If you have decided to go solar you may have been asked or heard if you have single or three phase power – but what does it all mean?

Single or three-phase power indicates the power supply associated with your property from the underground or overhead power from the grid.  For most residents they would normally have single-phase power.  Three-phase power is commonly used in commercial and larger homes where multiple electrical appliances consume larger currents of electricity.  For properties that draw in a lot of power, three-phase power would be installed to prevent any power discrepancies.

Determining whether you have single or three-phase power is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. Locate your switchboard.

2. Identify the ‘Main Switch’ in the switchboard.

3. If you see 1 circuit breaker (fig.1.1 you have single-phase power and if you see 3 circuit breakers (fig.1.2 you have three-phase power.

single-phase circuit breaker fig 1.1
three-phase circuit breaker fig 1.2

As specified previously larger homes would benefit from three-phase to prevent the circuit breaker from switching off as there isn’t enough power supply to fulfil the demand. 

You would often see houses that have larger air-conditioning units, home workshops, swimming pool etc. that have three-phase power.  There is such a thing as two-phase but it doesn’t cost anymore to add the three so this would be ideal for future cases.

Single and three phase power workings…

Single phase has 2 wires (1x active and 1x neutral).  Three phase has four wires (3x actives and 1x neutral).  The neutral wire on both instances is connected to earth at the switchboard.

Our qualified professionally licensed electricians will be able to confirm.