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Chapter -1

CHAPTER 1
THREE PHASE SUPPLY SYSTEM
Outcomes covered- 4: Recognize the advantage of poly-phase system over single-phase
system.
5: Use skillfully the delta-star connection

1.1 SINGLE PHASE SUPPLY


Generation, transmission and distribution of electricity via the National Grid system is
accomplished by three phase alternating currents. The voltage induced by a single coil when
rotated in a uniform magnetic field is known as a single-phase voltage and is shown in Fig.
1.1

Figure 1.1
* Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
Most consumers are fed by means of a single-phase a.c. supply. Two wires are used,
one called the live conductor (usually coloured red) and the other is called the neutral
conductor (usually coloured black). The neutral is usually connected via protective gear to
earth, the earth wire being coloured green. The standard voltage for a single phase a.c. supply
is 240V. The majority of single-phase supplies are obtained by connection to a three-phase
supply.
1.2 THREE PHASE SUPPLY
A three-phase supply is generated when three coils are placed 120 apart and the
whole rotated in a uniform magnetic field. The result is three independent supplies of equal
voltages which are each displaced by 120 from each other as shown in Fig. 1.2.
** Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
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The convention adopted to identify each of the phase voltages is: R-red, Y-yellow, and Bblue.

Figure 1.2
* Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
The national standard phase sequence is R,Y, B. A three-phase A.C supply is carried by three
conductors, called lines which are coloured red, yellow and blue. The currents in these
conductors are known as line currents (IL) and the potential difference between them are
known as line voltages (VL). A fourth conductor, called the neutral (coloured black, and
connected through protective devices to earth) is often used with a three-phase supply.
To reduce the number of wires it is usual to interconnect the three phases. There are
two ways in which this can be done, these being:
(a) a star connection, and (b) a delta, or mesh connection.
Sources of three-phase supplies, i.e. alternators, are usually connected in star, whereas threephase transformer windings, motors and other loads may be connected either in star or delta.
1.3 STAR CONNECTION
When the three line conductors are each connected to a load and the outlets from the loads
are joined together at N to form the neutral point or the star point then the connection is
called star connection. A star-connected load is shown in Fig. 1.3
** Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
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FIGURE 1.3
* Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
The voltages, VR, VY and VB are called phase voltages or line to neutral voltages.
Phase voltages are generally denoted by Vp. The voltages, VRY, VYB and VBR are called line
voltages. From Fig. 1.3 it can be seen that the phase currents (generally denoted by Ip) are
equal to their respective line currents IR, IY and IB, i.e. for a star connection:
IL = Ip
For a balanced system:
IR = IY = IB, VR = VY = VB
VRY = VYB = VBR, ZR = ZY = ZB
and the current in the neutral conductor, IN =0.
When a star-connected system is balanced, then the neutral conductor is unnecessary and is
often omitted. A 4-wire system is also used when the load is not balanced.
The line voltage, VRY, shown in Fig. 1.4(a) is given by VRY =VR VY (VY is negative
since it is in the opposite direction to VRY).

FIGURE 1.4
* Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
** Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
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In the phasor diagram of Fig. 1.4(b), phasor VY is reversed (shown by the broken line)
and then added phasorially to VR (i.e. VRY =VR +(VY)). By trigonometry, or by measurement,
VRY =3 VR, i.e. for a balanced star connection:
VL = 3Vp

FIGURE 1.5 Three phase representation.


* Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
1.4 DELTA CONNECTION
A delta (or mesh) connected load is the type of connection where the end of one load is
connected to the start of the next load as shown in figure 1.6.

FIGURE 1.6 Delta Connection


FIGURE 1.4
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FIGURE 1.6
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From Fig.1.6, it can be seen that the line voltages VRY, VYB and VBR are the respective phase
voltages, i.e. for a delta connection:
VL = Vp
Using Kirchhoffs current law in Fig. 1.4, IR =IRY IBR =IRY +(IBR) From the phasor
diagram shown in Fig.1.4, by trigonometry or by measurement, IR =3 IRY, i.e. for a delta
connection:
IL = 3 Ip
Power in three-phase systems
1.5 Power in Three Phase System
The power dissipated in a three-phase load is given by the sum of the power dissipated in
each phase. If a load is balanced then the total power P is given by:
P=3power consumed by one phase.
The power consumed in one phase =Ip2Rp or VpIp cos
(where is the phase angle between Vp and Ip).
For a star connection,
V p=

VL
3

and Ip = IL

hence
P=3

VL

I L cos = 3 V L I L cos

For a delta connection,


Vp = VL and

Hence

I p=

P=3 V L

IL
3

IL

cos = 3 V L I L cos

Hence for either a star or a delta balanced connection


the total power P is given by:
P =3VLIL cos watts
or P =3I2pRp watts
Note: Hence loads connected in delta dissipate three times the power than when
connected in star, and also take a line current three times greater.

