There are two types of power supplies in the UK, according to UK Power Networks. Single-phase and three-phase electricity. You may have seen in some of our available industrial units to let that the vast majority offer three-phase power supplies instead of single phase.


That’s actually a good thing, as you’ll discover if you continue reading our guide to electricity supplies for commercial property tenants.


Single-phase electricity supplies are typically reserved for domestic use. These supplies are usually much smaller and less powerful. A single phase supply contains a two-wire alternating current power circuit. This includes one phase (power) wire and one neutral wire. The current flows directly between the phase and neutral wires.


At the other end of the spectrum, three-phase supplies consist of a three-wire AC power circuit. The easiest and quickest way to tell if your unit has single or three-phase power supply is to assess the service head. A single-phase will only have one fuse, while a three-phase supply will, unsurprisingly, have three 100amp fuses.


Three-phase power is essential for commercial and industrial premises as it can safely accommodate higher loads. Single-phase power supplies are most effective when loads are handling domestic lighting and heating, as opposed to large electric motors or machinery.


What’s the key difference between single and three-phase power supplies?

A crucial differentiator between single and three-phase power supplies for commercial property tenants to note is the general delivery of the electricity. Three-phase supplies typically deliver a more consistent, steady stream of power, with single-phase supplies unable to cope so well with peaks and troughs in voltage.


Three-phase power supplies are therefore more efficient, with the ability to transmit three times the amount of power as a single-phase supply – despite only requiring one additional wire. Regardless of how many wires a three-phase power supply has, it will subsequently need less conductor material to transmit the required electrical currents.


In summary, you should consider three-phase power supplies as three single-phase supplies combined – each of which supplies peak power 120 degrees apart. A common analogy of the workings of a three-phase power supply compared with a single-phase supply involves canoeists. Think of three-phase supplies as a single canoe with three canoeists working in tandem. Unlike a canoe with a solo canoeist, this means there is always power output, ensuring a stable and consistent movement.


If you are seeking prime grade light industrial space to rent on flexible lease terms, complete with three-phase power supplies, ample eaves height, storage space and more, you’ve landed on the right page.


At Pall Mall Estates, we own and manage over 4 million sq ft of high value, low-cost business space across the UK. Many of our available units are well-connected, with close proximity to the UK’s motorway and rail networks.


Take some time to browse our available spaces today. If you’d like any further information on a vacant unit, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and experienced property agents. You can call us on 020 8108 7490. Alternatively, you can drop us a line using our online enquiry form and we’ll be in touch.