I believe the rest of the world runs on 210 to 240 at 50
cycles. A friend is moving to France permanently and asked
mewhat he could do to the electricity in his new house so
that he could run his workshop instead of replacing all his
Splitting the 3-phase will take care of the voltage. Can
anything be done to the cycles?
The voltage issue is fixed easily, but the 50 cycle power will cause 60
cycle transformers and motors to run hot. Not a good thing.. I would
agree that getting new tools is the most reasonable way out. Also,
consider the issue of shipping weight, etc. Additionally, there is the
metric issue versus inches.
depending on his tools he could just replace the motors. table saw or
drill press should not be too difficult? Also rechargeable stuff
should be Ok too. I wonder if bringing his own generator would be a
Dick Adams wrote:
I used to work at a place that built equipment that was
frequency-dependant and designed to work with either 50 Hz or 60Hz.
They used motor-generator devices for testing with the "other"
frequency. They looked inefficient.
2..above mentioned electrical problem
3..Replacement parts supply
4..as a bonus,as he purchases from local suppliers, he may get to meet local
people with the same interests who can help him in the the future or just be
On Sat, 17 Jun 2006 10:45:57 -0400, "digitalmaster"
Amen. If you are going to replace all your tools consider going
pneumatic tools. They are light, won't burn out if it stalls, safe in
wet or dusty conditions, self cleaning (almost), cheap, can do things
like spray painting, can do ultra high speed (eg. 20k to 30k rpm),
No. You'll need a 50-cycle motor driving a 60-cycle generator. Fortunately,
these come in the same package. Unfortuantely, they are the size of a small
car and cost thousands of dollars.
Maybe there's now something that could do this electronically... like a
combination charger/inverter. Based on the wattage requirements though, it,
too, would be at least the size of a washing machine, cost thousands, and
probably have to be water cooled.
France isn't three phase. I believe it's single-ended 230V/50hz
like the UK.
You can't split it (like north american 240/120 split phase),
because it's single-ended.
To make an exact match to North American power, he'd need a
motor-generator ("MG set") set that converts _both_ the voltage
and frequency to match North America. In the size he's likely
to need, (assuming stationary power tools, at least 2-3 HP),
these cost thousands of dollars.
Another possibility would be a generator. But they're expensive,
expensive to run (at least double, if not 5 times more expensive
in power), and noisy.
Portable hand tools are usually (and some stationary tools,
rarely) use universal AC/DC motors ("brush type"). They don't
care what frequency it is. So a step-down transformer (obtained
over there, because you have to get one rated for 50hz) would
work. This will probably cost a few hundred dollars in this size
(at _least_ 1000w) once it's ready to go.
He could use a power inverter and run it off a car battery.
However, I wouldn't feel safe without an inverter at least
triple the rated current of the tool (eg: at _least_ 1500W),
which are several hundred dollars or more here, and run time
will be relatively short.
Tools that use induction motors sometimes are convertible to
230V, but the frequency difference will make them pull more
current, and under heavy load, they'll overheat, and may get
It's generally not worth the bother. For big tools where you
can replace the motor, do that. Otherwise, sell them, and buy
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.