Knowing what kind of UPS system to invest in can be a daunting process indeed, particularly given how many different types, models, and manufacturers there are on the market today. In order to help simplify that process for you, we’re going to highlight the differences between Single-phase and three-phase UPS systems. What are they and how do they differentiate from one another? Read on if you’d like to know more…
Single-phase is often used in homes, though it is more common in large offices and server rooms.
As per Australian power voltage requirements, single-phase electricity is typically connected at 230-volts (240V in WA and QLD).
Single-phase UPS systems are smaller, lighter, and easier to transport and install. As such, single-phase UPS are best used in residential and small to medium sized office environments and when the required power supply is relatively low.
Three-phase is most commonly used in commercial and industrial environments and when a much larger capacity is required. These devices have three phase wires and one neutral one – thus providing three alternating currents separated by phase angle, spreading the total load evenly.
Three-phase UPS systems are better utilised in scenarios where a greater amount of power is required for critical loads, such as:
Let’s look at some further comparisons between single-phase and three-phase UPS systems:
As the name suggests, three-phase power supplies can transmit three times as much power as a single-phase power supply can.
The maximum kW for a three-phase UPS system is roughly 400-volts, with single-phase capping out at 230-volts.
If you have relatively low power requirements, a single-phase UPS will be more efficient than a three-phase. However, when the power demand is much higher, three-phase UPS is far more efficient – and safer.
The cost is relative to application. For example, as single-phase power is most commonly utilised in homes and small businesses, it is relatively simple and inexpensive to set up and install. However, for commercial & industrial applications, three-phase UPS systems are more efficient and less expensive to operate.
Ultimately, the equipment in three-phase UPS systems will have a longer life expectancy. That, and three-phase systems do not require heavy gauge copper wise like single-phase Ups systems. As such, it is safe to say that, across the board (comparatively speaking) three-phase UPS will save more money.
So, how can you determine which type of UPS system is best suited to your needs?
It’s important to remember that there are pros and cons to both three-phase and single-phase generators:
Factors to consider when making your decision
Finally, let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding single-phase and three-phase Ups systems:
In a nutshell, single-phase UPS covers power requirements up to 230-volts, while three-phase UPS is better suited to anything above those requirements (up to a maximum of approx. 400-volts).
Whether you need a three-phase or single-phase UPS depends on a variety of factors. The easiest way to gauge this is:
If you can’t decide, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will gladly advise you accordingly.
Yes, three-phase units can typically be used to feed single-phase loads with good load balancing. If you are not sure, refer to the manufacturer’s instruction manual or consult the experts.
This depends on the situation. Naturally, a small, single-phase UPS in a residential environment would be cheaper to run than a large-scale commercial data centre. However, comparatively, three-phase UPS systems are more efficient and less expensive to run.
To recap: the only difference between choosing a single-phase and three-phase system largely depends on the size of the system needed and the electrical / voltage requirements.