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Single phase, two phase, three phase and multiphase electric generators – which one is more efficient?
I started referring to the above issue when one students asked, “Why do we use three phase generation of power and not two phase or four phase?”
Three-phase has properties that make it very desirable in electric power systems:
The phase currents tend to cancel out one another, summing to zero in the case of a linear balanced load. This makes it possible to reduce the size of the neutral conductor because it carries little to no current; all the phase conductors carry the same current and so can be the same size, for a balanced load.
Power transfer into a linear balanced load is constant, which helps to reduce generator and motor vibrations.
Three-phase systems can produce a rotating magnetic field with a specified direction and constant magnitude, which simplifies the design of electric motors.
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