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What is three-phase power?

Three-phase power, the most efficient way to distribute power over long distances, allows for large industrial equipment to operate more efficiently. It’s characterized by three single-phase waves that are offset in their phase angle by 120 degrees, or one-third of the sine wave period. Three-phase voltage can be measured from each phase to neutral or from one phase to any other. The voltage relation between phase-to-neutral and phase-to-phase is a factor of the square root of three (e.g., 120V versus 208V).