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Can the dual voltage table saws run at both 50 and 60 hertz

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  • Can the dual voltage table saws run at both 50 and 60 hertz

    The dual voltage option should take care of the voltage difference between Europe and the US. But I don't know if the frequency difference will do more than cause the blade to spin a a slightly different speed or if it will cause more problems.

  • #2
    Re: Can the dual voltage table saws run at both 50 and 60 hertz

    If you are thinking about taking a table saw with a US motor to Europe you'd need to change the motor. 50hz would require different windings and the dual voltage is to run them at 120v/240v in the us electrical system, not the european. In the US, phase to neutral is 120v, in europe its about 240v. Setting the saw for 240v is done by wiring it phase to phase. Doing that in the european system would yield 480v! Even set for 240v it's not compatible over there.

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    • #3
      Re: Can the dual voltage table saws run at both 50 and 60 hertz

      Unless I am very much mistaken, in both the US and in Europe the default residential service is single phase which is a sine wave. From the perspective of the load, it should still see the same sine wave if it is connected between the two poles or between 1 pole and neutral.

      In the US the residential house feeds basically 220 and the main circuit panel uses connections from one pole or the other to neutral for the standard 110 outlets.

      I also know what many travel items use just a simple transformer to double or half the voltage based upon a switch. I also know that there are various types of motors and some of them are more sensitive to the frequency than others. I have always thought that the variable speed motors were more sensitive and the fixed speeds ones just use some multiple of the current frequency to pick their speed. But this last part is what I am unsure of.

      So, while I can't judge your conclusion I don't buy the logic that got you there. Since voltage only exists between two points, and AC (alternating current) just changes direction of flow at a certain rate if I you use the wiring for 220 volts it should work for 220 volts. Unless the 220 volt wiring is really a mixed 220 and 110, and still needs 110 for function? Ie... does the 220 wiring use 3 or 4 connections. 3 would be 2 hot and 1 ground while 4 would be the 2 hour, 1 neutral allowing some 110 usage and then 1 ground.
      Last edited by ralatalo; 08-30-2008, 09:59 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Can the dual voltage table saws run at both 50 and 60 hertz

        Originally posted by ralatalo View Post
        Unless I am very much mistaken, in both the US and in Europe the default residential service is single phase which is a sine wave. From the perspective of the load, it should still see the same sine wave if it is connected between the two poles or between 1 pole and neutral.
        That's where the difference is. The single phase in the US is 120v. Wiring that single phase to neutral gives you 120v. In Europe single phase to neutral is 240v. In the US that single phase is split in two legs of 120v each so to get 240v you wire accross the two 120v legs. In the european system that would yield 480v. I think in Europe they don't even provide split phase service to the home. All connections are wired 240v phase to neutral. I suppose if you were to set up a US motor for 240v which would be wired phase to phase in the US, but instead hook it up phase to neutral in a european system that might work since it would be 240v.

        There would probably be issues with amp draw then though. By doubling the voltage in europe they cut the amp draw in half. I'm not very familiar with the exact details but say the average breaker in the US is 120v 15amp, in europe it would probably be, lets say 220v 7.5 amps for arguments sake. An average dual voltage US motor would draw 15 amps at 120v phase to neutral. Wired for 240v phase to phase it would draw 7.5a on each leg of the phase for a total of 15a. Now if you plug that saw set for 240v in a european outlet it would still want to draw 15a which would trip the breaker. I suppose you could get around that by putting a larger breaker with appropriate gauge wire but its one more detail to think of.

        In the end there will still be the frequency issue which makes the argument pretty much moot. A 60Hz motor run at 50Hz will turn 20% slower which will likely cause it to overheat. It might not even have enough power to start turning which would cause an almost instant burn out. Power converters that work at 120v or 240v like those you'd find on your laptop and electronics are limited to small loads and they just convert to DC anyway so frequency is irrelevant. For a motor you would need a transformer which is large, heavy and they run very hot. The biggest problem is even with a transformer stepping the voltage down to 120v, the frequency can't be changed. It is still going to be 50hz that is what will kill any 60hz electric motor. There is actually quite a fair bit of info on this out there on this subject and the consensus is it pretty much doesn't work. Motors need to be built to operate in the respective frequency.

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        • #5
          Re: Can the dual voltage table saws run at both 50 and 60 hertz

          Running an induction motor designed to run on XX Volts, 60 Hertz on the same Voltage but at 50 Hertz will result in the motor running at close to 5/6 the rated speed, but more important it will require that you only apply a very light load or the motor will overheat. Please run a motor only on the power it was engineered-designed to run on.

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          • #6
            Re: Can the dual voltage table saws run at both 50 and 60 hertz

            I've been looking around to get an idea of what the typical breaker size is in european countries like the UK and it looks like 230v 6A to 13A is the average residential lighting and outlet breaker range. Standard outlets are rated for up to 13A maximum. Plugging in a 15a motor is a no go without a special circuit for it.

            Some more details on converters and transformers.
            http://treehouse.ofb.net/go/en/voltage/United%2BKingdom
            I remember I used a transformer in Spain to recharge a camera battery and that thing was a little scary. It got hot hot hot. I was worried about it causing a fire. Plus the wattage range was very small.

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