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#61274 - 01/21/06 12:29 AM Residential 3 Phase, Why / Why Not?  
NORCAL  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 873
I have a question,why not provide homes with 3 phase power? With energy conservation being a "hot subject" it seems to be a tremendous waste to have single phase air conditioning equipment in most of the new homes constructed.


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#61275 - 01/21/06 12:44 AM Re: Residential 3 Phase, Why / Why Not?  
mxslick  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 803
Atomic City, ID USA
One word: MONEY [Linked Image]

From the POCO end: Extra transformers, 4-wire service drops, three-phase metering, and in a lot (most?) of the residential areas, lack of three-phase primarys. (And let's not get into the whole open-delta thing, please.)

From the homebuilder's end: Increased cost for the 3-phase panel and main breakers. Increased cost to wire up the appliances.

But it would be more efficient, agreed.


Stupid should be painful.

#61276 - 01/21/06 01:34 AM Re: Residential 3 Phase, Why / Why Not?  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,121
Estero,Fl,usa
I suppose there might be a buck or two to save in a big McMansion but most houses would be better served by simply using better glass and more insulation. The new HVAC systems are really pretty efficient.
Other than pool pumps I doubt there is much else that would benefit from 3 phase.


Greg Fretwell

#61277 - 01/21/06 02:52 AM Re: Residential 3 Phase, Why / Why Not?  
wa2ise  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 784
Oradell NJ USA
In my home town (Oradell NJ) there's several late 50's houses fed with 3 phase power (normal 120/240 with an open delta 240v). Must have been the first houses with central air. Presumidly the homeowners have never mistaken the 208V line for 120V.


#61278 - 01/21/06 02:54 AM Re: Residential 3 Phase, Why / Why Not?  
SolarPowered  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 625
Palo Alto, CA, USA
I was unaware that there is a big difference in efficiency between single-phase and three-phase air-conditioning equipment. Just how big is the difference?


#61279 - 01/21/06 04:40 AM Re: Residential 3 Phase, Why / Why Not?  
ShockMe77  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
Rahway, New Jersey
In my 15 years, I have worked in exactly 1 residential home that had 3 phase power to it. The owner was filthy rich. All the HVAC equipment is also 3 phase, and even some kitchen appliances. The pool in the basement may also be powered by 3 phase equip but I'm not sure about that. Yes, a pool in the basement, nice, huh?


#61280 - 01/21/06 06:27 AM Re: Residential 3 Phase, Why / Why Not?  
Alan Belson  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Mayenne N. France
Latest technology for AirCon is to use dc motors & inverters to give infinitely variable compressors and evaporators and 'soft start'. Coupled with microprocessor control and ozone-friendly refrigerant, [R410A] these units easily achieve COPs of well over 4, so that the difference between 3 and single phase operation is nil.
www.toshiba-aircon.co.uk

[Link gives a good idea on wassappenin',
technology wise, I'm not saying they're better than others.]

Having seen neighbors juggling their demand between phases and continually tripping breakers when they plug their kettle into the 'wrong' recep., I'd say 3 phase and residential is a bad idea.

Alan



[This message has been edited by Alan Belson (edited 01-21-2006).]


Wood work but can't!

#61281 - 01/21/06 08:38 AM Re: Residential 3 Phase, Why / Why Not?  
pauluk  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
3-phase domestic supplies are pretty common in Continental Europe, although not here in the U.K.

So many of those supplies are very low rated though, sometimes set for only 15 or 20A per phase. As Alan says, you have to juggle what to Americans and Brits seem like small loads just to avoid tripping a main breaker.

Somehow I can't imagine that being a problem if 3-phase were used in U.S. homes, as the services would be "a little" heftier. [Linked Image]


#61282 - 01/21/06 08:47 AM Re: Residential 3 Phase, Why / Why Not?  
iwire  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Quote
I have a question,why not provide homes with 3 phase power? With energy conservation being a "hot subject" it seems to be a tremendous waste to have single phase air conditioning equipment in most of the new homes constructed.


Watts are watts regardless of them being delivered three phase or single phase.

746 watts per HP is unchanging.

Advantages of three phase are smaller conductors.

Disadvantages...cost.

Any three phase distribution equipment costs more than the equivalent single phase equipment.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

#61283 - 01/21/06 10:26 AM Re: Residential 3 Phase, Why / Why Not?  
WFO  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 202
Cat Spring, TX
We had one home on our system that had a true 3 phase service.
Someone had convinced this guy that 3 phase was cheaper than single phase. (Still haven't ever gotten a good explanation on why people think that [Linked Image].

Anyway, after living there a couple of years, he decided his bill was too high and had the entire house converted back to single phase. (More cost for no significant return).

This guy was singularly lacking in wit or tack, so the fun part was during the conversion when they installed the single phase equipment before we had changed out his delta bank. The AC guy hooked the controls up to the 208 high leg and fried the AC.

Of course, Mr. "I've got more dollars than sense" wanted us, the POCO, to pay for it.

We just smiled [Linked Image]


[This message has been edited by WFO (edited 01-21-2006).]


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