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History of Electrical supply in France.

Discussion in 'Electrics Outside of the UK' started by BQW, 28 Dec 2019.

  1. BQW

    BQW

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    Does anyone know how widespread the 230 Volt AC Supply system was in France during the later War years, 1942 onwards.
    Or what was the most common domestic voltage and system ?
    Were there areas of DC, as in the UK ?
    I cant find any info on the net , any info really appreciated.
     
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  3. FrodoOne

    FrodoOne

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    See http://www.school-for-champions.com/Science/ac_world_volt_freq.htm#.XgcZNUczY2w

    " the German company AEG started generating electricity and became a virtual monopoly in Europe. They decided to use 50Hz instead of 60Hz, but they stayed with 120V.

    Europe stayed at 120V AC until the 1950s, just after World War II. They then switched over to 230V for better efficiency in electric transmission."
     
  4. JohnD

    JohnD

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    France still had 120v in some districts into the 1960s
     
  5. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Some areas of Paris had DC supplies for several years after 1945.
     
  6. BQW

    BQW

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    Many thanks for the informed response.
    The inquiry was in relation to a story that a certain Radio (model PCR) made by the Pye company was distributed amongst French Civilians and I assume also the resistance before the invasion, so they could monitor BBC Radio transmissions, for coded messages and the News .
    As far as I am aware, all these sets were built to be powered from 240 V AC.
    So either the stories untrue, or some one in Whitehall, didn't do their homework !!!!!!!!!
     
  7. JohnD

    JohnD

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    that's odd

    Even in the 1960s, electrical and electronic equipment often had a multi-way connector or knob allowing you to set the supply voltage. IIRC I've seen it on old radios, TVs, tape recorders.

    Probably different windings or tappings on the transformer.

    I think when Japanese equipment flooded the market it was built to accomodate Japanese, US, UK and various European or other export market supplies.
     
  8. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    A useful source of information is HERE
     
  9. winston1

    winston1

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    France and some other parts of Europe actually used 127v which was the phase to neutral voltage of a 220v three phase system
     
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  11. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Worked in Algers 1981 ex French and power was 110 volt phase to neutral, most buildings had three phase, and AC units wired phase to phase, we had Dutch AC units 220 volt and phase to phase 110 is 190 volt which was a little too low, and the motor overloads would burn out due to repeated retry to start.

    If Algers was 110 very likely it was French system.

    In the UK 1960's every radio using mains had a tapped transformer and was multi-voltage, older radios used 90 volt and 2 volt batteries, I think Pye were using synrenous vibrators to produce the high voltage needed for valves from a 12 volt battery?

    The Pye Cambridge used both rotary inverters and synerous vibrators looked same radio on outside but inside two different models, would not be surprised to find the portable communications reciver (PCR) was the same.
     
  12. Astra99

    Astra99

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    When I was in France in 1969 as an exchange student, the city of Bordeaux was 110V, but in (at least parts of) the Dordogne it was 220V. Nearly everyone had "back to back" transformers (two-pole only, no earth) which - believe it or not - used a "widowmaker" (plug to plug) cable on the live end! I could hardly believe my eyes even then.
     
  13. winston1

    winston1

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    Are you sure it wasn't 127v not 110v? I visited France often in the 60s and 127v was common even in Paris. Never came across 110v.
     
  14. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Depends if centre tapped or three phase, star 127 = 220 volt phase to phase, and 110 volt centre tapped = 220 phase to phase.
     
  15. winston1

    winston1

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    I think centre tapping one phase is an American oddity.
     
  16. Astra99

    Astra99

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    Further to previous post, I suppose it could have been 127/220V. but as they were using step-up/step-down transformers, the assumption was that these transformers were 2:1.
     
  17. ericmark

    ericmark

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    It is common for out lying farms on the UK to have split phase, and in France today common to have split phase many cookers designed to use split phase, but this is 460 volt phase to phase,

    I am sure Algers was 190 volt phase to phase due to problems with volt drop, however just because that was the voltage shown on volt meter does not mean that is what it should have been.
     
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