# Welcome To The 3 Phase Power Resource Site 3 Phase Electrical Power

The 3 Phase Power Resource Site is a not-for-profit organization which helps individuals and businesses answer questions and give resources about where, how and why "3 phase" power is used. For information on 3 phase wiring, mathematics and power calculation, principles of three phase power solutions see the links to the left and 3 phase power notes and articles below. 3 phase power is a common form of electrical power and a popular method of electric power transmission. This is due to its inherent benefits for high power transmission and its smooth wave form quality which allow 3 phase electrical equipment to run smoothly and last longer. There are many other benefits to 3 phase power. Three phase has properties that make it very desirable in power distribution. First, all three wires can carry the same current. Secondly, power transfer is constant into a linear and balanced load. Most domestic utility supplied power is single phase only. In most cases three phase power either is not available from a utility company to domestic houses, rural business and farms, at all, or in rare cases where it is, it is split out at the main distribution board. See 3 phase power generating phase converters for solutions to getting 3 phase power where utility companies do not offer it or where it is cost prohibitive. In these situations 1 phase power can be converted to 3 phase power with a phase converter from a company such as ACE Phase Converter or TEMCo Phase Converter. The 3 phase power generated from some of today's high quality Rotary Phase Converters is better balanced with closer voltage tolerances and a smoother wave form than utility supplied power. For this reason the 3 phase power output from these 3 phase generating converters is preferred for sensitive equipment than what is available from utility supplied 3 phase power.

3 Phase Power Wave Form
Pictured to the left is one voltage cycle of a 3 phase system. It is labeled 0 to 360° ( 2 π radians) along the time axis. The plotted lines show the variation of instantaneous voltage (or current) over time. This power wave cycle will repeat usually 50 (50Hz), 60 (60Hz), or 400 (400Hz) times per second, depending on the power system frequency (Hz). The colors of the lines are in the American Color Code for 3-phase wiring. It is black=VL1 red=VL2 blue=VL3 Three phase systems may or may not have a neutral wire. The neutral wire allows 3 phase systems to use a higher voltage while still supporting lower voltage 1 phase appliances. In high voltage 3 phase distribution situations it is common not to have a neutral wire as the loads can simply be connected between phases (phase-phase connection).

3 Phase Power Wiring Color Coding
The 3 phases are typically indicated visually in electrical diagrams by colors. The standards for these colors vary by country. See the 3 phase wiring color code table

for details. Conductors of a 3 phase system are usually marked by color code, to allow for balanced loading and to assure the correct phase rotation for 3 phase induction motors. Colors used vary widely and may adhere to old standards or to no standard at all, and sometimes vary even within an installation. However, the current National Electrical Code (2005) does not require color identification of conductors other than that of the neutral (white or white with a color stripe), the ground (green or green with a yellow stripe), or in the case of a High Leg Delta system, the High Leg must be identified with orange. Click here to read more on 3 Phase Wiring and Color Coding.

3 Phase Power Generation
There are several types of 3 phase power generators. These can vary from a utility power station, to a prime source power generator to portable diesel (and other fuels) generators, to 3 phase generators which run on 1 phase power (some models of phase converters). The most common fuel type are generally diesel generators. At a utility power station, an electrical generator converts mechanical power into a set of alternating electric currents (AC), one from each electromagnetic coil or winding of the power generator. The currents are sinusoidal functions of time, all at the same frequency but with different phases. In a three phase power system the phases are spaced equally, giving a phase separation of 120°. The frequency is typically 50 Hz in Europe and 60 Hz in the US (see List of countries with mains power plugs, voltages and frequencies). See Frequency Converters for changing 50 Hz to 60 Hz or the reverse of 60 Hz to 50 Hz frequency. (See also Motor-Generator Frequency Converters) Read more about 3 phase power generators and power generation here.

3 Phase Power Distribution and Transmission
After numerous further conversions in the transmission and distribution network the 3 phase power is finally transformed with a power transformer to the standard mains voltage (the voltage of "house" or "household" current in American English). This is done with step down 3 phase transformers. The power may already have been split into single phase at this point or it may still be three phase power. Where the stepdown is 3 phase, the output of this transformer is usually star connected with the standard mains voltage (120V in North America and 230V in Europe) being the phase-neutral voltage. Another system commonly seen in the USA is to have a delta connected secondary on the step down transformer with a center tap on one of the windings supplying the ground and neutral. This allows for 240V 3 phase as well as three different single phase voltages (120V between two of the phases and the neutral, 208V between the third phase (sometimes known as a wild leg) and neutral and 240V between any two phases) to be made available from the same supply. Click here to read more about 3 phase distribution.

3 Phase Power Calculation
There are several mathematical 3 phase power calculations that you can use to calculate your 3 phase power distribution to make sure that your wiring distributes your load evenly maintaining a balanced system. These calculations are useful for many purposes including when you have single phase equipment and 3 phase equipment running on the same power lines. Read more about 3 phase power

calculation here.

The most common class of 3 phase load is the 3 phase electric motor. A 3 phase induction motor has a simple design, inherently high starting torque, and high efficiency. Such motors are applied in industry for 3 phase pumps, fans, blowers, compressors, conveyor drives, and many other types of motor-driven equipment. A 3 phase motor is more compact and less costly than a 1-phase motor of the same voltage class and rating; also 1-phase AC motors above 10 HP (7.5 kW) are not as efficient and thus not usually manufactured. Many times a 3 phase motor may be started with a soft start drive can be used to start a motor and without as much of an inrush current, or a variable frequency drive which can vary the speed of the motor. Large air conditioning equipment (for example, most York air conditioning units above 2.5 tons (8.8 kW) cooling capacity) use 3 phase motors for reasons of economy and efficiency. There are many other common 3 phase loads such as 3 phase welders, 3 phase battery chargers, 3 phase lasers, and 3 phase computer controlled equipment, etc. When the load includes sensitive electronics such as 3 phase computer equipment often it is isolated from the power source to protect it with isolation transformers. Read more about 3 phase power loads here.

