Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Netherlands Antilles
The Netherlands Antilles is also known as Dutch Antilles and is located in the Caribbean and is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. If a tourist would want to visit Netherlands Antilles, it is important the he or she knows the things that are needed to be brought and what to expect in the said country like standard voltage and primary types of electrical outlet and plug for the usage of electronic gadgets and appliances.
In Netherlands Antilles, the standard voltage used by the electronic gadgets and appliances is 220-240 volts with a frequency of 50 Hz. Howeverm there is the exception of St. Martin (120 volts, 60 Hz) and Saba & St. Eustatius (110 volts, 60 Hz). For the primary types of electrical outlet in Netherlands Antilles, it is Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American, Type B NEMA 5-15 North American, and Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko.
In addition to the information about standard voltage and primary types of electrical outlet and plug, knowing what kinds of adapters and voltage converters to bring to Netherlands Antilles will also be handy. Adapters are used when the shape of the plug is not physically compatible with the shape of the electrical outlet while voltage converters, on the other hand, is used when the voltages of the electronic gadget and appliance does not match the voltage of the electrical outlet in Netherlands Antilles.
Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American (Non-grounded and Non-polarized) Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The NEMA 1-15 is mostly found in North America and in the east coast of South America as well as in other countries like Netherlands Antilles. This is used for smaller devices that do not really need a ground connection. Also, the NEMA 1-15 is a flat blade attachment plug that uses two flat parallel pins or blades. Older designs allow the blades to be inserted either way; however, contemporary NEMA 1-15 plugs in Netherlands Antilles are designed with the neutral blade wider than the live blade allowing just one way of plugging and ensuring that the polarized plug is inserted appropriately into the electrical outlet. The NEMA 1-15 is also known as the Type A North American/Japanese 2-blade Electrical adapter plug and electrical outlet. It also has the technical name North American 15 A/125 V ungrounded. The new design of NEMA 1-15 changed so much that it will not fit in the old type of NEMA 1-15 electrical outlet in Netherlands Antilles.
With the NEMA 1-15 adapter, the receptacle end will accept any standard household plug in Netherlands Antilles, aside from the Type M South African SABS1661 plug, which is also known as the Old British BS-546 Large plug. The blades of this adapter are 6.4mm long, 1.5mm thick, and are spaced 12.7mm apart. The NEMA 1-15 plug is also non-polarized and non-grounded which is very important. Although the NEMA 1-15 looks similar to the plugs of the U.S. and Canada and the appliance and electronic gadgets might be manufactured in the said countries, an adapter might still be needed because of the grounding and polarization requirements in Netherlands Antilles.
In the NEMA 1-15 plug and electrical outlet, grounding is done by the third, round pin located beneath the two vertical blades on the plug. On the other hand, polarization is done by the left vertical blade being taller than the right one. If the plug does have grounding or polarization and the electrical socket does not have one, it would be physically impossible to insert the plug into the electrical socket in Netherlands Antilles. If this happens to a tourist in Netherlands Antilles and there is also no adapter present, that person might not be able to use his or her electronic gadgets and appliances. There is also another electrical outlet that is commonly used in Japan, the JIS X 8303 Class II (Japanese 15 A/100 V ungrounded) which is similar to the NEMA 1-15, the only difference from Netherlands Antilles is the stricter dimensional requirements for the plug housing, marking, and mandatory testing and approval.
Type B NEMA 5-15 (North American Grounded) Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The Type B NEMA 5-15 is often used in North and Central America as well as Japan, and it is also what is used in Netherlands Antilles. Also, the Type B NEMA 5-15 is a class I plug that has two flat parallel prongs and a grounding pin, rated at 15 amps. The Type B NEMA 5-15 has blade contacts 6.4mm tall, 15mm thick, and are spaced 12.7mm apart. The grounding pin, on the other hand, is 4.8mm in diameter.
