View Full Version : 3-phase vs single phase power usage

Jun 30, 2010, 04:06 PM
My currnet a/c is on 3-phase and I'm going to replace it. I want to get a 5 ton 16 SEER ($1500 gov't rebate)but they are available in only single phase. I'm wondering if it will cost significantly more to run a new 16 SEER unit on single phase than a new 13 SEER on 3-phase.

Jun 30, 2010, 05:12 PM
Cost in terms of operation, no. 5HP single phase is also 5 HP 3 phase.

SEER takes into account the conversion of electrical energy to cooling, meaning power to cool.

Installation of 3 phase is mixed. Wire costs less. Breakers have to be larger for single phase and smaller, but with an extra one for 3 phase. The conduit may or may not have to be re-sized. Wires would have to be larger.

3 phase power loss protection is usually added.

Three phase is much more reliable. There is also less power spiking.

A 3 phase motor is usually more efficient, but your considering the system.

A 3 phase power has better starting torque.

Jul 1, 2010, 04:36 PM
If yo were comparing HP to HP on single and 3 phase, the 3 phase system would be more efficient and cost less to run.

Since your comparing SEER, efficiencies of the various parts are taken into account.

The real difference is that 3 phase is more reliable and may or may not cost more to install.

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