Hz

jazzcustom131
Copper - Posts: 175
Joined: October 10, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: January 18, 2005 at 4:09 PM / IP Logged
Okay, i looked around here, and didn't immediately find an answer,so i'll just ask.  If you look at a standard house hold electrical device, thestats say: 120V 60Hz. Now, I have some wuestions here. Are hertz and the maximum wattage consumed linked (i.e. 60Hz lamp can only do 60 Watt max bulb). If not, how is it related. Also, how does it relate to joules, and what is the amperage of a unit like that stated above?
Greed is for amateurs.
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stevdart
Platinum - Posts: 5,816
Joined: January 24, 2004
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Posted: January 18, 2005 at 4:39 PM / IP Logged

(The following is in layman's terms, which means that if I'm nothing else...I'm a layman)

The electricity in your house is alternating current (AC), which is  electrical current that changes polarity at given intervals.  Those intervals are 120 times per second, and that equates to 60 "complete cycles" per second.  That is the definition of Hertz:  cycles per second.  (Europeans use 50 Hz)  So, appliances are designed to operate using those certain frequencies.

The frequency of the alternating current doesn't have anything to do with power consumption of an appliance.  The wattage (or power consumption) is limited by the appliance itself, and the integrity of the wiring and associated wiring connectors in the house which are protected by rated fuses or circuit breakers so that too much power consumption won't burn your house down.

The amperage of a 60 watt bulb, using 120 volt power source would be...

I = P/E  , so

current (amperage)= 60 / 120

= 1/2 ampere

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule  (which is more than I understand about Joules)

haemphyst
Platinum - Posts: 5,053
Joined: January 19, 2003
Location: Michigan, Bouvet Island
Posted: January 19, 2005 at 12:25 AM / IP Logged
There's where I woulda gone. Good answer!
Otherwise, the reason for a 60 watt bulb maximum has to do with the thermal ability of the lamp. It cannot get rid of more than 60 watts of heat fast enough, so the risk of fire is a bit higher in that situation. It is a safety issue, not a power issue.
It all reminds me of something that Molière once said to Guy de Maupassant at a café in Vienna: "That's nice.﻿ You should write it down."

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