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UK Electrical Supply Voltages

By Admin on Fri 12 May 2017 in Miscellaneous

We look at the impact of varying voltages on the solenoid coil you select.

The UK voltage supply is 230 volts with a tolerance between +10% and -6%. This means the the allowed variance is 216 volts up to 253 volts, whilst the rest of Europe is 230 volts with a voltage tolerance between +6% and -10% meaning that the allowed variance is 207 volts up to  243 volts.

As the National Grid system and power distribution companies are struggling to meet the ever growing demands for energy it has become preferable for electricity suppliers to supply at the upper voltage limits, so nearer 253 volts rather than upgrade and increase the network to carry a higher current. Remember electrical power is supplied as watts, voltage multiplied by Amps (current) = Watts, so increase the Amps or Volts you increase the Watts, energy suppliers can increase the volts on the existing systems but cannot increase the Amperes or current as they are now at the maximum limitations.

The UK Government rules that equipment in the UK market must be safe at the operating voltages which the equipment will find itself exposed too. There is a small possibility that electrical equipment imported into the UK may be unsafe for voltages for which it has not been tested or designed for, especially when considering the cheaper electrical imports from the far east.
This is a particular hazard when using Solenoid Valves with class F rated (155oC) 220vAC with a voltage range +/- 10% which would be 198 volts though to 242 volts, with at least a 253 volt continuous supply a 220vAC solenoid coil can quickly over heat leading to catastrophic failure, short circuit or a potential fire hazard.
To meet the UK voltage and Government requirements solenoid valves should be fitted with either a 220vAC -10% to +15% coil that can just reach the 253 volt UK upper voltage limit, or better still a 230 volt coil that has been tested and approved for use in the UK, offering a voltage range between 216 volts through to 253 volts. Such as the coils supplied by Beta Valve.

ACL solenoid valves are also available with Class H (180oC higher temperature rated) 240V solenoid coils offering extended working life and reduced heat build-up, with an ideal working and tested voltage range from 216 volts through to 264 volts.

You can find our solenoid coils here...