Useful Information – Power Configurations

Before I start applying all of our new knowledge about sound to a discussion of ultrasonics, I thought I would interject this little tidbit of useful information about power configurations.

Despite the fact that most companies employ skilled electricians, many of the people involved in specifying and designing cleaning (and other) equipment that uses electrical power lack an understanding of the various options regarding power line sources.  This, unfortunately, results in a lot of trouble and often damage when the equipment is received and is ready for connection to the power source.

The following PDF file may be helpful in a more thorough understanding of the various power sources and options.

Click on the illustration above for a downloadable .pdf.

As you can see, the options are a little complex, especially when it comes to 208 Volt three phase power.  Three phase power at 208 volts is really intended to power devices requiring a considerable amount of power at 120 volts.  The three phase configuration allows the transmission of more overall power using smaller gauge wire as the three phases are delivered in succession, not all at once.  As the illustration shows, 208 volt three phase power supplied to a machine is often used to power a number of internal devices each of which operate at 120 or 208 volts single phase.

If power is supplied by overhead wires, it is frequently possible to determine the type of power being supplied by looking at the configuration of wires at the top of the pole.  Three phase “Delta” power supplied by a pole top transformer at 440 or 220 volts will have a connection to all three wires on the pole.  Three phase “Wye” power at 208 volts is usually supplied  by three distinct transformers with four, not three, wires connecting to the building.  If there aren’t three wires coming to the pole, the power is not three phase!

Hopefully this information will be helpful in reducing confusion about various line power sources.

Have a Great Weekend.

–  FJF  –

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