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History of Electrical supply in France.

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

  1. winston1

    winston1

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    It was, and just not in France. Also came across it in Luxembourg, and Leningrad.

    Why would you assume that? Transformers can be made as 1.732:1.
     
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  3. Ragnar_AT

    Ragnar_AT

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    Prior to the 1980s/early 90s there was no such thing as a "European standard voltage". 220 V derived from a 220/380 3-phase system was certainly the most common voltage but not because of any international standardisation efforts.

    The earliest electricity supplies were DC and very local. Their supply voltage was typically a multiple of an arc lamp's operating voltage, i.e. 50-60 V and many DC supplies were 3-wire Edison systems. Post-1900 developments usually used AC of varying frequency, sometimes 25 Hz, I've seen a 48 Hz motor in a smallish town in Austria, 50 Hz, etc. These new networks, especially after WWI, were commonly 220/380 V on most of the continent. However, the old DC supplies, often at 220/440 V, remained in service until well after WWII. I recently looked it up for Vienna, Austria - there the last domestic DC supply was converted to AC in 1965!

    Since 3-phase AC with neutral requires four conductors instead of the three for an Edison DC supply, electricity suppliers found various ways of converting those networks without upgrading the wiring, either by turning it into split-phase 110/220 V AC or 127/220 V 3-phase without a neutral. These systems remained in use for a long time, some still are - Belgium has extended 133/230 V networks and so does Norway. Both countries are gradually moving towards 230/400 V though. Of course there were also some oddball AC supplies, small parts of Italy and Austria had 150 V AC at one point. Radios from the 1950s and earlier usually had voltage settings for 110, 127, 150, 220 and 240 V.
    By the 1970s, 220 V had become the de-facto standard voltage for domestic single-phase supplies across the continent, with only the UK at 240 V. In the 1980s and early 1990s that was standardised to 230/400 V across Europe (not only the EU). Actual supply voltage may vary considerably as long as it stays within 230 V +/- 10%.
     
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  4. Thomasthepiperson

    Thomasthepiperson

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    France voltage is 220v in practise. The 230v is a EU nominal standard
     
  5. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    Way back in early 80's a German friend of mine wanted a hot water system just like in Germany. This is pressurised instant hot water and very simply put is a tank at full rising main pressure with a big heating element & thermostat (without all of the paraphenalia that we deem required over here like PRV, pressurisation tank etc). On a visit to see her parents she brought one back with her and asked me to fit said unit. First problem was the pipe threads, second being the 380V rating.
     
  6. winston1

    winston1

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    Surprised at pipe threads, I thought BSP threads were used on the continent, they certainly are in France but called something different. Running the tank on 240v would have worked of cause but with a rather slow warm up and recovery.
     
  7. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    I think BSP threads were/are used across much of Europe but sometimes bastard threads are used, for example manufactures used different threads for old 1/2" compression fittings. It was far too long ago to remember much detail past 380V and 27A so I imagine it was 10KW and running it on 240V it would have been more like 4KW so I feel not very useful.
     
  8. DIYnot Local

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