Difference between 50Hz and 60Hz frequency

50Hz vs 60Hz in operating speed

The primary difference between 50 Hz (Hertz) and 60 Hz (Hertz) is, well, 60Hz is 20% higher in frequency. For a generator or induction motor pump (in simple terms) it means 1500/3000 RPM or 1800/3600 RPM (for 60Hz). Lower the frequency will be the iron losses and eddy current losses. Lower the frequency, speed of induction motor and generator will be lower. For example with 50 Hz, generator will be running at 3000 rpm against 3600 rpm with 60 Hz. Mechanical centrifugal forces will be 20% higher in case of 60 Hz (rotor winding retaining ring has to bear centrifugal force while designing).Hz But with higher frequency, output of generator and induction motors will be higher for same size of motor/generator because of 20% higher speed.

50Hz vs 60Hz on efficiency

The design of such magnetic machines is such that they are really one or the other. It may work in some cases, but not always, and to change between different power supply frequencies will certainly have an effect on efficiency, and may mean de-rating is necessary. There is little real difference between 50 Hertz and 60 Hertz systems, as long as the equipment is designed appropriately for the frequency. It is more important to have a standard and stick with it.

The more significant difference is that 60Hz systems usually use 110V (120V) or thereabouts for the domestic power supply, while 50Hz systems tend to use 220V, 230V etc. for different countries. This has the impact that house wiring needs to be twice the cross section for the 110V system for the same power. However the optimum system is accepted as around 230V (wire size and power required versus safety). In most of the US the 110V power system is in tandem with the 240V US system that provides for the higher powered appliances like stoves and clothes dryers, while 110V does wall outlets and lights. Hardly an issue of the appliances nowadays.

Is 60Hz better than 50Hz?
It is no big difference between 50 Hz and 60 Hz, nothing is bad or good basically. For independent power equipment like ships, aircraft or isolated area like gas/oil installation, any frequency (like 400 Hz) can be designed based on suitability. From an overall perspective, we can't say 50Hz is better than 60Hz or not, there is no difference. The main issue is the fact that there are two power supply standards. This means that links between transmission systems that run on different frequencies require DC links between them, or simply using a frequency converter to change 60Hz to 50Hz.

Related article: Impact of 60Hz (50Hz) motor being used on 50Hz (60Hz) power supply

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12/24/2020 11:46 AM
Console games were slower. My childhood was ruined.
8/1/2020 11:17 AM

i will be buying air fryer, blender, coffee maker and pressure with 50hz rating. Are they safe to use in a 60hz rating? Can they last long?
7/7/2020 7:05 AM
To the 100V hi-fi amp, no, do NOT plug it in to 240!!  It will fry!!  Some equipment, like many computer power supplies, can work on voltages from 100 to 240.

Regarding transformer saturation- yes, absolutely true!  You can generate all kinds of potentially damaging harmonics because the saturation will distort the sine wave.  The usual trick is to derate the transformer- IE, put in a bigger one, but it's best to get the right one. :)

AC is a tricky thing involving complex math where reactive loads are involved.

Regarding the motors: be very careful with AC induction motors.  Around the outer perimeter (under the outer cover) an induction motor has stationary field windings (copper wire coils) which get connected to the power supply.  They create a rotating magnetic field that the rotor (thing that spins) is immersed in.

The rotor has both copper and steel components.  The field coils' magnetic field induces electric current in the rotor (like a transformer does) and that current creates a magnetic field that has attractive force which tugs on the rotor and gives the output torque.  The rotor is never quite in sync with the rotating magnetic field, and we call this "slip", and the slip is the mechanism by which the rotor current is induced.

If you run an induction motor at lower voltages, the rotor (armature) will slip more than it should, which creates a higher current component and will heat the windings _and_ armature.  It is counter-intuitive, but running an induction motor at lower voltages might burn it up.

7/7/2020 4:34 AM
Biggest potential issue with transformers is going from 60Hz to 50Hz. The issue is magnetic saturation of the core.

