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Thread: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

  1. #1
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    Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    This will not exactly be a thread of woes, but more of a thread of taking longer then planned. But its happening.

    I notice over there in the USA you guys have a little war with your power companies regarding getting 3 phase power in your shops. Also for some of you it costs tens of thousands of dollar to get it. I also notice that your power supply voltages vary a great deal that all in all it is damn confusing.

    Down here in kiwi land all our power poles have 3 phase lines along the top row. Single phase supply gets tapped off of the poles and distributed to each house. Single phase supply is 230-240volts at 50hz and 3 phase supply is 400-415volts 50hz. Single phase is commonly referred to as 230volt and 3 phase 415volt.

    Most household single phase wall sockets are a 230volt 10 amp socket. For more higher rated single phase devices you can get a 15 amp socket.

    3 phase sockets can be a bit amp specific, so you would obviously buy whats right for your equipment/wiring. I had a new garage built a couple of years ago and have been on a quest to have 3 phase installed since that point. I got lucky as there is a power pole right outside my house but what was even more lucky is that right outside my gate is a 3 phase distribution box that was plonked there when the people next door built a new house which was so that they could tap the single phase off of it. There is however a massive 3 phase cable going from the pole to that box which I got the great plan of connecting to.

    So the journey began with a trip to company that looks after all the lines and maintains all the power supply in my area. I told them my grand plan and they were all for it however did inform me it would be at a cost of almost a couple of thousand dollars to hook up to that box. We (myself and the lines contractor) tried for a 415v 100amp supply but unfortunately we could only get a 60amp supply due to power restrictions in my area (long story short the power company have maxed out the local transformers which is a bit dumb as both transformers near me have been often taken out by trucks).

    They put the required 60amp fuses into the little distribution box and I proceeded to dig a trench through my front yard to hook up to it. Which my awesome electrician nicely did for me. So I am currently only running single phase but have the 3 phase cabling thats required going from the street to my house meter box. After that I had some financial delays but am back into it.

    Now is the journey to go from my house meter box to my garage and have a 3 phase meter installed and the extra phases connected at the street.

    The first half of the journey all I did was the leg work for getting permission and digging the trench. But for the second half I am doing as much as possible myself so that my electrician can do what he is required, as here in New Zealand even though I am not an electrician I can run cable and do a lot of the grunt work but any connections to the meter box and main power supply have to be done by an electrician and anything I do will have to be up to code and inspected.

    Things I have learnt so far, 3 phase is expensive but worth it in the long run as most industrial stuff down here in 3 phase and equivelant single phase stuff is crazy expensive. Also no matter how worth it you think it is, trench digging is not fun at all. Also the local council really know bugga all regarding whats under the ground as I found a bunch of old pipework under the ground that they did not even know about.




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  2. #2
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    tried for a 415v 100amp supply but unfortunately we could only get a 60amp supply due to power restrictions in my area
    I have no idea what you want to run but that should come close to running 100 hp motor if needed, that is a lot of potential power,

    I realize I am a small user, and do not even have true three phase, as I have open delta three phase, (one transformer missing, and and only two of the three phases of the three phase coming to the farm), (used where most of the load is conventional single phase), but it runs my mills and lathes and compressors just fine, I think I am not recommended to pull more than about 25% of the load, that the breaker is rated for, as the transformer that produces the " third phase" is down sized, and I have a "100 amp @ 220 volts",

    It is was a cost saving set up by the power company, they said if I need more power they would come in and up grade the system, no charge, (one line man said there is a transformer at the storage area with my name on it all ready), but I have done fine with this set up, (not sure how it would work with a three phase welder works fine with rotary equipment).

    If you over load that 60 amp entrance you have other problems,
    Last edited by Farmerboy; 08-20-2016 at 11:05 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Yeah I am sure it will be plenty. I am just planning for the day that my Syncrowave 351 comes home from work. It sounds crazy but if you read the manual for a 351 and read the recommended electrical connection for a 351 running on 415v 50hz you practically need a 60amp breaker just for that haha.

    I'll be a one man band when my home shop is properly setup and running so it will be all good as I will only ever be running one machine at a time.

    Even though Syncrowaves are single phase in the states, we run them on three phase circuits down here to get the voltage.
    Last edited by William Payne; 08-20-2016 at 04:19 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    at least you will make the electrical company happy,

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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerboy View Post
    at least you will make the electrical company happy,
    Haha Whats great is I don't have to pay line charges. They charge the same here for line use whether single or 3 phase so the only thing that will change is my power usage when I start running my machines. Something to do with the fact that the lines are already there.
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Another addition to the "how to completely go overboard and wire your shed like an industrial factory" story. I have sorted out 30 metres on cat 6 gel filled underground rated Ethernet cable for my garage. As well as an outdoor rated ip67 little plastic box to mount to the wall of my house outside. I'll run the cable from the garage to the house then mount a splice junction deal in the box on the house and later will run cable from the house to that box and splice it in. Then on each end will have a wall mounted data outlet.
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    60 Amps sounds like a lot. But Syncrowave is a transformer single phase machine right? That's why you need so many amps.

