120VAC vs 240 VAC

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by azbtr, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. azbtr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 6, 2007

    Does anybody know why 240 VAC is the standard in much of Europe, and yet 120 VAC is standard for "most" appliances in the United States?

    I'm interested in any input...


  2. bloguetronica

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 27, 2007
    Maybe because 230VAC allows the use of thinner wiring, and 115VAC demands the wires to be ticker for appliances of the same wattage. But I don't know the details.
  3. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    It may have just happened that way - remember there is a frequency difference, as well.
  4. rampart


    May 30, 2007
    Why do the US and the Britain have different English spellings, dialects, and pronunciations? is another question that surpasses my understanding. I think all this is due to the past differences and hostilities between the two. DO you agree? Any input.
    Though not related to the nature of this forum, my question is not altogether irrelevant to the thread, I think.
  5. Gadget

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    I think a lot of it stems from adopting new technology early in the development of that technology. 230v @ 50 hz was adopted by most of Europe, Asia, and Australasia as one of the least problematical, with lower cost distribution.

    TV standards were similar. When colour was developed US customers pushing for colour ment that the standard used was far from perfected when it was implimented so they were stuck with a 525 line system with colour issues that required manual correction using Tint controls... this is refered to in the US as NTSC (national Television Standards commision)... or more frequently... Never The Same Colour.
    By the time the rest of the world was ready for colour, 2 x main 625 line systems had corrected NTSC's shortcomings (SECAM and PAL) with better definition and automatic colour correction.
  6. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    I think isolation, difficulty of travel, and other cultural influences had more to do with linguistic differences at least in the 19th century. It has been almost two centuries since the last hostilities between the US and the UK. In the 20th century, you may remeber, that it was England and America that stood alone in the world against the Axis. If not for that deep cultural bond you might be speaking German today.

    Sometimes the first design choice is not necessarily the best choice.
  7. bloguetronica

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 27, 2007
    Why not? Two different countries, with different traditions...I think that is reason enought for me.
  8. bloguetronica

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 27, 2007
    No, we might not.
  9. ggsudani

    New Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    If we use 120v instead of 240 than current will be double. becoz power rated remein same. For distribution of 115v electricity low loss cable is required. That is costly. But for daily use of 115v is gives low socks to user compare to 230v.