines

13.8kv – three phase Generator stations, at big industrial sites, Oilfield, and Power Company

14.4kv- single phase – residential underground to pad transformers, on Earth Return neutral overhead power poles

14.4/25kv- three phase , big industrial sites, some Oilfield, Power Company Grid on Distribution side of subs

69kv- three phase transmission (substations)

132kv three phase transmission (to Substations from Generator Stations) usually towers city to town, around larger cites to subs

230kv- three phase transmission to larger substaions from Generator Stations) usually H frames city to city

500kvdc – DC Power Big Power, Generation Stations to Big Cities

10. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

Why doesn’t the US use 220V like everyone else in the world?
Common question about household electrical power supply
http://www.electronicproducts.com/Power_Products/Power_and_Control/Why_doesn_t_the_US_use_220V_like_everyone_else_in_the_world.aspx

It’s a common question tied to a couple of common misconceptions. First is the idea that the United States is the only country in the world to use the 120V 60Hz standard. The fact of the matter is that there are many other countries that primarily use 120V. To this end, there is no “everyone else in the world”. Some countries use 240V, some 230V, others 220V, and so on.

To answer the question, though—the US does have a higher power supply. Nearly all homes in the US have 240V alternating current lines at the service entrance to the household as well as select locations within the home. The reason it’s 240V is because that’s the power line that has been standardized over here. Some European countries use 220V, while some specify 230V; most appliances will accept 220-240V however.

The appliances hooked up to this higher power supply (generally speaking) include more energy dependent machines like ovens and laundry machines. Regular appliances like lamps, laptops, and phones do not need access to this power.

For those who are surprised to hear households have 240V coming into the home, the way it works is as follows: right prior to the residence entry, the line transformer secondaries are center-trapped so as to provide split-phase 240V on two hot legs (1 and 2) and neutral at the center tap (which is referenced to Earth at the breaker box). For most home outlets, either leg 1 or leg 2 is used with the neutral line to provide 120V alternating current to power small appliances with a plug-in cord.

For larger appliances, as in the case of the aforementioned oven and laundry machine, they will use leg 1 to leg 2 voltage, which is a straight shot of 240V line to line out of special outlets, or otherwise specially hardwired to specific areas of the home. While larger appliances generally draw approximately 1800 watts (15 amps at 120V), these special outlets / hardwired spots can take up to 7200 W (30A at 240V).

Now, historically speaking, one of the main reasons why the US stuck with 120V as its standard power supply largely has to do with the fact that it was initially tied to carbon filament lighting. Later, a metal filament was created which could be used for more efficient power distribution systems using 220V, but since the country’s power grid was already largely established using 120V infrastructure, there was no real gain to scrapping the initial system just to go with a new higher-voltage system. So 120V was made the standard.

The United Kingdom is one area of the world that did change things up after setting up its power grid.

So, the answer to the question is a nation’s needs come before global unity.

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13. ###### RJ says:

i like this. I have some to add to the end. In the USA we have 138 kV, 345 kV, and 765 kV for three phase transmission.

14. ###### Maciek says:

3kV Common voltage for large industrial motors (Europe)
6kV Common voltage for large industrial motors (Europe)
15kV Common distribution voltage in Poland
20kV Common distribution voltage in European Union

15. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

The Most Useful Transformer Ever

In the U.S., 277 VAC has been used in commercial retail and industrial fluorescent lighting for a very long time (45 plus years). These lights could be nearly as efficient using the much more common 240 VAC, but there is a side benefit because thieves won’t steal the lights that use 277 VAC. I don’t know if that is a primary reason for using 277 VAC, but it does help reduce the number of stolen lights.

Read about 3 phase power. You will learn why 277 VAC 1P is the universal US lighting supply

A Google search for “277 volt transformer” brings up “120V to 277V step up/down” transformers and dual primary transformers like the one you have.

16. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

A Tale of Two Phases and Tech Inertia

What kind of power service is in the United States? You probably answered 120-volt service. If you thought a little harder, you might remember that you have some 240-volt outlets and that some industrial service is three phase. There used to be DC service, but that was a long time ago. That’s about it, right? Turns out, no. There are a very few parts of the United States that have two-phase power. In addition, DC didn’t die as quickly as you might think. Why? It all boils down to history and technological inertia.

You probably have quite a few 120-volt power jacks in sight. It is pretty hard to find a residence or commercial building these days that doesn’t have these outlets. If you have a heavy duty electric appliance, you may have a 240-volt plug, too.

Industrial customers, on the other hand, are likely to get three-phase service.

Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse famously battled between using AC and DC current. Back then, AC didn’t mean three-phase AC, though. Two-phase, where the phases were 90 degrees apart, was an easier system to analyze and generate. The famous generators at Niagara Falls, for example, produced two-phase.

It was 1918 before mathematical tools for dealing with polyphase AC readily came about. By then, two-phase was pretty well entrenched.

Big City, Old Power

This was a similar situation with DC power. Did you know that Con Edison — New York City’s power company — still provided DC to some buildings until late 2007? Even then, the buildings didn’t switch everything to AC. They just installed converters so the DC motors that run infrastructure like the elevators didn’t need replacing. The conversion to AC started in 1928 and was supposed to take 45 years. Like most projects, it ran long and took nearly 80 years.

In the case of two-phase, though, there are still pockets of it in Philadelphia and Hartford Connecticut.

You might wonder if the power companies in those two cities actually still maintain two-phase generators. As far as we can tell, no. They just convert from three-phase to two-phase using a Scott-T transformer

Why 120V? Because Edison’s first generators produced 110V (although, in fairness, 110V DC). After World War II, the nominal voltage kept creeping up until it settled on 120V by 1967. In 1899, a power company in Berlin decided to switch to 220V to increase its ability to distribute power. This took over Europe where 230V (raised up from 220) is the usual voltage.

Striking Photos of Philadelphia’s Abandoned Power Stations
https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/magnificent-photos-of-power-stations-in-the-early-1900s

17. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

Detailed two part documentary on electricity in Japan and how it may affect you as a foreigner …

Electricity in Japan PT 1

Electricity in Japan PT 2

18. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

Living in Japan: Electricity – Grounding appliances correctly

In this video I explain how to correctly ground appliances that need it in Japan, such as computers and UPS units – even in cases when you cannot find a grounded outlet. A common problem!
I also explain what NOT to do and why – with some simple demonstrations.

19. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

Transformers & Earth Connections

Earth connections used with isolating transformers and building site transformers. An isolating transformer has no connection to earth at all, although the mains earth connection is often continued through to the outlet socket. A 110V site transformer has the centre of the output winding connected to earth, so that both output conductors are at 55V relative to earth.

Site transformers can be obtained with RCD protection (generally the much larger ones) but there is usually no point, as 55V is considered to be low enough as to not cause injury. Another issue with RCDs on a construction site would be unwanted tripping due to moisture ingress.﻿

The larger transformers have MCBs for each output, so a short to earth should trip the MCB. Smaller ones do not, as they are intended for use with a single tool, so the risk of a direct short is minimal, and the output current is limited to a modest value as the input is typically fused via a 13A plug.﻿

I believe they have earth connections to the transformer for safety too, you would end up with an isolation transformer but if one side of the output became grounded (under single fault condition) the other side will be at 110v WRT earth.﻿

the centre tap arrangement is very similar to the American domestic supply set up. apart from the fact that our friends across the pond refer to the centre tap connection as neutral and the two outer conductors as live

that type of transformer is used for 110V items with a voltage to ground of 55V.﻿

20. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

The Power Grid, Isolation Transformers and Earthing

In order to explain the idea behind some isolation transformer units I’m working on at the moment, I explore the power grid, safety features of electric installations, Earthings Systems and RCDs.

