Quick Buyers Guide to Types of Three Phase Generators

Quick Buyers Guide to Types of Three Phase Generators
4.8 | 10 votes

Three phase generators are an excellent choice if you want higher horse power without an expensive fuel guzzling engine. But not all three-phase generators are the same – like all generators, you can choose from a whole range of features, sizes and power outputs. Here, we provide an introduction to the types of three-phase generators out there.

First, why should you choose a three-phase generator? The main reason is that it allows for greater electrical loads than a single-phase generator. This is because it distributes the total load in a way that ensures that the current in each phase is lower. This is particularly important if you’re looking to power large industrial machines or perhaps require back up for office buildings or larger events. Many pieces of equipment and sites now require three phase power due to the greater electrical load requirements.

To get you started, here are the main types of three phase generators you should know:

1.     Portable Petrol 3 Phase Generators

Petrol three phase generators provide a portable power source for your 3 phase requirements, and are powered by – you’ve guessed it – petrol. These generators range from a very satisfying 7 kVA up to a whopping 13.5 kVA and beyond, and typically feature robust qualities that make them perfect for the construction, mining and hire industries, such as weather proof componentry, earth leakage protection and long range fuel tanks. When it comes to choosing your petrol three-phase generator, the best in the business are Powerlite, Gentech and Dunlite with their Honda engines, and Crommelins which are powered by the world-class Subaru engines. All of these brands assemble their units in Australia, use the best quality engines, alternators and components – they also  have national service networks for any warranty or service requirements.

three phase generators

Powerlite 8kVA Three Phase Generator: Powered by Honda, one of the best selling 3 Phase portable units

2.     Portable Diesel 3 Phase Generators

These generators take everything that is great about diesel fuel and three phase power to create a unit that is suited to all industries. Diesel generators are superior in terms of fuel economy as well as being extremely durable. One of the first things to consider when choosing your diesel three phase generators is the engine. The better the engine class, the better the generator. Look for generators powered by top engine manufacturers, such as Hatz or Yanmar, for reliability, power and fuel economy you can count on. As with the petrol units, the best portable 3 phase diesel options are the Australian brands; Powerlite, Gentech and Dunlite; built to last and handle heavy demands under Australian conditions.

three phase generators

Gentech Diesel 3 Phase Generator, powered by Yanmar

 3.     Industrial/Standby Three Phase Generators

Looking for portable power for larger industrial applications? e.g. Mining, Construction, Healthcare/Hospitals Telecom, Agriculture, Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, Commercial Offices… Then you need an industrial/standby three phase generators; large, water cooled, enclosed diesel powered sets designed to deliver large amounts of power output for long periods.

The world’s fourth largest manufacturer of generator sets and power equipment, Himoinsa provides a range of generators covering 8KW to 60KW output depending on your requirements. These generators are powered by a Yanmar diesel engine and a Stamford alternator to provide reliable, smooth uninterrupted power for long periods of time. Furthermore, Pramac Generators, powered by Yanmar and Perkins engines offer 3-phase units in the 14 to 500kVA range – these three phase generators, along with the Himoinsa range are ready to meet the demands of all industries, from the harsh mining conditions to remote farm applications, construction sites and standby power for your business or event. Looking for other large 3 phase diesel generator options?; check out market leading models from FG Wilson and Powerlink for 10kVA to 2500kVA sets for all commercial power requirements – these guys use the world’s best diesel engines from Perkins, Cummins and Volvo.

three phase generators

The Pramac GBW22 Three Phase Diesel genset is popular for small business backup or continuous power supply in construction applications

How to choose between 3 phase generators

Remember, the great thing about three phase generators is that, most portable sets can run both 240V and 415V equipment, making them extremely versatile and can be used in almost any application. Many generators can have their outlets configured as you like, e.g. 2 x 32amp 415v outlets and 1 x 15amp 240v outlet…So as with all generators, the first thing to consider is what size three-phase generator you need for your situation – whether home, construction, industry, events or something else. Because size refers to output, you should look for measurements in kW (kilowatts) or kVA (kilovolt-amps). The higher the output, the more appliances it can power at any given time. Be sure to carefully check the specs of each unit or talk to an expert at My Generator!

Check out the full range of three-phase generators at the My Generator online store.

 

Sean Connolly

Sean Connolly

Managing Director at My Generator
Sean is the co-founder and Managing Director of My Generator (mygenerator.com.au)
Sean Connolly

Latest posts by Sean Connolly (see all)

Comments

  • William January 21, 2016, 12:58 am

    Hello I am trying to find the right size generator for a insulation blower that needs a 30amp 240v plug. I say it will only need about 7200 running watts and 9800 peak starting. But that’s my math. The manufacturer says to use a generator with 10000w running and 12000 starting peak. So just say I go with manufacturer specs and buy a 12000 w generator, should it be single or 3 phase generator? How do I tell? Thanks for your input

