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When buying a generator, you know that you want a unit that turns on whenever your power goes out, and that may be the extent of it. So whenever you start being asked things like “do you want a single phase or a three phase generator?” you may not be sure how to answer that question. We want to make sure you have all the knowledge you need to make a decision on what type of generator is right for you.

What is a single phase generator?

To understand a single phase generator, you need to understand a single phase electrical current. A single phase current has to pass through just one phase and then through a transformer. The transformer adjusts the levels of the current before it heads into the home on a second wire. 

The single phase setup has a conducting wire and a neutral wire. The wire that is the conductor is the one that carries the current and the neutral wire returns it.

So what does a single-phase setup look like?

  • Power coming from just one source
  • 230 volts 
  • Requires 2 wires for a complete circuit
  • It is mostly used for residential properties
  • Not as efficient as a three-phase system
  • Powers small appliances, light, and small electronic devices

A standby generator from Northside Power can power a small business or home with a single phase current. The electrical current that the generator supplies have to be the same amount that your utility company supplies to your home for it to work properly.

 What is a three phase generator?

A three phase generator runs on a three phase current, which is like it sounds. There are three different conductor wires and the current travels over all three of them. There is also a neutral wire. Three phase generators are preferred among utility companies because they are more reliable and can be used among large commercial and industrial properties.

Three phase systems can be set up in the same way that a single phase system is set up, however, a single phase system cannot be set up in the same way as a three phase system.

What exactly does a three phase setup look like?

  • Its power source comes from three conductors rather than one
  • 415 volts
  • Four wires are needed to complete the circuit
  • It is used among commercial and industrial facilities
  • The power supply is continuous
  • Economically more sustainable than a single phase setup.

If you are a large commercial property owner looking for a generator to fit your needs, you will want to look at our three phase generators.

If you are unsure of whether you need a single phase or three phase electrical system, you can call one of our experts at Northside Power to come out and access your needs.

Some businesses don’t require a very high voltage, whereas others require a much higher voltage. 

It is always the safest bet to ask a professional which type of generator and electric supply you need for your home or business. When you give us a call we will come out and inspect your electrical box to see what type of phase you are currently running on. We will be looking for how many wires there are. We can also check the voltage being used.