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A. connection diagram for the two wattmeter method of a power measurement is shown
in figure for a star connected load
** Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
Total instantaneous power in any3 phase sys

p=eRiR +eYiY+ eBiB


iR +iY+iB= 0
hence

iB = -iR iY

FIGURE 1.7
* Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
Therefore

p= eRiR +eYiY+ eB (- iR iY)


=

(eR -eB ) iR +(eY -eB ) iY

(eR -eB )- p.d across wattmeter 1 &


(eY -eB ) p.d across wattmeter 2
Hence total power P = P1 + P2
B . Phasor diagram with lagging current is as shown in figure
VRB = VR VB
VYB = VY - VB

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FIGURE 1.8
* Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
Wattmeter1 reads VRB.IR Cos(30 )= P1
Wattmeter 2 reads VYB.IY Cos(30 + )= P2
P1/ P2 = VRB.IR Cos(30 )/ VYB.IY Cos(30 + )
= Cos(30 )/ Cos(30 + )
(For balanced load all line voltages are currents are same)
Hence
P1/ P2 = (cos30 .cos + sin30 .sin )/ (cos30 .cos - sin30 .sin )
Divide by cos 30 we get
P1/ P2 = (1 + tan30.tan)/ (1 - tan30.tan)
P1/ P2 = (1 + (1/3).tan)/ (1 - (1/3).tan)
Cross multiplying
We get
P1 - P1(1/3).tan =P2 P2(1/3).tan
Hence
P1 P2 = (P1 + P2).tan/(3)
tan =3[ (P1 - P2 )/( P1 + P2 )]
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** Referred A Textbook of Electrical Technology by B.L.Theraja


1.6 MEASUREMENT OF POWER IN 3-PHASE SYSTEM
In order to measure power we need to measure current and voltage. The wattmeter
gives the measurement of power directly using the formula
W=V*I*cos
Where, cos is the cosine of the angle between voltage and current.
Wattmeter consists of a pair of fixed coils, known as current coils, and a movable coil known
as the potential coil. The current coils connected in series with the circuit, while the potential
coil is connected in parallel.
Power in three-phase loads may be measured by the following methods:
(i) One-wattmeter method for a balanced load
Wattmeter connections for both star and delta are shown in Fig. 20.12
Total power

= 3 wattmeter reading

Figure 1.5 Power measurement by one wattmeter method


* Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
(ii) Two-wattmeter method for balanced or unbalanced loads
A connection diagram for this method is shown in Fig. 1.6 for a star-connected load.
Similar connections are made for a delta-connected load.
Total power=sum of wattmeter readings =P1 + P2
tan = 3

P1P 2
P 1+ P2

)
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** Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird

Figure 1.6 Power measurement by two wattmeter method


* Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird
It is possible, depending on the load power factor, for one wattmeter to have to be reversed
to obtain a reading. In this case it is taken as a negative reading.
(iii) Three-wattmeter method for a three-phase, 4-wire system for balanced and
unbalanced loads
Total power = P1 + P2 + P3

FIGURE 1.7 Power measurement by three wattmeter method


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** Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird


What to assume:
1. If you are given a voltage, current or power value and not told specifically which
variable it is, you should assume that you have been given a line value.
2. Any circuit that does not have same impedance in all three branches is an unbalanced
circuit.

