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60Hz motor running on 50Hz power supply or vice versa

Electric motors, both single and three phase, are designed for running on a specified power frequency. But sometimes we may use a 'wrong' motor on the power supply.
Induction motor
The basic, RPM is in direct proportion to Hz. If you decrease the power supply frequency, the motor will slow down. On the contrary, if you increase the frequency, the motor will speed up. The RPM change is proportional to the Hz change.

60Hz motor will run 20% slower on 50Hz power supply
This also results in 20% less power. Basically, running the electric machine slower usually means it will be demanding less power. That's good, as the motor also decrease 20% of its power, and the cooling fan is slow down too. But the critical factor here is the V/Hz ratio. It goes up 20%! Not good. This means that during parts of every power line cycle the magnetic structure of the motor will probably be overloaded.

The only recourse here is to correct the V/Hz with the variable value that is easy to change – V the voltage. Lower the voltage with a transformer to correct the V/Hz ratio.

50Hz motor will run 20% faster on 60Hz power supply
AC motor kilowatt is proportional to Torque times RPM. As the motor's torque is not going to change significantly with the increase of frequency, it will now output 20% more power. A 10kW 50Hz motor will be a 12kW motor on 60Hz power source.

Running a machine 20% faster is very likely going to increase its power demand by at least 20%! If the machine cyclically accelerates or decelerates in operation it will be subject to greater mechanical forces. If the motor is driving centrifugal loads their demand may even go up by the square of the speed increase.

Case 1: You have 60Hz power for a 50Hz equipment
Let's say you just got a great deal on an equipment. As it's being wired up you realized that it has 50Hz on its nameplate and you have 60Hz power supply.

The equipment will be running 20% faster! Is this going to be a problem? If it is, can the speed be returned to design speed by changing a pulley size to drop the speed 20% back to where it was?

Once this assessment has been done and sheaves are changed or other modifications are done to help mitigate the speed/power issues, move on to the next step. Read the nameplate to get the Full Load Amperage commonly known as the FLA rating for the motor at the voltage you'll be running it with.

Using a clamp-on ammeter, run the machine and check to see the amperage is below the FLA. If it is you can proceed with running the equipment as desired. Do check to see that it's still under FLA when fully loaded. If it's over FLA you must do some sort of load mitigation.
Case 2: You have 50Hz power for a 60Hz appliance
You receive an appliance and since you are in 50Hz power source, the 60Hz label is bothering you. As well it should!

Again, realizing the appliance will run 20% slower, will it get the job done? In this case you can not change pulley sizes to correct the speed because the motor just lost 20% of its horsepower nameplate rating. If you change pulleys it will likely be overloaded - seriously.

If the appliance can run 20% slower there may still be hope. Even though it is going to lose cooling with its internal fan running more slowly, running the load slower and with a 20% less powerful motor will likely even out. The V/Hz increase may still get you.

At this point if your assessment shows you will probably be alright with the slower speed, again check the nameplate for the FLA. Run the appliance and quickly check the running current with an ammeter. If it's below FLA proceed to load the appliance while closely monitoring things. If you stay below FLA it will probably be OK.

But! Running at FLA now that the cooling fan has reduced ability is still possibly going to be a problem. You should monitor the motor's temperature and assure yourself that after extended running time, under load, it remains below the nameplate temperature rise.

