[quote=“dudzaar02”]i am now considering what to ship to Taipei and what not before my relocation.
many of my electric machins are 220V. i figure they wont fit taipei’s 110V. would you advice me to leave al of it behind and buy/rent new stuff? what is this transformator solution?
it all depends on the kind of electrics you have there and how you can connect them in Taiwan. If all you have is a 110V supply, then some will be OK just as they are, others will require a small transformer, yet others will work with a rectifier, and then there are some that are best left at home since they would require a large transformer or can’t be used even with a transformer. For that case (110V only) , let me make you a list:
Items that work as they are: most modern computers, radios, TVs, plug-in adapters, shavers, small battery chargers (for phones, cameras, walkmans, etc.) - confirmation is easy: if the item has written or stamped somewhere something along the lines of “AC 100-240V 50-60Hz” it will be OK; or if the item has a switch with two settings, 100/110 and 220/240, it will be OK as long as you select the correct switch position. (^^)
Items that require a small transformer (not very expensive; available at many travel goods stores and online): computers, radios, TVs, plug-in adapters, shavers, battery chargers, small fluorescent lights, that have written or stamped on them something like “AC 220-240 V 50-60Hz” or “AC 220V 60Hz” or “AC 240V 60Hz” and a power rating of less than 50W (or 100W). Most travel transformers are rated for 50W and not very expensive (maybe around 25 Euros/US$), some are rated for 100W and just a bit more expensive. There are also some combinations of rectifiers and small transformer with a high-power setting (=rectifier) and a low-power setting (=transformer, often no more than 25 Watts).
Items that require a large transformer (prices and weights go up with power rating: a few hundred US$/Euro and well over 10 kilograms for a 1500Watt transformer; available from electric supply stores and online): some items in this list are heaters, refrigerators, hair dryers, irons, large fluorescent lights, floodlights, large battery chargers (for cars, trucks, boats), machine tools, washing machines, small clothes dryers (one-phase), small ovens (one-phase), small stoves (one plate), toasters, microwaves ovens, vacuum cleaners, etc., that have written or stamped on them something like “AC 220-240 V 50-60Hz” or “AC 220V 60Hz” or “AC 240V 60Hz” and a power rating large enough to exceed the limits of a small transformer - the maximum power rating for such household electrics in the US is usually 1500Watt, in some other countries it can be 2000Watt. One note of caution: if you want to use any device that has a motor (for example, a washing machine or a lathe) or a compressor (for example, a refrigerator) and is rated for, say, 1000 Watts, you should get a transformer rated for at least 50% more than that. By the way, a properly built transformer can be used “step-down” (from 220V to 110V), or “step-up” (from 110V to 220V), the problem being, however, that many transformers for sale have already plugs, cables, and outlets installed that limit them to one kind of use.
Items that can be used with a rectifier (often misleadingly called “converter”, not heavy, not expensive): some heaters, some incandescent lights, some hairdryers, some irons - but rectifiers can “kill” appliances that are not suitable, so you should get an expert opinion on any of those devices that you want to use with a rectifier.
Items that people other than electricians, electronics specialists, engineers, or other specialists are better off leaving at home include appliances that are rated beyond 2000Watts or require a 3-phase power supply (among them kilns, heavy-duty planers, lathes, industrial size appliances, etc.).
There are, of course, also various safety issues to consider (for example, there are insulating and non-insulating transformers, the latter less expensive but more dangerous), and in many cases (especially in those cases where people don’t understand what i have explained above!) it is better (safer, and at the end likely cheaper) to bring along only electrics that belong into group 1 and otherwise use electrics designed for the place where one is going to live.
If you have a 220V supply and aren’t thinking of using heavy equipment (group 5), then all you need to be concerned about is the current or power rating and getting the right connectors.
But if in doubt, play it safe!