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Why do different countries use different power adapters?

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Have you ever noticed that those power adapters that come with your electronic devices are branded with specific letters? For example, CE meaning European Conformity. It means that those devices will adapt to the electronic specifications of the country.

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Different countries have different voltage, electrical frequency, or maximum intensity supported by the outlet depending on the country. This configuration also affects the products. For example, in Europe cables that support 220 and 240 volts are used, while in the US They are based on 100 and 125 volts.

However, in many countries, more than one type of outlet is used. Fortunately, many electronic products come with specific power adapters for the most extended regions. Generally, it is estimated that there are over fourteen different models of adapters made for different countries.

That is why it is advisable to take these parameters into account because the products can be damaged if they receive an intensity of electricity greater than that allowed by the manufacturer. Otherwise it is important to use a voltage converter to adapt to the required power. But you also have to take into account the design of the electrical outlet used in different countries.

They are classified according to the groups established by the International Electrotechnical Commission created in 1906 and which is responsible for publishing the relevant international standards for all electrical, electronic and other related technologies, although for now it has not reached a consensus. For example, in most parts of Europe, those of type C are used, which are two circular pins located in parallel with specific voltage and current readings. While in the United Kingdom and Ireland there are slight changes. This region adopts the type G, with three flat pins. 

You need to be careful the next time you go out to purchase a power adapter for your mobile devices. You need to confirm the electronic properties to ensure they are compatible with your country’s specifications. 

Why the variation in power adaptors for different countries?

What could be a standard in a certain country may not be the case in another. This is simply due to the differences in the amount of voltage transmitted from their mains source, and to the outlets from the transformers. The amount of volts and current reaching different homes in a specific country may be different from another country. The voltage in parts of Africa are quite different from parts of Europe and America. 

This is also the case with their adapter plugs which are grouped into types. In some countries, type B plugs are used, which consist of two flat parallel pins with a round one. On the other hand, in India, Sri Lanka or Nepal there are those of type D, which have a triangular drawing composed of three round pins.

Different manufacturers of domestic electronic products and the administrations of each region opted for their own type of power adapters due to the specifications in their power supply.

To date, there is no protocol that requires a unique and universal model. Contrary to what happens more or less in mobile device chargers (the USB-C port begins to spread), there has always been significant deviations in power outlets.


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