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Old 04-15-2011, 03:24 PM   #1
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3 Phase Power


I have a builing that houses 2 seperate irrigation pumps, one pump pulls the water from the well and the second pump boosts the pressure to an acceptable level. Currently the booster pump has a 3 horse electrical motor and the well pump has a 1.5 horse motor, both are single phase. When I installed the system I made the mistake of planning only for the pumps that are currently in place and not for any expansion, now I am thinking about adding yet another 3 and 1.5 horse electric motor to the building and I will need to upgrade the electric service. Here is what I have available.

1. 250 volt single phase. Last year I tore down a house and I have a 200 amp main and meter in a cluster with several other meters, this is 300 feet away from the building.
2. Three phase power is about 1,000 feet from the building where I would utilize it, I currently do not have any three phase service and I am unsure if the power company (ComEd - Illinois) would give it to me.

So my question is would 2 - 3 horse and 2 -1.5 horse motors powering irrigation pumps justify the expense of obtaining three phase power? In Illinois irrigation pumps are seasonal so maybe 7 months of the year. Additionally I could possibly add a third set up sometime down the road and would plan for expansion this time, would this change the scenario? I am 47 and plan to live at this location for the rest of my life and I don't see the cost of energy ever going down so it seems as though this would be the right time to make a investment in three phase power. Your thoughts? Thanks in advance

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Old 04-15-2011, 05:15 PM   #2
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3 Phase Power


I am assuming these new motors will go right beside the others. Why not just upgrade the service? what size is it now? Did you know that you can get 1 phase from 3 phase power?

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Old 04-15-2011, 05:23 PM   #3
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3 Phase Power


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Originally Posted by Saturday Cowboy View Post
I am assuming these new motors will go right beside the others. Why not just upgrade the service? what size is it now? Did you know that you can get 1 phase from 3 phase power?
What I have right now is simply a number 10 wire and a 30 amp 240 volt breaker, I have used that for several years and it has worked out okay, but there is no room for expansion. I do not currently have a three phase service and that is my question, from an economic standpoint would I ever be able to recapture the costs of upgrading to a three phase system?
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:30 PM   #4
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3 Phase Power


three phase is slightly more efficient, the motors are smaller and cheaper than their counter parts. There phase panel boards and breakers are more expensive, require more but smaller wires. And you could probably break even and be starting to pay for it'self If it were not for the outrageous installation fees the POCO will charge for connection due to costs on their end. Just a question are you sure it is three phase? Call POCO and ask they will give you some good ideas and some more topics to research.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:09 PM   #5
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3 Phase Power


In my area new 3 phase service comes with a minimum monthly charge, sometimes that charge is considerable so if you are not using it for 5 months a year it would be a real deal killer. That comes on top of the very high fees for bringing the 3 phase to you, That 1000 feet could easily cost you a couple thousand dollars. If you needed to install and operate several high horsepower motors it might be worthwhile, but for your needs you would be much better off getting them to extend the single phase service closer to your building. Locally that would likely cost very little but would save you a lot versus trying to connect to a service 300+ feet away.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:10 PM   #6
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3 Phase Power


One hp is about 750 watts so 3 hp is 2250 watts, or about 9-1/2 amps at 240 volts, round that to 10. Two 3 hp motors and two 1.5 hp motors means 30 amps at 240 volts, let's add a safety margin to allow for startup current draw and maybe a little extra for the future. How about 60 amps and a #O aluminum feed (for the 300' one way distance) going out to the pump house? Still single phase. You can probably do this yourself, other than digging the trench. You may be able to hold off on upgrading the 200 amp service until you need to actually use 50-60 amps out at the pump house.

I am guessing that for the 30 amp continuous total draw, it would not be worth the extra expense for 3 phase power.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-15-2011 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:55 PM   #7
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3 Phase Power


I will not bother it unless you plan to run the motors for 24/7 during pumping season but a thoundand foot away IMO not really a good investment to bring triphase supply to your place but check with POCO to see what they say but I am sure you will back down fast when they tell you the cost.

And keep in your mind for new customers most POCO's will give you a WYE supply not the DELTA supply anymore for safety reason.

