Why Frequency Matters

World Electricity -
Incompatible Global Electrical Grid

Today, there are 175 countries that have a 50Hz frequency and 45 other countries that use 60Hz.

Within the two frequency groups, there are numerous voltages:

For an American manufacturer of electrical equipment, including home appliances designed to operate at 120v 60Hz, this difference in voltage and frequency has severely restricted their ability to compete in the global marketplace without a costly and fundamental dedication to manufacturing goods that meet each countries specific electrical grid specification.

For owners of electrical equipment that are exclusively designed to operate at 60Hz, moving and relocating to a country that uses 50Hz as its electrical grid frequency has been an insurmountable barrier.

Unless specified by the manufacturer to operate on both 50Hz and 60Hz, appliances may not operate efficiently or even safely if used on anything other than the intended frequency. Not only do they operate incorrectly and frequently face catastrophic failure, the clocks run slower while the motors run hotter and have a shorter life span. A regular transformer that changes only the voltage does not address the issue of frequency, the root cause of those problems.

Same issue exists for European or other manufacturers whose main markets are operating at 50Hz frequency. Also, owners of electrical products that are designed exclusively to operate at 50Hz, face failures, when they are used in 60Hz countries.

Why Frequency Matters

The 1885 invention of the electrical transformer facilitated the conversion of one voltage to another but did not deal with the issue of frequency. However, as electrical devices have increased in complexity, the issue of frequency began to matter more and more. Ignoring the frequency difference can result in the device not operating as intended. Many are under the impression that it is just a clock that runs slower or a mixer that does not operate as fast. This next example shows that is not always the case:

Operating a 60Hz Appliance at 50Hz with a Transformer

Above are images of the burned internal transformer and electronics within a day of operation and an image of the internal transformer, burned next to a new one.

As electrical appliances are continuously designed towards maximizing efficiency and reducing manufacturing, costs, the technology to achieve these also change. More efficient induction motors replacing standard motors, smaller internal transformers by running exclusively at 60Hz, timing mechanisms to ensure proper cooking time or wash cycles, are all dependent on frequency. Of course, items such as Microwaves simply will not operate at the wrong frequency regardless of the voltage.

Transformers are designed to ensure there are enough primary turns to prevent its steel core from saturating. Once the frequency was reduced by 10Hz, (a 16.6% difference), there are no longer sufficient turns to prevent saturation. Once this happens, the transformer begins drawing much more current than normal and overheats. Not just by 16.6%, but up to 100%.

Transformers today are still using the same basic design from 1885, long before frequency became such an integral part of the electrical grid. While still functional and acceptable for converting voltage, the lack of frequency conversion will always be an issue.

1885 Transformer

Modern Transformer

Modern Transformer

The Solution

Introducing Voltage and Frequency Converter

What if an external interface existed that could mediate between all these conflicting input voltages and frequencies to deliver the precise voltage and frequency that the appliance and electrical equipment were designed to operate?          

We introduce the first harmonizing device that will remove the trade barrier involving precise electrical power specification dependency. The PowerXchanger brought to you by Adaptive Frequency Inc.