1.7 Comparison of star and delta connections


(i) Loads connected in delta dissipate three times more power than when connected in star to
the same supply.
(ii) For the same power, the phase currents must be the same for both delta and star
connections (since power=3I2pRp), hence the line current in the delta connected system is
greater than the line current in the corresponding star-connected system. To achieve the same
phase current in a star-connected system as in a delta-connected system, the line voltage in
the star system is3 times the line voltage in the delta system. Thus for a given power
transfer, a delta system is associated with larger line currents (and thus larger conductor cross
sectional area) and a star system is associated with a larger line voltage (and thus greater
insulation).
S No
1

STAR

DELTA

In Wye=Y=Star connection each In Delta = connection each phase is


phase is connected between a line and connected between two line
the neutral
Phase voltage= Line voltage /3
Phase current = Line current

2
3

Phase voltage = Line voltage


Phase current = Line current / 3

1.8 Advantages of three phase system over single phase system


(i)

For a given amount of power transmitted through a system, the three-phase system
requires conductors with a smaller cross-sectional area. This means a saving of

(ii)

copper (or aluminium) and thus the original installation costs are less.
Two voltages are available
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Chapter -1

Three-phase motors are very robust, relatively cheap, generally smaller, have selfstarting properties, provide a steadier output and require little maintenance
compared with single-phase motors.
** Referred A Textbook of Electrical Technology by B.L.Theraja

PROBLEMS
1. A balanced,

three-wire,

star-connected,

3-phase load

has

phase voltage

of

240V, a line current of 5A and a lagging power factor of 0.966. Draw the complete phasor
diagram.
2. A 415V, 3-phase, 4 wire, star-connected system supplies three resistive loads as shown in Fig.
Determine (a) the current in each line and (b) the current in the neutral conductor

*Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird


3. A 440V, 3 phase, 4 wire star connected system supplies three resistive loads of 50 ohms each.
Determine a) the current in each line b) the current in the neutral conductor.
4. Three loads, each of resistance 50 are connected in star to a 415V, 3-phase supply.
Determine (a) the phase voltage, (b) the phase current and (c) the line current.
5. A star-connected load consists of three identical coils, each of inductance 159.2 mH and
resistance 50 . If the supply frequency is 50 Hz and the line current is 2A Determine
(a) the phase voltage and (b) the line voltage.
6. Three identical capacitors are connected in star to a 400V, 50 Hz 3-phase supply. If the
line current is 12A. Determine the capacitance of each of the capacitors.
7. Three coils each having resistance 6 and inductance LH are connected in star to a 415V,
50 Hz, 3-phase supply. If the line current is 30A, find the value of L.
8. Three loads, each of resistance 50 are connected in delta to a 400V, 3-phase supply.
Determine (a) the phase voltage, (b) the phase current and (c) the line current.

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** Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird


9. A 3-phase, star-connected alternator delivers a line current of 65A to a
balanced delta connected load at a line voltage of 400V. Calculate (a)
the phase voltage of the alternator,
(b) the alternator phase current and (c) the load phase current.
10. Three 24 F capacitors are connected in star across a 415V, 50 Hz, 3-phase supply. What
value of capacitance must be connected in delta in order to take the same line current?
11. Determine the total power dissipated by three 20 resistors when connected (a) in star
and (b) in delta to a 440V, 3-phase supply.
12.

A440V, 3-phase AC motor has a power output of 11.25kW and

operates at a power factor of 0.8 lagging and with an efficiency of 84


percent. If the motor is delta connected determine (a) the power input,
(b) the line current and (c) the phase current.
13.

8 kW is found by the two-wattmeter method to be the power input

to a 3-phase motor.
Determine the reading of each wattmeter if the power factor of the
system is 0.85
14.

When the two-wattmeter method is used to measure the input

power of a balanced load,


the readings on the wattmeters are 7.5 kW and 2.5 kW, the
connections to one of the coils
on the meter reading 2.5kW having to be reversed. Determine (a) the
total input power,
and (b) the load power factor
15.

Three similar coils, each having a resistance of 4.0 and an

inductive reactance of

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3.46 are connected (a) in star and (b) in delta across a 400V, 3-phase
supply. Calculate for each connection the readings on each of two
wattmeters connected to measure the power by the two-wattmeter
method.
16. Each phase of a delta-connected load comprises a resistance of 40 and a 40F capacitor
in series. Determine, when connected to a 415V, 50 Hz, 3-phase supply (a) the phase
current, (b) the line current, (c) the total power dissipated, and (d) the kVA rating of the
load
** Referred Electrical and Electronic principles and Technology by John Bird.

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