The lack of general availability of 3 phase power in the USA - Page 5
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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Deal View Post
    This is a real can of worms.

    On the one hand power usage is decreasing I'd say overall with lighting converting to LED's and other equipment becoming more efficient. Single phase seems to do really well for the average home.

    On the other hand it seems to me if the power company and local governments were really interested in fostering small business then I would think it would be easier to get. Milacron's example of a dairy farm that had 3 phase indicates that at one time someone somewhere must have had such a thought. It seems these days power companies are mostly completely hamstrung by environmentalists at every turn. I talked to a guy that had worked his whole career for a power company, not ours here. He said he spent the first half of his career trying to sell customers on using power and getting them more and the second half in trying to talk them out of using power.

    I live in the sticks w/only single phase but it's not far away. I would pay a pretty decent chunk to get 3 phase but have not managed it yet.
    walk out of your house walk up to the road look up the pole it has 3 wires on top, every place has 3 phases on the pole, where you lose one phase is in the transformers on the pole. You might have two phases if you live on the end of a long country road to nowhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcsipo View Post
    walk out of your house walk up to the road look up the pole it has 3 wires on top, every place has 3 phases on the pole, where you lose one phase is in the transformers on the pole. You might have two phases if you live on the end of a long country road to nowhere.
    Certainly this not everywhere.
    Looking at moving shop to up on the lake (halfway up the mitten here)
    "Cabins" here sell from 250,000 starters to one million on a 50 foot wide lot so not backwoods or long country road.
    Power poles, 2 lines. For three wires one has to be on the main drag 10 miles away.
    Nearest power generation is a dam 20 miles out and for sure big, big power lines coming out of it and running the power lines is a favorite pastime.
    Strange that I have gas lines at the street but no on the 3 phase. Maybe someday.
    In my shop now I have 400 amps of 480 so I am rather spoiled and do take it for granted.

    An entire market in the US is 3 phase convertors of one type or the other.
    Sure some is where one can get three but the cost of attaching it. I think a lot is that it just is not to be had.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pern View Post
    Politicians aren’t trying to solve a problem, they awe just corruptly lining their pockets with whoever wants to pay the most…..
    yup old money locks out the seekers of new money so the newbies invent a new game to make money . coal , steel , oil you know old money . starphucks , amazon , iphone , petco . new money . think i will stick with the old money as what's so cool about paying 8 bucks for a 2 buck cup of coffee and the next two are a form of addiction and the last i like animals as much as the next guy but i don't like being used

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post

    When RE is available 24/7/365 with no excuses, and no "yes, but", then it will be useful as a sole source.
    Yeah, except the only 24/7/365 "sole source" isn't on this planet. Literally.

    . I've had that for over 20 years, probably about as long as you could spell "renewable energy".
    Built my first solar building in 1972, bought my first PV panel in 1974, put up my first wind turbine in 1979.

    Have put up over somewhere around 1000 wind turbines 40kW and larger since. Haven't counted the smaller ones. You?

    Back then we called them "Alternative Sources of Energy". The term RE didn't come into general usage until quite a bit later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Certainly this not everywhere.
    Looking at moving shop to up on the lake (halfway up the mitten here)
    "Cabins" here sell from 250,000 starters to one million on a 50 foot wide lot so not backwoods or long country road.
    Power poles, 2 lines. For three wires one has to be on the main drag 10 miles away.
    ...................
    Sure some is where one can get three but the cost of attaching it. I think a lot is that it just is not to be had.
    Bob
    The powerco is in the business of selling electric power. If you need 3 phase, and are not a "residence", you can get it. If it is not run where you are, that is because there are no 3 phase customers that the powerco allows to have 3 phase. Simple as that.

    If a 3 phase customer builds a facility at the end of your line, there will be 3 phase running right by your "cabin" in short order. But you still will not be allowed to have it.

    It is not that 3 phase is not available, it is that it is not available to YOU.

    If you think that 3 phase is common everywhere else in the "developed world", then obviously you need to find out about new countries such as England, and Australia. There is a market for phase converters in both those places. Evidently the provision of 3 phase is not common there either. Canada would be another, and I doubt if those are the only other countries with this "criminal problem" in at least some areas.

