Explanation of 3-Phase AC Power

Written by doug leenhouts
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
Explanation of 3-Phase AC Power
Three-phase power is common in distribution systems. (power lines image by Edsweb from Fotolia.com)

Three-phase power systems are commonly used to transmit power across great distances and to power large motors. Power is evenly distributed in a three-phase system, meaning an even power load is carried among the three wires.

Other People Are Reading

How Three-Phase Power Works

Power is generated at a power station, where mechanical energy is converted into electricity with a transformer. The transformer has three coils; each coil produces an alternating current at the same frequency as the other two, but each current is shifted one-third of the period. The three currents are carried along separate wires until they are transformed into a single-phase current and connected to a building.

Neutral Wire

A fourth wire is often used in low-voltage situations. This carries a neutral current that is equal to the sum of the other three currents. Single-phase loads, such as connections to residential buildings, are often connected between the neutral current and one of the three phases.

Uses

Three-phase systems create a rotating magnetic field, which is used in induction motors. Large appliances and farming equipment operate with a three-phase design because net mechanical torque generated by the three currents is much less than that of single phase power. A three-phase system is an excellent choice for long distance transmission because it uses less conductor material than single-phase or two-phase systems of the same voltage.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.