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View Full Version : Kerzap! whats up with electricity?


Octelophant
25th December 2008, 09:37 PM
So, I have heard that yeah, I need a wall outlet converter AND a voltage converter to use on chargers, etc etc, otherwise that shit will get blown up or fried, mangled, whatever. But I have been hearing that "availability" of electricity may depend on season? as well that it sometimes "surges".

The point is, whats the deal with electricity, I know its not everywhere, but the big treks got outlets in most lodges? and can anyone confirm/strip down these rumors of surges, power coming in and out, not there at all?

any info would be great,
-Octelophant

Spaceman347
26th December 2008, 03:47 AM
Plug Adapter
In most places in Nepal you can use these plugs;

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3117/3136671550_e6e1751652_o.jpg

Although in KTM itself you may also find these types out outlets to be available;

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3261/3136671702_cc017517b8_o.jpg

If you stick with the first kind (2 pin) you will be fine almost everywhere.

Voltage Converter
This depends entirely on what you ar trying to plug in. Nepal runs 230V/50MHz system. All of your electrical equipment, chargers etc will have a label on it telling you the configuration. For example the battery charger for my camera states; INPUT: 100V - 240V AC50/60MHz which indicates that it is auto switching and use anything within that range so that would work fine.

If your electrical device is labelled 110V/60MHz only then you would need some sort of transformer to adapter the power. Otherwise things will go BANG!

Surges
Electrical surges are a possibility anywhere, possibly more so in Nepal I guess but I don't think most people let it bother them. Unless you are planning to take an expensive laptop or something I wouldn't worry. If you have a small inline surge arrestor then it wouldn't hurt to throw it in but it's more "stuff" to manage.

Availability
There is simply not enough electricity in Nepal to go around with the developing nation so regular power outages for up to a couple of hours at a time are a very common occurrence in the cities. Not such a problem on trek as they all use "locally" generated power as there is no National grid as such. There was a proposal for a major hydro project to supply significant amount of power but it did not go ahead for many reasons, interesting background reading is the pdf file attached to this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arun_III) link

There is electricity available for charging batteries etc on all of the major treks. In the Khumbu they will charge you money (100 - 200rs) to charge your batteries above Namche but apparently this is not a common practice on the AC.

Spaceman347
26th December 2008, 03:50 AM
Escher: There isn't a straight out power section in the FAQ, worth adding one?

Petrus
26th December 2008, 08:58 PM
Some of you might need adapters to be able to stick the plug into the wall, but FORGET converters. Almost all new appliances have multivoltage rechargers. If yours does not, it would be wiser to buy one than a clumsy voltage converter.

yakshaver
27th December 2008, 08:00 AM
I don't think you can realistically count on electricity anywhere above 3500m altitude. Like once you go past Namche, or Manang etc. There may be some place to charge up every now and then, but do not bank on that.

For the last few days of my Gokyo trek, or when crossing Thorung La, I always make sure I have two full sets of batteries for my camera and video, to last me 4-5 days. That's about all you can do, unless you decide to take some of the (really silly looking) solar panels.

Buy an extra set of batteries for your camera.

Petrus
27th December 2008, 12:55 PM
More and bigger batteries are often cheaper and lighter than solar chargers, and always easier. I have managed a 4 week stint without recharging, had 3 biggest videocam batteries I could find. Did not review, did not use LCD panel etc. one battery was good for 4 hours of tape.

In Nepal you rarely are away from outlets for more than 4 days or so, not a problem with two batteries for modern digicams. On AC some years ago I had 3 batteries for my Canon G7, but changed battery only once while on trek, took some 600 pictures. The only place where I recharged was Ghyaru.

Oli
31st December 2008, 12:51 PM
Sometimes the electricity in the mountain villages is more consistent than in the cities. Kathmandu and Pokhara are subject to a "load shedding" reigime - ie all electicity supplies are disabled, for 12 hours per day. NO ELECTRICITY unless run from portable generators. :(

Edit: as of now (late Dec'08 / early Jan'09) this is the schedule for planned power outages in Kathmandu & Pokhara

Su, Mo, Tu = 0800-1400 & 2000-0200
We, Th, Fr = 0400-0800 & 1400-2000
Sat = 0400-1000 & 1700-2300

The widespread use of mini generators does not help with the poor air quality in the Valley :(

Grummy
22nd January 2009, 01:27 PM
Just back from Nepal, load shedding is currently at 16 hours a day & I heard that this was going to be increased to 18 hours a day.

As Oli has pointed out above, the usual times for power were 4 hours in the morning (0400-0800) & 4 hours in the afternoon (1600-2000). Just ask your accommodation & they will be able to provide load shedding hours.

daveinjakarta
22nd January 2009, 02:06 PM
good idea is to get a light bulb insert that then has the two prong thingo you can stick your charger into...No outlets in the rooms but always have the lights.
Check the voltage on the light bulb to make sure 220 or 110 and not 12v DC.
I think most lodges are running Dc from batteries into 220V inverters to power the lodges at night

Grummy
22nd January 2009, 05:58 PM
One more thing to add here re: camera batteries.

Not sure what batteries your camera takes, but mine uses 4 AA's (its an Olympus SP560, not SLR but close enough to). I've read posts on here that you need to keep your batteries warm in the cold for longer life so I packed 2 extra sets just to be sure. Not rechargable, but Energizer Lithium batteries. I never slept with the batteries & never kept them warm & we had temps down as low as -17 degrees celcius in our room at night.
Well I would like to say that I'm still using the same set of batteries I left Australia with in my camera & I took around 300 photos in Nepal & another 100 or so in Thailand on the way home. This is on top of the 100+ photos I had taken using the batteries at home. In the past these batteries have been good for around 600 photos.

I guess my point is that if your after good batteries that last well in the cold, then have a look at these, Energizer Lithium.

Petrus
23rd January 2009, 03:17 AM
Amen!

I used those same lithiums for 5 weeks with 8 LED Petzl Duo headlamp, and while the halogen bulb barely showed the filament in the end the LEDs shone on! And that from just one set!

Besides those Energizer lithiums are 40% lighter.

Too bad most modern LED headlamps can not take lithiums, too much current or something. Petzl has a list about which models can use lithiums on their pages. Nothing to do with cameras, though.

Humid Northerlies
16th September 2009, 03:33 PM
Here's a dumb question...are the plugs the same as Europe?

yakshaver
17th September 2009, 02:05 PM
Here's a dumb question...are the plugs the same as Europe?

Yes. Two pin, like Europe. I assume we still talk about Nepal.