Generator

Balance your Distribution Board

Electricity has become a very expensive commodity in South Africa and everyone is forced to look at reducing electrical consumption in every possible way. For a domestic user with a single phase supply (live, neutral and earth) the process is fairly simple and things can be switched off when not in use and timers fitted to bring hot water cylinders on at specific times etc

For commercial and industrial users of 3-phase supplies the process can become a lot more involved since they have to deal with commercial municipal rates and additional maximum demand charges. Thus it has become very important that all 3-phase distribution boards are properly balanced to optimize it's usage.

It is normal to have a variance between phases but if the load differs significantly from phase to phase you should get an electrician to a load test and to rewire the distribution board accordingly and balance the various circuits to achieve a more even spread.

Here is an example:

Before Balancing. Total load = 321 Ampere (Unbalanced with a peak of around 150 Ampere - Not Good!)

Phase 1 (Red) to Neutral - 150 Ampere
Phase 2 (White) to Neutral - 73 Ampere
Phase 3 (Blue) to Neutral - 98 Ampere
Neutral - Constant return of the three phases

After Balancing. Total load = 321 Ampere (Balanced with a peak of around 110 Ampere - Good!)

Phase 1 (Red) to Neutral - 110 Ampere
Phase 2 (White) to Neutral - 104 Ampere
Phase 3 (Blue) to Neutral - 107 Ampere
Neutral - Constant return of the 3 phases

Bad Good

Don't worry about three-phase motors as these will be naturally balanced and cannot be altered. Just remember to run them when you're doing the load test.