# Ideal electrical systems (just idle curiosity)

Hello all.
The world has a few differing domestic electrical standards, 100, 120, 240 volts, 50 and 60 Hz and so on. Industrial customers have yet more.
Distribution via high voltage AC, and now DC in places.
I understand why various areas of the world have these differences - due to historical reasons, etc.
My question is that if we were to have a brand new electrical system, common to all areas, what would, or could, it be? Still AC? 300 volts? Different frequency?
No real reason to ask other than idle curiosity.
David Paste.
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David Paste wrote:

The idea system would be 1.5Volts. Then we would be able to run everything from D cells.
Bill
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AC for simple long-distance transmission. High voltage so the same power uses less current and therefore thinner cable. Actual voltage some large multiple of 12 so you get easy submultiples for step-down transformers. I'm agnostic about frequency, though 50Hz/3000rpm "feels" righter than 60Hz/3600rpm.
All that is pushing me to 240v @ 50Hz ;)
jgh
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On 27/07/2014 20:57, snipped-for-privacy@mdfs.net wrote:

Except for underwater cables, where it can cause unacceptable transmission losses.
--
Colin Bignell

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And the problem of phase locking 2 large systems with a bit of wet string :)
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Nightjar wrote:

How does immersing a 11kV AC cable in water increase transmission losses? This isn't a joke question, I can't see how the medium surrounding a cable changes the action of the cable itself, other than cooling effects.
jgh
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On 27/07/2014 21:40, snipped-for-privacy@mdfs.net wrote:

It's losses in the dielectric, so it applies to underground cables too. Dielectric losses in air are low.
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On 27/07/2014 22:24, newshound wrote:

Like the man says, although the problem is significantly greater under water. 30km is about the limit for AC transmission under water, which is why our links to the continent are HVDC. Even then, the cables are very specialised and there are IIRC only three manufacturers of HVDC underwater cables in the world. That is a limiting factor on how many offshore wind farms can be built, as they need HVDC underwater cable, the manufacturers have a limited capacity and well filled order books, while increasing capacity is not something that can be done overnight.
--
Colin Bignell

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I thought it was more the issue that you cannot phase lock France and the UK? So DC is a natural choice if you have to re-invert it. And if you have to do that, might as well transmit in DC too.
Not saying your reason is not a good reason - I just thought it was a secondary reason to a fairly immutable primary problem.

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On 27/07/2014 23:49, Tim Watts wrote:

I think the electricity actually needs to reach the other end of the cable before phase locking becomes a problem :-)
--
Colin Bignell

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On 27/07/14 23:49, Tim Watts wrote:

No. I visited the first link to france at the UK end and the issue is primarily one of losses
'we can draw an arc for 30 minutes off the capacitance in that cable'
To drive that capacitance takes a LOT of out of phase current and that suffers resistive losses.
Big ones
--
Everything you read in newspapers is absolutely true, except for the
rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge. – Erwin Knoll
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On 28/07/2014 02:06, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

The main AC losses are inductive and leakage by capacitance to ground, not resistive.
That's what they told me when I took a group of trainee electrical engineers to the site a few decades ago. The guy was actually quite surprised when none of them could answer the question he asked of why they did it the way they do, but the coach driver could.
Assuming the power *could* be usefully transmitted that far through an underground/ undersea cable, it wouldn't be much harder to lock the English and French grids than it is to lock the French, German, Italian and so on grids.
--
Tciao for Now!

John.
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Nightjar wrote:

Sorry, I still don't understand this. We're talking cables not capacitors. How does a 16mm2 PVC insulated cable have a higher resistance if it's immersed in water than if it's in a vacuum?
jgh
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On 28/07/14 14:48, snipped-for-privacy@mdfs.net wrote:

It doesn't. BUT it has a higher out of phase current flowing through it due to greater capacitance to earth.

--
Everything you read in newspapers is absolutely true, except for the
rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge. – Erwin Knoll
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On 28/07/14 14:48, snipped-for-privacy@mdfs.net wrote:

It doesn't. It has a lower Line-Earth reactance (capacitative) - at least that is what's being claimed.
However, the cables are all armoured so it does not really matter if they are in a dry tunnel or under the sea.
The big difference is a cable vs overhead lines.
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On 28/07/14 16:06, Tim Watts wrote:

Mmm. Not sure that is so, but cant put a finger on why I feel its different..

Yes.
--
Everything you read in newspapers is absolutely true, except for the
rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge. – Erwin Knoll
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On 28/07/14 19:16, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

A normal armoured cable would have a pretty effective faraday screen around the live cores.
Not sure about mega HV cables but I'd be surprised if they were not fully screened too.

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On 28/07/2014 16:06, Tim Watts wrote:

I would have thought that enclosing a cable in water would change the relative permeability of the arrangement, and hence the inductance per metre of the cable?
(too long since I played with transmission line theory!)
--
Cheers,

John.
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On 04/08/14 02:26, John Rumm wrote:

I guess it might - I was considering the capacitative effects only.
But assuming the armour is steel wire - how much I wonder?
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On 04/08/2014 07:47, Tim Watts wrote:

Where is Mr Wade when you need him? - sounds like his kind of sum ;-)
--
Cheers,

John.
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