The Type B NEMA 5-15 is also compatible with any standard household plug in Netherlands Antilles, except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. Although the Type B NEMA 5-15 is grounded, it is not polarized. In Japan, this kind of plug and electrical outlet is the standard. Similar to Type A NEMA 1-15 plugs, the NEMA 5-15 is also one of the most dangerous plugs in Netherlands Antilles and even in the world because the prongs are not insulated. The black covering that is supposed to cover the plug body is lacking hence if the plug is pulled halfway and the prongs are still inserted in the electrical outlet, there might be some accidents in Netherlands Antilles like electrocution or a minor electrical shock.
Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko Electrical Adapter Plug and Electrical Outlet
Commonly known as the Schuko plug, the Type F CEE 7/5 plug and electrical outlet was derived from the German word “Schukostecker” which means “protective contact plug.” This electrical outlet in Netherlands Antilles is also similar to the Type E with the difference being its two earth clips on the side instead of the female earth contact. The Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko is used for the “Type F” CEE 7/4 Schuko style electrical socket of Germany or to a “Type E” CEE 7/5 socket of France. The receptacle end of Type F CEE 7/7 Schuko is compatible with most sockets except the “Type M” South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546) plug and the non-grounded CEE 7/16 Europlug Socket because of its 4.0mm pin receptacles that are too small for the 4.8mm pins of the Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko. This Schuko plug and receptacle in Netherlands Antilles also has side grounding contacts which allow symmetrical connection system for live and neutral to be reversed.
Most European countries including Netherlands Antilles use the Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko except Denmark, Italy, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus that have their own standard electrical outlet. On the other hand, the plug end of Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko is compatible with the variations of the Schuko electrical outlet for France and Germany. The pins of this adapter in Netherlands Antilles are 4.8mm in diameter, 19mm long, and spaced 19mm apart. They have both side-grounding clips and a receptacle for the male grounding pin which is found in French Schuko sockets. If the appliance or electronic gadget to be used in Netherlands Antilles is already a Schuko, there is no need to use the Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko adapter for the electrical outlet. The Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko is the standard in countries that are part of the European Union like Spain as well as those which adhere to CENELEC (Comité Européen de Normalisation Electrotechnique) standards.
Voltage Converters and Adapters
These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if a tourist would plan a trip to Netherlands Antilles and intends to bring along some gadgets that require a particular voltage. There are certain adapters that would fit particular plugs and these could be bought in hardware stores or electrical outlets in Netherlands Antilles or before heading there. If a tourist wants to use his or her gadget in Netherlands Antilles, the best way is by using voltage converters such as the resistor-network converters, transformers, and in some cases the combination of both.
Most appliances and electronic gadgets made in the United States of America (USA) have a voltage of 110-120 and using it directly on a 220-240 electrical outlet in Netherlands Antilles would cause damage to the appliance or electronic gadget, to the extent that it might be totally fried out or might even cause a fire. If a tourist would want to use a laptop computer or charge batteries for camera, mp3 players, camcorders, and radios in Netherlands Antilles, the ideal voltage converter is a transformer which lowers maximum watt rating. It could be used for long periods of time but is a little bit heavy because of the large iron rods and copper wires. There is a switch that enables the changing of modes from resistor-network converter to transformer, depending on the tourist’s needs in Netherlands Antilles.
The resistor-network converters to be used in Netherlands Antilles are usually advertised to support as much as 50-1600 Watts and are just ideal to use for short periods of time. The resistor-network converter is also not recommended for digital devices like laptop computers however it is great for lightweight electronics like hair dryers and irons. The last kind of voltage converter for electronic gadgets and appliances that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Netherlands Antilles is the combination of resistor-network converters. These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if a tourist plans a trip to Netherlands Antilles and intends to bring along some gadgets that require a particular voltage. Moreover, there are certain adapters that would fit particular plugs and these could be bought in hardware stores or electronic shops in Netherlands Antilles or before heading there.
There are also universal adapters that could be used with any type of plug and electrical outlet, may it be in Netherlands Antilles or another country. Some of the commonly brought electronic gadgets while travelling in Netherlands Antillesand other countries are laptop computers, mp3 players, radios, hair curlers, hair irons, cameras, and mobile phones.