Author Topic: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply  (Read 13860 times)
sol
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Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « on: May 10, 2011, 08:46:48 PM » Author: sol
I has been said on this site that running a 277 V 60 Hz ballast on 230 V 50 Hz works as it should. Apparently, running these ballasts at a lower voltage compensates for the difference in frequency. That being said, if I were to have the reverse situation, would I be correct in assuming that a ballast rated for 230 V 50 Hz would operate correctly (ie starting properly and not overheating, etc.) if I would run it on a 240 V 60 Hz supply ? I am talking about inductor switch start/preheat ballasts for 36 W tubes. If this assumption is not true, then what would be needed to have such a ballast operate correctly on 60 Hz ?

Second related question : In North America, specifically Canada, is there a law or a code that prohibits running lighting on 240 V circuits ? If I were to use such a setup, it would be for permanent installation in my home, where I would not want to deviate from the code.

Thank you.
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xmaslightguy
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 09:59:55 PM » Author: xmaslightguy
DieselNut ran a 230v 50Hz UK ballast (switch start/preheat) on 240v 60Hz and he said it started and ran fine.

As for code, I can't say...at least here in the US, every State/County/Town has its own codes in addition to any national ones. Your best bet would be to check with your Area's(City/County/Provence) local building department (or whoever issues building permits), they can tell you :)
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #2 on: May 11, 2011, 01:31:18 AM » Author: Medved
Running 240V50Hz series choke F36T8 on 277V60Hz lead to at least 10% overcurrent (voltage is 30% higher, but frequency only 20%), what at first eat up all margin for voltage tolerance towards core saturation and seconds the power dissipation would rise >20%, what could be already significant.

According to Code: I do not know Canadian code in details, but in EU (230V) are way stricter requirements for fixtures then e.g. in US (for 120V) and some descriptions about insulated ballasts necessity for Canadian 240V HID installations look for me as very similar to European.
So I think it is possible, but there apply slightly other installation rules. And at least you would have troubles to find properly rated switches (visually matching other ones in the house), as the common ones are rated only for 120V mains...
So I would rather make the installation regular 120V and generate the required voltage (260V would be the correct one for 60Hz) locally by an autotransformer, so consider the transformer as part of the fixture.
I think you would have one legal trouble anyway: The F36T8 fixture would miss safety certification record (UL, CSA,...; the EU one would be invalid, as you are using different then rated supply voltage and frequency for the ballast), what is already violation of most codes...
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DieselNut
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #3 on: May 11, 2011, 07:54:06 AM » Author: DieselNut
I have been running the light I got from Kevxsi16v on 240v/60hz for a while now. It operates well, runs cool and is very bright! It is the 5 foot twin preheat/switchstart with 58 watt T8 tubes. There are light switches for 240v and 240v power is already in North American homes, so I would see no problem running it this way. Unless you plan to have it inspected, who cares about the code? For added safety, you could always install a pair of 3 amp fuses in the mains at the fixture.
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Luminaire
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #4 on: May 11, 2011, 08:19:29 AM » Author: Luminaire
I has been said on this site that running a 277 V 60 Hz ballast on 230 V 50 Hz works as it should. Apparently, running these ballasts at a lower voltage compensates for the difference in frequency.
Yep, for series ballast, the impedance is proportional to frequency, so if V/Hz ratio is maintained, it will work fine, within reason.   Some Japanese ballasts are dual tapped with a tap for 50Hz and 60Hz and its just changing the number of turns.  

For switch-start this works. For rapid start that requires tighter OCV regulation for proper starting, a 277v on 230v will only provide 83% OCV for starting, so it might not start reliably.  

On the other hand, running 50Hz 230v rapid start on 277v 60Hz can cause it to strike before filament is adequately warmed due to excess OCV.

Quote
That being said, if I were to have the reverse situation, would I be correct in assuming that a ballast rated for 230 V 50 Hz would operate correctly (ie starting properly and not overheating, etc.) if I would run it on a 240 V 60 Hz supply ? I am talking about inductor switch start/preheat ballasts for 36 W tubes. If this assumption is not true, then what would be needed to have such a ballast operate correctly on 60 Hz ?
You'd want around 277v.  Get your hands on a multi-tap HID ballast. Connect 0-120, then get 277v from 0-277v terminals.  

Quote
Second related question : In North America, specifically Canada, is there a law or a code that prohibits running lighting on 240 V circuits ? If I were to use such a setup, it would be for permanent installation in my home, where I would not want to deviate from the code.

Thank you.
In the US, only 120v is permissible for lighting in dwellings. Another issue with staying code complaint is that the European spec ballast is not UL/CSA listed, so its not considered a listed electrical fitting.  

If you choose to deviate from code, in both US and Canada, 240v comes from two poles that are hot, so you absolutely must use double pole switch and you will need to pull wires large enough for the breaker. (i.e. if its 30A, you MUST use 10AWG all the way from the breaker to fixture)

Your best bet is to not wire it into house wiring and leave it as a portable "plug-in" appliance. 

