Three-Phase Outlet Sockets
While most Australian homes and appliances run perfectly well on single-phase alternating current, many industrial sockets require three-phase current. Single-phase current needs only 2 wires, one hot and one neutral; a 3-phase outlet needs a minimum of 4 wires, 3 hot and 1 neutral. Naturally, this means the electrical cords are not compatible with most home appliances.
Why Use Three-Phase Power?
While polyphase power brings a number of advantages:
- Power: Three phase circuits bring more power from less current as they combine the current from all three lines.
- Smoothness: With three-phase power you get continuous rather than pulsed power, which is much better for industrial electric motors.
- Wiring: Because you split the load, each conductor can be thinner than it would be with an equivalent single-phase system. This reduces your building materials cost as you use less copper.
Using Three-Phase Power
Using three-phase power requires the appropriate source such as a three-phase generator. Three-phase systems also require different safety switches than single-phase current. Finally, you have to make sure your power outlets match your current requirements. Once the wiring is in place and you have a source everything should be good to go.