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Author Topic: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?  (Read 20402 times)

Mark Cadwallader

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2016, 05:42:46 pm »

Thanks Tom for the info !!! Yes I am using SC cable (#2) which is good for 190A. I hear you on the main breaker thing, but most of the companies who make custom distro panels usually don't have or sell a main breaker for the distro, including my distro, not really sure why. I guess they don't want to limit the distro as it all depends on which wire and application the distro will be applied.

In my case, I have 8 X 15A mini breakers and 8 X 20A SqD breakers all tied to Edison outlets on panels, and underneath the panels, all wiring from all breakers tie straight into the CAMS. My suitcase style case doesn't even have room for another panel to house a main breaker.

But I hear you loud and clear, the main breaker protects the total capacity of the feeder, in my case #2 / 190A, when tying into a higher panel like a 3-phase 100A or more.

Do you know of any companies that sell a separate CAM box (thru) with main breaker?? This would allow me to tie it into my distro without having to figure out how to squeeze it in where I have no space now.

Thanks
Neil

Motion Labs makes stand-alone breakered disconnects.
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Neil Sakaitis

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2016, 06:34:23 pm »

Thanks Mark, will look into the Motion Labs box, although I think I read somewhere that their smaller box is $600, and while that is probably very reasonable in the entertainment industry, I am using this probably 1-2 times per year for specific parties at big halls.

When I use my distro at home, I know the limits of my cable, and end up cabling it directly (temporarily) to a SqD breaker within my home panel, for 1 specific event that takes a lot of juice. Assuming that my breaker is sized correctly to the feeder cable, I think I should be fine there without needing an expensive breakered disconnect, as the main (sized) breaker in my panel becomes that disconnect for me.

But for this bigger event in the hall with the 100A 3-phase panel, I think that is where I will need it more, and am hoping that I can find a more affordable solution. Reached out to the guys at AMPSHOP to see if they have something a little more reasonably priced. Sadly I have no more room in my distro to add a main breaker panel, so it will have to be an external CAM solution between the main source and my distro.

Thanks for all the support !!

Neil
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2016, 07:35:57 pm »

#2 is only rated for 195 amps IF you can have 75 C cable temperature and that all the lugs it is connected to are rated for that temp or higher.

There is a rating for #2 at as little as 85 amps.  Do not presume that your feeder can universally be used for a constant load of 195 amps.

I will have to go back and read Tom's post, but a master breaker in your distro only prevents a feeder overload from the circuits in your distro, it does nothing to protect from short circuits due to physical damage to the feeder.  In the venue you are discussing you should hook up to the 100 amp service.
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Neil Sakaitis

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2016, 11:44:55 pm »

Thanks Tim for this useful feedback. You have peaked my curiosity though. If a breakered disconnect between feeder and distro is to protect from overload on the distro (and hopefully lined up with feeder capacity as well), then is it not the job of the breakered 100A main panel to protect the feeder (and everything else down the line) if a short occurs on the feeder as you suggest ??

From most of the installs I have seen, it is Breakered Main Panel => CAMS feeder => Breakered Distro (yes I realize there are more elaborate setups with stringer boxes and 20A/30A/50A sub feeds, but more or less that is what I have seen. So if you assume one is using a breakered distro or breakered disconnect between feeder and distro, what other protection would you build into the design post main panel ??

Thanks again !!

#2 is only rated for 195 amps IF you can have 75 C cable temperature and that all the lugs it is connected to are rated for that temp or higher.

There is a rating for #2 at as little as 85 amps.  Do not presume that your feeder can universally be used for a constant load of 195 amps.

I will have to go back and read Tom's post, but a master breaker in your distro only prevents a feeder overload from the circuits in your distro, it does nothing to protect from short circuits due to physical damage to the feeder.  In the venue you are discussing you should hook up to the 100 amp service.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2016, 12:18:15 am »

I usually work with installs, but it is common if a feeder is protected upstream by an appropriate breaker and the panel (distro) is rated for at least what the upstream breaker, then a main breaker is not needed in the panel or distro.  That said, there might be some convenience to having the disconnect locally at the distro than x feet away.
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Steve Swaffer

David Buckley

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2016, 06:31:49 am »

I have a suitcase style single phase distro that has a mix of single 15A and 20A breakers and outlets. The venue I am setting up in has 3 phase power, so my plan is to tie in my black and red, and cap or tape the blue leg.

