Poly-Phase a.c. Circuits

  • Noel M. Morris
Part of the Macmillan Master Guides book series


As its name implies, a poly-phase power supply or multi-phase supply provides the user with several power supply ‘phases’. The way in which these ‘phases’ are generated is described in sections 13.2 and 13.3, and we concentrate here on the advantages of the use of a poly-phase supply which are:
  1. 1.

    For a given amount of power transmitted to the user, the volume of conductor material needed in the supply cable is less than in a single-phase system to supply the same amount of power. A poly-phase transmission system is therefore more economical than a single-phase supply system.

  2. 2.

    Poly-phase motors and other electrical equipment are generally smaller and simpler than single-phase motors and equipment. For industry, poly-phase equipment is cheaper and easier to maintain.


A poly-phase supply system may have two, three, four, six, twelve or even twenty-four phases, with the three-phase system being the most popular. The National Grid distribution network is a three-phase system. An introduction to electrical power distribution systems was given in Chapter 8, where it was shown that power is distributed to industry using a three- phase system, a single-phase system being used for domestic power distribution.


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Copyright information

© Noel M. Morris 1991

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  • Noel M. Morris

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