Running European Appliances Here in the States.

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Post Thu. May. 16, 2013 4:04 pm

My latest obsession is with kerosene heaters made in Japan. I have posted previously about the small Futura brand kerosene heater that I recently bought on eBay. Due to the oppressive legal system here in the states, the Japanese manufacturers stopped selling kerosene heaters in this country. This left us with heaters designed in the 1970's while the Japanese were developing very advanced kerosene heaters like the Inverter brand of wickless heaters made by Corona and Zibro which is made by Toyotomi. The Japanese still manufacture kerosene heaters and continue to advance the science and technology of burning kerosene. Corona and Toyotomi export their kerosene heaters around the world, except to North America, which makes them available only to those of us willing to go through the effort and expense of having them imported. Due to language barriers, it seems only logical to import a kerosene heater from Ireland or Australia for example.

So, I am considering buying a kerosene heater from Ireland and having it imported here to Connecticut. However, most of Europe uses the 240 volt - 50hz system whereas North America and western Japan use the 120 volt - 60hz system as designed by Nicola Tesla. From my electrical training in the Navy, as I understand it, a motor built to run on 50hz will work on 60hz but at a faster rate. Also, it should be safe to run a 50hz motor on 60hz but not the other way around, since a 50hz motor is more robustly built due to 50hz being less efficient than 60hz.

What I'm less sure about is the 240 volt 2-pole system we use versus the single pole system used in Europe. Various transformers are available but can a dedicated 240 volt (single pole) circuit be designed without a transformer?

Would it just be a better idea to order a kerosene heater from western Japan where they use the same electrical system as we do? I'll just need to teach myself how to read Japanese! :x
Last edited by EarthWindandFire on Fri. May. 17, 2013 6:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Thu. May. 16, 2013 10:49 pm

Do they sell a cheap toaster or coffee maker to experiment on? :D Besides the net, that's my best way of learning. ;)

Seems like it would be easier to just get the Japanese one. I would think it would be cheaper too - BONUS!
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Post Fri. May. 17, 2013 9:33 pm

EarthWindandFire wrote:What I'm less sure about is the 240 volt 2-pole system we use versus the single pole system used in Europe. Various transformers are available but can a dedicated 240 volt (single pole) circuit be designed without a transformer?
Not a problem as far as 2 pole or 1 pole...both are still single phase and electrically the same (except for the frequency (Hz, cycle), only need the voltages to match.

As for the difference between 50 Hz and 60 Hz...motors behave a little different and usually aren't affected too badly.
My concern would would all the other components be affected, such as the solid state electronics used for the control circuits.

Do you know the manufacture's electrical rating listed on the appliance?
:idea: If they are marketed in both of the 2 different electrical grid markets...they might be *tagged* for both 50 and 60 Hz use. :idea:

Voltages are easily changed up and down with a transformer...frequency can sometimes be changed, but not so easily or economically.

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