RODALCO2007
3 vuotta sitten
Excellent video. Fantastic explanation.
In the USA in some states ( Mid-West e.g. Kansas, Oklahoma ) the primary distribution Voltage (7.2 or 14.4 kV) if often 4 wire Y configuration. with one Earthed High Voltage conductor. It may be because of the thunderstorms encountered in those areas. Also SWER systems can be employed without an isolation transformer. The House Voltages are 120 – 0 – 120 Volts. or 240 Volts 60 Hz between the outer two

Joshua Mudge
2 vuotta sitten
Fantastic video. I found several things very fascinating about how you, Germans, treat your power system.

Here in the U.S.A. residential clients do use a split phase system with a center tapped transformer. The primary winding is connected to 2 legs of the 3 phase lines, which are usually about 5kVrms in residential neighborhoods. The 2 legs of power distributed throughout the home have opposite polarities and add to 240Vrms when connected together and 120Vrms with respect to ground. Typically high current loads use a connector with both power legs and a ground, sometimes they also include the neutral.

Commercial clients will usually have a 3-phase star/wye transformer secondary with voltages of 120Vrms with respect to ground and 208Vrms from line-to-line. Industrial factories or workshops will sometimes have voltages of 208/410Vrms. Also, you may occasionally see a High-leg delta secondary with voltages of 120, 208, 120 with respect to ground. This uses one grounded center tapped transformer in the typical Delta configuration.

The neutral conductor should only be bonded to the safety ground at one location, usually right after the service entrance. I found it interesting that your system actually uses a ground point at the pole as well, since this could cause unwanted telluric currents to run along the neutral line between the two ground points. Additionally, to be UL listed all isolation transformers must be grounded on the secondary wiring.

I also found it intriguing that all of your circuits are GFI protected. Here only outdoor outlets and ones installed near water must have this protection. They also must trip at 6mA. Do you encounter any nuisance trips with single phase motors?

21. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

http://electrical-engineering-portal.com/current-systems-voltage-levels

Voltage Values

In the following, “voltage” means the voltage between the conductors. The standard voltage values used are:

1. Extra low voltage (ELV) – means any voltage not exceeding 50V a.c. or 120V ripple free d.c.
2. Low voltage – means any voltage exceeding 50V a.c. or 120V ripple free d.c. but not exceeding 1kV a.c. or 1.5kV d.c.
3. High voltage (HV) – means and voltage exceeding 1kV a.c. or 1.5kV d.c.
4. Extra high voltage (EHV) means any voltage exceeding 220kV.

Used to supply customers installations
240/415V (3 phase)
240/480V (1 phase)

Used for urban and rural HV distribution
6.6kV
11kV
22kV
12.7kV (SWER)
22kV

Used for sub-transmission of larger power levels in distribution over middle distances
33kV
66kV

Used for transmission of large power levels over long distance
110kV
220kV
330kV
500kV

22. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

How the delta 3 phase system works

This one covers the wiring of the the delta 3 phase system.

How the 3 phase math works (277 + 277 = 480?)

This is a quick run through of how we add up phase voltages to get our line voltages.

23. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

AC normal operation characteristics – 400 Hertz
108.0 to 118.0 Volts, RMS
393 to 407 Hz
Peak voltage ±271.8 Volts

AC normal operation characteristics – variable frequency
108.0 to 118.0 Volts, RMS
360 to 800 Hz
Peak voltage ±271.8 Volts

AC normal operation characteristics – 60 Hertz
105.0 to 125.0 Volts, RMS
Peak voltage ±271.8 Volts
59.5 to 60.5 Hz

24. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

UK construction site electrical power uses 110V AC for hand tools.
The power is supplied by site transformer that converts 240V to 110V.
Those site transformers are 55/55 tapped so touching a wire will shock you for 55V live-N/Earth rather than 110/240V. Far safer.