3 Phase Loads from 3 Phase Power Generated on 1 Phase Power
There are many places and instances where 1 phase power is all that is available, or where the power company wants to charge tens, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to install and supply 3 phase power. When this is the case a quality 3 phase generating phase converter can be run on 1 phase to power 3 phase equipment of any type. Click here to read more about powering 3 phase loads with 3 phase power generated from 1 phase power.

3 Phase Converters

organization run by 3 phase converter specialized electricians the have excellent insight into this technology. Their wisdom gives a great run down on how Rotary Phase Converters produce some of the most balanced 3 phase power output of all the solutions available. On their site you can read about why Static Phase Converters can be harmful to the equipment it is intended to run due to the fact that they don't actually put out a 3rd phase. Today many people and individuals sell " Build Your Own Phase Converter Plans ", but these tend to be just a potentially damaging static phase converter and an electric motor giving a time consuming inferior solution. Other companies use circuit board controlled 3 phase systems that they call Digital Phase Converters. For milling machines and other 3 phase computer controlled machinery there are CNC Phase Converters. With all these choices it is valuable to be able to use this organizations comparisons with their rating system to carefully consider your options. They even have a useful phase converter purchasing checklist page. Some engineers also appreciate recommended sources for finding highly rated phase converters that their phase converter resource page provides.

Phase and Frequency Converters
There are several instances where the equipment may need not only the phase changed from 1-phase, or the rare 2-phase (in the US this is mostly used in Chicago) to 3 phase power, but also the frequency converted from 50Hz to 60Hz or 400Hz (400Hz is mostly used in ships and aircraft). Click here to read more about 3 phase frequency converters.

1 Phase Loads on 3 Phase Power
Single-phase loads may be connected to a 3 phase system in two ways. This can be done either by connecting across two live conductors (a phase-to-phase connection), or by connecting between a phase conductor and the system neutral, which is either connected to the center of the Y (star) secondary winding of the supply transformer, or is connected to the center one winding of a delta transformer (High leg Delta system). Single-phase loads should be distributed evenly between the phases of the 3 phase system for efficient use of the supply conductors and supply transformer. Click here to read more about connecting a 1 phase load to a 3 phase power supply line.

3 Phase Wiring
3 Phase Electrical Circuit Wiring and Color Codes
The 3 phases are typically indicated visually in electrical diagrams by colors. The standards for these colors vary by country. See the 3 phase wiring color code table for details. Conductors of a 3 phase system are usually marked by color code, to allow for balanced loading and to assure the correct phase rotation for 3 phase induction motors. Colors used vary widely and may adhere to old standards or to no standard at all, and sometimes vary even within an installation. However, the current National Electrical Code (2005) does not require color identification of conductors other than that of the neutral (white or white with a color stripe), the ground (green or green with a yellow stripe), or in the case of a High Leg Delta system, the High Leg must be identified with orange. See the chart below for color coding by country.

3 Phase Power Wave Form
One voltage cycle of a three-phase system, labeled 0 to 360° ( 2 π radians) along the time axis. The plotted line represents the variation of instantaneous voltage (or current) with respect to time. This cycle will repeat 50 or 60 times per second, depending on the power system frequency. The colors of the lines represent the American color code for three-phase. That is black=VL1 red=VL2 blue=VL3 Three phase systems may or may not have a neutral wire. A neutral wire allows the three phase system to use a higher voltage while still supporting lower voltage single phase appliances. In high voltage distribution situations it is common not to have a neutral wire as the loads can simply be connected between phases (phase-phase connection).

L1 North America Black North America (newer Brown 277/480 installations) UK until April 2006 Red

L2 Red Orange Yellow Black

L3 Blue Yellow Blue Grey

Neutral Earth White White Black Blue Green Green green/yellow striped (green on very old installations) green/yellow striped green/yellow striped –

Europe (including UK) Brown from April 2004 Previous European (varies by country) Europe, for busbars

Brown or Black or black brown yellow green

Black or Blue brown purple –

* In the U.S. a green/yellow striped wire usually indicates an isolated ground.

3 Phase Power Calculation and Mathematics
3 Phase Power Calculation

Variable 3 Phase Mathematics Setup and Basic Definitions
Let

where t is time and f is frequency. Using x = ft the waveforms for the three phases are

where A is the peak voltage and the voltages on L1, L2 and L3 are measured relative to the neutral.

Generally, in electric power systems the load is distributed as evenly as practical between the phases. It is usual practice to discuss a balanced system first and then describe the effects of unbalanced systems as deviations from the elementary case. To keep the calculations simple we shall normalize A and R to 1 for the remainder of these calculations

Star Connected Systems With Neutral

3 Phase Converters
3 Phase Electrical Power Converter
Often the advantages of three-phase power for motors and other 3 phase equipment make it worthwhile to convert single-phase to three phase power. Rural business or farm properties, and urban residential area power consumers, may not have access to a 3 phase supply, or may not want to pay for the extra cost of a 3 phase service, but may still wish to use three-phase equipment. Some of such 3 phase converters may also allow the frequency (see also frequency converters) to be varied allowing for different equipment frequency requirements (50Hz, 60Hz, 400Hz, etc.) and also for motor speed control (VFDs). Some locomotives are driven by 3phase motors with 3 phase converters converted from the incoming supply of either DC or 1 phase AC. The two main types of 1 phase to 3 phase converters are Rotary Phase Converters and Static Phase Converters. Read below for more about 3 phase converters.

