The first generators that entered the mainstream and were used for domestic & commercial purposes were all single-phase models. While famous scientists like Nikola Tesla and Michael Faraday were already working on 3-phase electrical systems in the 1880s, the first working 3 phase generators became available in the early 1930s.
Today, the United States is one of the world’s biggest markets for 3 phase portable generators which are used widely for several different purposes.
If you are planning to buy such a generator for home use, there are a few basic concepts you need to understand first.
What exactly is a 3 phase generator?
A single-phase generator works on the laws of electromagnetic induction where voltage is produced when an inert (non-magnetic) metal core wound tightly with copper wire rotates at high speeds inside a magnetic field.
It produces a single ‘wave’ of electricity.
A 3 phase generator is essentially 3 parallel waves of alternating electricity (AC power) that ensures the voltage output never plummets to zero.
All 3 waves share the same frequency levels, ensuring that there are no voltage surges or spikes either.
Even if you are using a 3 phase diesel generator, the operating mechanism and the voltage output remain identical.
Note that generator sets which run on diesel are mainly used for emergencies where a reliable source of back-up power is essential.
Such generators are extremely powerful and have a wide range of applications. Besides powering homes and offices, they are of considerable use in agricultural, mining, and construction sectors worldwide.
If you are looking for a 3 phase portable generator for domestic use, you should purchase a branded and lightweight unit from reliable generator dealers near you.
Why are 3 phase generators so popular?
The enormous popularity of these machines can be attributed to the following factors:
● Such gensets are powerful and durable devices with an average voltage output of around 480 volts.
As you know, the voltage supplied to American homes, offices and most establishments is 120 volts at 60 Hz. All appliances are configured to work at this voltage as well.
Some specialized factories and laboratories (nuclear research facilities, for example) have higher voltage requirements, however. But such instances are beyond the scope of this write-up.
That means even the smallest 3 phase portable generators can fulfil every domestic need without any difficulty!
If you are planning to install a 3-phase generator permanently either at your home or office, please consult a licensed ‘sizing’ agency for a safe and hassle-free experience.
● These machines can adapt to step-up or step-down transformers without an issue.
● Minimum maintenance is needed for these devices. Even if you are using a 3-phase diesel generator, you do not have to fuss over them a lot. Once the fuel chamber is topped up, you can pretty much let them be!
● Unlike single-phase generators, these appliances are capable of producing the same amounts of power at steady voltages at far lower costs.
Most 3-phase generators are also a lot lighter and have smaller dimensions, two advantages that will help you install them even if your residence has very little free space!
Do these appliances have any drawbacks?
Most high-quality and branded 3-phase generators are designed to ensure that the user faces very few problems if any.
Still, given below are 3 distinct features of these gensets that can be considered to be drawbacks.
1) They are expensive
Purchasing a 3-phase set means that you’ll have to come up with significantly greater up-front payments. Some models cost 10 to 15 times more than single-phase generators of similar voltage output.
However, the advantages of the more modern generators outweigh the higher price tags they come with.
2) Misleading advertisements are rampant
When you order a 3-phase portable generator from online stores, you would expect them to be lightweight and preferably fitted with wheels.
You will definitely find these features in branded products, but they can be costlier than non-branded ones. The latter models might have misleading or even completely fake information accompanying them, especially about their weight.
If you reside in Florida, you can easily bypass these issues when you purchase a set from a reputed Sarasota generators retailer.
3) Fuel-powered appliances increase pollution levels
You will surely notice this when you fire up your 3-phase diesel generator. Diesel burns pretty cleanly but some smoke is emanated. Diesel models also produce slightly more noise than the other models.
Installing a 3 phase genset is not DIY-friendly at all. You must always turn to a professional who can handle every aspect of a 3-phase generator from the outset.