ECONOMY: Globalizing Power Standards

Jeffrey Fabijanic (
Sun, 23 Aug 1998 13:21:41 -0400

my inner geek <> writes:

>If there was to be a new global standard for the "electricity grid",
>meaning the power outlets on the wall, which would be better, AC or
>If you were creating new cities all over the world, and had it to do
>all over again, would you choose 120 VAC, 24 VDC, or something else?
>In terms of eliminating the needs for transformers, adapters,
>converters, etc., what would be the most efficient standard?

To cut to the quick, three-phase AC would be the best choice for several reasons. It runs large-load motors *much* more efficiently, you have less induction loss when pushing it over long distances (so it's easier and ultimately cheaper to deliver to your door), and AC is a bit safer for human beings who accidentally come into contact with it (as anyone who has accidentally grabbed (and been unable to let go of) the high voltage DC output of, say, a neon sign, can attest) (yes, I'm guilty as 'charged') (Although AC is by no means "safe" - just safer - it can still easily kill if one is unwise/unlucky enough).

For various technical reasons, we might want to have slightly lower standard voltages than we use today, and we'd certainly all want to get on the same frequency bandwagon (the world is split between 60ishand 50ish Hertz now, which is a pain, especially in places like Japan where they actually have parallel electrical grids systems with each!)

|    Jeffrey Fabijanic, Designer     The Future exists,
|        Primordial Software           first in Imagination,
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