The lack of general availability of 3 phase power in the USA - Page 6
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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    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".
    I don't see the migration the same way you do. First the end user will have choice. Just because he has 3 Ph does not mean he will use it everywhere. He will continue to use his single phase stuff until it expires. No one will throw away anything still functioning. However in those situations where it makes sense, 3 PH will be used. I see the conversion as evolutionary not revolutionary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    However in those situations where it makes sense, 3 PH will be used. I see the conversion as evolutionary not revolutionary.
    You are easily fifty years - if not a hundred years - BEHIND the evolution that has already progressed.

    3-P machinery power to servos. "Subtractive" machinery and its rotating spindles in general to welding, EDM, laser, chemical milling, casting, molding, stamping, myriad other means of processing and forming for a finished product.

    - "appliance" consumer goods to integrated inverter & hybrid motors

    - corded to cordless & 'local' rechargeables & improving battery tech

    - DC or hybrid motors again - also with integrated management, in your hand.. or under your mobile arse - not just in HVAC, laundry, or kitchen.

    - Lighting through fluorescents and HID to LED.. and still seeking..

    And that's just the already-available and in widespread use technology.

    ECONOMICS are easily as significant a driver of the direction things take as Engineering is.

    And economics are heavily affected by politics and resulting taxation as a steering mechanism, of course.

    Whatever ELSE drives politics, Engineering is as low on the list as good sense, in general!

    "Rational choices?"

    Now and then they are. For a little while. Accidentally?

    The longer-term is always the compromise of compromises, averaging out and ever-dynamic.

    Humans are involved? What did you THINK was going to happen?

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    Steve, what do you suppose the in fracture cost would be to convert the USA to 3p?
    How long would it take to make pay back with the savings? It would take more study than I am capable of.

    But we(the USA and world) may be throwing many dollars out the window for green thinking so one more window cant hurt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    Steve, what do you suppose the in fracture cost would be to convert the USA to 3p?
    How long would it take to make pay back with the savings? It would take more study than I am capable of.

    But we(the USA and world) may be throwing many dollars out the window for green thinking so one more window cant hurt.
    So long as... we keep trying ... but at least adopt what proves to work, and marginalize what does NOT work? The chaos is being managed, and seems to work well-enough.

    Because there is money to be made.

    Check the history of just one of our powercos:

    Dominion Energy - Wikipedia

    What have they done, early American colonial times onward?

    Whatever customers would PAY FOR.


    They are not even close to being "alone" in that game, either.

    So my energy costs half what a German has to pay?

    Why would I want to mess with that?

    MY job was seeing to it OUR customers got a good deal on telecoms!

    Paid well, too.

    IF ... I were to have tried to dedicate my energy to repurposing the entire national power grid for somebody else's country?

    Prolly wudda ended up hungrier ... and VERY frustrated ... in some small town in Germany? With 3-Phase power?

    Now.. Austria.. or Schwiez.. I can deal with. Even off-grid entirely.

    But small-town GERMANY? 3-Phase power isn't near enough as compensation!



    I think I'd rather go back and live in NORTHSIDE PITTSBURGH.

    Or have an STD!

    Both of those are more easily curable, y'see..


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  6. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    Steve, what do you suppose the in fracture cost would be to convert the USA to 3p?
    How long would it take to make pay back with the savings? It would take more study than I am capable of.

    But we(the USA and world) may be throwing many dollars out the window for green thinking so one more window cant hurt.
    I have no idea, but every business process has inertia. There are those that will have an invested interest to not change. Cost is a major driver. The power companies will want to be compensated for investments that will not derive immediate returns. The government will have to underwrite the change, but a universal upgrade to 3 ph will have to be masked in an overall electrical system modernization, which is desperately needed anyway. As to the actual cost, I don't think anybody could do better than a wild assed guess!

    As an example of the sorry state of affairs, look at Keith Fenner. Keith is a well known and popular machinist with a large YouTube following. He did not move far down on the Cape and he moved into an industrial property. Now I'm not going to tell Keith's story, he can do that himself. Cape Cod is not the Boonies. There is 3 ph nearby, but after nearly a year since he made the 3 ph request, he still has to run a phase converter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim rozen View Post
    1) 3 phase power is commonly available in most US locations.

    2) most US utilities will install this if requested.

    3) it typically comes with peak-demand metering and charges for VAR power.

    Your initial supposition is wrong.
    A friend of mine bought an old house with a detached carriage house/garage. He wanted to get 3 phase for cabinetmaking, which the utility could do, but ended up being restricted by county zoning laws. The only option he had was 220v on a separate service.

    Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    I have no idea, but every business process has inertia. There are those that will have an invested interest to not change. Cost is a major driver. The power companies will want to be compensated for investments that will not derive immediate returns. The government will have to underwrite the change, but a universal upgrade to 3 ph will have to be masked in an overall electrical system modernization, which is desperately needed anyway. As to the actual cost, I don't think anybody could do better than a wild assed guess!
    Where does it end? A retiree with a one man shop should have his own Interstate highway interchange and a dual-main line rail presence? Because he is a nice guy? Or is well-liked on You Tube?

    Get real.