3 Phase Generating Phase Converter
There is a big difference between phase converter types available on the market today. Most 3 phase converters sold by companies today do not produce actual balanced 3 phase power. This is why is very important to select a 3 phase generating phase converter which will run on single phase power and generate true balanced smooth 3 phase power. Below is a comparison of several technologies available today.

3 Phase Converter Types and Comparison
Good old fashioned research will help guide you to make sure that you are able to get the proper product to give you balanced 3 phase power. The US Phase Converter Standards Organization has some excellent guides to help choose the appropriate technology for your need comparing them side by side. Check out their Phase Converter Type Comparison Chart to read about the strengths and weaknesses of each type side by side with their ratings on quality, durability, safety, and 3 phase power quality produced. They also offer a useful 3 Phase Converter Resources page.

Rotary Phase Converters
The most common type of phase converter is the Rotary Phase Converter. Not all Rotary Phase Converters are the same. Many just convert single phase power into unbalanced 3 phase power, while the best kind that we were able to find will actually generate true balanced 3 phase power. This is the best kind to use. There were only a few companies who manufacture this type with the most notable brand being TEMCo Phase Converters. A few other companies called this type of 3 phase generating rotary phase converter a motor generator set.

Static Phase Converters
The next most common type of phase converter is called a Static Phase Converter. These can only be used on 3 phase motor loads. These units only generate a 3rd leg of power during start up but then turn off leaving motors to run

3 Phase Converters
3 Phase Electrical Power Converter
Often the advantages of three-phase power for motors and other 3 phase equipment make it worthwhile to convert single-phase to three phase power. Rural business or farm properties, and urban residential area power consumers, may not have access to a 3 phase supply, or may not want to pay for the extra cost of a 3 phase service, but may still wish to use three-phase equipment. Some of such 3 phase converters may also allow the frequency (see also frequency converters) to be varied allowing for different equipment frequency requirements (50Hz, 60Hz, 400Hz, etc.) and also for motor speed control (VFDs). Some locomotives are driven by 3phase motors with 3 phase converters converted from the incoming supply of either DC or 1 phase AC. The two main types of 1 phase to 3 phase converters are Rotary Phase Converters and Static Phase Converters. Read below for more about 3 phase converters.

3 Phase Generating Phase Converter
There is a big difference between phase converter types available on the market today. Most 3 phase converters sold by companies today do not produce actual balanced 3 phase power. This is why is very important to select a 3 phase generating phase converter which will run on single phase power and generate true balanced smooth 3 phase power. Below is a comparison of several technologies available today.

3 Phase Converter Types and Comparison
Good old fashioned research will help guide you to make sure that you are able to get the proper product to give you balanced 3 phase power. The US Phase Converter Standards Organization has some excellent guides to help choose the appropriate technology for your need comparing them side by side. Check out their Phase Converter Type Comparison Chart to read about the strengths and weaknesses of each type side by side with their ratings on quality, durability, safety, and 3 phase power quality produced. They also offer a useful 3 Phase Converter Resources page.

Rotary Phase Converters
The most common type of phase converter is the Rotary Phase Converter. Not all Rotary Phase Converters are the same. Many just convert single phase power into unbalanced 3 phase power, while the best kind that we were able to find will actually generate true balanced 3 phase power. This is the best kind to use. There were only a few companies who manufacture this type with the most notable brand being TEMCo Phase Converters. A few other companies called this type of 3 phase generating rotary phase converter a motor generator set.

Static Phase Converters
The next most common type of phase converter is called a Static Phase Converter. These can only be used on 3 phase motor loads. These units only generate a 3rd leg of power during start up but then turn off leaving motors to run

3 Phase Generating Rotary Phase Converters
Often the advantages of 3 phase motors, and other 3 phase equipment, make it worthwhile to convert single-phase power to 3 phase. Small and large customers, such as residential, rural businesses, or farm properties may not have access to a 3 phase supply, or may not want to pay for the extra cost of a 3 phase service, but may still wish to use 3 phase equipment. A 3 phase generating Rotary Phase Converter can benefit these situations or where high quality 3 phase power is required. Some of the Rotary Phase Converters manufactured today produce 3 phase power output that is better quality and will allow 3 phase equipment to run better and last longer than the 3 phase power from provided by a utility company. Such 3 phase converters may also allow the frequency (see also frequency converters) to be varied allowing for different equipment frequency requirements (50Hz, 60Hz, 400Hz, etc.) and also for motor speed control (VFDs). Some locomotives are driven by 3-phase motors with 3 phase converters converted from the incoming supply of either DC or 1 phase AC. The two main types of 1 phase to 3 phase converters are Rotary Phase Converters and Static Phase Converters. One very important resource is the rating system that the U.S. Phase Converter Standards Organization offers of various phase converter types and technologies. Click here to read more about 3 phase converters.

TEMCo 6500 Series - 3 Phase Rotary Phase Converter

TEMCo 3 Phase Generating Frequency and Phase Converter

Rotary Phase Converters
The most common type of phase converter is the Rotary Phase Converter. Not all Rotary Phase Converters are the same. Many just convert single phase power into unbalanced 3 phase power, while the best kind that we were able to find will actually generate true balanced 3 phase power. This is the best kind to use. There were only a few companies who manufacture this type with the most notable two brands being TEMCo Phase Converters and ACE PHASE CONVERTERS. A few other companies called this type of 3 phase generating rotary phase converter a motor generator set. High quality heavy duty rotary phase converters generate high quality 3 phase power while running on single phase. Rotary Phase Converters are being used throughout the US and internationally every day. Their quality 3 phase power will run any 3 phase application. 3 phase applications range from 3 phase computers, 3

phase pumps, 3 phase welders, 3 phase ovens, to 3 phase CNC mills, etc.

