step-up transformers

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Rmankty, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Rmankty

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 12, 2011
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    Hello, I live in a home with propane furnace.Propane cost has been higher than electricity.I want to install a more powerful portable electric space heater that 1500watts.I need either a new 240v line and wall outlet installed,or, I am looking at the feasibility of buying a step-up transformer. I would be able to simply plug in transformer to standard wall plug, and then plug heater into transformer. Is this not possible? I see websites all over the internet selling these units. Thank you for your assistance!
     
  2. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    Hi have you tried google and something like this 1500 watt step up transformer or 1500 watt step down transformer. Many of those can be both step down or step up transformer. Depending on how you connect it.
    Also be sure that the transformer has the propper approvel. Such equipment is not something a hobbyist would as DIY project. And a DIY project would end up to cost more than a comercial one.
     
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  3. jimkeith

    Active Member

    Oct 26, 2011
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    Unfortunately, a step-up transformer will not increase the power available from the standard 120VAC outlet--it remains limited to about 1500 to 2000W or so, depending upon the branch circuit capacity (15 or 20A).

    Running a 240V line is a better solution. Operation during off-peak hours (if possible) will reduce your electric bill.

    Do not be fooled by expensive electric heaters that claim to reduce your heating bill--ALL electric space heaters have exactly the same efficiency--100%.

    Close your gas flu to reduce heat loss--only after removing the gas burner and capping the line.

    Another less expensive option would be to operate perhaps (2) 1500W heaters, but they must operate off separate 120VAC branch circuits.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
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  4. russ_hensel

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2009
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    It is somewhat odd that propane is more expensive than electricity ( but possible ) Be sure of you data and calculations, you might want to post them here so we can check.
     
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  5. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    Here's a website that states if propane costs $2.40 a gallon then the electric heating cost is less if electricity is ten cents a kwh or less for a propane furnace with 85% efficiency. Don't know how accurate that calculation is.
     
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  6. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    You do not say which planet you live on. We live on Earth. In in North America we have 120V AND 240V in our homes.
    The 240V is used for electric stoves, clothes dryers, split receptacles in kitchens and other high power electric appliances.

    A transformer will take your 120V/15A and convert it to 240V/7.5A. They have the same power.
     
  7. Rmankty

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 12, 2011
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    Thanks for info and link. electricity here is .067 cents per kwh. If I had access to natural gas it would be energy used here,but its not on street yet.I will probably have a new 240 line run to living room.
     
  8. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    My Mom has lived in an all electric home in Wisconsin(!) for many years. The reason it's not prohibitively costly to heat is that the home was built as all electric with super insulation, of like six inches in the wall (6 inch studs), 12 inches in the attic, and double pane windows.
     
  9. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    Most homes today have super insulation. Then the cost to heat with natural gas is much lower than heating with electricity (or rubbing your hands together).
     
  10. russ_hensel

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2009
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    I doubt it. At least check your decimal point. Where are you. What is the transmission cost? What kind of cent ( what currency ).
     
  11. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    That site is correct with current price on propane.

    1 gallon of propane is roughly 4.23 pounds, so the 20lb cylinders for grills and whatnot hold just shy of 5 gallons (4.72). A refill is $18-20 (depending on if you go to a refill station for $18, or swap the tank for $20), so propane around here is $3.81 to 4.23/gallon when buying 20lb at a time (Grill size container).

    Electricity averages 0.12 cents per kWh and is 100% Efficient:
    1 kWh =1000 x 3600 watt.secs = 1000 x 3600 joules = 3600 kilojoules = 3600/1.055
    BTU =3412.3 BTU per kWh ($0.12)

    Electricity 28,433 BTU per $0.01 USD (penny) @ 12 cents/kWh 100% Efficient

    1 gallon of Propane ~= 4.23 lbs ~= 91500 BTU per Gallon ($3.81)

    Propane 24,016 BTU per USD$0.01 (penny) @100% Efficiency (Refilling 20lb at a time)
    Propane 20,413 BTU per USD $0.01 USD(penny)
    @85% Efficiency (Refilling 20lb at a time)

    The propane cost would be higher if you swapped tanks for $20 instead of refilling for $18.

    Dec 07, 2011 - U.S. Avg. Residential Propane Price, +.006, After Change = $2.852 Delivered to bulk tank @ Residence

    Propane 32,083 BTU per USD $0.01 USD(penny) @100% Efficiency w/Bulk Home Delivery
    Propane 27,220 BTU per USD $0.01 USD(penny) @85% Efficiency w/Bulk Home Delivery

    Here's what I got from another site: Energy was cheaper when this was published.
    Type of Heating System Efficiency Annual Heating Cost Est. cost/unit of fuel
    Geothermal Heat Pump 300% $ 419 6 cents/kWh
    Shelled Corn Burner 70% $ 579 $2.00/bu.
    Air to Air Electric Heat Pump 200% $ 628 6 cents/kWh
    Natural Gas Furnace 90% $ 953 $1.20/therm
    Natural Gas Furnace 80% $ 1,073 $1.20/therm
    Electric Furnace 100% $ 1,257 6 cents/kWh
    Natural Gas Furnace 65% $ 1,320 $1.20/therm
    Propane Furnace 90% $ 1,493 $1.72/gallon
    Oil Furnace 80% $ 1,564 $2.45/gallon
    Kerosene Portable Heater 95% $ 1,653 $2.79/gallon
    Electric Portable Heater 100% $ 1,676 8 cents/kWh
    Propane Furnace 80% $ 1,680 $1.72/gallon
    Oil Furnace 65% $ 1,925 $2.45/gallon
    Propane Furnace 65% $ 2,068 $1.72/gallon
    Wood (Improved Fireplace) 20% $ 3,095 $180.00/cord
    Wood (Standard Fireplace) 10% $ 6,190 $180.00/cord
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  12. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    In my country double pane windows have been the rule for many years. Around 50 years I guess. And of course proper insulation also. Probably what you name "super insulation" I guess it has something with the climate
     
  13. Rmankty

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 12, 2011
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    The correct cost is 6.7cents per kwh.
     
  14. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    My electrical utility company gave everybody a "smart" meter a couple of years ago. They are not "smart" yet maybe because they don't know how to do it.
     
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