#1

Watts Cheaper 110 or 220

in Lighting Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:45 am
by ozzydiodude • The Weird One | 2.465 Posts | 11504 Points

Watts Cheaper 110 or 220 Volts?
watt-hour meter
How much will I save on my electric bill if I run my lights on 220 volts?
A quick answer: Probably nothing.

This is a common misunderstanding about how electricity works and how the power companies charge you for it. The point often noted for the money saving argument is that the amperage is half as much when running grow lights on 220 volts instead of 110 volts. This is true but the utility company doesn't charge you for amperage, they charge you for wattage. They bill you in kilowatt-hour units. A kilowatt-hour is 1000 watts of usage for one hour or approximately equals a 1000 watt light running for one hour. There's a nice formula for this: Wattage / Voltage = Amperage. If we plug in the numbers for a 1000 watt sodium grow light, you can see that although the voltage and amperage can change, the wattage always stays the same.

1000 Sodium Grow Light
On 110 Volts: 1100W / 110V = 10A - On 220 Volts: 1100W / 220V = 5A
Note that a 1000 watt sodium ballast draws 1100 watts.

Right about now is when I get the question "well why do they make stuff to run on 220 volts then?" Usually large machines and appliances that draw lots of power run on 220 volts (or more) mainly because of the size wire you would need to use to run them on 110 volts would be very large. The gauge and length of the wire will determine the maximum amperage it will handle before it melts! On a 220 volt circuit, the load is split between two 110 volt wires. This allows you to run smaller wire. This brings us to the "probably" part of the answer. There is another factor, it's the voltage drop or the voltage lost when the power travels down the wire. The lower the resistance on the wire, the less the voltage drop. If you are running one or two lights in a typical home with the breaker box a short distance away, the efficiency lost due to voltage drop may not be significant enough to justify rewiring your grow room for 220 volts.

Related Information:

Calculate your electricity cost to run a grow light.

How to Build a Four Light Grow Light Controller for Less Than $80

Voltage Drop Calculator by Gerald Newton
This calculator uses K = 12.9 circular mil ohms per foot for copper or K = 21.2 cicular mil ohms per foot for aluminum. These values assume a conductor operating temperature of 75 degrees C. For other values of K based on conductor temperature use the advanced voltage drop calculator.

found at https://www.hydroponics.net/learn/is-220...e-efficient.asp



IMO using the 220 volts will make it less likely to overload a breaker box in most homes


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#2

RE: Watts Cheaper 110 or 220

in Lighting Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:19 pm
by LEFTHAND | 111 Posts | 418 Points

Great find ozzy.
Agree 100% 220 is only good for lower amperage. Nothing more or less.
LH

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#3

RE: Watts Cheaper 110 or 220

in Lighting Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:41 pm
by surfinc | 1.745 Posts | 6379 Points

And the power company been ripping you off since jump street by billing per watt.....

But in a more common sense term a 100 amp feed will do a lot more appliances on the other end with 220 running than with 110 if I'm not too stoned on the subject....

But if we were worried about the last couple cents on our power bill then maybe our focus is a tad of kilter too maybe??


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Last edited Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:44 pm | Scroll up

#4

RE: Watts Cheaper 110 or 220

in Lighting Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:35 pm
by umbra | 780 Posts | 4085 Points

I think the point is the rate is the same. 1000 watts is 1000 watts whether its 110v x 9A or 220v x 4.5A. However with 110v/100A service there is 100A on both legs of the input circuit from the pole. So in essence, you already have 220v, its just not configured that way.

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#5

RE: Watts Cheaper 110 or 220

in Lighting Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:41 am
by ozzydiodude • The Weird One | 2.465 Posts | 11504 Points

@umbra it's my understand that on a 100 amp service each leg has only 50 amp. A 100 amp main breaker is divided by 2 into to 50 amp leg breaker that trip in unison


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#6

RE: Watts Cheaper 110 or 220

in Lighting Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:03 am
by umbra | 780 Posts | 4085 Points

when the electrician was checking my place in Cali, that's what he told me. I'm not an electrician, so you could be right.

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#7

RE: Watts Cheaper 110 or 220

in Lighting Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:47 pm
by ozzydiodude • The Weird One | 2.465 Posts | 11504 Points

Nope I was wrong , that was the old set ups all boxes sinsi the early 80 are what every the main breaker amperage is is the amperage for each leg. ex: a 100 amp breaker box has 100 amp on each side

nice to have electricians on a job today


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#8

RE: Watts Cheaper 110 or 220

in Lighting Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:08 pm
by Ston-loc | 376 Posts | 1601 Points

100amps per leg. Breakers are common trip because they're sharing the neutral. The rating on the breaker is per phase.

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#9

RE: Watts Cheaper 110 or 220

in Lighting Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:10 pm
by Ston-loc | 376 Posts | 1601 Points

Doh, didn't see your last one Ozz

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