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    Single Phase vs Three Phase UPS Systems

    Available in two different formats, single phase and three phase, Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) are designed to protect businesses from a range of power anomalies and complete power failures. Each format has its own pros and cons and suitable applications and environments.

    A common analogy used to demonstrate each format is with a team of rowers. A team of three rowers has the ability to generate a higher consistency of power than a single rower. With the ability for each rower to maintain contact with the water whilst one exits and the other enters, a team of three rowers can provide a continuous amount of power to the water.


    With only one sinewave voltage, a single phase UPS system only requires two wires to complete the circuit, one conductor and one neutral. The conductor carries the alternating current whereby the voltage and current flow changes in magnitude and direction in a cyclic fashion, typically 60 times per second.

    With a single input source and a single output source to the electrical equipment, a single phase UPS is referred to as 1:1 and can be powered by a standard 230 Volt three pin UK plug. Single phase systems are used for applications requiring low kVA such as small businesses or home offices requiring up to 20kVA loads.

    The plug and play ability of a single phase UPS make it an easy system to install and set up with no assistance required from an outside party.


    Using three separate sinewaves, a three phase UPS system combines three conductors (alternating currents), each one out of phase and spaced 120° apart from one another. Consequently, the power is continuous to the load and never completely drops to zero, providing higher efficiency.

    A three phase system consists of a minimum of four wires, three of which are conductors and one is neutral. As a result, the system can support a three phase output (3:3) or a single phase output (3:1) and can carry a voltage up to 415V.

    Used for sites with a high kVA requirement such as large business operations, data centres and industrial facilities, a three phase UPS can distribute large quantities of power over a large distance or area.

    Drawing on over 20 years of experience, CertaUPS designs and manufactures industry leading single and three phase UPS systems for a wide range of industry sectors including data centres, IT and telecoms, public sector, retail and healthcare. For further information email [email protected] or call 03333 130351.