110v site equipment does NOT have fuses, as the trip switch on the transformer is supposed to take care of that. It IS safer than using 230v (range 230 to 240v), though an RCD can suffice for the latter.

25. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

according to the National Electrical Code anything less than 600v is low voltage 600-25,000 volts is medium voltage and 25,000 volts and up is high voltage.﻿

in the EU low voltage(Niederspannung) is anything below 1kV for AC and 1.5kV for DC﻿

26. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

Glenn Chartrand
1 kuukausi sitten
@staevobr that transformer was designed for the N.American grid.
It would have operated safely for a century.

Here’s a litte factoid about American voltage ratings.

115 V means it can run on 50 or 60 Hertz power.

120 V means 60 Hertz only

We created the 115V rating just to let people know if something is compatible with European frequency.
( We also put a yellow stripe on the green grounding wire if the appliance can be converted to 220V 50 Hertz.)

230 Volts at 50 cycle would short out that transformer faster than a fuse could blow.

It arced through the insulation the moment he flipped the switch.

We put mustard seed oil in the varnish on transformers so that people can easily see and smell an overheating transformer.
(thick dark grey smoke with a very strong distinctive smell BEFORE there’s an actual fire. )

Thats why smoke poured out of the thing within seconds of being plugged in to the wrong voltage and frequency.

The smoke and strong odor he is complaining about is a design feature to grab peoples attention before the transformer actually catches on fire.

We’ve been adding mustard seed oil to coil insulation for over 100 years.

You shouldn’t plug in anything rated at 120 Volt on a 50 Hertz supply.﻿

27. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

RapiBurrito
4 vuotta sitten
Something has to be understood here, the voltages you get at your house are at 120 (hot to neutral and 208 hot to hot) because that’s the norm for domestic use, it has nothing to do with the amount of hot wires you have connected, in three phase systems for industrial use you get 440 volt ON EACH LINE to neutral and a voltage across hot wires of 440 x square root of 3, about 762 volts. These numbers are things we agreed to in order to manufacture one type for a lot of people. These voltages depend solely on the transformer you have in your area not on the amount of phases.﻿

28. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

600V is a standard voltage in Canada…. The U.S uses ” 277/480V, for commercial / industrial lighting and power, we use ” 347/600V”.﻿

600 volts is industrial voltage in (some) countries that have 230v on their normal sockets at home.﻿

230v (or 240v) 3 phase is roughly 400v. 600v 3 phase to me would be a phase voltage of 350 (approx)

Most big motors I know here have 3 phase (400v – 230v phase voltage) with big invertors etc.﻿

29. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

Definion what voltage range is defined as “medium voltage” varies somewhat between different parts of wold and Information source where to read the definition. IEC 60038 defines medium voltage to be between 1000 V and 35 kV at least on AC.

Low Voltage: up to 1000V

Medium Voltage: between 1000 V and 35 kV

High Voltage: between 35 kV and 230 kV

Extra High Voltage: from 230 kV and above

31. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

Designing medium-voltage electrical systems
https://www.csemag.com/articles/designing-medium-voltage-electrical-systems/

Engineers should know how nominal system voltages were established, what constitutes a medium-voltage electrical system, and what range of systems are considered appropriate for medium voltage.

The first ac-power transmission line was built in 1886 in Cerchi, Italy, which transmitted for 17 miles at 2,000 V. To avoid the high cost of conductors needed to transmit high current and the losses associated with high current flow, higher voltage transmission lines were developed. In 1936, a 287-kV transmission line was put in place in the U.S.: The Hoover Dam to Los Angeles line. Currently in the United States, voltages as high as 345 kV are commonly used for transmitting power.

