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Single-phase power
Time : 2017-08-08

In electrical engineering, single-phase electric power refers to the distribution of alternating current electric power using a system in which all the voltages of the supply vary in unison. Single-phase distribution is used when loads are mostly lighting and heating, with few small electric motors.

Single-phase electricity is what you have in your house. In general, household electrical supply is a single-phase, 220-230 volt AC supply. If you were to take an oscilloscope and measure the power from a normal wall socket in your house, the voltage would be seen as a sine wave, with an effective root mean square (RMS) voltage of 230 volts and an oscillation rate of 50 cycles per second, or 50 Hz. Power that oscillates in this way is generally referred to as alternating current, or AC.

The alternative to AC is DC, or direct current, such as that produced by batteries.AC has at least three advantages over DC in an electrical distribution grid:

1. Large electricity generators generate AC naturally, so conversion to DC requires an extra step.

2. Electrical transformers, which the power distribution grid depends on, need an alternating current in order to operate.

3. Converting AC to DC is easy, whereas converting DC to AC is expensive. This makes AC a better choice.


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