When we hear the words single- phase and three- phase, what come to your mind? It would probably relate to energy, electricity or electrical power. Yes. These pertain to methods of transmission, distribution of alternating-current of electric power. These two obviously have distinction from each other even though they are somewhat related. Single- phase power system is mostly used by smaller electrical power consumers such as homes and small business enterprises. On the other hand, three- phase power system is common on large businesses that run large machines for operations such as manufacturing industries.
A single- phase power system only has a single phase. The electric power will flow in only one wire and there will be a neutral path, which can be called as the return path that would complete the flow or circuit. In this kind of power system, only a minimum amount of electrical power can be transmitted. However, in late 1880’s a three-phase power system was invented by Ferraris, Galileo, Mikhail Dolivo- Dobrovolsky, Jonas Wenstrom and Nikola Tesla. It is the most common method of electric power transfer used by electrical grids worldwide. It is used to give power to big motors and equipment. The three- phase power system uses fewer conductors to transmit electrical power that is why it is more economical than the single- phase system. Three conductors each carry an alternating current with equal voltage amplitude and frequency in relation to a common reference. These three phases are the ones which will be sent together from the generator to the load.
How do we convert a single- phase power system into a three- phase power system? With the use of a phase converter, it is possible to convert a single- phase power system into a three- phase power system or the other way around. Methods that exist to make a single- phase system run as a three- phase system would be generally classified as:
• Electronic phase converters- incoming power is reformed and the three- phase power is synthesized with electronics.
• Digital phase converters- makes use of an inverter and a rectifier to make a single voltage
• Rotary phase converters- two- motor aid with one motor creates a three- phase power and the other one driving the load on the produced power.
• Static phase converters- motor is run less than its full capacity on two of the legs of a three- phase system
To synthesize everything, a single- phase power system is distinct from a three- phase power system in terms of its capacity. However, it is possible to convert a single- phase power system into a three- phase power system with the use of a converter which can either be classified as electronic, digital, rotary and static. Most of the phase converters are used to aid their needs of a three- phase power system with the use of single- phase power systems. This converter if very useful in times when there is a need and absence of a three- phase power system. Read further..