Of all the possibilities of voltage levels between 1 kV and 100 kV, the standard voltages most often used in the United States are 4,160 V, 12,470 V, 13,200 V, 13,800 V, 24,940 V, and 34,500 V for four-wire systems and 69,000 V for three-wire systems. Other voltage systems also are used, such as 2,400 V, 4,800 V, 6,900 V, 8,320 V, 12,000 V, 20,780 V, 22,860 V, 23,000 V, and 46,000 V. Certain voltages, such as 4.1 kV, 6.9 kV, and 13.8 kV, coincide with standard motor voltages, therefore, they are preferred.

Depending on the size of the campus, the end user will have to choose what level of voltage to distribute the power. When choosing the level of voltage, several decisions must be made.

When designing an MV distribution system, special attention must be given to equipment dimensions, ratings, and their clearances.

MV pros and cons

MV distribution systems have many advantages over LV distributions, but they also have some disadvantages. The choice must be the result of careful analysis, where cost and safety are the prevailing factors. Advantages of MV systems include the use of much less copper in the form of smaller conductors and fewer sets of conductors, fewer power losses, lower voltage drop, and, as a result, distribution of much more power capacity to the load. Disadvantages of MV systems include larger equipment sizes, greater working clearances required around the electrical equipment, more investments in training, and longer maintenance periods to repair equipment.

33. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

Common voltages for household power in USA are 120/240V split phase and 120/208V three phase.

Three phase 480/277VAC 60Hz is very common in the USA and in Canada.

Whereas 400/230VAC 50Hz is very common in Europe and other parts of world.﻿
In Europe is is common to have 3 phases 400 volts which go into the house.
The normal sockets are 1 phase; 230 volts and 16 amps or 10 amps.

400V and 690V 3phase systems are common in Europe for industrial applications.

34. ###### Leo says:

Which country uses 300kV（rated voltage） voltage system?
Orz

• ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

It seems Norway have 300 kV lines in use according to those articles.
The first article mentions Norway and the second Statnett. Statnett is a Norwegian state owned enterprise responsible for owning, operating and constructing the stem power grid in Norway.

“a feasibility study presented at the 2008 Cigré Session in Paris demonstrated that the thermal power transfer capacity of 300 kV lines in Norway could increase from 70 to 80% by conversion to DC.”
Source: https://www.inmr.com/insulation-aspects-when-converting-transmission-lines-from-ac-to-dc/

“The HVDC line shares a corridor for 38 km with two existing AC lines – a new 420 kV line under construction and an old 300 kV line being upgraded to 420 kV. The new line also shares the corridor with an existing 300 kV AC line for 5 km from the cable transition station.”
“Statnett developed new towers for the HVDC line made using circular hollow steel profiles. In addition, all fittings were developed and full scale tested to be corona free at 20% above operating voltage, i.e. 630 kV DC.”
https://www.inmr.com/design-installation-composite-insulators-hvdc-line-norway/

35. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

A Division In Voltage Standards

The majority of the world receives 220-240 V single phase voltage at 50-60 Hz with the surprisingly small number of exceptions being Canada, Colombia, Japan, Taiwan, the United States, Venezuela, and several other nations in the Caribbean and Central America.

Although there is a fair degree of standardization among most countries with regards to the voltage used for domestic appliances, what has caused the rift between the 220-240 V standard and the 100-127 V standards used in the remaining nations?

The first large-scale central electric power plant was started by Thomas Edison in 1882, providing direct current (DC) at 110 V for 968 light bulbs in London. This was considered to be a “safe” voltage for consumers to use and was also the best voltage for the filaments used in his lightbulbs.

After his London plant, AC systems began to emerge in the United States, using transformers to step down higher voltages from distribution.

Within the United States, after AC proved superior, Westinghouse Electric adopted the 110 VAC 60 Hz standard.

European power companies, on the other hand, pushed the voltage to 240 V in order to improve distribution efficiency. At this point, insulated wires and safety measures in power distribution were sufficient that 240V was no longer considered dangerous for users, leading to the widespread adoption of the 240 VAC 50Hz standard.

in modern times, circuit breakers, GFCI outlets (ground-fault circuit interrupter), and AFCI outlets (arc-fault circuit interrupter) have done much to address the electrocution and fire concerns of mains power.