    60 Amps on single phase is about 30 Amps on three-phase.

    A modern inverter based 350Amps AC/DC TIG only needs 20 Amp fuses on 3-phase 400V.

  8. #8
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete.S. View Post
    60 Amps sounds like a lot. But Syncrowave is a transformer single phase machine right? That's why you need so many amps.

    60 Amps on single phase is about 30 Amps on three-phase.

    A modern inverter based 350Amps AC/DC TIG only needs 20 Amp fuses on 3-phase 400V.
    Yip that's right. The 351 is still single phase even here in NZ on 3 phase. The plug lead still only has 3 wires including the earth. What they do here is they wire it using 3 phase plugs and outlets to get the voltage. I'm no expert or electrician but I am guessing they use 2 of the 3 phases to get the 400v like you guys do to get 220 over there.

    Last edited by William Payne; 09-12-2016 at 02:52 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Quote Originally Posted by William Payne View Post
    Yip that's right. The 351 is still single phase even here in NZ on 3 phase. The plug lead still only has 3 wires including the earth. What they do here is they wire it using 3 phase plugs and outlets to get the voltage. I'm no expert or electrician but I am guessing they use 2 of the 3 phases to get the 400v like you guys do to get 220 over there.

    Yeah, I'm in Europe now and we have 3-phase here as well. But you're right, to get 400V you hook up the equipment between two phases. The three phases are called L1, L2, L3 and then you have a neutral (N) and protective earth (PE). To get 220V single phase you take the neutral and any of the phases for instance L1. To get 400V single phase you take for instance L1 and L2.

    In the US that would be 120V between phase and neutral and 208V between two phases. Voltage varies though and heavy industries can have higher voltages, like 480V 3-ph.

    We have 25 Amp 3-phase 400V in our little shop. It works fine though as we don't use many machines at the same time and most equipment is 3-phase so they draw an equal amount of current from each phase. Our welders are inverters as well.

    But we're getting 35 Amp soon. That's the same power as 110 Amps on 220V single phase.
    Last edited by Pete.S.; 09-12-2016 at 04:22 PM.

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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    I want to line the garage all the way up, the top beam is a different size to the others so had to improvise. I need to get at least one sheet up to mount the electrical panel to. The lining I am using is stuff called triboard.

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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Quest continued today with running cable. From the street to the house is whats known locally as 35mm 3 core neutral screen made by General Cable. In easier terms its an underground rated 3 core copper cable used for 3 phase installations. That was installed about a year ago. From the house to the garage is 25mm 3 core neutral screen made by Olex cable. The reason for using the bigger cable from the street to the house was price. We found the required length of cable for a very good price but it was of the larger size. Which can never be a bad thing.

    The cable I ran today is the 25mm and is over about a 100 foot distance but can handle 153amps when buried direct and over that distance has less then 1 percent voltage drop.




    I went to the local electrical store to get insulation tape as the cable will be exposed to the elements until the connections are made. When I explained what I was doing to the guy who works there he showed me these shrink fit cable covers, they are filled with glue to create a good sealed fit when shrunk. Though I do question the the thoughts of whoever invented them as while shrinking them they just got more and more phallic looking. Weird. The staff member at the store was impressed that I wanted to protect the cable in such a way as apparently a lot of people don't think about that.



    Still put insulation tape on just for good measure, can never be too well protected.

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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Decided to pull this out and get it a bit ready as this will be going up soon.


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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Not a big update as been feeling under the weather this weekend, but got the cat 6 in the trench as well and back filled and put down the cable warning tape, then fully back filled.

    I laugh when digging trenches as you seem to end up with more dirt after backfilling then what came out when digging.

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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    A couple of wall boards up so that I can mount electrical panel. Not huge amount of progress this weekend. Had some other stuff going on.

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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Looks good.
    Y'ur getting closer!

    Panel boards tend to swell and sprawl... are you sure there isn't somewhere other to locate the board, rather than in the swing path of an entrance door?

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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    That is something I had thought about but there should be enough clearance as long as it only gets wider taller and not deeper haha unfortunately behind the door is really the most convenient "out of the way" place to put it. I'll definitely have to put a door stop on the wall.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Getting the light ready.

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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    So much has happened and been changed since I started this thread that I need to update it. I’ll update soon once all the electrical is done.
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    I will say that my quest is no longer a quest. I’ve had 3 phase for a while now.
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  21. #20
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Quote Originally Posted by William Payne View Post
    I will say that my quest is no longer a quest. I’ve had 3 phase for a while now.
    Good to hear


    I think you'll like those lights, I put a couple up in a breezeway we roofed between a couple of sheds... makes it nice to work under the roof with plenty of light

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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    The USA uses 120 volt to ground witch for 3 phase 240 volt and one leg to about 180 volt this used for manufacturers and Ag.

    In offices and large apartments the use 3 legs of 120 volt and then the 3phase is 208 volts for AC.

