Understanding Inverters Part #3: Single phase vs Three phase

When you start exploring your options for inverters in your solar system, you will probably hear the words “single phase” and “three phase” bandied about, and might wonder what on Earth this means.

In the third instalment of our series of blog posts on inverters, we are going to explain everything you need to know.

And don’t worry, it’s much more straightforward than it might initially seem to be.

Essentially, all of the inverters offered by Natural Solar fall into one of these two categories. The difference between single phases and three phase basically comes down to the number of wires that come into your house (or business premises) from the street.

A single wire (ie single phase) means that there will be one conductor coming into your home, and three wires (ie three phase) means three conductors. Deciding which one you need comes down to understanding how much electricity your property requires at different times of day and throughout different seasons in the year, as energy usage can vary from day to night and from summer to winter.

The majority of Australian homes are fine with a single phase system, and only need to step up to three phase if the energy needs increase significantly for some reason, perhaps due to the installation of a heavier duty air conditioning system because your house gets very hot, or the addition of a granny flat.

Large houses, buildings and residential apartment buildings will generally always require three phase solutions.

It’s important to note that single phase and three phase inverters are the only options, but it is possible to install multiples of these systems. For example, a large apartment building might require two or more three phases systems to supply sufficient energy, and the electricity that comes from this will them be divided up amongst the apartments.

Deciding which one is right for your property should be done after consultation with your network service provider, who have the job and duty of understanding how much electricity you demand overall.
The team at Natural Solar are always happy to talk you through your options, to answer any questions you might have about single phases and three phase systems, and to help you work out which solution might be right for your home. Give us a call any time on 1300 060 928!

Get your solar quote now!

By ChrisWilliams | April 28th, 2016 | Categories: General Solar

These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes a general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on Energy Locals Time of Use Tariff – (TOU – Peak, Off-Peak & Solar Sponge).

The reference price is set by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for a financial year in relation to electricity supply to residential customers in the distribution region and is based on an assumed annual usage amount. Any difference between the reference price and the unconditional price of a plan is expressed as a percentage more or less than the reference price. The terms of any conditional discounts are shown, along with any further difference between the reference price and the discount applied if a condition is met, expressed as a percentage more or less than the reference price.