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ELECTRIC CURRENT & PLUGS ABROAD


INTRODUCTION

These tables indicate the
type of current (alternating or direct current),
number of phases,
frequency (hertz),
voltage,
stability of the frequency
and the number of wires to a commercial or residential installation.


KEY TO TERMS

PLUG TYPES

For most countries listed here, two nominal voltages are given. The lower
voltages are used primarily for lighting and smaller appliances, while the
higher voltages are used primarily for air conditioners, heating, and other
large appliances.

Travellers planning to use or ship appliances abroad should acquaint themselves with the characteristics of the electrical supply available in the area in which the appliance is to be used. In some cases, a transformer may be used to correct the voltage.
However, if the appliance requires exact timing or speed and if the frequency of the foreign electricity supply differs from the one the appliance was designed for, it is advisable to use an appliance designed for the foreign frequency since auxiliary equipment to change frequency is bulky and expensive.
Some foreign hotels have circuits providing approximately 120 volts which allow guests to use electric shavers and other low-wattage items.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF ELECTRIC CURRENT USED ABROAD

 

Country  
or city
Notes Type and
frequency
of current

Number
of
phases

Nominal
voltage
Number
of wires  
stable enough
for electric
clocks
Plug Types
Afghanistan   a.c. 50 1, 3 220 / 380 2, 4 yes D
Albania   a.c. 50 1, 3 220 / 380 2, 4 no C
Algeria   a.c. 50 1, 3 127 / 220
220 / 380
2, 4 yes C - F
Angola /1 /2 /3 a.c. 50 1, 3 220 / 380 2, 4 yes C
Argentina   a.c. 50
d.c.
1, 3 220 / 380
220 / 440
2, 3 yes C - I
Australia /1 /2  a.c. 50 1, 3 240 / 415 2, 3, 4 yes I
Austria /1 /2 a.c. 50 1, 3 220 / 380 3, 5 yes C
Bahamas   a.c. 60 1, 3 120 / 240
120 / 208
2, 3, 4 yes A - B
Bahrain /1 /2 a.c. 50
d.c. 60
1, 3
1
230 / 400
110 / 115
2, 3, 4
3
yes G
Bangladesh /1 /2 /3 a.c. 50 1, 3 220 / 380 3, 4 no A - C - D
Barbados /1 /2 a.c. 50 1, 3 115 / 230
115 / 200
2, 3, 4 yes A - B - F - H
Belarus   a.c. 50 1, 3 220 / 380 2, 4   yes C
Belgium /1 /2 a.c. 50 1, 3 220 / 400 2, 3, 4 yes A - C - E
Belize /1 /3 a.c. 60 1, 3 110 / 220
220 / 440
2, 3, 4 yes A - B - H
Benin   a.c. 50 1, 3 220 / 380 2, 4   yes D
Bermuda /1 /2 /3 a.c. 60 1, 3 120 / 240
120 / 208
2, 3, 4 yes A - B
Bolivia   a.c. 50 1, 3 110 / 220 2, 4 yes A - C
Botswana   a.c. 50 1, 3 231 / 400 2, 4 yes C - D - H
Brazil /1 a.c. 60 1, 3 127 / 220
220 / 380
2, 3, 4 yes A - B - C
Brunei /1 /2 a.c. 50 1, 3 240 / 415 2, 4 yes G
Bulgaria   a.c. 50 1, 3 220 / 380 2, 4 no F
Burkina Faso   a.c. 50 1, 3 220 / 380 2, 4 no B - E
Burma /1 /2 /3 a.c. 50 1, 3 230 / 400 2, 4 no C - D - F
Burundi /3 a.c. 50 1, 3 220 / 380 2, 4 no C - E
FOOTNOTES:
1. The neutral wire of the secondary distribution system is grounded.

2. A grounding conductor is required in the electrical cord attached to appliances.

3. Voltage tolerance is plus or minus 4 to 9%.

4. Voltage tolerance is plus or minus 10%.

5. Voltage tolerance is plus or minus 20 to 30%.

6. Voltage tolerance is plus or minus 4.5 to 20.5%.

 

Countries C to D

Countries E to G

Countries H to L

Countries M to N

Countries O to S

Countries T to Z

 


KEY TO TERMS


Type of current
a.c. indicates alternating current and d.c., direct current.

Frequency
Shown in number of hertz (cycles per second).
Note that even if voltages are similar, a 60-hertz clock or tape recorder will not function properly on 50 hertz current.

Number of phases
1 and 3 are the conventional phases which may be available.

Nominal voltages - Direct current
The term nominal voltage is used to denote the reported voltage in use in the majority of residential and commercial establishments in the country or city.
Direct current nominal voltages are 110/220 and 120/240.
The lower voltage is always 1/2 of the higher voltage.
On a direct current installation, the lower voltage requires two wires while the higher voltage requires three wires.


Nominal voltages - Alternating current
Alternating current is normally distributed either through
3 phase wye ("star") or delta ("triangle"), 4-wire secondary distribution systems.

In the wye or star distribution system the nominal voltage examples are 120/208, 127/220, 220/380, and 230/400. The higher voltage is 1.732 (the square root of 3) times the lower voltage.
In a delta or triangle system, 110/220 and 230/460 are examples of nominal voltages. The higher voltage is always double the lower voltage. The higher voltage is obtained by using 2 or 3 phase wires and the neutral wire while the lower voltage is the voltage between the neutral wire and one phase wire.
The higher voltage may be single or 3 phase while the lower voltage is always single phase and used primarily for lighting and for small appliances.

Type of plugs in use
Plugs used throughout the world come in various forms, dimensions and configurations too numerous to describe all here. We list the basic and most commonly used types of plugs by country. Adaptors may be purchased to change from one type to another type.

Number of wires to the consumer
The number of wires which may be used by the consumer is shown. Normally, a single phase, 220/380 volt system or 127/220 system will have two wires if only the lower voltage is available (one phase wire and the neutral). It will have three wires if both the higher and lower voltages are available (two phase wires and the neutral) and where three phase motors will be used, four wires will be available for the higher voltage (the three phase wires and the neutral wire).

Frequency stability--"Yes" indicates that the frequency stability is stable
and that service interruptions are rare.

 

TYPES OF PLUGS IN DOMESTIC AND COMMERCIAL USE


A - Flat blade attachment plug

B - Flat blade with round earthing pin

C - Round pin attachment plug

D - Round pins with earth

E - Round pin plug and recepticle with male earthing pin

F - "Schuko" plug and recepticle with side earthing contacts

G - Rectangular blade plug

H - Oblique flat blades with earth

I - Oblique flat blade with earth

J - Round pins with earth

K - Round pins with earth

L - Round pins with earth