You don’t need to know much about 3-phase power to decide whether you need it for your application. If you decide that 3-phase power is the best choice for your needs, there are some attributes of 3-phase power that can help you sell the idea to the executive suite if you get push back over doing something new and different.
Why do you need 3-phase power?
Because, in consultation with your facilities manager and in consideration of the IT equipment loads you need to support, 3-phase power is the best option for delivering the power capacity you need, where you need it, without unnecessary disruption and expense. (Outlining the steps that led you to make the choice may prove persuasive. Remember to think in terms of the cost-benefit analysis of your choice.)
At higher capacities, 3-phase power tends to be more efficient and cost-effective. For example, when powering 12 racks with 5 kW per rack, you’ll use less copper, fewer wires and have lower transmission losses if you deliver 3-phase power to the racks instead of single-phase power. This is because 3-phase power allows you to deliver equivalent wattage with lower amperage over fewer, smaller wires with smaller breakers and other components. With the reduction in wiring, there is also a corresponding reduction in transmission losses.
If you’re dealing with very high-capacity loads, including things like large air conditioning systems, medical imaging systems and large electric motors, 3-phase power may be the most cost-effective or even the only practical/feasible choice. If management has any sense of cost-benefit and ROI, choosing 3-phase power should be a no-brainer.