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This question already has an answer here:

Just wondering, most of all equipment at home have components/circuitry inside to transform high voltage (AC) into lower voltage (mostly DC), also all modern LED lambs. Modern products become more and more efficient and operates at low voltages. Still we have only very high voltage sockets at home.

Also nowadays many manufacturers provide adapters with their consumer products. The amount of adapters is enormous, I think I have at least 40 adapters lying around the house. All of them are near or below 24 volts. For example my laptop adapter output 19 volts.

Would it be more efficient to have a (isolated) 24v AC socket instead of 240v? The transformation is done at the fuse box (what is the name in English, cupboard with energy meter). To step down isolated 24v AC is much easier (requires less components and no transformer i guess) for each product. Or is there any downside doing this? It will reduce the amount of repeating components required for many products, cables, transformers etc.

I know why AC is used instead of DC to transport electricity so that is why I suggest 24v AC. Or do we need a higher voltage?

What could be the reason why we don't have this green environment socket? Any downsides or is there no reason at all?


mess of adapters

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marked as duplicate by duskwuff, Chris Stratton, Ale..chenski, JRE, Charles Cowie Apr 29 at 22:59

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This question has been asked before. No idea what search terms will bring up the old question thought. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Apr 29 at 21:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThePhoton Okay thanks, on this site? \$\endgroup\$ – Codebeat Apr 29 at 21:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Some things need high power, and having a voltage 10x lower means 100x more resistive losses. Some things also need high voltage, and everyone already has high voltage, so imagine how much effort it would be to get them to switch withou some overwhelmingly supported low power socket (cough usb) \$\endgroup\$ – BeB00 Apr 29 at 21:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, somewhere on this site. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Apr 29 at 21:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Datacenters did efficiency analysis and found that the traditional telecom -48 VDC distribution was less efficient than 240 VAC. The trend is now 380 VDC. \$\endgroup\$ – user71659 Apr 29 at 21:56
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The country where I am from (Brazil) uses both 110V and 220V AC 60Hz.

In many projects where high current is necessary (Lighting, projectors, etc), 220V is preferred and can make life a LOT easier by maintaining current draw per "device" under 10A (we have different plugs for 10A, 20A). That also goes for circuit breakers, cable thickness, etc.

So if that is already an issue between 110V and 220V using not even that much power, just imagine the issue if you switch down to even lower voltages.

Added to that, there is the issue of labeling 110V and 220V plugs and devices, so adding a new connector for lower voltages would be another issue. Now compound that with the nightmare that has been (USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB C, etc - which one do you pick and how long is it gonna last?).

Also, recently in our country we have changed from an older plug to a new one similar to the European and Swiss one. That alone without changing voltages was quite controversial.

So besides a few technical reasons already mentioned by other answers and comments I would say that there are a lot of practical and "popularity" issues with having to implement a new standard for housing voltages/wiring - unless we are at some point that one is clearly a lot better, I don't see how it would be practical to implement it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Particularly power-hungry devices like a clothes dryer or an oven are often wired for 240V even in the US, where otherwise the power is universally 120V. We have different sockets for 240V, though. \$\endgroup\$ – Hearth Apr 29 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hai, thanks for the nice answer. Yeah, the USB socket hell haha. Not pratical, too expensive, more current, thicker wires, greater loss. I think we have the complete conclusion ;-) \$\endgroup\$ – Codebeat Apr 29 at 22:20
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The typical voltage loss on the average household cable of 1,5mm² cross section with an average length of 50m (forth and back) from the meter cabinet to your applicance is about 1V per 1A.

  • 1V isn't much for 230V.
  • 1V is much for lower voltages.
  • For lower voltages, you need more current for the same power, so the voltage loss on the cable gets worse.

That's why you want to have 230V at your electrical outlets.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, more current, thicker wires, greater loss. \$\endgroup\$ – Codebeat Apr 29 at 22:08

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