    When electric power was run to houses many decades ago, it was for lighting. Most houses had between 1 and 4 circuits, each 15A. The fuse box often had 4 edison screw-in fuses, and maybe not even a main fuse. No need for 3 phase there.

    Subsequently, electric power has become the norm, even required in order to exist in your house, if it is new, with heat, light, ventilation etc all electric. Electric goes out, you have to leave, as even ventilation is not possible without it.

    But there is still no need for 3 phase in the average house. So it is not provided, and not allowed.

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    QT: [But there is still no need for 3 phase in the average house. So it is not provided, and not allowed.

    Unless the application of 3phase use would conserve energy, and the a saving rate that would justify changing over from the existing. if it would save $.20 per hour for each motor in a house and the total average hours were 5 hours so saving $1.00 a day. (just a simple example because one would have to figure horsepower hours.)
    I'm not sharp enough on electric to figure this out but likely some PM guys are.
    About 11,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year is the USA home-usage.
    We run a small humidifier 14/7, plus an air conditioner in summer and a furnace fan in the winter.

    and if natural gas were not available we would need run hot water, furnace heat, and cooking fuel

    *This is a good thread if we could keep it on the subject.

    Here is the given, so I guess the question is how much would it cost to change over.

    Advantages of a Three-Phase System

    For the same size or weight, a three-phase machine can produce higher outputs than a single-phase machine.
    A three-phase machine can be smaller than a single-phase machine for the same power output.
    The power delivered to or taken from a three-phase system has a more constant value. In a single-phase system, the power pulses at twice the line frequency.
    With one type of three-phase connection, there are two voltages available: 230/400 V.
    In a distribution system, the total quantity of material needed for three conductors is less than that required for the equivalent single-phase system (due to higher efficiency).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcsipo View Post
    The entire distribution system is 3-phase. The last step is to downstep from 3.5Kv on the pole to 120. You get two phases, hence the 240 between them. the utility will rotate homes off the 3 phases giving them a,b or b.c or c,a so they can balance the load to the generators. the reason they do not want to give you 3-phase because it screws up their balancing, and it requires 3 phase transformers. both cost them money.
    This is how my neighborhood is wired. Three lines of 13.8 KV on the top of the poles, and a pole pig for each group of homes, fed from one pair of phases. The secondaries on the pole pig are centertapped 240, which most folks will call single phase, not two phase, because you can't run a polyphase motor of those two 'phases.'

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    QT: [But there is still no need for 3 phase in the average house. So it is not provided, and not allowed.

    Unless the application of 3phase use would conserve energy, and the a saving rate that would justify changing over from the existing. if it would save $.20 per hour for each motor in a house and the total average hours were 5 hours so saving $1.00 a day. (just a simple example because one would have to figure horsepower hours.)
    I'm not sharp enough on electric to figure this out but likely some PM guys are.
    About 11,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year is the USA home-usage.
    We run a small humidifier 14/7, plus an air conditioner in summer and a furnace fan in the winter.

    and if natural gas were not available we would need run hot water, furnace heat, and cooking fuel

    *This is a good thread if we could keep it on the subject.

    Here is the given, so I guess the question is how much would it cost to change over.

    Advantages of a Three-Phase System

    For the same size or weight, a three-phase machine can produce higher outputs than a single-phase machine.
    A three-phase machine can be smaller than a single-phase machine for the same power output.
    The power delivered to or taken from a three-phase system has a more constant value. In a single-phase system, the power pulses at twice the line frequency.
    With one type of three-phase connection, there are two voltages available: 230/400 V.
    In a distribution system, the total quantity of material needed for three conductors is less than that required for the equivalent single-phase system (due to higher efficiency).
    Excellent review of the subject. The advantage for the individual is choice. He can run wye loads, delta loads or single phase loads anywhere he wants, when he wants, at his discretion. In my case, I also have a 25 KW, 400 V, 3 phase Gen set that can support all my loads in an emergency for weeks on end because I also have 6000 liters of diesel fuel. I use a 5 wire system and in my experience the installation did not cost me any more than a single phase installation would. A 5 wire, 3 phase is better, a lot better. Just because something has been done a certain way for a long time does not provide license to prevent change when change is so obviously better. Sure, some homes may not immediately need a 3 phase service, but with the onset of electric cars they certainly will.