Rotary Phase Converters Cost Less Than Utility Three Phase Service
When it comes to powering three phase electric motors and machines of all types, often three phase power from a utility company is expensive or not even available. Single phase power is more often available at a reasonable rate. Quality brands of heavy duty rotary phase converters are efficient at generating the necessary three phase power from single phase. They provide full rated balanced three phase power for any three phase application.

Rotary Phase Converters Provide Reliable, Balanced, and Efficient Three Phase Power
High quality heavy duty rotary phase converters are built to last with quality precision rotors and long lasting components to give 3 phase electrical power service you can count on. Quality rotary converters are reliable and efficient at generating three phase power - even better quality 3 phase than utility supplied power. Be sure to note the difference between a quality rotary phase converter and a static phase converter.

Quick and Effective Three Phase Electricity
In some areas, having the Utility Company install three phase power will take from weeks to months. When you need three phase power right away, high quality heavy duty Rotary Phase Converters are a quick solution to high quality 3 phase power. There are many different kinds of electric motors and machinery built today. Check out a phase converter sizing guide and call the manufacturer to choose the correct model to power your three phase motors or machines.

Rotary Phase Converter Ratings
The US Phase Converter Standards Organization says that true 3 phase Rotary Phase Converters scored the highest in all categories of their testing and research. Here are their findings: Quality 3 phase Rotary Phase Converters use a balanced 3 phase generator with power factor correction, resulting in balanced safe 3 phase power that is better than even standard utility supplied 3 phase power. When properly installed, Rotary Phase Converters were safe to operate. Due to high quality materials such as copper windings and quality parts, with standard

maintenance, a quality Rotary Phase Converter should operate indefinitely (35 years and more). There are tens of thousands of 3 phase generating rotary phase converters installed in the US that have operated over 50 years. The balanced 3 phase generator and power factor correction ensure that the output is a smooth balanced 3 phase wave form that will be completely safe for the 3 phase machinery it is meant to operate. Note: In the U.S. Phase Converter Standards Organization's research they found that some companies called a product that they sold a "Rotary Phase Converter" but, in fact, their product is made with just a control box (or a Static Converter) and an electric motor. These type of products were shown though their rigorous testing to be unsafe and unreliable. There is a tendency for these "Static Phase Converter" controlled units to burn out the equipment it is meant to operate due to phase imbalances that change with the load. They did not count these types of products as true Rotary Phase Converters, but rather in the category of Static Phase Converter or Build Your Own Phase Converter Plans. It is recommended that only true 3 phase balanced Rotary Phase Converters, with a 3 phase generator and power factor correction, are used to power 3 phase machinery and equipment. Remember that not all rotary phase converters are manufactured to the same high quality standards. Click here to read their Phase Converter Purchasing Checklist for guidance in selecting a quality product from a quality company.

3 Phase Converter Types and Comparison
Good old fashioned research will help guide you to make sure that you are able to get the proper product to give you balanced 3 phase power. The US Phase Converter Standards Organization has some excellent guides to help choose the appropriate technology for your need comparing them side by side. Check out their Phase Converter Type Comparison Chart to read about the strengths and weaknesses of each type side by side with their ratings on quality, durability, safety, and 3 phase power quality produced. They also offer a useful 3 Phase Converter Resources page.

Static Phase Converters
The next most common type of phase converter is called a Static Phase Converter. These can only be used on 3 phase motor loads. These units only generate a 3rd leg of power during start up but then turn off leaving motors to run simply on 2 out of 3 of their windings. This can damage some types of 3 phase motor loads by over heating the motor and burning it out when it is put under its full load. Many times a load has 3 phase circuitry and not simply a motor load so it will not even work with a static phase converter. Read more about Static Phase Converters here.

Analyzing "Build Your Own Phase Converter Plans"
There is a lot of info out there about how to Build Your Own Phase Converter Plans, but most of these actually are simply showing how to use the equivalent of a static phase converter with an inferior electric motor as a generator and can waste valuable time and capital. Read the US Phase Converter Standards Organizations

Understanding Phase Inverters and VFDs
There is a product sometimes referred to as a Digital Phase Converter. Sometimes this is a just a marketing term, and other times this is to say that it does not have any moving parts and has a circuit that calculates part of the output. These tend to be very sensitive and are prone to damage if a circuit has a spike or feedback from your 3 phase load. Others are simply a Phase Inverters also known as a variable frequency drive (VFD). These are manufactured to control the speed of electric motors and can run some 3 phase motors on single phase but cannot power any other type of 3 phase load. These solid-state inverters are only used to power some 3 phase motors from a single-phase supply. They are never used for a mixed type of load and are very sensitive. They also have a short operational life.

CNC Rotary Phase Converters
The last common type is the CNC Phase Converters. These are simply a Rotary Phase Converter with more balanced 3 phase output manufactured to provide 3 phase power to sensitive computers that are a part of CNC machines.

3 Phase Loads from 3 Phase Power Generated on 1 Phase Power
There are many places and instances where 1 phase power is all that is available, or where the power company wants to charge tens, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to install and supply 3 phase power. When this is the case a quality 3 phase generating phase converter can be run on 1 phase to power 3 phase equipment of any type. Click here to read more about powering 3 phase loads with 3 phase power generated from 1 phase power.

