From 220 to 110?

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Old 10-16-17, 01:34 PM
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From 220 to 110?

Hello all, this is my first post as I have just joined the forum.

I am building a piece a equipment where I will have to be doing some electrical work to complete the project and I can say that is not my forte, but I hope with some help I can learn.

So i guess this first question has to do more with familiarization of technique or products. Initially I was planing to have everything on this piece of equipment I am building run on 110V. But now I am wondering if it would be best to have the main power supply for the equipment draw in 220V and then have the option of running, for example a blower on 220V and then other portions of the equipment, for example a pump on 110V..

Can this be done? Is there a product that I can purchase from an electrical supply place that will allow me to take the main 220V power supply and then split it into two branches where one I would have 220V access and another for 110V access?

I am sorry if I am way off base here or am just confusing people, if either are the case just let me know and I will try my best to help you all help me.

Thanks a lot!
 
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Old 10-16-17, 01:40 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

It's not easy following what you are trying to do. What is the end result ?

You can run a 240v line from your panel to a sub panel.
Then you will have 120v and 240v options.

You could build a 120/240v sub panel into your project capable of supplying both voltages but that locks your project into mandatory 120/240v. supply source.
 
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Old 10-16-17, 01:58 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply.
Let me attempt to clear things a little.

Right now my goad is to be able to plug this piece of equipment into lets say a 220V 20AMP outlet. The issue is that the piece of equipment is going to be made up of a variety of different things that all require power. Well some of these things, like the pump, are set to run off of 110V, other things, like the blower, I have the option of running on 220V or 110V.

I would like to know if it is possible to have the equipment itself take in power from the 220V 20amp outlet but then I, in the equipment, split the power into two branches, one offering 110V and the other 220V so that I can still use the items requiring 110V.

I can just stick to my original plan and keep everything at 110v and have the equipment set up to just take in 110V through a standard wall outlet but I am wondering if it would be better to let some things run at 220v? When would one say that one should be taking the decision to run on 220V vs 110V? Does it depend on the amps the equipment is expected to draw?
Curious on that too.

Thanks
 
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Old 10-16-17, 02:05 PM
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You need to add up the current requirements for each piece of equipment. If you wanted to put a 240v cord and plug on this unit and supply 120v internally...... you'd need a 240v to 120v transformer. That would add considerable cost.

If everything was kept at 120v then the total amp draw would need to be kept under approx 14-15A for a 20A circuit.

You could use a 120/240v cord and plug which would be a 4 wire plug and receptacle but that would require more expensive wiring at the customer end.

Also.... our power here in the States is 120/240v.
The 110/220v went out with the horse and buggy.
 
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Old 10-16-17, 02:36 PM
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So I guess it sounds like it would be best to just keep everything at 120V.
I know I need to add up all my current requirement and have the appropriate breaker / plug combo.
I guess one of the things I was trying to figure out was, what is it that makes a manufacturer of lets say a dryer decide to run their equipment on 240 instead of 120? What are they gaining by doing that? I want to know if the same things that motivate that manufacturer to go to 240 should motivate me to do the same?
 
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Old 10-17-17, 06:18 AM
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Does the power line running to your "220 volt outlet" already have two hot wires for the 240 volts and a neutral that would provide 120 volts using one of the hot wires and a ground wire? If so you can keep using that power line.

Depending on the total load you need to provide power for the existing line might work without a subpanel (20 amp breaker back at the source and maximum load no more than 20 amps). You would install a 120/240 volt receptacle, which takes a 4 prong 120/240 volt plug that is used for your custom built piece of equipment.

Clothes dryers and stoves in the U.S. usually use 240 volts because the same gauge wires can carry the same number of amperes at 240 volts as they can carry at 120 volts and the result is twice as many watts.
 
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Old 10-17-17, 12:05 PM
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Allan... you missed the point. He's asking for help in building the equipment. It's not built yet.
 
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Old 10-18-17, 03:47 PM
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A 120/240 supply would not need a transformer . It would be the same as a dryer. The important thing is to watch the ampacity needed.
 
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Old 10-18-17, 04:55 PM
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You haven't told us exactly what you are building but if you are targeting a certain clientele then the power your item requires needs to be available. As I already explained..... IF your device requires over 15A of 120v power then it will need to be setup for 240v service. You can't have your device require more than a standard receptacle can deliver.