If even unloaded you're seeing FLA or more you will need to reduce the voltage because the motor is probably saturating. Before going to the bother of adding buck transformers, seriously consider changing out the motor for the correct 50Hz power supply. Remember you may need to up the rated kilowatt if you're going to change gear ratios to return the equipment back to its original speed.
Hi, I have a 220v/50hz floor polisher and my wall outlet is at 220v/60hz. the starting capacitor is blown last week. the cap specs are; 100uf, 300vac, -40/+65degrees C, 50/60hz. kindly help me understand what cause the cap to blow? thank you
- - - -> by: Bobby Y
So as i understood if 60 HZ is taken to a country where there is 50Hz and 220 volts the V/H ratio for the motor in the country of origin is 220/60 or 3.666.
So I have to vary the V/50Hz to change it from 4.4 to the 3.66.Thus I have to change the voltage to 185V so that 185/50 =3.7
Did I get this right ?
Now what is the price of this GoHz .Does it have a limit on the amperage ?
how do deal with 220 2 phase to 220 single phase etc
- - - -> by: Mike
I have purchased a cnc turning center which has three phase 230volt and 60Hz supply input .while in India we have 230volt 50 Hz supply . can I use the machine with voltage reduced to 200volts to compensate ,while as you say I will check VLA to be under rated on nameplate .
My machine have dc motors . will they work properly . will this supply disturb control circuit which has axis drives . I have GE fanuc 6T control and semens motor for spindle.please guide.
- - - -> by: shailesh sheorey
I have a USA washing machine 60 cycle Maytag that I shipped to Caribbean 50 cycle. I did not know about frequency at the time. The machine runs very slow. A mechanic there told me nothing can be done. Will a frequency converter help? is that different to a transformer, because I have a transformer, but still did not work as it should, very slow. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
- - - -> by: Bern Thomas
Hi , I am from India and we have already landed in Soup.
WE have procured 25 Numbers 220 Volts / 1.1 KW /15 Amps motors without specifying the Local Hz.
We received 25 Nos of Motors with 60 Hz instead of 50Hz as you analyzed above. WE have no go but to use these at our own consumption as can not sell to clients, with associated issues.

The application of these Motors is in Exhaust fans . Please suggest a rating for a suitable step down transformer that may improve its life.
Vempati S

P.S --We also have some triac based voltage regulators at our site . We employ these to regulate the voltage supplied to air heaters of 3 KW rating.Can such voltage regulators /Dimmers be used to reduce the input voltage instead of a step down transformer.
- - - -> by: Vempati S

Does this mean a clock using the mains frequency to drive a synchronous motor could run faster or slower as the frequency of the mains varies over time?
- - - -> by: Steve

In industries we are using meter "like ammeter or voltmeter" that is designed on rated frequency (50 Hz), if we connect these meters on VFD is it gives same reading on that variable power frequency?
- - - -> by: Sanjeev Arya
I'm thinking of importing a British flymo lawn mower, 240v 1500w 50hz, to a 120/240 60hz supply. I have no idea of the motor Fla although running 20% faster sounds like a good thing. The question is will the motor burn out quickly or is it likely just to have a shortened life?
- - - -> by: Name *
I have a machine that was design for 240/ 50 hz. The power here is 240/60hz. The machine has a few transformers & motors. It overheats the power cord. What is the solution
- - - -> by: William
GoHz three phase frequency converter accepts three phase 380v/400v/415v/440v/460v/480v 50Hz & 60Hz input, the output is vary from 3ph 0-520v 40-120 Hz;
Single phase frequency converter accepts 1ph 110v/120v/220v/230v/240v 50Hz & 60Hz input, the output is vary from 1ph 0-300v 40-120 Hz.

Also the converter can be customized for input & output for specific conditions.
You can go to the "Contact" page to get a price.
- - - -> by: GoHz
I bought a 50hz /240v submersible water pump for my well only to discover that power supply in my country is 60hz ,240 volt.help
- - - -> by: Ali
You can use 50 Hz with a motor built for 60 Hz without problem, for 400 Volts you must check the motor connection, it must be correctly connected to 400 volts, in general the motors can be connected to at least two different voltages. It is also necessary to respect the maximum current and speed parameters for the motor operating conditions, the power and the torque will be lower than the nominal ones.
- - - -> by: Greg
i have a one dehumidifier with rated voltage 110v/60Hz. but in India power supply is 230v/50 Hz... so, can i run that dehumidifier with this voltage.....
- - - -> by: mydeen
What about a curling iron? Since there is no motor, would my 60hz curling iron care about being plugged into a 50hz socket (assuming I've already transformed the voltage).
- - - -> by: Julie
hi i am buying motor from US
• 20-HP
• 460/380-Volts
• 60/50-Hz
• Three-Phase 3-Wire
it will work on india electrical 3 phase agriculture supply?
- - - -> by: d.kesava reddy
Hi, I have chillers 380 V with 60 Hz , and supply on 380V/ 50 Hz , once I use an inverter to change the frequency , it's work for some time and the stop working , any one have a good idea ,will help !!!
- - - -> by: Meto

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