Who of you doesn’t love traveling? Most people work a lot and save a lot looking forward to their next vacation trip. Does this sound a lot like you? If yes, there’s something you need to know first before traveling abroad.
It’s a lot easier when traveling locally. The food, culture and language are all the same. But it’s much different when traveling abroad. The environment is different. The food and language are all new to you. These are some of the things travelers consider when they go. But you should know that there’s another unique thing – the difference in standard voltages. But why does this matter anyway? To answer that, let’s dig a little deeper.
Voltage is the measure of the potential difference between two points in an electrical field. To illustrate, imagine the water that flows when you open your faucet. The amount of water coming out is the electric charge, the water flow is the electric current and the pressure represents the voltage. This is exactly similar when you plug your laptop or smartphone into a wall socket. The electric current will pass from the socket to your device to make it work properly. Nevertheless, the amount of voltage differs from every device or appliance, depending on which country it came from. Plugging a low voltage device into a higher level of voltage will cause it to break.
In some countries, the voltage is low, which makes the amount of the current passing through increase. This lowers the risk of getting injured when one accidentally comes in contact with a live wire. Although, this can also mean greater energy losses. On the other hand, the energy losses are lower with a higher voltage, which also means that the risk of injury is much higher. (If you need a device to precisely measure the amount of current, a current-shunt resistor is recommended.)
According to research, in most countries, the main supply is between 220 and 240 volts, like in Europe. Some countries, on the other hand, operate on a 100 to 127 voltage, such as Japan and America. The most frequently used electric plugs worldwide are Types A and C. This difference in voltage makes it difficult for travelers to assess which kind of plug adapter or transformer they will need for the trip. It’s not just a matter of matching the socket and plug to make your gadgets or appliances work. You might need an international converter, which changes the voltage from a certain amount to another. This will enable you to plug the device and use it in another country, even if the outlets are not the same.
Although some of these local devices or appliances might not work in another country, there are still those that work almost anywhere in the world. Examples of these are your laptops and smartphones. How is this possible? Take a look at your device. There is a visible ‘Input Voltage’ and ‘Output Voltage’ rating value. You can see the big difference between these values. What does this mean?
These electronic devices are built with SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supply) or Switcher. This internal device performs a down-scaling of voltages. It has a regulator that converts the high incoming voltage into a lower output voltage. And thanks to this SMPS, your laptops and phones can work in different countries without any problems.
Now that you have this essential knowledge, do not forget to always check your appliance or gadget’s voltage value when packing. Or else, it would not be useful in your trip. Keep this in mind and have an enjoyable trip with no worries!