If you design your device for 240v operation then everything needs to run on 240v power. A standard three prong 240v receptacle delivers only 240v power. If you had 120v items mixed in you would need a transformer to convert 240v to 120v OR you could design your device to run on a 120/240v circuit which requires a four wire receptacle making the connection more specialized.

Sit down and make a list of what pieces of equipment you need for your project. See what voltages they are available in. Then add the amps of the individual pieces and see what you arrive at. If it's draws a lot of current.... it probably cannot be run on a 120v receptacle.
 
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Old 10-18-17, 07:08 PM
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I'm new here, but maybe I can give Xuno a hint.

Think of the power in watts. Watts is Voltage Times Amperage. So, 1200 Watts at 120V is 10 Amps, while that same number of watts at 240V is only 5 Amps. Your wiring can move the same Amperage at 120V or 240V. That means at 240V you'll have about twice the number of Watts available. If you have a blower that can be wired to take either 120V or 240V, you should see on it that when running at 120V it takes about twice the number of Amps as when it's running on 240V.

The big concern here though, is what is your power source? If you are planning on taking this over to a friend's place and plugging it into an extension cord in his back yard, you'll probably need to design it to run on 120V and keep the total amperage below about 12 Amps. Otherwise, you'll find out that your friend's place doesn't have an outlet you can plug into.

If you're designing this to run in an industrial setting, you'll probably be fine with 240V, but keep in mind and do some research about what the other responses have said about 3-wire/4-wire plugs.

-Ben
 
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Old 10-19-17, 06:46 PM
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hello again

Hello all sorry for the delay in getting back but I appreciate all the feedback.
The equipment is something I will be using myself, I am trying some technology out but I need the equipment to be able to test things out.
Of course, everything would be nice if I could just have it run on 120V and plug it in to a regular 15A plug and be done with it but as of right now my current requirements are going to be a lot. The equipment in total will need to draw about 30 amps if not a little more.
Now there is 2 things I can do; one, split the equipment to have two different power sources. For example, the equipment will encompass a chiller, which alone will draw about 15 amps. I can just have the chiller with it's own 120V plug and plug it in to a separate outlet. Secondly, I can, and prefer to have everything connected to a common power supply, I am beginning to gather through the help here that with the amount of current I will be drawing it will be best to have the equipment drawing in 240V. My problem with this is that there are already some things I have purchased and done some work to that are meant to run on 120VAC. So I guess I would like to know if this second option would be possible and if so what exactly would I have to do to make that work. Some great advice has been put forward, and I really appreciate it so please feel free to help where you think you can. I would also be interested in example of products that would do what I need to accomplish. Again, I'm thinking now that my ideal situation would be to have 240V feel into the equipment so I can have anything that is able to, run on 240V, but then also be able to utilize the things that are suppose to run on 120V.

Much appreciated!
 
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Old 10-21-17, 07:39 AM
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just changing voltage all together

I wanted to add something else to my question.

As I was installing other things like lights and such I realized that there are things that require a wide variety of voltage. For example, the lights require an operating voltage between 8-18 VAC. So I guess what I am missing is what is it that I need to be able to step down or up the voltage being supplied to the equipment? Be it that 120V or 240V? I know there has to be a product that must runs in series and down stream of the equipment but I am just not familiar enough with these types of products.

Thanks for the help, once again.
 
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Old 10-23-17, 04:09 PM
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Here is what I am thinking now.

I am thinking I will try to have the equipment take in 3-phase power. This way I can try to have some of the more power demanding components run on 3 phase and thus not draw so much current. The things not set up to run the 3 phase I will run on with a 4 wire 240V single phase line to also accommodate the equipment's 120V components (using the neutral line and a single 120V line). Then use a step down transformer to supply the power to those items wanting very low voltage numbers.

Anyone have anything to add to this idea?
 
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Old 10-23-17, 04:20 PM
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Residential services are single phase. A standard duplex receptacle will not provide 3 phase power.

Where will this be used?
 
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Old 10-24-17, 02:28 PM
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Where I am building the equipment I do not have access to 3 phase but I am hoping to have the equipment tested and running at a location with access to 3-phase power. If i wire the equipment to take in 3-phase then I can just use each of the 3 poles as a single 120V source and tap into two of them for my 240 source. This will also allow me to better balance the current requirements between the different poles. In my mind I will not need the 3 phase power to build the equipment and do limited testing, as long as none of the crucial equipment is designed to run on 3-phase, some components of the equipment I can swap out when the equipment is moved to the location with 3-phase access.

In my mind this is the best way to deal with the power requirements of the whole equipment.
 
 

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