    Industry goes where it needs to go or PAYS FOR what it needs brought TO it.

    So.... you are either trolling. Incredibly naive. Borderline insane? Or some combination of the above? You are not even IN the US power grid service area, and you think you understand it?

    You do not.

    3-Phase to residences LOST that war a hundred years and more ago.
    Industry already HAS the three-phase power it needs.

    "Modernization" is a whole separate issue.

    And anything "the government" has to "underwrite" means triple the cost - for graft, waste, and interest on the loans - for graft, waste and interest - eventually comes right out of your ass, your children, your grand-children and your great-grandchildren's (former) lunch money.

    We can do a great DEAL better than a "wild assed guess".

    We can ignore third-world whiners to their OWN local environments and JF deal with the one we built the way WE wanted it built.

    EG: Don't try to Hitlerize what ain't broken to begin with.

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  10. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    So long as... we keep trying ... but at least adopt what proves to work, and marginalize what does NOT work? The chaos is being managed, and seems to work well-enough.

    Because there is money to be made.

    Check the history of just one of our powercos:

    Dominion Energy - Wikipedia

    What have they done, early American colonial times onward?

    Whatever customers would PAY FOR.


    They are not even close to being "alone" in that game, either.

    So my energy costs half what a German has to pay?

    Why would I want to mess with that?

    MY job was seeing to it OUR customers got a good deal on telecoms!

    Paid well, too.

    IF ... I were to have tried to dedicate my energy to repurposing the entire national power grid for somebody else's country?

    Prolly wudda ended up hungrier ... and VERY frustrated ... in some small town in Germany? With 3-Phase power?

    Now.. Austria.. or Schwiez.. I can deal with. Even off-grid entirely.

    But small-town GERMANY? 3-Phase power isn't near enough as compensation!



    I think I'd rather go back and live in NORTHSIDE PITTSBURGH.

    Or have an STD!

    Both of those are more easily curable, y'see..

    A lot of what you state is true of course, but it is a mistake to assume the high cost of energy in Europe is based upon engineering decisions, it isn't. The high energy cost is due to rabid socialism. The cost is simply taxes used to support the terribly expensive implementation of and subsidization of RE (wind turbines). Merkel has shut down all the nuclear reactors without replacements and she wants to shut down coal as well. Don't confuse those policies to engineering. It is those policies that are the cost drivers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    I don't see the migration the same way you do. First the end user will have choice. Just because he has 3 Ph does not mean he will use it everywhere. He will continue to use his single phase stuff until it expires. No one will throw away anything still functioning. However in those situations where it makes sense, 3 PH will be used. I see the conversion as evolutionary not revolutionary.
    It would not happen like that. The post does not suppose it will be forced.... it is responding to the idea that 3p is so much more efficient that it should be done on that basis.

    Point is that there is no point to a wholesale replacement strategy, if that is based on supposed efficiency. IF the conversion WERE done, the described things would happen.

    Obviously, it would NOT be done.

    There is no point in tossing every appliance etc simply because they do not run on 3 phase. Many things, likely MOST things are no better if running on 3 phase than if they run on single phase.

    For instance: There are positive benefits to a lathe running on 3 phase. Grinders likewise, in many cases. A mill, however in many cases has far less advantage, other than simple availability of that power of motor in 3 phase, not single.

    Specifically with regard to homes: What is the difference between a single phase washing machine vs a 3 phase? Not much.

    The idea that single phase is somehow "stone age" is just silly, in my view. Someone will have to explain how a 3 phase clothes washer is better. I see no reason at all, especially since it has it's own VFD internal. The motor never sees regular line voltage to begin with.

    Same for nearly every other electrical item in a house. Explain why you think it is better that they should be run from 3 phase.



    The idea that 3 phase is not available in the US is also silly, and false. It is available everywhere that there is a need for it, which is, generally, where large amounts of power are used.

    In the US, if you build a large apartment building, it will be fed with 3 phase. Almost certainly the accursed 208VAC, but still, 3 phase. There is no other sensible way to do it, so that is what is done.

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    With all due respect:

    You've got all the power you want available at the flick of a switch and you live in a day and age where equipment exists to efficiently convert it into any useful form imaginable.

    Buy a VFD, RPC, motor-generator set or some single phase motors and be done with it. Four separate options that are all cheaper and easier than screwing around with a service swap.

    Universal residential three phase will never happen in the US because nobody wants a 120/240V high-leg delta or 120/208V wye service in their house - unless they're a hobby woodworker/machinist or else got a smoking deal on a used 10+HP air compressor.

    And then as luck would have it their new acquisitions turn out to be straight-wound for 480 or 600 volts so conversion equipment ends up still being necessary even after their house has a newly mandated 3 phase service.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by salzburg View Post
    The great US , that free enterprise country has power grids like most third world countries.
    Well... no.
    I lived in India for years; voltage jumps up and down when it works at all. Voltage drops to 60% after dark. A day without power going out for an hour or more is a good day, and rare too.

    Lebanon has just had their main generators shut down completely because they don't have dollars to buy fuel.

