Power converters for Taiwan

What is a power converter?

Power converters allow travellers to use a 220-240 volt electrical device with a 110 volt Taiwanese power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for Taiwan?

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet in Taiwan, but an expensive and bulkier power converter [3] converts the voltage of 110 volts from a Taiwanese power outlet to work with a non-110 volt device.

Do I need a power converter for Taiwan?

When visiting Taiwan from another region ensure that your device will accept a 110 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step up power converter [4] if you are travelling from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your device or appliance is incompatible with 110 volts. Read the WikiConnections list of world power outlets guide to see which voltage is used in your country.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already use either a single voltage appliance that works with 110 volts or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Electrical devices which originate from a different country which use a higher voltage such as 240 volts and used with 110 volts sometimes take longer to charge or simply won't turn on. If your device charges slowly or does not power up when you are travelling to Taiwan from a different region then check that it can be used with a 110 volt Taiwanese power outlet otherwise you will need to bring a step up power converter [4].
  • You don't need a power converter if you need to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet as these are normally support dual voltage and designed for international use, but please always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • If powering appliances which draw more power or generate heat (such as hair straighteners or clothes irons) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [5].
  • It could be more cost effective to use a smaller robust dual voltage travel appliance than trying to bring a heavier high wattage power converter in order to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read these travel guides on travelling with curling irons, clothes irons, hair straighteners and hair dryers in Taiwanese power outlets which includes guides on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

What converter do I need for Taiwan?

In order to use any 220, 230 or 240 volt appliance with a 110 volt Taiwanese power outlet you will need to buy a step up power converter [4].

What voltage does Taiwan use?

Taiwan uses 110 volts in their standard power outlets.

How to convert 110 volts to 220 volts

  1. Use a step up power converter [4] to allow you to use 220, 230 and 240 volt appliances with a 110 volt Taiwanese power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Taiwan before plugging that into a Taiwanese power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage from 220-240v.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 220-240 volt appliance can now be used with a 110 volt Taiwanese power outlet.
What is the difference between a converter and a power transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a converter and a power transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.
What voltage is my device?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

What voltage is my device?

The best way to see if your appliance is dual voltage is to check for numbers printed on the existing power adapter, or on the unit itself, normally on the rear of the unit or near to where the power cord plugs into. This location will depend on the make or model of your appliance and could also be written in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might say a specific number - such as 240V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will typically say a large range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwan - Taiwan Wikipedia page.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, costing £100-£110.
  4. Step up power converter - A step up power converter allows a 220-240 volt appliance to be used in a 100-120 volt power outlet, £80-£90.
  5. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors, £100-£110.