Split phase and two phase solar installation question

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Re: Split phase and two phase solar installation question

Postby Privatteer » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:00 pm

If you have 2 service fuses in a rural situation there's a good chance its a SWER center tapped split phase setup as Jaahn/Gordon has described. Single phase only requires 1 service fuse.
A photo of the switchboard may help to confirm but the only way to confidently confirm is by looking at the transformer. The power meter used looks the same.

I've never come across a house wired on 2 phase when 3 phase is available, it is always wired either as single or as 3.

2 single phase inverters would be required to sync properly. I highly doubt any manufacturers have taken SWER into account in a 3phase inverter.
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Re: Split phase and two phase solar installation question

Postby Warpspeed » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:02 am

It would almost certainly have to be the 460v centre tapped version of SWER, as its not usual (or legal) to fuse the neutral side.

There should be no problem feeding 230v solar power back into a two phase SWER on only one side. The "pole pig" transformer directly combines both phases anyway. As long as the max rated current per phase is not exceeded it should be fine.

Only complication might be fairly large and sudden voltage changes caused by other consumers along the line. A grid tie inverter may become unhappy and experience the occasional (or frequent) shut downs if the "grid" voltage jumps around too much.
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Re: Split phase and two phase solar installation question

Postby Warpspeed » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:24 am

Privatteer wrote:
I've never come across a house wired on 2 phase when 3 phase is available, it is always wired either as single or as 3.

That is certainly true these days for new homes.

But at least in Melbourne, many original houses in older suburbs maybe pre WW2 subdivisions were quite commonly connected with two phases and neutral. Back then a twenty amp single phase feed was a LOT of current, more than sufficient for most residential homes. But if you were a power hog and bought a new fangled electric kitchen stove it was much easier for the supply authority to run a second phase using standard twenty amp drop wires and hardware than to use special higher current rated stuff just for one or two houses in the street.

The electric stoves came standard with the various elements running from either one phase or the other, and still do ! These days both circuits would be commoned at the stove and run from a single twenty or thirty amp breaker. But a sparky installing a 2018 model electric stove in a very old original house can still use the original two phases plus neutral wiring back to the two fuses on the original power board if he chooses.

The house I am living in right now was like that before it was renovated and rewired completely.
And as a teenager, my parents house was wired that way too. Pretty common in the older Melbourne suburbs.
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Re: Split phase and two phase solar installation question

Postby jaahn » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:14 am

Hi :D
Without wanting to hi-jack the thread, all the older houses that I have owned or worked on in The Hunter and Sydney have had two phases when they were "all electric". Pretty much as Warpspeed said. In the good ol' days 3 phase was not put on unless you could prove you needed it in the 'burbs. That extra wire cost a lot :roll:
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Re: Split phase and two phase solar installation question

Postby davidg » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:37 pm

jmo wrote:someone said I may have split phase at my house and to check whether I do. how would I know whether i have two phase or split phase? there are two distribution fuses in my board, does that mean i have 2 phase or not ?

I got a pre approval from the distributor but it just shows that I can install 3.5kw for 1 phase and 3.5kw if i have a second phase.

It specifies nothing about split phase. Do I assume a split phase means I can install 7kw over two phases or can I only install 3.5kw cause it is a single phase split?


Once upon a time in built up areas it was not uncommon with electric stoves installed to use 2 phase as there was not enough power available for a single phase supply, often or spread load on the grid.

Selectronic inverters x 2 can cope with split phase or two phase for a battery based system one of the few that can. As for regular PV inverters it's very simple you use two single phase inverters of the same capacity, that's it there's nothing complex for either 2 phase or split phase.

I done several split phase systems they are treated as separate phases for this typically.
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