« Last Edit: May 11, 2011, 08:21:54 AM by Luminaire » Logged
Ash
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #5 on: June 18, 2011, 03:57:21 AM » Author: Ash
If not 277 V but 240 V, i guess it will run at lower current as impedance of inductor rises with frequency

Can you open the 125 V switch ? if there is enough distance between the parts (2 open contacts and 2 contacts to external parts) , it should hold 240 V without problem. A switch that snaps sharper is better cause it will arc less

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Al_M
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #6 on: June 29, 2011, 06:24:12 AM » Author: Al_M
To look at it from the other way round, I bought some 120v 60Hz 2x40w magnetic rapid start ballasts from the US for use in Australia which is 240v 50Hz. I have them running on a Variac at 100 volts (as per advice from L-G members) 50Hz and they run quite happily. They don't overheat, they probably take slightly longer to start up than if run on the 'proper' supply. The lamps are coincidentally US made Philips 40w T12 and they run well. They run at the same brightness as if they were on the local gear and give the characteristic after-glow when switched off. I have some old Australian made T12's that seem to start a bit quicker but they are not as bright due to their age and they are halophosphor whereas the new Philips are tri-phosphor. I wanted these as I chucked all my old rapid start ballasts in the 1990's due to the PCB hysteria.
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sol
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 04:15:07 PM » Author: sol
@Ash,

I would use a double-pole 240V rated switch if I were to make this project work as with our 240V supply, there is no neutral. However, I have decided to abandon it at least for now. Maybe someday...

@ AJMAustNZ,

I am glad you were able to make 120V 60Hz gear work on your mains. The tricky part is the frequency, not the voltage.
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Medved
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #8 on: November 02, 2015, 01:06:19 AM » Author: Medved
I know this is an old topic, but it is used as a "knowledge base" and I have found an error in my previous post:

I went briefly through that post and it just stresses one important thing:
Never ever trust blindly the numbers posted by others, but always double check the math yourself.
I wrote there "277V is 30% higher than 240, but frequency is just 20% higher" - well, quite wrong - 277V isn't higher by 30%, but by just 15%, so fromk a "10% overdrive" it suddenly became 5% underdrive... Well, if that was meant about solely the mains voltage and not just the inductive part. When speaking just about the inductive part, it is 207 vs 246V, so it should became rather spot on.

But before using these (I assume corrected now) numbers, check the the math by yourself...
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #9 on: November 05, 2015, 07:03:25 PM » Author: mdcastle
So I guess the summary of importing fixtures across the pond is:

50hz fixture on 60 hz mains: Feed it 277 volts using a step-up transformer, replace the gear, or else just run it as-is and leave it underdriven,
60hz fixture on 50 hz mains: Use the 277 tap if available on a multi-tap ballast or else replace the gear. Running it as is is a bad idea.

In the US 120/277 transformers are widely available, normally used for running regular voltage stuff off the 277 volt mains in larger buildings. Some cheaper wire is only rated for 300 volts, so this might be pushing things.
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Medved
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #10 on: November 07, 2015, 03:23:05 AM » Author: Medved
So I guess the summary of importing fixtures across the pond is:

50hz fixture on 60 hz mains: Feed it 277 volts using a step-up transformer, replace the gear, or else just run it as-is and leave it underdriven,
60hz fixture on 50 hz mains: Use the 277 tap if available on a multi-tap ballast or else replace the gear. Running it as is is a bad idea.

In the US 120/277 transformers are widely available, normally used for running regular voltage stuff off the 277 volt mains in larger buildings. Some cheaper wire is only rated for 300 volts, so this might be pushing things.


This works ONLY with inductive lag ballasts, so practically ONLY HX (auto-)transformer and/or series choke reactor ballast.

Does not work at all with any other (CWA, mag-reg, resonance,...), because they are either "tuned" to the exact mains frequency (mag-reg), or use a capacitor as the ballasting impedance (CWA).

And does not work with electronic (there the voltage has to match, the frequency does not matter)

Only because ballasts for most lamps in Europe are in the form of a series inductor, operating them at 277V/60Hz will ikely lead to success, but it won't be 100% (mainly with SOX, as these are frequently resonant systems).
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #11 on: November 07, 2015, 09:09:14 AM » Author: mdcastle
I guess I'm getting confused.

240/50 LPS will or will not be driven properly on 277/60?

I have two partial Thorn Beta 5s I want to make one good one out of, and run off 120 volt mains.  Should I use a 120 to 277 transformer and the original gear, or strip out the gear and put in an North American 120 volt ballast?
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 09:13:30 AM by mdcastle » Logged
Medved
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #12 on: November 08, 2015, 12:47:09 AM » Author: Medved
This one IS the series choke (it is just a coil connected in series with the lamp during normal operation; see the wiring diagram), so this WILL work on 277V/60Hz.
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #13 on: November 08, 2015, 11:26:06 AM » Author: mdcastle
Out of curiosity, is there some reason the gear on the left does not have a capacitor either included or on in the wiring diagram?

If I use the one on the right, I'm assuming I should just unplug the capacitor since it is only rated at 240 volts and is presumably only for power factor correction, which would be the incorrect value anyway on 60 hz mains?
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Re: Running 50Hz ballast on 60Hz supply « Reply #14 on: November 14, 2015, 12:25:23 PM » Author: don93s
I've experimented with 50Hz ballasts on 60Hz supply and if just the coil, yeah, the increased frequency does increase inductance to reduce current. However, if a capacitor is in series with the lamp, the increased frequency acts the opposite with the capacitor and causes an increase in current, offsetting the increased coil reactance. I have HPF rapid-start 40w ballasts rated for 50Hz and when run on 60Hz, same voltage, the lamp current tends to push 500ma and a very hot ballast!

I would guess that this also applies to HID. If series cap is involved, the cap may have to be de-valued if going from 50 to 60Hz.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 12:27:47 PM by don93s » Logged
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