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Thread: Power in NZ

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    USA
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    Default Power in NZ

    I'm moving to Wellington from the US in about 4 months and one thing that I've had some trouble trying to plan is how to deal with power conversion for my electronics. NZ is 220V, 50 mHz with an AU plug. US is 110V, 60 mHz with a US plug. My partner and I have a lot of electronics-PCs, laptops, game systems, kitchen supplies, etc so it is unrealistic or in some cases not really possible to repurchase all of this so I have been trying to figure out what I need to get for conversion.

    There are not a lot of options I have found online. There are a couple power strips with universal plugs that should work for voltage, but aren't converters so the frequency is still an issue. There are of course travel plugs but those usually are only for 1-3 items and expensive, comparatively.

    How have other people who have moved to NZ handled this? Is it possible to, for instance, buy an expensive converter and plug that into the wall, then plug a US power strip into that? Am I going to have to get a dozen converters? Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,074

    Default

    Here https://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=591 is an old thread which may give you food for thought to start with.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    USA
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    Default

    Thank you for the link. I am not the best versed in electronics so I'm doing my best to understand it and what I will need. It is almost 15 years old so I'm sure a lot has changed in power since then so hopefully it remains fairly accurate. It seems like a lot of items like laptops and PCs will automatically adjust. For other items like monitors, electronics, etc, I will probably need converters. It seems like most items outside of kitchen appliances use fairly low wattage. If I were to get say a 5000 watt converter and plug in a US power strip, would that cover all the electronics okay if they don't consume more than like 2500 watts? I don't know how they would interact going through a converter then a splitter. Any other advice is appreciated, especially if you've been in the same boat. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chch, NZ
    Posts
    2,214

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonsky42 View Post
    Thank you for the link. I am not the best versed in electronics so I'm doing my best to understand it and what I will need. It is almost 15 years old so I'm sure a lot has changed in power since then so hopefully it remains fairly accurate. It seems like a lot of items like laptops and PCs will automatically adjust. For other items like monitors, electronics, etc, I will probably need converters. It seems like most items outside of kitchen appliances use fairly low wattage. If I were to get say a 5000 watt converter and plug in a US power strip, would that cover all the electronics okay if they don't consume more than like 2500 watts? I don't know how they would interact going through a converter then a splitter. Any other advice is appreciated, especially if you've been in the same boat. Thanks!
    Line frequency is really not an issue for electronics like TVs and computers and laptops. That's because the power supply converts the AC power to DC voltage. Where line frequency matters is in the area of electric motors as more often, the speed of the motor depends on the line frequency. To be compliant, most portable electronics have a power supply that must state the input voltage. For eg. laptops have a power supply adaptor that may say input voltage 90-250VAC. For the longest time, electronics no longer make different power supplies for each country as it's wasteful.

    A large 5KVA transformer (step up or down) will be very large and heavy. Certainly not something you would consider to carry around and shipping may end up costing as much the transformer itself. However, it's good practise to de-rate the load or overate the step up transformer. But a 100% duty rate is a bit excessive. What devices do you intend to use that would consume 2.5kW? Most of these power transformers can operate beyond their rated capacity for a brief short period of time (ie few minutes); ie say you want to operate a mixer for a few minutes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    222

    Default

    be prepare to said good bye to a few electronics...

    Computers, TV and Video Console should be fine - but small appliances will be challenging! (hair dryer, electric toothbrush, electric shavers, bread toaster, etc)

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