What happens is that for each half of the current cycle, the core starts to get magnetized. This increasing magnetization induces an opposing voltage in the transformer winding, and therefore reduces the amount of current flowing in the winding. But once the core is fully saturated, that opposing voltage is no longer generated and the current flow in the winding increases causing the windings to get hotter. This is why a 50Hz transformer requires more iron than a 60Hz transformer.

A similar effect can exist with some motor designs as well.
2/17/2020 11:38 AM
I just bought a hifi audio amplifier from Japan. I live in Ireland. We have 240 AC.
My new amp says the power supply should be...... 100 volts 50/60Hz.
Does this mean I can not use my amp on the European grid?
Thank you.
2/3/2020 6:28 PM
It helps you to know:  Resistive load like heating element does not matter 50Hz or 60Hz.  If it is a magnetic coil like motor or transformer, there needs enough iron to hold a growing magnetic field.  Magnetic field grows to produce counter voltage almost equal to applied voltage. (If you apply smaller voltage the magnetizm grows slower to allow lower Hz). You can use a 50Hz coil at 60Hz with no problem because 8.3mS + and 8.3mS - is a short time to grow then collapse magnetism. But a 60Hz coil is designed with less iron.  To solve this problem, if you use a 60Hz coil on 50Hz make sure the voltage is reduced to 84% for example: 240V 60Hz motor can be used on 201V 50Hz. You can even wire a motor for 460V 60Hz than connect it to 220V 50Hz but the (torque) will be reduced.  The new torque will be reduced by the lower voltage:  (220/480)^2 = 0.21 but the lower Hz will give time for the magnetizm to increase to bring the torque back up 60/50 = 1.20 therefore 0.21 x 1.20 = 0.25 times the original torque.
1/2/2020 6:43 AM
ye bakchodi hai
11/27/2019 4:57 PM
Would like info regarding photo cell chip control for messing with or delaying response when useing 220 vs 110 same cells and chip way slower response time for 220.
11/11/2019 5:53 AM
Hi, I am from India and I am planning to buy one rotary tool from US.
It is mentioned 120v 200W 60Hz in the box.  In India electricity distributions is at 240V. 50Hz. So If I buy an adapter  input: 240v  output:120v (250W), can I use this rotary tool at its full efficiency in India ?  
10/18/2019 5:00 AM
for me when I'm going to buy any electrical equipment always I will choose a 220-240 V with 50-60 hertz appliances or power tools by looking the specifications. About appliances I choose auto volts (110-240 V ) with 50-60 hz it would be beter.
9/7/2019 8:17 PM
want to make portable Maser, I got 220v 50Hz 1800VA UPS and 220v 50Hz 1250W Microwave oven;
what will be the change of output power at 1 meter, if UPS oscillator frequency is trimmed to 60Hz ?
8/12/2019 12:55 PM
I recent bought a Hoover smart wash automatic carpet washer from amazon, I live in Norway , I know I need to buy a power transformer, but since the frequency difference on the machine is 60 and Norway uses a standard 50, will there still be damage to the machine or do I also need a frequency converter ?
7/19/2019 6:46 AM
Only depend temperature so we do not use 60 Hz
6/15/2019 2:29 AM
thanks for article
I have a on demand electric hot water heater, small capacity, that I bought in China (50 Hz)
Can I use it safely in our US?
5/13/2019 10:06 PM
What will happen to a marine ac 220 v unit that is plugged into the shore power at 60 hertz...will it burn out and if so how soon?
5/5/2019 10:16 PM
What will happen if I increase frequency to say 70 or 80 hz on 50/60 hz equipment?
4/13/2019 1:22 PM
why american country use 60 HZ and Asian Country use 50 HZ Frequency
7/11/2018 6:39 AM
can we used 50Hz alternator in60Hz
3/19/2018 9:45 AM
You are so wishy washy that I think you would say that it doesn't matter if we have the death penalty or not.
1/13/2018 2:49 AM
Created on: 1/10/2018 12:25 AM
In our country 3 phase supply is 440v for 50 Hertz. Then how many voltage for 60 Hertz 3 phase??? .