As a non-American, I'm just a tad confuzzled here.  You have a single phase distro; does this mean it is 110V only, so a black hot and white neutral plus ground connection to your power, or is it 110V split phase, which has two hots, one neutral, and a ground?


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Keith Broughton

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2016, 06:35:49 am »

but most of the companies who make custom distro panels usually don't have or sell a main breaker for the distro,


Really?
All of the Motion Labs distros we have include a main breaker rated at the capacity of the feeder cable.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2016, 06:52:50 am »

As a non-American, I'm just a tad confuzzled here.  You have a single phase distro; does this mean it is 110V only, so a black hot and white neutral plus ground connection to your power, or is it 110V split phase, which has two hots, one neutral, and a ground?

Single phase has 2 hot legs on the same phase, but with opposite polarity. It has 240V between hot legs, and 120V between either hot and neutral.

Mac
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Neil Sakaitis

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2016, 07:47:29 am »

Hmm, curious again here, and thanks for pointing me to Motion Labs, seems like they do have Main Breakers on their distro designs. When I was shopping around for distros, like mine (suitcase style), I guess the company assumed I had another breakered disconnect, because in their designs, no main breaker on the distro.

When I had to expand my distro, I opened it up to add a 2nd plate of breakers, and noticed the distro company simply wired all of the breakers with single solid copper straight into the CAMs, so basically the CAM nut ties down all the copper going to the breakers.

Now if I was to figure a way to get a main breaker panel in there, I would assume I would have to use some SC cable internally to jump the CAMS to the main breaker, but then from there, how would one tie 16 breakers worth of copper to the main breaker ??

At that point, I would imagine there is a way to safely get some bus bars in there huh. Again, in my case, it is a suitcase style with metal lining, so might be tough to get bus bars in there.

Any ideas how it is done internally when introducing a main breaker?

Thanks guys !!
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Neil Sakaitis

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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2016, 07:54:42 am »

Is there a way to post pictures here, other than include a link to a hosted picture ? I just found pictures of my distro including a shot of the rear panel all wired up internally, would make for a better conversation if I could include the pics here. In the meantime, will find somewhere to upload it.

Hmm, curious again here, and thanks for pointing me to Motion Labs, seems like they do have Main Breakers on their distro designs. When I was shopping around for distros, like mine (suitcase style), I guess the company assumed I had another breakered disconnect, because in their designs, no main breaker on the distro.

When I had to expand my distro, I opened it up to add a 2nd plate of breakers, and noticed the distro company simply wired all of the breakers with single solid copper straight into the CAMs, so basically the CAM nut ties down all the copper going to the breakers.

Now if I was to figure a way to get a main breaker panel in there, I would assume I would have to use some SC cable internally to jump the CAMS to the main breaker, but then from there, how would one tie 16 breakers worth of copper to the main breaker ??

At that point, I would imagine there is a way to safely get some bus bars in there huh. Again, in my case, it is a suitcase style with metal lining, so might be tough to get bus bars in there.

Any ideas how it is done internally when introducing a main breaker?

Thanks guys !!
Hmm, curious again here, and thanks for pointing me to Motion Labs, seems like they do have Main Breakers on their distro designs. When I was shopping around for distros, like mine (suitcase style), I guess the company assumed I had another breakered disconnect, because in their designs, no main breaker on the distro.

When I had to expand my distro, I opened it up to add a 2nd plate of breakers, and noticed the distro company simply wired all of the breakers with single solid copper straight into the CAMs, so basically the CAM nut ties down all the copper going to the breakers.

Now if I was to figure a way to get a main breaker panel in there, I would assume I would have to use some SC cable internally to jump the CAMS to the main breaker, but then from there, how would one tie 16 breakers worth of copper to the main breaker ??

At that point, I would imagine there is a way to safely get some bus bars in there huh. Again, in my case, it is a suitcase style with metal lining, so might be tough to get bus bars in there.

Any ideas how it is done internally when introducing a main breaker?

Thanks guys !!
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Re: (How) Can I connect my single-phase distro to a three-phase tie in?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2016, 07:54:42 am »


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