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Plug a 240V-110V US Dryer in Europe

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Frederic C, Oct 30, 2004.

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  1. Frederic C

    Frederic C Guest

    Hello,
    I have bought a Whirlpool Dryer in the US, and I have now moved to
    Spain. I have brought my dryer with me, thinkiing that as the power
    supply is 220V DC with ground here, it would not be a problrm to plug
    it.
    I realized that I need to bring also 110V to the command circuit of
    the dryer, and for this I have a transformer 220V to 110V.
    Now my question is: How do I connect the 4 wires coming off my dryer
    (ground-green, neutral-white, black and red) to my power supplies
    (2-wires 110V, and 2-wires + ground 220V) ?
    Thanks for your help.

    Frederic Chambon.
     
  2. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    You might already be out of luck. It's a little late now to un-ship a
    dryer to Spain.

    The problem you're going to face is that in the US, the white neutral
    is connected to earth ground at the entrance panel, so there should
    ideally be no difference of potential at all between the white neutral
    and green safety ground. I don't know if that can be reproduced in Spain,
    because I don't know how their grounding is arranged, but I'd be surprised
    to find out that they ground the center-tap of 220V mains.

    So, you could theoretically run it, but probably not safely.

    If one side of the 220V mains is grounded, you're shit out of luck.
    You have a very expensive piece of potentially lethal surplus.

    But don't take my word for it - ask a Spanish electrotechnico - you
    might get lucky. And failing that, there's a remote possibility that
    the dryer could be modified, but probably not cheaply.

    Good Luck!
    Rich
     
  3. John G

    John G Guest

    CAUTION Read at bottom
    You say the supply is 220volts D C ????
    I doubt this is true but if it is you are in deep deep trouble.
    Your US AC dryer will only issue magic smoke on DC.

    The power system in Spain was 220/380v 50hz AC many years ago and would
    now, at least in principle, be 230/400v 50hz 3 phase MEN that is one
    side of the 230 volts or the 3phase centre point (same thing) is
    grounded at the building entry.

    You need help from a knowledgeable local electrician.
     

  4. http://www.spanishpropertyco.com/61.htm

    "The majority of Electricity in Spain is supplied at 220 volts AC with a
    frequency of 50 cycles per second."
     
  5. A nice overview of the electrical systems and plugs in the world:

    http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Power_plug
    scroll down for maps

    230 Volt 50Hz is the standard in practically all of the world.
    "230V" includes 220-240V, moving toward 240V in the long run.

    The exception is the US-dominated part of the world: North America, parts
    of Latin America, and Saudi Arabia. 110 Volt 60 Hz.

    Korea, Japan, Madagaskar, and a few other small places have other
    mixes of the same voltages and frequencies. (110V 50Hz and 230V 60Hz)

    See also:
    <http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/List of countries with
    mains%20power%20plugs,%20voltages%20&%20frequencies>

    The countries which earlier used 220V are moving up towards 240V.
    In my country we had the 220V norm earlier, but changed to 230 norm and
    the real measured voltage now is actually around 235V.
     
  6. Spajky

    Spajky Guest

    You have to find an 220V~/110V~ power adapter if you can find it in
    some local electric shop (I have something like this, its a 5x7x3cm &
    can handle 1,4kW- dun`no whats inside) ... but maybe that adapter
    would be hard to find & less expences would be getting another
    hairdryer IMHO ...
     
  7. There are 2 major differences between the European and US electric systems:
    (I use here layman language for comprehensibility)
    1. The 240V US voltage is obtained by using two 120V voltages, 180 degree
    out of phase from each other and connecting the load between them, thus
    summing the voltages. In Europe the residential 220V is a single phase; one
    terminal is equivalent to the US white wire, the other to the black wire,
    only that the voltage is 83% higher.
    2. The frequency in US is 60Hz and in Europe is 50Hz. When the same voltage
    is applied, this causes AC-motors to overheat, because the an iron core is
    designed for 60Hz and will saturate at 50Hz . To avoid the iron core
    saturation at 50Hz one has to decrease the voltage to 50/60 x 240= 200V .
    Now to your problem. This solution is only HYPOTHETICAL! One could connect
    the European 220V to the BLACK and RED and create an "artificial" WHITE
    using an insulation-transformer, with the primary connected to the 220V
    (BLACK and RED) and the secondary, at 120V, connected one side to BLACK and
    the other to WHITE (it must be an insulation transformer, not an
    autotransformer for safety reasons). Because I do not know if the
    electronics (supplied by the 120V) in the dryer is sensitive to phase
    differences between BLACK and RED, I cannot tell you if it will work. What
    is left is now the issue with the motor overheating, which perhaps will not
    be excessive with just 10% voltage (200V to 220V). If you are willing to
    experiment assisted by an electrician that knows the local code...that is
    OK, but of course all the cautions and warnings do apply.
    Gene
    P.S. I appreciate comments from fellow EE's particularly regarding the
    safety and the overheating issues.
     
  8. OOPS, I made a mistake. An isolation tranformer connected in the way I
    suggested, "becomes" equivalent to a autotransformer :-(
     
  9. Frederic C

    Frederic C Guest

    Thank you Gene,
    First of course the 240V is AC, not DC.
    I am willing to try your proposal. I do have a power transformer 240V
    => 110V, but how do I know if it is an insulation-transformer ?
    If I understand well, I connect the 240V power to black and red, and
    the 110V power (coming out of the transformer) to black and white ...
    or should it be the red and white ?

    Thanks again for your help.
    Frederic.



    Original thread:

    Hello,
    I have bought a Whirlpool Dryer in the US, and I have now moved to
    Spain. I have brought my dryer with me, thinkiing that as the power
    supply is 220V DC with ground here, it would not be a problrm to plug
    it.
    I realized that I need to bring also 110V to the command circuit of
    the dryer, and for this I have a transformer 220V to 110V.
    Now my question is: How do I connect the 4 wires coming off my dryer
    (ground-green, neutral-white, black and red) to my power supplies
    (2-wires 110V, and 2-wires + ground 220V) ?
    Thanks for your help.

    Frederic.
     
  10. John G

    John G Guest

    I can only repeat what I said in an earlier reply:-

    "You need help from a knowledgeable local electrician."

    If you have to ask about an insulation transformer then you need help
    It is an ISOLATion transformer you are looking for.

    And to rely on advice over the net about wire coloUrs could be
    suicidal.
     
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