If thats the maximum rating on 50 hertz I would think its 460-480v 60hz normally.
1/13/2018 2:31 AM
Created on: 6/28/2017 11:59 PM
Can someone explain further the sentence "Lower the frequency will be the iron losses and eddy current losses.

There's a magnetic loss in a transformer, engine, generator etc. because of the iron inside them works as a magnet. So if you lower the frequency the magnetic field will leak more into the iron, since a slower hertz (hz) means less shifts +/- or north and south pole on a magnet. So the faster the frequency shifts are, will elimininate more of the magnetic field created.

The other current losses  are in the copper coils around the iron and they heat up and move around more the stronger the magnetic field is. So again bigger frequency less magnetic disturbance.

But if you look at 230v 50hz vs 115v 60hz there is a problem where the  current is doubled in 115v to do the same job. The higher current you run through the copper coils the higher resistive loss you'll get in them. I think both methods have a fairly equal result in losses, but I never tested it.
1/10/2018 12:25 AM
In our country 3 phase supply is 440v for 50 Hertz. Then how many voltage for 60 Hertz 3 phase??? .
11/5/2017 12:54 AM
Why would a washing machine with a 220/50 Hz not run on a 220/ 60 Hz power outlet, -  even all the electrical fixtures and connections are adequate.
How do I know then, that a converter will make my washing machine run OK?
8/14/2017 1:39 AM
Hello I am wondering if your converter is good for my appliance....I moved from Italy to Usa , I have many hifi components. They should work with very good source of electricity. They already work with a normal power converter . Do you think your frequency converter will give me more quality???
8/5/2017 7:36 AM
I got what I was looking for thanks.
8/4/2017 9:29 PM
hi....   I have a spa that has a circulation pump which has a small sticker that says "50 hertz only"...  the sticker is on the pump.  I need to replace the pump but can only find one with 60 hertz - everything else is identical.  Would this affect any other components (electrical or non-electrical) if I used the 60 hertz pump?      Thank you!     Bob S
6/28/2017 11:59 PM
Can someone explain further the sentence "Lower the frequency will be the iron losses and eddy current losses."
6/2/2017 8:51 PM
no offense but this was sorta useless
4/15/2017 10:20 AM
I have a refrigerator with 60 Hz, in my country we are using 50 Hz, is that effect on the unit or not?
4/14/2017 8:32 AM
It depends on the design of the appliance which you can check with the appliance's vender, whether it accepts both 50Hz and 60Hz or not, if not, you need a GoHz Converter to change the frequency to make it work properly.
4/14/2017 7:01 AM
I want to buy appliances here at middle East which only indicate 50hz could we use it in my country in Phils.as well that power supply is 220-240v because I only notice Everytime 50/60hz in frequency I saw written in our appliances. In your explanation about 50hz it is clearly understood it's ok to use it but I want to assure that I will use that appliances like portable AC or front door washing machine as well  without any risk using my family . Thank you so much hope you can help me a lot for giving.me some idea about this... More power....
3/31/2017 3:35 AM
These standards refer to motors running slowly or faster depending on the appliance and in what country it is working.
I have a question: referring to electronic products ( without motors ) what will be the affect on the lower frequency ? For instance a radio CD player that requires 110 v @ 60 Hz running on the step down transformer 220 --> 110 @ 50 Hz.
Will it work properly?
3/31/2017 12:37 AM
Is there any long terms problem to run on 12KVA UV Ballast System on 200V 3phase 50Hz? The Ballast System specification is 200V 3phase 60Hz from Japan. Thanks
3/13/2017 4:18 AM
is the three phase system more balanced with 60 hz frequency /
2/27/2017 10:45 AM
I think your explanation is tooo good....
1/30/2017 7:34 AM
Can we run the 4000 KVA YNyn-0 Transformer without connection of H.T Side Neutral Point with earth. Note YNyn-0 type transformer have both Y-Connection for by-directional operation. pls. help
1/20/2017 5:19 AM
what is different between 50Hz,230v and 60Hz,110v.why voltage of 60Hz is very less require compare to 50Hz?
1/14/2017 2:47 PM
Hi dear friend
if for example we need 440 volt 3 phases 60 HZ,
but in our system use 400 volt 3 phases 50 Hz, we reducer the RPM and efficiency, but how about current, it will be constant or causes to increases it?
Thanks, good lock
1/11/2017 11:26 AM
frequency i want dept answer how to work frequency
12/20/2016 12:14 PM
can i use 50hz current transformer with 50hz over current relay on 60hz system ?
12/19/2016 6:06 PM
i have a 60hz motor that runs on 460v, and a 50hz motor that runs on 380v. the question i have is why does the 60hz motor run slower the the 50hz?
12/17/2016 12:10 PM
I have a coil that the specs say 110 volt 28VA @ 50HZ.  That converts to about .254 amps, times 135%, means I need to use .400 fuse. Should the fuse size be adjusted when 60HZ power is used?
12/16/2016 5:34 PM
thanks for you
12/15/2016 3:28 AM
Thank to the impormation
12/13/2016 9:51 PM
Thanks..for this information..best wishs....abou ammar..sudan..khartoum..00249917246647
12/12/2016 10:02 PM
What is advantage and disadvantage of 50hz over a 60 hz
12/10/2016 3:22 PM
blower 550 watt 5 amp 50 hz

