# Understanding How Amperage is Divided in a 3-Phase Circuit Breaker

Understanding how amperage is divided and calculated is critical for ensuring safety and efficiency when dealing with electrical systems, particularly 3-phase circuits. This guide will walk you through the essentials, including calculating amperage in a 3-phase circuit, how 3-phase Power is divided, and how to choose the correct circuit breaker for your setup.

How to Test, Fix, and Diagnose Circuit Breaker Issues Safely

**How is Amperage Divided in a 3-Phase Circuit Breaker?**

A 3-phase circuit breaker is designed to protect electrical circuits by interrupting the flow of electricity when an overload or short circuit occurs. In a 3-phase electrical system, the total amperage is distributed across the three conductors or phases, which are generally referred to as **L1**, **L2**, and **L3**. Each phase carries a portion of the total load, but it’s essential to understand that the current isn’t simply split equally in all cases.

The amperage of each phase depends on the load connected to that particular phase and the overall balance of the system. In a balanced system, where each phase carries the same load, the current is evenly distributed among all three phases. In an unbalanced system, one or more phases may have more current than others, affecting how the circuit breaker operates and how you calculate amperage.

**How Do You Calculate Amps in a 3-Phase Circuit?**

The calculation of amps in a 3-phase circuit involves a specific formula. This formula differs slightly based on whether the circuit is connected in a **Wye** (Y) or **Delta** (Δ) configuration.

For a **Wye connection**, the formula to calculate amperage is:

I=P3×V×PF\text{I} = \frac{\text{P}}{\sqrt{3} \times \text{V} \times \text{PF}}I=3×V×PFP

Where:

**I**= current (amps)**P**= Power (watts)**V**= voltage (volts)**PF**= power factor (usually between 0.8 and 1.0)

For a **Delta connection**, the formula remains similar but without the square root of 3 in the denominator:

I=PV×PF\text{I} = \frac{\text{P}}{\text{V} \times \text{PF}}I=V×PFP

This calculation helps you understand the total current flowing through the system, making selecting an appropriate circuit breaker easier and preventing overloading.

**How Do You Divide 3-Phase Power?**

To divide 3-phase Power, you must consider how the load is distributed across the three phases. In a perfectly balanced system, each phase would carry an equal portion of the load. However, this rarely happens in practice. Loads are often unbalanced due to the way electrical devices are connected.

For instance, in a commercial building, heavy machinery might be connected to one phase, while lighting and smaller devices are connected to another phase. This means that each phase will carry a different amount of current. Dividing 3-phase Power is essentially about balancing the load across all three phases to maintain system efficiency and prevent circuit breaker trips.

To divide 3-phase Power more effectively:

- Ensure loads are distributed evenly across all three phases.
- Avoid connecting all heavy loads to a single phase.
- Use load-balancing techniques, especially when installing new equipment.

**How Do You Calculate the Size of a 3-Phase Circuit Breaker?**

Choosing the correct circuit breaker size for a 3-phase system is crucial for safety and performance. The breaker must handle the maximum current that could flow through the system while protecting it from overloads.

To calculate the correct size of a 3-phase circuit breaker, use the following formula:

Breaker Size=Power (Watts)3×Voltage (Volts)×Power Factor\text{Breaker Size} = \frac{\text{Power (Watts)}}{\sqrt{3} \times \text{Voltage (Volts)} \times \text{Power Factor}}Breaker Size=3×Voltage (Volts)×Power FactorPower (Watts)

For example, if you have a system that operates at 415 volts and consumes 10,000 watts of Power with a power factor of 0.9, the calculation would look like this:

Breaker Size=10,0003×415×0.9=15.5 Amps\text{Breaker Size} = \frac{10,000}{\sqrt{3} \times 415 \times 0.9} = 15.5 \text{ Amps}Breaker Size=3×415×0.910,000=15.5 Amps

Based on this result, you would choose a circuit breaker with a slightly higher amperage rating, such as a 16-amp breaker, to ensure safety.

**What is 100 Amp 3-Phase?**

A **100 amp 3-phase** system can deliver significantly more Power than a single-phase 100 amp system. In a 3-phase system, each phase carries a portion of the total current, allowing more Power to be delivered efficiently over the same conductor size.

To calculate the power capacity of a 100-amp 3-phase system, use the following formula:

kVA=I×V×31000\text{kVA} = \frac{\text{I} \times \text{V} \times \sqrt{3}}{1000}kVA=1000I×V×3

If you’re using a standard 415-volt system, the calculation would be:

kVA=100×415×31000=71.8 kVA\text{kVA} = \frac{100 \times 415 \times \sqrt{3}}{1000} = 71.8 \text{ kVA}kVA=1000100×415×3=71.8 kVA

Thus, a 100-amp 3-phase system can deliver about 71.8 kVA of Power, making it suitable for powering large commercial or industrial equipment.

**How to Calculate Total Amps in a 3-Phase System**

You can add the current on each phase to calculate the total amps in a 3-phase system. In a balanced system, this would be:

Total Amps=3×Phase Current\text{Total Amps} = 3 \times \text{Phase Current}Total Amps=3×Phase Current

However, the total amps would depend on each phase’s current in an unbalanced system. Measure each phase’s current with a clamp meter, then sum the readings.

**3-Phase Breaker Amps Per Phase**

A 3-phase breaker doesn’t automatically divide amps equally among the three phases; it protects each phase from carrying more current than its rated capacity. If you have a 40-amp 3-phase breaker, each phase can carry up to 40 amps before the breaker trips.

**How Many Amps Are in 3-Phase Power?**

In 3-phase power systems, the total amperage is the sum of the amperage on each phase. However, due to how the phases work together, the total powerpower delivered by the system is more significant than that ofthat of single-phase systems.

**3-Phase Amps Per Phase Calculator**

An online **3-phase amps per phase calculator** can simplify calculating the current for each phase. The calculator can quickly determine the current on each phase by inputting your system’s voltage, power factor, and power consumption.

**How to Calculate Total Amps in a 3-Phase System with a Clamp Meter**

A **clamp meter** is valuable for measuring current in a 3-phase system. To use it:

- Set the meter to measure AC.
- Clamp it around one of the phase conductors (L1, L2, or L3).
- Record the current reading for each phase.
- Add the three readings together to get the total current in the system.

**What is 63 Amp 3-Phase Power?**

A **63 amp 3-phase** system can deliver a considerable amount of Power. Using the kVA formula mentioned earlier, a 63-amp 3-phase system at 415 volts can deliver approximately 45.2 kVA. This makes it suitable for powering mid-sized commercial installations or industrial machinery.

**100 Amp 3-Phase Supply in kVA**

As discussed, a 100 amp 3-phase system can deliver around 71.8 kVA of Power. This is a standard supply capacity for large commercial buildings, industrial sites, and facilities requiring high power loads.

**40 Amp 3-Phase Breaker**

A **40 amp 3-phase breaker** protects each phase from carrying more than 40 amps of current. This breaker type is commonly used in smaller industrial applications or heavy residential installations where the power demand is high but reasonable.

**Final Thoughts**

Understanding how amperage is divided and calculated in a 3-phase circuit breaker is essential for safety and efficiency in electrical systems. Whether you’re an electrician, engineer, or a business owner setting up a 3-phase power system, knowing how to calculate amperage, divide 3-phase Power, and choose the correct circuit breaker will ensure your system operates smoothly and safely.