What is a 3 Phase Generator?

Inmesol IP 1135 1000kVA Three Phase Diesel Generator

A phase is a two-wire alternating current (AC) circuit, so a single-phase generator has two wires, the ‘live’ and the ‘neutral’. Whereas a 3 phase generator usually consists of four wires that comprise of 3 conductors and one neutral wire. Due to this, a 3 phase generator is likely to be larger and have a bigger power capacity. 

3 phase generator systems are 3 single phases that are offset by 120 degrees in the AC waveform (similar to three separate single-phase generators operating slightly apart from one another). So, it’s no surprise that 3 phase generators can also be used as a single-phase system where only one of the phases and the neutral wire can be used for lower loads. Though using a three phase generator for single phase applications needs careful calculation to prevent too much imbalance on the alternator which can cause damage. 

Benefits of a 3 Phase Generator

More power for less cabling! Single-phase units require two separate wires (the ‘live’ and the ‘neutral’), but a 3 phase generator needs 3 wires and sometimes a fourth for a neutral wire as well.

Due to the 120 degree offset, when one currency is at its lowest, another will be at its highest. This offers complimentary wavelengths that work in tangents to deliver stable and high-quality amounts of power.

Normally used in large commercial, industrial, and agricultural projects, 3 phase generators are used for transmission of electricity over longer distances as the cabling is less. Therefore, it has the ability to be split off into a single-phase system for more domestic purposes.

As 3 phase generators are typically used for bigger machines like motors, they provide a smoother power to drive the mechanism due to its 120-degree separate wavelengths.

Which Generator Is Right For You?

Even though Hampshire Generators supply a variety of single-phase and 3 phase generators, your choice will 99% of the time depend on your existing installation. 

If you currently have a 3 phase building or equipment then you will need a 3 phase generator – otherwise, if you have a single-phase building then a single-phase generator is your answer.

Here are a few things to know about single and three phase generators:

  • All large and commercial properties will be 3 phase.
  • All industrial properties and large machines will be 3 phase.
  • For residential purposes, most houses will have a single phase system. The only exceptions are very large properties, similar to mansions which may require a 3 phase generator. Single-phase generators are normally used in domestic, residential or very small commercial projects.
  • All mobile catering and portable systems will be single phase.
  • The generator needs to be selected based on your current installation.

If you need any assistance with installing a generator, then choose experts with over 30 years of experience with the flexibility to span across the whole of the UK.

Discover Our Range Today

Explore our variety of high-quality 3 phase generator products, supplied by us at Hampshire Generators. If you have any further questions about our range of products, then get in touch and our experts will always be happy to help in assisting you with specifying your new system.

Call us on 01329 277162 or email [email protected].

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