    • My Generator Admin January 21, 2016, 6:21 am

      Hi William – well done on getting the correct sizing information from the manufacturer. In terms of a single phase or three phase generator, given your blower has a 240v plug, this would suggest you need a single phase generator. I would recommend either a Powerlite 12kVA powered by Honda, or a Powerlite 12kVA powered by Vanguard. They come with 15amp plugs as standard, but you can contact us regarding a 30amp plug being fitted; feel free to give us a call on 1300 400 122. Hope that helps! Cheers – Steve

  • Karl Engels July 21, 2016, 12:51 am

    Hi we have a commercial factory with electric roller doors. At this stage we do not have any tenants for the property but the minimum price to have the power connected is around $230 per month of which $30/50 was actual power and the rest charges and GST.
    It is a pain to open electric 3 phase 1 HP doors by hand (2 Doors) but I guess a deter-ant to thieves. We have a person weo only wants to warehouse in the factory using only 200sq meter he only requires space not power but has issues with manually raising and lowering the roller doors (Grifco motors). Is what I am considering practical or am I barking up the wrong tree. The two roller doors are about 20 meters apart and I would need to run a long cable to one of the doors or should I consider 2 generators (doors are in separate units 1&2)
    Cheers Karl

    • Lachlan July 21, 2016, 11:52 pm

      Hi Karl, you really need to know how much power your roller doors draw at start up – this will help you determine whether a generator(s) is feasible for your factory. I would suggest you either contact the product manufacturer and ask them to advise the maximum start up power draw required, or engage an electrician to take a power reading. Once you know that maximum start up draw, you can correctly size a generator and then make a decision from there. As a rough guide, a 1HP motor can draw around 3000 – 4000 watts on start up, but as mentioned, you would need to find out the start up power draw of your particular make and model of roller doors. Thanks

  • Kenneth October 6, 2016, 12:50 pm

    I have a 3-phase industrial shredder that I would like to run using a portable generator. It has 6000 watts P1 and 3000 watts P2. The manufacturer says that it can run on 208-230v. What would be the best portable generator specifications for this equipment? Thank you!

    • L Adams October 9, 2016, 11:46 pm

      Hi Kenneth – thanks for your question. It’s a little confusing though, in that you have a Three Phase machine, but the manufacturer says it can also run from 230 volt power, which is Single Phase… If it is definitely Three Phase Power you require, I would suggest you consider looking at our range of Portable Petrol Three Phase Generators, or Portable Diesel Three Phase Generators and consider models that can produce a peak of 6000 watts (6kVA) or more. Just remember that for portable Three Phase Generators, they will have a single phase outlet(s), which from that outlet can product one third of the generator’s power capacity.
      Overall, the most popular portable Three Phase Generator we sell is the Powerlite 8kVA Three Phase unit – it’s powered by Honda, and backed by national service agent support.
      Thanks.

  • Shawn January 23, 2017, 12:31 pm

    Hi I live out in western qld, where we get alot of power outages for long stretches of time. I don’t no bugger all bout generators, but want something big enough to run a whole house a few days, air-con, fridges, freezers, lights, appliances, the whole kit, what do you recommend?

    • L Adams January 24, 2017, 1:45 am

      Hi Shawn, we can definitely help you out. Ideally you would first know how much maximum power your home draws with all those listed appliances – this is an easy task for an electrician to undertake a power reading. Once you know how much power you need, you can then size your generator correctly and your electrician can advise whether you need single phase or three phase power.
      However, as a guide, most typical homeowners will opt for a generator to power their whole home at around 6kva to 10kVa in size.
      When getting a backup generator to power your whole home, there are two main options:
      Manual operation: this requires an electrician fitting a manual transfer switch to your home switchboard and so when there is a mains blackout, you switch over the power source for your home from mains to generator, then plug in the generator to run your home. Popular single phase models for manual home backup are:
      Yamaha 6000w Petrol AVR Generator
      Pramac Honda 7.2kVA Petrol AVR Generator
      The other main option is Automatic operation: this requires an Auto-Start Generator, which when fitted to your home (by an electrician) will detect when a mains blackout occurs and automatically start the generator to restore power to your home. You can see our full range of Auto Start Generators here:
      Auto-Start Generator Range

  • Terry Gail March 9, 2017, 1:35 am

    Hi,

    I have quite a large 4 bedroom home with three refigerators halegeon down lights and a 15KW 3 phase ducted aircon system.

    What size and type of generator do I need.

    Terry

    • L Adams March 9, 2017, 2:05 am

      Hi Terry, in your case I would suggest engaging an electrician to take a reading on your home to advise what size generator you would need. To power a “typical” home around 6 to 8kVA in size is mostly suitable. But in your case, given you have a larger home and a three phase air con unit, it would be wise to get a reading from a an electrician in the first instance.
      As an example however, a popular generator model for your described application is the Pramac 10.8kVA Three Phase Silenced Auto Start Diesel Generator – this auto start generator will automatically start up when there is a mains power outage to restore power to your home.
      Thanks for your question – once you have the information from the electrician about your home, feel free to contact our team on 1300 400 122 to discuss your backup generator options.

Have a say? Fill the form below..