    I cannot say with 100% certainty that it would save energy overall, but I do think it would significantly, especially with the higher anticipated loads due to climate change and electric vehicles. However no improvement will occur unless your voices are raised on this subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    .
    If a 3 phase customer builds a facility at the end of your line, there will be 3 phase running right by your "cabin" in short orde.
    .
    I think this depends on the size of the "facility" size of the power bill.
    If GM built a plant for sure the power company would install for free.
    A machine shop with 5 cncs and not free.
    Was told that I could have it but ante up the cost of a nice high end 5 axis cnc up front.
    At home in Flint/Flushing to the garage there was no problem of "you can't have as a house", Only a $2500 hook up fee.
    My shop was 100 amp of 480 and not enough. They were happy to upgrade to fill my needs for free.
    Yes they sell power and sort of prorate the install for that $5000 a month power bill. How many will eat that kind of electric power?
    One wonders how electric cars will change all this.
    Natural gas lines are expanding. I no longer have to feed the pig or worry about it dry when not there and cold and pipe freezing. Fill Your Pig with Forward Energy | Forward Energy
    Bob

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    I have 3-phase at my rural house in Portugal (I installed it into the house, it was already on the pole outside).
    I have 3-phase on my boat in Amsterdam too.
    When I lived in a small house rural India, I had 3-phase installed.

    Only when I lived in the US, I didn't have 3-phase.

    I have a 3-phase hoist, 3-phase drill press, 3-phase lathe, 3-phase mill, 3-phase high pressure cleaner, a 3-phase ceramic kiln, a multi function woodworking machine with 3x 3-phase motors, a 3-phase bandsaw, 2x 3-phase bench grinders, only 1/2 HP but they work much better than single phase ones, they get to speed almost instantly.

    I put a 3-phase VFD on my ancient drill and lathe for speed control. VERY worth it.

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    Plus for the USA all the existing home use motor would need to be replaced with 3p motors so that one time expense would have to be added in
    Last edited by michiganbuck; 07-08-2021 at 08:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    Plus for the USA all te existing home use motor would need to be replaced with 3p motors so that one time expense would have to be added in
    Uh.. no they do not.

    If you have 3-Phase and need only one phase, you use only one of the phases.

    That's part of what "Wye" distribution and having a Neutral is all about.

    Even so, it works for Delta as well- just not as flexibly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark in Portugal View Post
    I have 3-phase on my boat in Amsterdam too.
    Three phase on boat ? Unless it's a hundred foot tug, I'd rather hve 12v dc

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    I think this depends on the size of the "facility" size of the power bill.
    If GM built a plant for sure the power company would install for free.
    A machine shop with 5 cncs and not free.
    ...................
    Yes, of course. Actually, if GM built a plant, the powerco would run 13,000 VAC down to them, and GM would install their own substation........ Possible the powerco would "participate" in that too.

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    qt: {If you have 3-Phase and need only one phase, you use only one of the phases.]

    I mean if the USA went to 3p for a reduction of energy consumption that savings would not be gained unless the motors were changed to 3p.


    agree, for lighting and the like there are no savings in using 3p.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    qt: {If you have 3-Phase and need only one phase, you use only one of the phases.]

    I mean if the USA went to 3p for a reduction of energy consumption that savings would not be gained unless the motors were changed to 3p.


    agree, for lighting and the like there are no savings in using 3p.
    Nor anywhere else in a typical RESIDENCE. "Consuminjg devices" are near-as-dammit all single-phase even where 3-P IS right inside the riser or utility chase.

    3-P only even works as well as split-phase for residential when the dwellings are CLOSE, can be clustered, and have LOW power demands (by US standards).

    Canada or Australia it is close to a wash - either way. They do what works for them.

    Asia is crowded, but.. even the UK has a higher average population density than mainland CHINA's average.

    Flats in Hong Kong get one phase per flat @ 30 A to 60 A main - sometimes LESS - from a panel as close as about eight FEET away from the 3-P riser stack.