Static Phase Converters
3 Phase Static Phase Converters
Often the advantages of 3 phase motors, and other 3 phase equipment, make it worthwhile to convert single-phase power to 3 phase. Small and large customers, such as residential, rural businesses, or farm properties may not have access to a 3 phase supply, or may not want to pay for the extra cost of a 3 phase service, but may still wish to use 3 phase equipment. A 3 phase generating Rotary Phase Converter can benefit these situations or where high quality 3 phase power is required.

Static Phase Converter Technology
Static Phase Converters operate by charging and discharging capacitors to temporarily produce a 3rd phase of power for only a matter of seconds during startup of electric motors, then it will drop out forcing the motor to continue to run on just 1 phase and only part of its windings. Static Phase Converters do not actually convert 1 phase power to 3 phase power, nor do they generate 3 phase power. Static Phase Converters scored poorly compared to other phase converter technologies in all categories of the US Phase Converter Standards Organization's testing and research. Due to their technology, Static Phase Converters do not properly power any class of 3 phase machinery or equipment. They will not in any way power 3 phase welders, 3 phase battery chargers, 3 phase lasers, or any type of machinery with 3 phase circuitry. Static Phase Converters also will not start delta wound 3 phase motors. Some companies sell Static Phase Converters to start 3 phase motors. This is a guessing game and a gamble with your equipment and if it will actually work. If there is any 3 phase circuitry on your equipment, the Static Phase Converter will not properly operate it. The Static Phase Converter may start the 3 phase motor, but there is a chance it will also damage the burn out the motor. For the few motors that a Static Phase Converter will start, they are only able to run on part of the windings at 2/3 power and thus may also burn out if put under their full rated load. This is dangerous to both the operator and the machinery it is intended to operate. In the US Phase Converter Standards Organization's research the Static Phase Converters typically burn out their capacitors within 1 year or less. This does not meet the standards or quality requirements. This is very poor quality and the downtime that results can be costly for companies who rely on the operation of their 3 phase machinery. Note: True Rotary Phase Converters built with a 3 phase generator will provide true 3 phase power. (click here to read about true 3 phase generating Rotary Phase Converters and which brand we recommend) It is important to note that in their research they found that some companies called a product that they sold a "Rotary Phase Converter" but, in fact, their product is made with just a control box (or a Static Converter) and an electric motor. These type of products were shown though rigorous testing to be unsafe and unreliable. There is a tendency for these "Static Phase Converter" controlled units to burn out the equipment it is meant to operate due to phase imbalances that change with the load. 3 phase testing and research

3 Phase Generation and 3 Phase Generators
3 Phase Power Generation

There are several types of 3 phase power generators. These can vary from a utility power station, to a prime source power generator to portable diesel (and other fuels) 3 phase generator, to 3 phase generators which run on 1 phase power (some models of phase converters). At a utility power station, an electrical generator converts mechanical power into a set of alternating electric currents (AC), one from each electromagnetic coil or winding of the power generator. The currents are sinusoidal functions of time, all at the same frequency but with different phases. In a 3 phase system the phases are spaced equally, giving a phase separation of 120°. The frequency is typically 50 Hz in Europe and 60 Hz in the US (see List of countries with mains power plugs, voltages and frequencies). See Frequency Converters for changing 50 Hz to 60 Hz or the reverse of 60 Hz to 50 Hz frequency. Read more about 3 Phase Power Generation below.

Industrial Standby / Towable 3 Phase Power Generators
Industrial and towable 3 phase generators are designed and engineered for optimum performance and superior reliability. From the ultra quiet sound attenuated enclosures (64-71 dba) to the state-of-the-art electronics and controls, these 3 phase generator units are engineered to meet the most rugged conditions. Place the unit at the job site, connect the 3 phase load and start it up. These full-featured standby 3 phase generator units are specially suited for all industrial, commercial and rental applications. Generators can also be used with an automatic transfer switch for standby 3 phase applications.

3 Phase Power Generators Power Output
Generators voltage output ranges from hundreds of volts to 30,000 volts. This can be from small portable 3 phase generators, 3 phase generating rotary converters, or utility power stations. At the power station, transformers step-up this voltage to one more suitable for transmission.

Popular Generators Fuel Includes Propane & Diesel Generators
3 phase power generators can be purchased to run on a variety of fuel types including two of the most popular: propane and diesel generators. Because of the common availability of propane, natural gas and diesel fuel, there are also a wide

3 Phase Isolation Transformers

3 Phase Electrical Power Isolation Transformer
A 3 phase transformer, there is a three-legged iron core as shown below. Each leg has a respective primary and secondary winding. Thus a 3 phase isolation transformers is a 3 phase transformer which has isolated primary and secondary windings to allow the power input to be isolated from the power output. There a number of power transformer manufacturers of quality 3 phase isolation transformers today. The primary 3 phase isolation transformers manufacturers are: GE Industrial, TEMCo Isolation Transformer, Marcus Transformer, Hammond Transformers, and Acme Transformers with capacity ranges 0.05 KVA through 5000 KVA. The isolation transformer manufacturer TEMCo also acts as a one stop wholesale outlet for the other transformer brands.

Standard 3 Phase Isolation Transformers
3 phase isolation transformers have 3 primary and 3 secondary windings that are physically separated from each other. Sometimes these isolation transformers are referred to as "insulated". This is because the windings are insulated from each other. In a 3 phase isolation transformer the output windings will be isolated, or floating from earth ground unless bonded at the time of installation.

3 Phase Shielded Isolation Transformers
Shielded 3 phase isolation transformers have all the feature of the standard 3 phase isolation transformers plus they also incorporate a full metallic shield (usually copper or aluminum) between the 3 phase primary and 3 phase secondary windings. This electrostatic shield ("Faraday Shield") is connected to earth ground and performs two functions: One, it attenuates (filters) voltage transients (voltage spikes). These shielded 3 phase isolation transformers have an attenuation ratio of 100 to 1. Two, It also filters common mode noise. Attenuation of approximately 30 decibels.