    Just a reality check; US domestic supply might be compromised, but it's not third world. It works as designed, very well.
    It was designed to run lights.
    Later, domestic refrigeration was added.

    There are no 3-phase domestic appliances.
    Ok, that's not true; I once had a 3-phase domestic oven, but when I replaced it only single phase was available.
    It's only 2,000 watts.

    Newer high efficiency domestic appliances (washing machines, air conditioners) run on internal inverters, to tailor motor speed to the load. they're mostly single phase, although larger AC units are available in 3-phase.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a Sparky View Post
    With all due respect:

    You've got all the power you want available at the flick of a switch and you live in a day and age where equipment exists to efficiently convert it into any useful form imaginable.

    Buy a VFD, RPC, motor-generator set or some single phase motors and be done with it. Four separate options that are all cheaper and easier than screwing around with a service swap.
    Or "all of the above".. plus Dee Cee... (off single-phase).


    Universal residential three phase will never happen in the US because nobody wants a 120/240V high-leg delta or 120/208V wye service in their house - unless they're a hobby woodworker/machinist or else got a smoking deal on a used 10+HP air compressor.
    Confirmed.

    Even with.. extensive 3-P Old Iron.. I STILL prefer my 200A "split phase" service. As I've been using - and paying for - 31 years and counting, same home, same service entrance, no hassle.

    It's cheaper that way. It is even safer, too

    Sure as Hell I don't run no three shifts a day making chips, parts, nor even excuses for NOT.

    What next?

    German-style flush-toilets with that odd catch-tray?

    What IS the deal with that fool thing, anyway?

    "Catch and release" turd-QC device?

    Anti-drowning system for turd-eating Dachle dogs who won't CEASE trying to train humans to not shit in the "den" like helpless puppies?


    Or what?

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  18. #113
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    This is a program break:

    The Matrix three phase power arrangement. The solution does sacrifice a small portion of your shop floor space ...

    matrix battery scene - Google Search

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    The way I see it, living far out in the sticks away from 3P power is a good excuse to buy a big ol' generator set. Three phase power for your machines during the day *and* backup power if the grid fails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark in Portugal View Post
    Well... no.
    I lived in India for years; voltage jumps up and down when it works at all. Voltage drops to 60% after dark. A day without power going out for an hour or more is a good day, and rare too.
    ......................
    Just have a look at the pics here.... that will make anyone shut up about "third world power in the US".

    electric wires in india - Google Search

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    Just have a look at the pics here.... that will make anyone shut up about "third world power in the US".

    electric wires in india - Google Search
    Uh, yabut.... try this:

    "electrical wires in" China, Pakistan, Vietnam... hard to find ANY "good news", globally...

    Mind.. folks don't take photos of "good news" anyway.... do they?

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    "No news" is "good news" as they say.

    The only places you regularly hear about power problems in the US are on the east and west coasts where the population density can be high enough to approach that of some of these other countries being referred to.

    You don't really hear about power problems in the central US with nearly the same regularity. Usually it's related to a cascading blackout originating in New York, or a hurricane/tornado/snowstorm knocking out vulnerable equipment, etc. rather than the sorts of weekly or daily disturbances some places in California experience.

    For perspective I just had my first outage in 7 years the other day. Lost power for about 1 second when a recloser tripped and reset. Probably a falling tree branch brushing the lines or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just a Sparky View Post
    "No news" is "good news" as they say.

    The only places you regularly hear about power problems in the US are on the east and west coasts where the population density can be high enough to approach that of some of these other countries being referred to.

    You don't really hear about power problems in the central US with nearly the same regularity. Usually it's related to a cascading blackout originating in New York, or a hurricane/tornado/snowstorm knocking out vulnerable equipment, etc. rather than the sorts of weekly or daily disturbances some places in California experience.

    For perspective I just had my first outage in 7 years the other day. Lost power for about 1 second when a recloser tripped and reset.
    Problem HERE is "local". VERY!

    A sort of "island" of incompetently local-gridded community surrounded by an otherwise uber-reliable grid (Dominion Virginia Power).

    So "Broyhill's Addition to Sterling Park" DOES get rudely-common outages.

    One of which cost me the fridge-freezer that meats had rotted in whilst I was away from home! The box just wasn't worth trying to sanitize.



    Even so... it would be FAR cheaper to scrap a freezer AND contents once in every many years than to have "invested" in my "Tactically Quiet" (and it actually IS...) NATO/OTAN MEP-803A, the Diesel fuel storage, preservatives, stored Diesel fuel conditioning system, auto and manual transfer switch gear, wire, conduit, extra exhaust catalytic filtering and particulates capture, further enhancements to noise abatement.... etc.

    But... "It's PM, dammit!"

    LOTS of us just do s**t because...

    ...we CAN!


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    My washing machine has a three phase motor with a built in 120v VFD to run it. Maytag neptune.
    Here is an old thread on them:
    maytag neptune

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    NATO/OTAN MEP-803A

    [...]

    LOTS of us just do s**t because...

    ...we CAN!

    Katolight heavy-duty 5kVA hand-portable. Because it's old and cool and heavy... and I can.

    I only wish it had lifting eyes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_20200809_210700215.jpg  


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