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What year did output voltages change?


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Old 04-13-2017, 02:33:32 PM
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Default What year did output voltages change?

Our later sets, if dual voltage, say 120/240 volt AC. Early sets will say 115/230 volts AC. So when did the voltages change and was it because the utility companies also changed voltages? Any idea what year this happened?
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:37:21 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change

Don't forget 110/220v, I've wondered about that too.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:49:29 PM
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change

That's a *really* old one!

I don't know that the change occurred quickly. I have two different Kohlers, both from 1943, one 800 watt and one 1500 watt. The 800 watt one is rated at 110 volt, the 1500 watt is 115 volt. Then I have 2-1/2 kW Leland generator, from the same year I believe, that is 120 volt. So yeah.

Keith
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:51:36 PM
DustyBar DustyBar is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
Don't forget 110/220v, I've wondered about that too.
It would have to have been within my lifetime, a bit less than 60, or perhaps from my Grandfather. He taught me to call utility power 110/220.
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:10:53 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change

Well, maybe within your grandfather's lifetime. People STILL call 120 and 240 110 and 220 because that's what they were taught. In your grandfather's time that's probably what was typical.

There were also "voltage districts" which accounted for voltage drop in the distribution system. Light bulbs were furnished with different voltage ratings (in two volt increments) based upon which district it was to be used in. This was in part due to imperfect manufacturing tolerances. By 1920 manufacturing allowed for bulbs to be made to exact voltage specifications, and only three standard voltages were made- 110, 115, and 120.

Motors are rated for ~5% less voltage, a standard practice that goes back quite a ways, but I don't know how far back. This can add to the confusion though.

The motors that I collect primarily date to the teens and twenties, and are 110/220 volt (single phase). I have older ones that are frequently rated 104/208 volts. For use on a 110/220 nominal system? We may never know lol.

Keith

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Old 04-13-2017, 05:14:13 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change

It isn't really "what year", the trend has been a gradual one since the 1920's. According to this paper from General Electric, the first 3 phase system in New York City was designed for 199/115V.

http://files.engineering.com/downloa..._V_systems.pdf
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:48:34 PM
PnishrPW PnishrPW is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

Utilities have been upping the voltage since the 50s around here. The reason is twofold: it lets them pump more power down the same lines, and they make more money. Customers at the long end get nominal voltage, close in they run a little hot. 120 near me hovers 127ish, (urban Tacoma). Even 208 runs low 230s most places 'round here, 240 right on 250ish.

As to higher profits, math it out : 10 amps @ 115 vs 10 amps @125. Remember, we get billed on watts...

I'm old enough to remember 440, now 480 (usually 490+). I'm pushing 50...

My first ARRL handbook from the early eighties still lists voltage asb115/230.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:06:13 PM
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

I recall that the 480 to 120/208 transformers had taps on them- "Full Capacity Below Normal Taps"- to allow for other than 480 volt input. They included a tap or two for above 480 as well. That said, of all of the ones I was involved with, I don't recall a single one ever being connected for anything other than 480 volts, or any voltage checks being made. Of course these checks may have been made later, after the building was occupied and the electrical system loaded.

I should have stated that my information regarding electrical systems, and lighting in particular, in 1920, comes from a text book published in 1920 titled "Electric Lighting". It's the favorite of my collection of antique electrical books.
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:51:47 AM
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

Okay... So when did ONAN change?
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:50:00 PM
Handyhiker1 Handyhiker1 is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

I don't know but my 1973 CCK5.0 says 120/240.
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