European Chocolate Equipment Voltage and Phase Information
Many of our customers have questions about electrical requirements when ordering European chocolate and confectionery equipment. TCF Sales offers equipment that operates with 110V and 220V and in single phase and/or 3-phase.
Let's discuss voltage first. "One-ten" and "two-twenty" volts are figures of speech and have not been used for eighty or so years. The present standards are 120V and 240V and have been since the 1950's. 115V and 230V were standardized in 1928 and before that there was a mix of "standard" voltages from 110V to 125V.
Historically, Thomas Edison selected 100V for his lamps and allowed for a 10% in the supply lines so that the generators produced 110V, and this is how multiples of 11 came to be (110, 220, 440, 550, 2200). Early carbon-filament lamps could not be produced uniformly and the lamps were selected at manufacturers to suit a particular voltage. Various cities were encouraged to standardize on different voltages, from 110V to 125V to create a market for all lamps produced. Over time, higher voltages predominated and by 1919, 115V overtook 110V in popularity. By 1926, 110V amps accounted for only 12% of demand (35% were 120V).
The present U.S. standard is 120V +/-5% or +/-6V, or 114V to 126V. Power companies like to keep the voltage as high as possible to get the maximum use of their distribution network. The line voltage here has been 123V since 1960 or so.
If you purchase a 220V machine it will run on voltage up to 250V which is the outer limit. In the U.S., you have supplies ranging from 208 to 250V. If you purchase confectionery equipment noted as 220V it will operate from 208V up to 250V. Further, if you do not have a 220V connection, you can purchase a heavy duty step up/down voltage converter transformer to use your equipment with 110V electricity. These cost ~$200 but generally less costly than on-site electrical modifications. For ease of purchase, TCF is happy to provide this for you at the time of purchase or can provide a recommendation of where to purchase if you wish to handle this. TCF Sales recommends a model with a switch that allows you to indicate what the supply voltage is (i.e., 110V) and what the transformed voltage is (i.e., 220V).
Regarding electrical phase, confectionery and chocolate making equipment offered by TCF Sales is either "single phase" or "3-phase." We typically provide 120V/240V 3-wire single phase equipment. You will need to know if your facility has single phase electrical or 3-phase. If you have 3-phase, you can order your equipment in this configuration and save a few hundred dollars. Two-phase is an antiquated system (Tesla's original multiphase motors were 2-phase) but it will suffice to say that you only need to know if you have single or 3-phase and if you have 220V hook up. And regardless of what your facility has, you will need an electrician to install the proper plug(s) for your equipment to match your onsite electrical configuration.
Customers often have questions about amps or amperage too. A 20 amp circuit is recommended for larger confectionery equipment as most equipment draws ~13 amps.
Also, keep in mind that most European confectionery and chocolate making equipment will deliver either with a European plug or sometime without a plug. This is on purpose to ensure that your plug matches your electrical output. Unless you are knowledgeable of electricity, this is best left to the professionals. Please do not put your equipment at risk by attempting to operate European confectionery or chocoolate making equipment with an incorrect source. If your equipment has a European plug, you can elect to purchase a step up / step down transformer converter but need to ensure that it has the proper requirements for your specific equipment. This is a viable solution but not as desired as installation of the proper electrical current (and matching plug) provided by a certified electrician.
Please contact TCF Sales at 512-201-4443 to learn more about European confectionery equipment electrical requirements.