Shielded 3 Phase Isolation Transformers Are Preferred
The shielded 3 phase isolation transformer is preferred over a standard 3 phase isolation transformer because it provides protection for sensitive and other sensitive and critical equipment. When more than one shielded 3 phase isolation transformer is installed between the

3 Phase Motors

3 Phase Electric Motors Are More Efficient
The most common type of 3 phase electrical load is the 3 phase electric motor. A 3 phase motor is more compact and less costly than a 1-phase motor of the same voltage class and rating; also 1-phase AC motors above 10 HP (7.5 kW) are not as efficient and thus not usually manufactured. A 3 phase induction motor has a simple design, inherently high starting torque, and high efficiency. Such motors are applied in industry for 3 phase pumps, fans, blowers, compressors, conveyor drives, and many other types of 3 phase motor-driven equipment. There are a lot of benefits to using a 3 phase electric motor over a single phase electric motor. Large air conditioning equipment (for example, most air conditioning units above 2.5 tons (8.8 kW) cooling capacity) use 3 phase motors for reasons of economy and efficiency. Read more about other 3 phase power loads. Read more about 3 phase motors below. Most electric power is distributed in the form of 3-phase AC. Therefore, before proceeding any further you should understand what is meant by 3 phase power. Basically, the power company generators produce electricity by rotating (3) coils or windings through a magnetic field within the generator . These coils or windings are spaced 120 degrees apart. As they rotate through the magnetic field they generate power which is then sent out on three (3) lines as in three-phase power. 3 phase transformers must have (3) coils or windings connected in the proper sequence in order to match the incoming power and therefore transform the power company voltage to the level of voltage we need and maintain the proper phasing or polarity.

3 Phase Power Is More Efficient Than Single Phase
Three phase electricity powers large industrial loads more efficiently than single-phase electricity. When single-phase electricity is needed, It is available between any two phases of a three-phase system, or in some systems , between one of the phases and ground. By the use of three conductors a 3 phase system can provide 173% more power than the two conductors of a single-phase system. Three-phase power allows heavy duty industrial equipment to operate more smoothly and efficiently. 3 phase power can be transmitted over long distances with smaller conductor size. Additional Motor Information: Variable Frequency Drive • Soft Start Drives • Motor Control • Baldor Motors • Weg Motors

3 Phase Electricity
3 Phase Electrical Power

3-phase electricity is a common method of electric power transmission. It is a type of polyphase system. This site details where, how and why "3 phase electricity" is used. For information on the basic mathematics and principles of 3 phase electricity see three-phase. 3 phase electricity has properties that make it very desirable in distribution. Firstly all three wires carry the same current. Secondly power transfer into a linear balanced load is constant. Most domestic loads are single phase electricity. Generally 3 phase electricity either does not enter domestic houses at all, or where it does, it is split out at the main distribution board.

3 Phase Electricity Wave Form
One voltage cycle of a 3-phase electrical system, labeled 0 to 360° ( 2 π radians) along the time axis. The plotted line represents the variation of instantaneous voltage (or current) with respect to time. This cycle will repeat 50 or 60 times per second, depending on the power system frequency. The colors of the lines represent the American color code for three-phase. That is black=VL1 red=VL2 blue=VL3 3 phase electricity systems may or may not have a neutral wire. A neutral wire allows the three phase system to use a higher voltage while still supporting lower voltage single phase appliances. In high voltage distribution situations it is common not to have a neutral wire as the loads can simply be connected between phases (phase-phase connection).

3 Phase Electricity Wiring Color Coding
The 3 phases are typically indicated by colors which vary by country. See the table for more information. Conductors of a three phase system are usually identified by a color code, to allow for balanced loading and to assure the correct phase rotation for induction motors. Colors used may adhere to old standards or to no standard at all, and may vary even within a single installation. However, the current National Electrical Code (2005) does not require any color identification of conductors other than that of the neutral (white or white with a color stripe) the ground (green or green with a yellow stripe) or in the case of a High Leg Delta system, the High Leg must be identified orange. Read more on 3 Phase Wiring and Color Coding.

3 Phase Electricity Generation
At the power station, an electrical generator converts mechanical power into a set of

One of the most common class of 3 phase load is the 3 phase electric motor. A 3 phase induction motor has a simple design, inherently high starting torque, and high efficiency. Such motors are applied in industry for 3 phase pumps, fans, blowers, compressors, conveyor drives, and many other types of motor-driven equipment. There are a lot of benefits to using a 3 phase motor over a 1 phase electric motor. A 3 phase motor is more compact and less costly than a 1-phase motor of the same voltage class and rating; also 1-phase AC motors above 10 HP (7.5 kW) are not as efficient and thus not usually manufactured. Large air conditioning equipment (for example, most air conditioning units above 2.5 tons (8.8 kW) cooling capacity) use 3 phase motors for reasons of economy and efficiency. Read more about 3 phase power loads below.

3 Phase Powered Electric Motor - pictured above 3 Phase Powered Hobart Dough Mixer - pictured above 3 Phase Powered Milling Machine - pictured above

Resistance heating loads such as electric boilers or space heating may be connected to 3 phase systems. Electric lighting may also be similarly connected. These types of loads do not require the revolving magnetic field characteristic of 3 phase motors but take advantage of the higher voltage and power level usually associated with 3 phase distribution. Large rectifier systems may have 3 phase inputs; the resulting DC current is easier to filter (smooth) than the output of a single-phase rectifier. Such 3 phase rectifiers may be used for battery charging, electrolysis processes such as aluminum production, or for operation of DC motors. Another interesting example of a 3 phase load is the electric arc furnace used in steel making and in refining of ores. In much of Europe stoves are designed to allow for a 3 phase feed. Usually the individual heating units are connected between phase and neutral to allow for connection to a 1 phase supply where this is all that is available.