12/8/2016 8:00 PM
will a 50 Hz charger work on our 220v 60 Hz power?
12/6/2016 6:58 PM
Would a 60hz  be good enough to run as a back up for a acreage.
Please send a response to gwkennel@gmail.com
Thank you for your time.
11/29/2016 12:04 PM
why its called 50 Hz .
11/25/2016 1:25 AM
I work in US manufacturing. Some of our equipment is sourced from Europe. The electrical panels in some are marked 380v/50hz, 460v/60hz. They will run on either (both being 3 phase supply). As noted, the motor speeds will vary depending on frequency.
11/19/2016 9:43 PM
50Hz systems require more iron in their transformer cores than 60Hz systems do. However, 50Hz systems have less capacitance in their transmission lines than 60Hz systems do, so they can be slightly longer in distance without suffering losses.
11/16/2016 3:09 AM
With all being said, will 240v 60 hertz electric stove from the US work in the U.K. with 240v 50 heartz power?
11/13/2016 2:42 PM
Thanks a lot for information . I have pasta maker it is 50HZ but my transformer is 60HZ, Do you think I can use with it or not ? Thanks
11/9/2016 9:22 AM
In reaction to Guest 9/15/2016 5:44 pm :
60 Hz systems do NOT transport 20 % more energy in the same time period.
Basically, the frequency (Hz) has nothing to do with power (W) nor energy (J).
Power P = U * I * cos phi, in which cos phi depends on the apparatus (e.g. a classic light bulb or a classic electric stove have cos phi = 1 (approx.)
10/19/2016 4:34 PM
effect of light due to 60hz and 50hz
10/18/2016 10:28 PM
Thanks a lot for your information
10/5/2016 9:19 AM
Depending on the type of machine, you may also run into mechanical harmonic resonance problems with various rotating parts. In my humble opinion, you need to contact the original manufacturer and see if they can provide guidance. Your other option ($$$$$) would be some form of 50/60Hz frequency converter.

If your machines are generation systems (not motors or similar), you will probably have many more problems, as generation facilities are specifically designed for operation in a very narrow range of speed (aka frequency) typically +/- 5%. Gas turbine and steam turbines are very sensitive to off frequency operation, lifetime can be measured in minutes under these conditions.
10/5/2016 9:11 AM
We have imported machines which are designed at 60 Hz frequency but in our country we use 50 Hz so what are the effects on machine parts if we use it at 50 Hz.
9/15/2016 5:44 PM
60Hz systems transport 20% more energy than 50Hz within the same time period.
9/5/2016 3:12 AM
Thanks. Well explained