Commercial Electrical Service in America
What’s the difference between a commercial and residential electrical service? The basic difference is voltage. Two common voltages for commercial electrical service are 120V and 480V. 120V is typically used for smaller loads. Two-phase power is 480V. This is the most common electrical service in the US. It can be confusing to find an commercial electrical that is license to work with both types. You’ll want to get an electrical service quote from multiple companies before making a final decision.
Three-phase electrical service has its own differences from single-phase service. In the USA, 208V 3-phase is most commonly used in commercial buildings. Three-phase electrical service, as its name implies, consists of three different voltage levels. The two lower voltages are called Line-to-Line, and the three highest voltage levels are call Neutral and High Leg. Both types of voltages have their benefits and drawbacks.
The 208V 3-phase electric service in the USA provides power to large loads, including lighting circuits. The standard 120V outlet voltage is also available. Three-phase service is often refer to as “208Y120” or 3-phase 208Y120. It is pronounce “Wye” and includes a neutral wire. This electrical service also has the potential to meet the electrical needs of businesses, which is why it is prefer for many commercial buildings.
There are several benefits to 480V 3-phase commercial electrical service in America. This type of power supply provides 2.3 times more power than standard 208V or 240V service, while reducing energy costs and construction costs. 480V 3-phase electrical service is also known as 480Y/277V and consists of four wires, one for each phase and one for neutral. The neutral wire is not require for light sockets or outlets.
Three-phase power systems are available in two main configurations: delta and wye configurations. In delta configurations, there is a center-tap that creates a neutral line for single-phase loads. Three-phase systems typically have four wires: A hot line, a neutral, and a ground. The Y configuration provides four wires evenly space at 120 degrees apart. In the USA, the three-phase Y configuration is use in commercial buildings and industrial installations.
277V lighting circuits
The two most common types of power supply are 480 and 277V. The former is use in large buildings, while the latter is primarily use for common areas and lighting. Both are available at the local box store, but the former is often less expensive. Two-hundred-volt lighting circuits are typically use in indoor settings and can be difficult to switch over to 480V. A general contractor should know that 480 volts are consider to be “unsafe” for indoor use.
High-voltage lights are usually found in industrial facilities and office buildings, where 480 volts are standard. In addition to the two main types, there are several other variations of lighting circuits.The case of residential buildings, 120/208 volt service is sufficient. In addition, 277V lighting circuits have higher voltages. These high-voltage lighting circuits should be install by a train electrician in order to maintain safety and efficiency.
The three-phase system is the most common form of commercial electrical service in the USA. Most commercial buildings are power by three-phase, four-wire 208Y/120V electricity, but industrial facilities often use 480T/277V power, which delivers about 2.3 times as much power. Commercial buildings typically require three-phase power for more than one location, but some locations have only one high-voltage conductor.
Unlike 240V single-phase electrical service, 208V two-phase commercial electrical service in the USA requires a transformer to transform the voltage to the appropriate level. In addition, 208V two-phase electrical service is not applicable for 240V single-phase electrical equipment. For example, a commercial building in an apartment complex will require a buck-boost transformer that converts 240V to 208V. If you have a single-phase system, you can use 120V line-to-ground outlets and appliances.
In a 208V two-phase commercial electrical service in the USA, the hot wire is black, while the neutral is blue. The hot wire must be identify with a black strip or a tap. A white wire must also be cover with a black strip or tap. Copper wire reduces heat and is less prone to short circuits. It is advisable to get a certify electrician to install your 208V two-phase electrical system in your building.