The Health and Safety Benefits of 208 Volt-3 Phase Power

The Health and Safety Benefits of 208 Volt-3 Phase Power
The Health and Safety Benefits of 208 Volt-3 Phase Power

High quality, reliable power is a critical service that any facility needs to operate efficiently and reliably. It’s easy to take power for granted until it goes out or begins fluctuating wildly. In these scenarios, businesses experience reduced production capacity, extended equipment shutdown times, and the potential for serious safety hazards. Industry standards recognize 208 volt-3 phase power as being more reliable than standard single-phase voltage. However, the benefits of 208 volt-3 phase go beyond just reliability. This article explains the benefits of 208 volt-3 phase power from a health and safety standpoint – including how it can reduce your business’s risk of fire and electrocution while also reducing your monthly bills by enabling greater energy efficiency and a smaller electrical footprint in general. 

Health and Safety Benefits of 208-volt 3-phase Power 

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that 208 volt-3 phase power is not intrinsically “safer” than single-phase power. Rather, it’s the application of 208 volt-3 phase wiring that makes it safer. 208 volt-3 phase power wiring is designed to handle much higher currents than standard single-phase wiring can. This means that the wiring will be less likely to overheat and melt, making it less likely to cause an electrical fire.

In addition, 208 volt-3 phase equipment is designed to draw the current it needs at both start-up and steady state. This makes it less likely for someone to be electrocuted by coming in contact with a “hot” phase wire. Beyond the wiring and the equipment, 208 volt-3 phase power offers at least two other health and safety benefits. First, it provides greater efficiency. With 208 volt-3 phase power, smaller motors (1/8th the size of standard single-phase motors) can do the same work as a single-phase motor.

This means that 208 volt-3 phase motors consume less energy and generate less heat than single-phase motors, both of which provide benefits in the areas of health and safety. Second, 208 volt-3 phase power provides greater capacity. When 208 volt-3 phase power is available, you can use three-phase equipment instead of single-phase. This allows you to increase your production capacity by 50% while still using the same size electrical service that you would use for single-phase. 

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Reduced Risk of Fire and Electrocution 

When a standard three-phase electrical system is installed improperly – such as when a single-phase system is wired with three-phase wiring – there are serious risks of fire, electrocution, and even explosions. These risks are the reason why most jurisdictions require only single-phase systems to be installed. 208 volt-3 phase wiring is installed properly, so those risks are reduced.

That said, 208 volt-3 phase wiring does increase the amount of energy available for a given amount of current. This can be a risk if there is any miswiring. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, it’s important to engage the services of a licensed electrician who is trained and qualified to install 208 volt-3 phase systems. You can also help reduce risk by following good electrical safety practices, such as not overloading circuits or installing overloaded circuits. 

Reduced Electricity Costs 

When compared to single-phase power, the average 208 volt-3 phase system costs less to operate each month. This is primarily because 208 volt-3 phase equipment is designed to draw the current it needs at both start-up and steady state, while single-phase equipment is designed to draw only as much current as it needs at start-up.

This means that single-phase equipment uses more electricity than it needs to (and 208 volt-3 phase equipment uses only as much as it needs to), resulting in increased energy costs. The difference in energy costs between single- and 208 volt-3 phase systems varies depending on the equipment, the voltage, and the current draw. However, it is typically in the range of 10-20%. These reduced energy costs can be reinvested in your business to provide greater benefit. 

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