What is the Difference Between 60 Hz and 50 Hz Frequency?

What is the Difference Between 60 Hz and 50 Hz Frequency?

The world most commonly uses two frequencies for power: 50 Hz and 60 Hz. While aircraft, military equipment, and submarines use 400 Hz, all 40 countries use either 60 Hz or 50 Hz frequencies for standard power and everyday use. Let’s learn a little more about the difference between 60 Hz and 50 Hz frequency:


The different power frequencies that you use affect overall efficiency. When you need to switch between different frequencies, it can be difficult to achieve the most efficiency possible—not to mention that it can involve costly help. This is why frequency converters are a reliable, commonly used piece of machinery. Their ability to convert frequency powers provides versatility and overall power efficiency. But between 50 Hz and 60 Hz themselves, it depends on the application and energy capacity of the application use.

Geographical Location

One of the fundamental differences between 60 Hz and 50 Hz frequencies is which countries utilize which systems. Typically, North America uses 60 Hz motors, and much of Europe uses 50 Hz. Many countries once used one over the other but converted over time. For example, Mexico used 50 Hz up until the 1970s, when the country converted to the 60 Hz system.

One of the most interesting countries regarding these differences is Japan, which frequently uses both. The western part of the country, starting with Kyoto, uses 60 Hz, and Tokyo eastward uses a 50 Hz frequency.

Operating Speed

60 Hz is 20 percent higher in frequency than 50 Hz, which is the biggest difference between the two. Different sizes of frequency converters may affect overall performance. When machinery, such as generators or induction motor pumps, uses lower frequency, it prevents iron loss. Iron loss refers to useless energy used, or unnecessary energy. The goal is to avoid creating iron loss, as it wastes energy, machinery life, and money. It’s no secret that the higher the frequency, the more output and speed there is for generators and induction motors. Centrifugal forces are, overall, 20 percent higher for 60 Hz.

Is 60Hz Better Than 50Hz?

The answer to this question is that it depends. One frequency power is not innately better than the other. The main concern is that there are two different power frequency standards in the first place, which is a foundation for frequency converter basics. This means that systems and applications can run on either frequency. However, that means you will need a frequency converter. So although there are differences between 60 Hz and 50 Hz frequencies, you can use both, and both yield strong results thanks to frequency converters.


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