For the Wye supply they typically supply either 208Y120 or 480Y277 { this is used on commeral not on resdentail at all per NEC code }

And also the other thing many POCO are getting smart with mixed bag supply if you still want three phase at your place while you still have single phase you will have two choice either ditch the single phase supply and use the 208Y120 system { a bit of 240 volt stuff can run on 208 without major issue }

Or have to pay extra for both services there.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:37 PM   #8
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3 Phase Power


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Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
I will not bother it unless you plan to run the motors for 24/7 during pumping season but a thoundand foot away IMO not really a good investment to bring triphase supply to your place but check with POCO to see what they say but I am sure you will back down fast when they tell you the cost.

And keep in your mind for new customers most POCO's will give you a WYE supply not the DELTA supply anymore for safety reason.

For the Wye supply they typically supply either 208Y120 or 480Y277 { this is used on commeral not on resdentail at all per NEC code }

And also the other thing many POCO are getting smart with mixed bag supply if you still want three phase at your place while you still have single phase you will have two choice either ditch the single phase supply and use the 208Y120 system { a bit of 240 volt stuff can run on 208 without major issue }

Or have to pay extra for both services there.

Merci,
Marc
I dug around a little and found the following information from my power company.

8. Why donít I qualify for 3-phase power?
Generally, if you require 3-phase service and your demand load is at least
10 kw or you have a motor rating of 5hp or more, your standard is 3 phase
120/240V, served by an open-delta transformer. However, if your demand
load is greater than 50kw, then you generally qualify for 3 phase 120/208v
or 3 phase 277/480v as your standard service voltage. See the General
Terms and Conditions for more info at
http://www.exeloncorp.com/ourcompani...energy_rates/o
ur_rates_and_prices.htm or by going to
http://www.comed.com/newbusiness and clicking on Electric Rates, then
Our Rates and Prices.

So if the minimum is 10 kw for three phase service I probably wouldn't qualify, but for the heck of it could anyone speculate on what a 3 phase service upgrade might cost for 1,000 feet? Would it be like $5,000 or $10,000 I guess that I am just wondering now. Thanks all for your help.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:50 PM   #9
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3 Phase Power


It pretty hard to say what the excat cost will be when the POCO have to bring triphase from that distance but for EDF { Electrique De France aka French Power Compaine } I know the last one was little close to 1000 feet it cost little over 6,000 Euros but for your POCO it hard to say depending on what it have to bring and the right of way egress for the line to be bring out and clearance if you have few trees near the POCO line or area where to bring the line.

The other thing some POCO may not bring triphase if that area is strictally zoned resdentail { some will do that but will not bring in 480Y277 unless it is zoned commercal or industrail or farm then it may use that voltage level }

So talk to them to see what they will suggest somecase you may get lucky when they do the upgrading the distubation line and can get a price break if that the case.

If you plan to go with larger motours for your irriagtion pumps IMO then it can justifed the cost due majorty of the single phase motor anything over 5 HP { true HP size not the adverized compressor type motor } the POCO may not be too keen on that due it can be hard on some transfomers.

I do have triphase supply at my shop / home in Wisconsin due I have dual zoned one is commercal and resdentail so I did have 480Y277 come to the shop first then downstep with transfomer to 208Y120 for home and office { shop } power source.

In France it pretty much standard to get triphase anyway so I use 415Y240 volts supply without much issue.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:10 AM   #10
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3 Phase Power


Should I end up staying with the single phase power would it be wise to ask the power company to provide a transformer closer to the building than the current 300 foot set up that I have now? If I were to utilize what I currently have in place I would certainly increase the conductor size to account for voltage drop, but of course that would also increase the cost as well.

Thanks everyone for your helpful comments.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:26 PM   #11
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3 Phase Power


Having the power company put in a transformer closer to your pump building will mean a new service with separate meter. And stringing the equivalent of one of the three phases although not the full 1000 feet from where existing 3-phase power left off. Don't know how much this costs compared with digging a 300 foot trench.

The fatter wire run for 300 feet is the smaller part of the cost of that alternative. Digging the trench is the larger part and needed no matter what size wire you put in.

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