‘3 phase power’ is likely not a familiar term to the layperson. For the most part, electricity in the home or office is often seen as one and the same. So long as an electricity-based device operates when plugged in & works when needed, there is no real thought to what might be allowing this to happen.
But for a rather large swath of the population, it is of consequence to understand what 3 phase power is when compared to its single phase counterpart. The nuts and bolts of 3 phase power break down as such:
- single phase current rises and falls as it moves, resulting in peaks & valleys that signify desired power being at its optimum point as well as its lowest
- 3 phase power is composed of three of these single-phase currents operating at once
- each current moves in the same peaks & valleys, but they do so at different times. Wavelengths between these (3) currents are closer together, resulting in less dramatic dips
As a result, the power generated in a 3 phase system is more consistent. The biggest advantage of consistent power is improved performance. When something runs on electricity, the goal of its construction is to maximize the power being fed into it. While single phase power can do the job (and for certain applications, it is ideal), its lower efficiency may not be best option. Homes are generally operate off of single phase power. Commercial buildings, especially those using high-energy draw machinery, benefit more from 3 phase power for one reason — less wear & tear on physical capital means having to repair/replace it less.
There are parts of the world where 3 phase power is part of everyday life. It would stand to reason that some consumers in the private sector would want to convert their single phase power into what feels like a more advantageous 3 phase system.
In recent years, homeowners have built sizable workshops in garages or invested in electric vehicles. Also, the physical size of homes has grown all while being fitted with more powerful, high-energy use appliances. Trying to run these appliances & machinery can theoretically increase the incidence of circuits being tripped during operation. However, it is important to remember one very important thing — homes are efficient systems that work very well off of single phase power.
To this point, some of the more specific applications of 3 phase power include:
- Mobile Towers
- Data Centers
- Aircraft (commercial & military)
- Power Grids
- On the Frontlines
- Heavy Machinery
3 phase power is an efficient source of power & quite advantageous for commercial/industrial applications. Its efficiency lies in the consistent manner with which it provides power to a source. Because there are fewer lulls in the power being provided, tools/machinery run more smoothly. This, in turn, leads to much less wear and tear on what are usually the most expensive items in a commercial/industrial operation. It also means lower utility expenses.
Only a professional can give you a proper breakdown of: 1) one’s current power situation consists of; 2) the pros and cons of alternative systems, including that of 3 phase power; and 3) what restrictions may be in place that ultimately supersede prospective changes. An electrical contractor who specializes in identifying & converting single phase power to 3 phase would be a solid start. But working with a civil construction firm that understands 3 phase across industries and application would be the ideal step to take.
To learn more about 3 phase power and what it can mean for your specific application, click here to connect with our experts today.