3 Phase Power Generators
There are many options for 3 phase power generators. These range from small portable 3 phase generators to large industrial diesel generators. There are many

3 Phase Frequency

3 Phase Power Frequency Including 50 Hz, 60 Hz and 400 Hz and others.
Power Frequency refers to how many times the wave form will repeat the cycle per second. The most common utility frequency is the frequency at which alternating current (AC) is transmitted from a utility company power plant to the end user. In most parts of the Americas (North and South), it is typically 60 Hz, and in most parts of the rest of the world it is typically 50 Hz. Most places that use the 50 Hz frequency tend to use 220/230 voltage, and those that use 60 Hz tend to use 110/120 V. Other utility frequencies are used for specialized purposes and in other countries as a standard. The countries Germany, Austria, and Switzerland use a traction power network for railways, distributing single-phase AC at 16.7 Hz. A frequency of 25 Hz was used for the German railway Mariazeller Bahn and some railway systems in New York and Pennsylvania (Amtrak) in the USA. Frequencies as high as 400 Hz are used in aerospace and some special-purpose computer power supplies and hand-held machine tools. Such high frequencies cannot be economically transmitted long distances, so 400 Hz power systems are usually confined to the building or vehicle.

Power Frequency (Hz) Can Be Changed with a Frequency Converter
Frequency Converters, also known as Motor Generator Sets (MG Sets), are used for converting either 50 Hz, 60 Hz, or 400 Hz, utility line power to 50 Hz, 60 Hz or 400 Hz power to run equipment. In addition to this some frequency converter manufacturer's, namely TEMCo, Frequency Converter MG Sets also offer line isolation, harmonic cancellation, power factor correction, phase conversion, voltage conversion with balanced, smooth, controlled power output. Typical applications include AC variable speed drives, inverters, computers and computer controlled equipment, deep well pumps, industrial machinery, ships, aircraft, military computers and many more. Click here to read more about Frequency Converters.

3 Phase Power Wave Form
One voltage cycle of a 3-phase system, labeled 0 to 360° ( 2 π radians) along the time axis. The plotted line represents the variation of instantaneous voltage (or current) with respect to time. This cycle will repeat 50 (50Hz) or 60 (60Hz) times per

3 Phase Frequency Converters

3 Phase 50 Hz, 60 Hz and 400 Hz Frequency Converters
Frequency Converters, also known as Motor Generator Sets (MG Sets), are used for converting either 50 Hz, 60 Hz, or 400 Hz, utility line power to 50 Hz, 60 Hz or 400 Hz power to run equipment. In addition to this some frequency converter manufacturer's, namely TEMCo, Frequency Converter MG Sets also offer line isolation, harmonic cancellation, power factor correction, phase conversion, voltage conversion with balanced, smooth, controlled power output. Typical applications include AC variable speed drives, inverters, computers and computer controlled equipment, deep well pumps, industrial machinery, ships, aircraft, military computers and many more.
(published with permission by TEMCo Frequency Converter Division)

TEMCo Frequency Converter Motor Generator Set Features:
50 Hz, 60 Hz, & 400 Hz Frequency Conversion True Dynamic Real Time Voltage Regulation Within +/- 1% Complete Power Line Isolation Synchronous, Brushless Power Generation 120V - 600V Voltage Conversion Phase Conversion; 1 Phase To 3 Phase, and 3 Phase To 1 Phase Power Factor Correction True Sine Wave Form, Perfect and Smooth Harmonic Cancellation 100% Copper Windings Field Adjustable 6 kW Through 200 kW Output Models Available Standard

TEMCo Frequency Converter

What are the differences between a "Solid-State" frequency converter and a TEMCo Motor Generator Set Frequency Converter?
Unlike "Solid-State" frequency converters which convert your incoming 50 or 60 Hz AC power to DC then chop it back up to output a synthesized AC sine wave, the TEMCo Frequency Converter Motor Generator Sets produce a true sine wave form, perfect and smooth in every way. Synthesized AC, as produced in solid state devices, is a rough spike laden attempt at AC power which rarely comes even close to resembling the pure, smooth wave most modern equipment was meant to run on. Solid State Frequency Converters power output can be harmful to sensitive equipment and cause the lifespan to be greatly reduced. This is why it is better to use a true power generating Motor Generator Frequency Converter.

TEMCo's Frequency Converters Provide Harmonic Cancellation

3 Phase Distribution

3 Phase Power Distribution and Transmission
3 phase electricity distribution is the process in the delivery of 3 phase power from the generation equipment to the business or location for use. This include the transmission over power lines, possibly through electrical substations and polemounted transformers, and the appropriate distribution 3 phase wiring and sometimes electricity meters.

3 Phase Power Distribution Transformer
After numerous further conversions in the transmission and distribution network the 3 phase power is finally transformed to the standard mains voltage (the voltage of "house" or "household" current in American English). The power may already have been split into single phase at this point or it may still be 3 phase. Where the stepdown is 3 phase, the output of this power transformer is usually star connected with the standard mains voltage (120V in North America and 230V in Europe) being the phase-neutral voltage. Another system commonly seen in the USA is to have a delta connected secondary on the step down transformer with a center tap on one of the windings supplying the ground and neutral. This allows for 240V 3 phase as well as three different single phase voltages (120V between two of the phases and the neutral, 208V between the third phase (sometimes known as a wild leg) and neutral and 240V between any two phases) to be made available from the same supply.