This is the way things are and the way they shall be. There aren’t any plans for major changes to unify standard mains internationally. Converting from one system to another would be prohibitively expensive and there is no driving force to do so. Modern electronics manufacturers have for the most post made this a non-issue by designing power supplies that will happily function on either 240 V or 110 V

36. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

The definitions I am used to are

Low Voltage: up to 1000V

Medium Voltage: between 1000 V and 35 kV

High Voltage: between 35 kV and 230 kV

Extra High Voltage: from 230 kV and above

37. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

1-1989 divides system voltages into “voltage classes.” Voltages 600 V and below are referred to as “low voltage,” voltages from 600 V-69 kV are referred to as “medium voltage,” voltages from 69 kV-230 kV are referred to as “high voltage” and voltages 230 kV-1,100 kV are referred to as “extra high voltage,”

38. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

Difference Between High, Medium and Low Voltage Classifications and How They Relate to Industrial Generators
https://www.dieselserviceandsupply.com/Articles/Generator-Info/High-Medium-and-Low-Voltage-Differences.aspx

40. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

International Standard IEC 60038:1983 defines a set of standard voltages for use in low voltage and high voltage AC electricity supply systems.
According to it anything anone 1000V AC and 1500V DC is high voltage.
Extra low voltage is below 50V AC and 120V DC.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_60038

41. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

A Division In Voltage Standards

While the majority of countries have one defined plug type, several countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia use a collection of incompatible plugs for different wall outlets, which requires a number of adapters depending on the region traveled.

Although there is a fair degree of standardization among most countries with regards to the voltage used for domestic appliances, what has caused the rift between the 220-240 V standard and the 100-127 V standards used in the remaining nations?

42. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

In EU we have several different 230V mains plug in use in different countries. Some are fully or partially compatible with each other and some are not.

The mains voltage was standardized to 230V 50Hz, but idea for common mains connector did not catch.
There is this partial solution that covers pretty much whole EU after UK left EU:

“The Europlug is a flat, two-pole, round-pin domestic AC power plug, rated for voltages up to 250 V and currents up to 2.5 A. It is a compromise design intended to connect low-power Class II appliances safely to the many different forms of round-pin domestic power socket used across Europe.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europlug

43. ###### hannah berry says:

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46. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

The US electrical system is not 120V

It’s more than 120V. It’s even more than the other 120V! It is the sum of the two (and sometimes a different two!) that makes us who we are. Learn about the US electrical system in this not-at-all snarky video!

One of these days I’ll tidy up that wire…
A minor note; the thing about 208 being 86.7% isn’t right for simple resistive loads like heating elements. You’ll actually only get 75% the heat on 208! Power (watts) goes up with the square of the voltage. But, if something is designed specifically for 208, you can pull up to 86.7% what you could on 240 with the same amperage.

47. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

How to Wire 120V & 240V Main Panel? Breaker Box Installation
https://www.electricaltechnology.org/2021/02/how-to-wire-120v-240v-main-panel-breaker-box.html

Wiring Installation of Single Phase 120V & 240V Circuits & Breakers in Main Service Panel
In the USA and Canada (following NEC and CNC), the distribution transformer has 4.5kV-7.2kV at primary side and step-down the voltage level to 120V single phase and split phase 240V for residential applications. The primary side of the distribution transformer is fed up by two lines named as high voltage line and neutral respectively.

48. ###### Tomi Engdahlsays:

How to Find The Suitable Size of Cable & Wire for Electrical Wiring Installation? – Examples in British and SI System
https://www.electricaltechnology.org/2013/10/how-to-determine-the-suitable-size-of-cable-for-electrical-wiring-installation-with-solved-examples-in-both-british-and-si-system.html