    As with all BUT North America and Japan, life is cheap and Copper is dear, so in HKG we are on Euro-style nominal 240/250 VAC above Earth rather than 120-0-120 for reduced risk.

    Impoverished idjuts want to rewire North America & Japan largely because their OWN grids are actively hostile to human beings and their 3rd-world and/or/else hag-ridden socialist economies can't produce the surplus resources it would require to upgrade them.

    No fear.

    They keep taxing themselves to death to pay for layers of laminated foolishness, they won't be able to afford electricity anyway, and won't NEED a grid.

    • Electricity prices by country 2020 | Statista

    • Global per capita electricity consumption 2018 | Statista

    World Power consumption | Electricity consumption | Enerdata

    Germany would be even worse-off if they weren't world-class experts at kissing Russian ass for a break on energy costs.

    "If only.." Weird-Adolf had known in advance that all "Operation Barbarossa' was going to do was permanently enslave resource-poor Germany to resource-rich Russia?

    Even HE mought have had the sense to blow his brains out one war SOONER!

    And some OTHER German would be trying to dictate how other folks should act?

    Must be a by-product of burning so damned much brown coal?

    ‘For climate protesters, we are like filth’: the German village where coal is still king | World news | The Guardian


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    Here's some two-phase home power, available everywhere, we could always go back to this ...

    F W & John Barnes lathe

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Three phase on boat ? Unless it's a hundred foot tug, I'd rather hve 12v dc
    80' barge, semi permanently moored.
    12vdc is awful if your run is more than a few yards and your load is more than a few watts.

    I have 12vdc, 24vdc, 220vac, and 380vac.
    The ship is protected against stray current corrosion by a 20kw 3-phase isolation transformer.

    Some hydraulic pipes run the length of the ship too.

    I saw a Russian tug once, it had 400vdc electrics, multiple generators and dozens of high powered motors all over the place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    qt: {If you have 3-Phase and need only one phase, you use only one of the phases.]

    I mean if the USA went to 3p for a reduction of energy consumption that savings would not be gained unless the motors were changed to 3p.
    .......
    In the first place, the 3p motors are "slightly" more efficient, if at all. For many consumer applications, such as fans, motors are inefficient by design, as that helps the functionality. So you would be installing both motors and VFDs for each one.

    In the second place, there would be a massive increase in energy consumption if that happened.... because of the enormous number of motors to be replaced.... they would all need to be made, requiring a huge energy investment, plus the added pollution involved.

    Thirdly, doing the 3 phase conversion would by itself leave an large energy "suck" in place..... Power factor.

    Most motors in the home (or elsewhere) have a bad power factor. That increases current draw, and losses. The powerco tries to keep power factor reasonable down to the substation level, but after that the averaging does not work well.

    And, it is not just motors. Bad power factor exists for many lighting loads, HID, compact fluorescents, many LEDs, standard fluorescent fixtures, essentially ALL VFDs, the SMPS in computers and other equipment, and so on.

    There is no penalty for that in house electric meters. Even if there were, there is no one solution, since motors are lagging, while some lighting is lagging and other lighting is leading in phase. The consumer would have no option but to pay the added penalty, since there is no solution available.

    Worse yet, many phase leading devices are not JUST phase leading, but are also drawing that power in high current pulses at the peak of the voltage. Some lights, and most VFDs, most SMPS in equipment, etc are like that.

    So each item that draws power would need to be replaced with a new one that draws power through a PFC. That then has an energy cost because PFCs are not 100% efficient. The cure may not be much better than the disease.

    We'd be better off to keep the system as it is. Conversion to 3 phase everywhere would essentially be "spinning our wheels". Perhaps good for the economy, but less good overall environmentally.

    Local power factor correction is possible also, but it is not achieved by the little boxes of capacitors that are sold to the gullible as a way to "magically reduce your electric bill".

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    Austria has 3 phase 380 volt in every apartment , house or business since the early 60s.
    The great US , that free enterprise country has power grids like most third world countries.
    Also the cities , towns and most of the countryside have all their powerlines underground.
    I would say to the US , get out of the STONEAGE.

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