Generating 3 Phase Power From Single Phase
When single phase power is readily available but 3-phase power is not already allocated, there is an easy way to generate 3 phase power with a 3 phase power generating Rotary Phase Converter or with a modern Motor Generator Set. Today these are a super efficient method to get 3 phase power anywhere single phase is already available. Read more about super efficient 3 phase generating Rotary Phase Converters here.

known as Drehstrom, "rotating current" for this property of constant power. Ordinary AC is called Wechselstrom, or "change current." Nikola Tesla, the discoverer of polyphase currents and inventor of the induction motor, employed 2 phase current, where the phase difference is 90°. This also can be used to create a rotating magnetic field, and is more efficient than single-phase, but is not quite as advantageous as three-phase. 2 phase power was once rather common in the United States, where Tesla was important in the introduction of AC, but has now gone completely out of use. Two-phase can be supplied over three wires, but there is no true neutral, since the phases are not symmetrical. However, it is always easy to double the number of phases in a transformer secondary by making two secondary windings and connecting them in opposing phases. Four-phase does have a neutral, like 3 phase, but requires four wires. In fact, three-phase is more economical than any other number of phases. For applications like rectifiers and synchronous converters where DC is produced, it is most efficient to use six-phase AC input, which is easily produced from 3 phase in a transformer.

Other Types of 2 Phase Power Systems
Monocyclic power was a name for an asymmetrical modified 2 phase power system used by General Electric around 1897 (championed by Charles Proteus Steinmetz and Elihu Thomson; this usage was reportedly undertaken to avoid patent legalities). In this system, a generator was wound with a full-voltage single phase winding intended for lighting loads, and with a small (usually 1/4 of the line voltage) winding which produced a voltage in quadrature with the main windings. The intention was to use this "power wire" additional winding to provide starting torque for induction motors, with the main winding providing power for lighting loads. After the expiration of the Westinghouse patents on symmetrical two-phase and three-phase power distribution systems, the monocyclic system fell out of use. High phase order systems for power transmission have been built and tested. Such transmission lines use 6 or 12 phases and design practices characteristic of extra-high voltage transmission lines. High-phase order transmission lines may allow transfer of more power through a given transmission line right-of-way without the expense of a HVDC converter at each end of the line.

Conversion to 2 Phase Power Systems
Provided two voltage waveforms have at least some relative displacement on the time axis, other than a multiple of a half-cycle, any other polyphase set of voltages can be obtained by an array of passive transformers. Such arrays will evenly balance the polyphase load between the phases of the source system. For example, balanced 2 phase power can be obtained from a 3 phase network by using two specially constructed transformers, with taps at 50% and 86.6% of the primary voltage. This Scott T connection produces a true two-phase system with 90° time difference between the phases. Another example is the generation of higher-phase-order systems for large rectifier systems, to produce a smoother DC output and to reduce the harmonic currents in the supply.

3 Phase Loads from 3 Phase Power Generated on 1 Phase Power
There are many places and instances where 1 phase power is all that is available, or where the power company wants to charge tens, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to install and supply 3 phase power. When this is the case a quality 3 phase generating phase converter can be run on 1 phase to power 3 phase equipment of any type. Click here to read more about powering 3 phase loads with 3 phase power

Powering 1 Phase Loads on 3 Phase Power
1 Phase Loads on 3 Phase Power

Single-phase loads may be connected to a 3 phase system in two ways. This can be done either by connecting across two live conductors (a phase-to-phase connection), or by connecting between a phase conductor and the system neutral, which is either connected to the center of the Y (star) secondary winding of the supply transformer, or is connected to the center one winding of a delta transformer (High leg Delta system). Single-phase loads should be distributed evenly between the phases of the 3 phase system for efficient use of the supply conductors and supply transformer. Read below for more about connecting a 1 phase load to a 3 phase power supply line.

Splitting 3 Phase Power for 1 Phase Loads

The line-to-line voltage of a 3 phase system is √3 times the line to neutral voltage. Where the line-to-neutral voltage is a standard utilization voltage, (for example in a 240V / 415V system) individual singlephase utility customers or loads may each be connected to a different phase of the supply. Where the line-to-neutral voltage is not a common utilization voltage, for example in a 347 /600V system, singlephase loads must be supplied by individual step-down transformers. In multiple-unit residential buildings in North America, lighting and convenience outlets can be connected line-to-neutral to give the 120V utilization voltage, and high-power loads such as cooking equipment, space heating, water heaters, or air conditioning can be connected across two phases to give 208V. This practice is common enough that 208V single-phase equipment is readily available in North America. Attempts to use the more common 120/240V equipment intended for three-wire single-phase distribution will likely result in poor performance since 240V heating equipment will only produce 75% of its rating when operated at 208V. Where 3 phase at low voltage is otherwise in use, it may still be split out into single phase service cables through joints in the power supply network or it may be delivered to a master distribution breaker panel at the customer's premises. Connecting an electrical circuit from one phase to the neutral generally supplies the country's standard single phase voltage (120VAC or 230VAC) to the circuit. The power transmission grid is organized so that each phase carries the same magnitude of current out of the major parts of the power transmission system. The currents returning from the customers' premises to the last supply transformer all share the neutral wire, but the 3 phase system ensures that the sum of the returning currents is approximately zero. The delta wiring of the primary side of that supply transformer means that no neutral is needed in the high voltage side of the network.

Wiring Phase-Phase

3 Phase Power Load Solutions on 1 Phase Power
Powering 3 Phase Loads From 1 Phase Power