    We also have 480 volt for large manufacturers, large retailers and Ag use it 277 volt to ground for lightning.

    On rare occasion 600 volt for large motors users.

    The 60 cycle keeps the cost of copper winding down.

    Now for other half of world in 50 cycle 220 to ground and 3 phase is 380 volt.

    If you in Japan they have all above plus 100 volt in some locations too.

    Other parts of world 415 volts and 240 volt to ground.

    I hope helps you on world power.

    Now do not have or your power high costs 3phase just simple 3 phase converter.
    This where 3phase motor and a single phase motor direct couple (note both motor are same rpm)
    The 3phase generator the third leg.
    This gives true 3phase.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by William Payne View Post
    This will not exactly be a thread of woes, but more of a thread of taking longer then planned. But its happening.

    I notice over there in the USA you guys have a little war with your power companies regarding getting 3 phase power in your shops. Also for some of you it costs tens of thousands of dollar to get it. I also notice that your power supply voltages vary a great deal that all in all it is damn confusing.

    Down here in kiwi land all our power poles have 3 phase lines along the top row. Single phase supply gets tapped off of the poles and distributed to each house. Single phase supply is 230-240volts at 50hz and 3 phase supply is 400-415volts 50hz. Single phase is commonly referred to as 230volt and 3 phase 415volt.

    Most household single phase wall sockets are a 230volt 10 amp socket. For more higher rated single phase devices you can get a 15 amp socket.

    3 phase sockets can be a bit amp specific, so you would obviously buy whats right for your equipment/wiring. I had a new garage built a couple of years ago and have been on a quest to have 3 phase installed since that point. I got lucky as there is a power pole right outside my house but what was even more lucky is that right outside my gate is a 3 phase distribution box that was plonked there when the people next door built a new house which was so that they could tap the single phase off of it. There is however a massive 3 phase cable going from the pole to that box which I got the great plan of connecting to.

    So the journey began with a trip to company that looks after all the lines and maintains all the power supply in my area. I told them my grand plan and they were all for it however did inform me it would be at a cost of almost a couple of thousand dollars to hook up to that box. We (myself and the lines contractor) tried for a 415v 100amp supply but unfortunately we could only get a 60amp supply due to power restrictions in my area (long story short the power company have maxed out the local transformers which is a bit dumb as both transformers near me have been often taken out by trucks).

    They put the required 60amp fuses into the little distribution box and I proceeded to dig a trench through my front yard to hook up to it. Which my awesome electrician nicely did for me. So I am currently only running single phase but have the 3 phase cabling thats required going from the street to my house meter box. After that I had some financial delays but am back into it.

    Now is the journey to go from my house meter box to my garage and have a 3 phase meter installed and the extra phases connected at the street.

    The first half of the journey all I did was the leg work for getting permission and digging the trench. But for the second half I am doing as much as possible myself so that my electrician can do what he is required, as here in New Zealand even though I am not an electrician I can run cable and do a lot of the grunt work but any connections to the meter box and main power supply have to be done by an electrician and anything I do will have to be up to code and inspected.

    Things I have learnt so far, 3 phase is expensive but worth it in the long run as most industrial stuff down here in 3 phase and equivelant single phase stuff is crazy expensive. Also no matter how worth it you think it is, trench digging is not fun at all. Also the local council really know bugga all regarding whats under the ground as I found a bunch of old pipework under the ground that they did not even know about.





  23. #22
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Ok so update. I used to have a 351. I now have a 350lx. My 3 phase has all been installed and my Syncrowave is hard wired as that was the economical way to go. I wound up going with batten style LED lighting just because I wanted to prioritise power for the machines. LEDs do just fine without using much power.
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  25. #23
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Look to be plenty room left for more circuits

  26. #24
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Look to be plenty room left for more circuits
    Very much so haha.
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    Re: Quest for 3 phase power!!! New Zealand edition.

    Quote Originally Posted by William Payne View Post
    Getting the light ready.

    Wouldn't you be better off throwing in high bay LED panels? They will use much less energy and give off instant light at low temperatures and throw off no heat. Most can be powered by anything from 100 to 277 volts it doesn't matter what you feed them. They are not that expensive either. The only thing good about the light you are using is that they give off heat in the winter. So much so that a Model's sporting goods store that we were installing a satellite energy management system in, was complaining when we got there that the building was getting cold. It was 17 degrees outside, we said we will see if anything is wrong with the system. We get to the roof, there is three-phase power run with #6 wire to the unit, there are no electric strip heaters and the gas connection is not hooked up because there is no gas on the roof. When we were running the wiring for the thermostats and sensors inside at the ceiling it was about 130 degrees up there I had to strip to a T-shirt and I was still sweating, the heat was from the lights you have pictured there. When we put the HVAC unit's fan on it would heat the building rather nicely.

    Edited: I just read that you did use LED's.

    Sincerely,

    William McCormick
    Last edited by William McCormick; 5 Days Ago at 11:33 AM.
    If I wasn't so.....crazy, I wouldn't try to act normal, and you would be afraid.

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