The ACUPWR Papers

Which Voltage Transformer/Converter Do I Need?

It's not uncommon for travelers and expats to bring electronics and appliances with them when they travel or move overseas. Still, it's not as easy as packing these items up and sending them across the pond; there's a dilemma involved--one that keeps ACUPWR in business. Simply, we solve international voltage differences with our voltage transformers/converters so a 120-volt microwave oven  can work safely in a country that uses a 220-240 volt standard. 


ACUPWR's line of voltage transformers/converters are available in different wattage sizes, from 100 watts to 2500 watts, and they'll accommodate the wattage consumption of most consumer appliances and electronics. Still, consumers aren't experts about things like wattage and voltage, nor should they be. 


Toward that end we've provided some charts below to help determine the wattage of your appliance (or appliances) and hence the wattage requirement for your ACUPWR transformer. If you are moving with more than one appliance and using a single ACUPWR transformer with all of them, you need to calculate the total running (continuous) wattage for those items if they are to be operating concurrently.

[Note that if you will be using a global surge protector, it should be the ACUPWR AS6WWK model; using another manufacturer's surge protector will void our warranty.]


Another great resource is the website, which allows users to enter a product specifically by manufacturer and model number. 


PDF version:


Here are some tips for using these charts. 

Step One: 
Make sure your appliance is single voltage. Dual voltage devices simply require a plug adapter to work overseas.

Step Two: 
Determine the wattage of your device. In order to do this, simply look for the “W” on the label in order to find what transformer you need. If the device is 300 Watts then buy a transformer that is 300 Watts. Other companies state that the voltage transformer's maximum power should be equal or greater than the power rating of your appliance multiplied by 2. 
For example, they claim that if you have an appliance rated at 100 watts, you should pick a transformer with a maximum power of 200 watts or greater. That is completely unnecessary. A well-built, reliable transformer should not need twice the wattage capacity of your appliance.

ACUPWR transformers are safe for continuous use at 120% of the stated wattage so you do not need to buy a higher wattage than what you need. 

Step Three: 
In the USA and Canada (and many Caribbean islands), the voltage standard is 110-120 volts. If you’re traveling to another part of the world where the voltage is 220-240 volts—actually the norm in most countries—and you plan on taking your American or Canadian appliances (that run on 110-120 volts), you will need a step down voltage transformer that converts voltage from 220-240 down to 110-120.

Conversely, taking appliances that run on 220-110 volts to the USA or Canada requires a step up transformer that will convert voltage from 110-120 up to 220-240.

It’s important to remember that although the world runs primarily on 220-240 volts and North America uses 110-120, other voltage standards exist. Japan uses 100 volts, for example, while Mexico, Brazil, Suriname, and Curacao use 127-130 volts.

Here’s a complete list of countries and their voltage standards, as well as plug types:

ACUPWR makes step-up and step-down voltage transformers/converters for use in every country. We also make our step-down ADC and step-up AUC series for use with refrigerators, freezers, and wine coolers. These models convert voltage--from 220-240 down to 110-120 and 50 Hz up to 60 Hz (ADC models) and from 110-120 up to 220-240 60 Hz to 50 Hz (AUC)—allowing you to use your ‘fridge in all parts of the world. 

ACUPWR’s voltage transformer/converter models consist of the following:

If you don’t see the particular model you need, we can personally help you in your search and also make a customized voltage transformer specifically for your needs. Call us at 888-600-9770 (within the Continental USA, 9am-11pm Eastern Standard Time) or 414-255-8462 (International, 9am to 5pm Central Standard Time), Live chat with us on this website 24/7, or email us at

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