The variations around the world in the standards for electricity voltage and frequency find their origins in the days of Tesla and Edison in the late 1800s. With that kind of history behind it, it shouldn’t be surprising that these differences are by now ingrained and not likely to go away anytime soon. And that could be a problem if you ever find yourself abroad in need of a power charge.
Below you’ll find listings for the standards of dozens of countries around the world as it concerns:
- single-phase voltage (e.g. in homes and hotels)
- three-phase voltage (heavy-duty/industrial settings)
- frequency (in Hertz)
- the number of wires for each given voltage (not including ground)*
- plug type (aka the type of converter needed to use an outlet in a given country)*
For example, the U.S. and Canada standards are 60Hz and 120 / 240V single-phase in homes and 277 / 480V three-phase in commercial or industrial buildings with large loads. However, most countries use 50Hz, such as Australia, China, and Germany.
*Note that the number of wires and plugs shown in the chart are only a general reference, as these may change over time from country to country.
Download global voltage and frequency PDF
Search By Country