Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between Delta and Wye

Electricity is a necessity these days used to illuminate buildings and homes, to operate air conditioners and to power trains. In fact, electricity powers almost everything such as computers, radios, televisions, medical devices, and an ever-increasing variety of devices that continue to improve the quality of life of millions of people all around the world. At the core of all this electrical power system is three-phase electrical power. Three phase connection is the backbone of the electrical power distribution and power is generated in three distinct phases, each of identical frequency and voltage, but with voltage displaced by 120 degrees between any two phases.

Three phase system is the most popular distribution system used everywhere in practice. There are a number of unique considerations with three-phase circuits that do not appear with single-phase circuits. Three-phase circuits can be configured in either delta or wye configuration. The delta configuration is so named because of its resemblance with the Greek symbol “Δ”. They are popular on industrial power systems. The wye (Y) configuration as the name suggests, is also called the “Y” circuit and sometimes the “star” circuit. A delta circuit is a three-wire circuit and a wye circuit can be either a three-wire circuit or a four-wire circuit. They differ in the way they are interconnected in a particular fashion.

 

What is Delta Connection?

A delta connection is a three-wire circuit used in a three-phase electrical system in which three elements resemble a triangular arrangement of electrical three-phase windings. The delta connection, also known as Mesh connection, is so named because of its resemblance with the Greek symbol “Δ” and it is formed by connecting one end of winding to starting end of other and connection are continued to form a closed loop. 

The supply terminal is taken out from the three junction points. In short, all the three coils are connected in series to form a closed circuit or mesh, which resembles a triangle. They don’t have a neutral cable.

 

What is Wye Connection?

Wye (Y) connection, also known as “Y” connection, is a three-phase circuit in which all the three loads are connected at a single neutral point. Unlike delta connection, wye-connected systems carry a fourth neutral conductor, often grounded but sometimes left floating (ungrounded wye system).

In wye configuration, the loads are unbalanced in a Y configuration and a neutral cable is connected where the three phases meet at the center. This central point forms the electrical neutral point which is represented by “N” and may be grounded. Unlike delta connection, it’s a three-phase four-wire system (3-Phase, 4-Wires) meaning it can be either a three-wire circuit or a four-wire circuit.

 

Difference between Delta and Wye Connection

  1. Configuration of Delta Vs. Wye

– Three-phase circuits can be configured in either delta or wye configuration. The delta connection is also known as mesh connection and is so named because of its resemblance with the Greek symbol “Δ”. In the delta configuration, all of the single-phase load is concentrated on one phase, whereas on the wye configuration all the single-phase load is distributed on each of the three phases. Delta configuration uses only three-phase conductors, whereas wye-connected systems carry a fourth neutral conductor which is often grounded but sometimes left floating. Unlike in delta connection, all the three loads are connected at a single neutral point in wye connection.

  1. Connection of Delta Vs. Wye

 – The wye connection is a three-phase four-wire circuit used in a three-phase electrical system which is formed by connecting stating or terminal ends of all the three windings together. This common point is called neutral point which is represented by “N”. The neutral cable is connected where the three phases meet at the center. The delta connection, on the other hand, is a three-phase circuit formed by connecting one end of winding to staring end of other and connections are continued to form a closed loop which resembles a triangle.

  1. Cost 

– The delta configuration is less expensive if you factor in the moving power because of the fact that it only requires three conductors but not four, making equipment and construction cost lower. Although, voltage drop and losses are equivalent , at least if power flow is balanced. However, wye-connected lines lead to a less expensive distribution system, because transformers, reclosers, and lightning arresters for wye-connected systems cost less when compared to their equivalents in the delta connected systems. A single-phase service transformer requires only one high-voltage bushing for wye systems, whereas it requires two for delta systems.

  1. Application 

– Delta configuration is mainly used in distribution networks, whereas wye configuration is used in both transmission and distribution networks. Delta systems are mostly used in applications that would require a high starting torque, whereas wye connections are ideally preferred in applications that would require less starting current. Delta connection is used for shorter distances, whereas wye connection is used for power transmission networks for longer distances. Delta was primarily used at small industrial facilities that had a relatively large (240 VAC) motor load but only a small need for convenience outlets and lighting.

Delta vs. Wye Connection: Comparison Chart

 

Summary of Delta Vs. Wye

A delta configuration requires only three conductors, so equipment and construction gets lower. However, wye-connected systems account for a less expensive distribution system because transformers, reclosers, and lightning arresters cost less in wye systems as compared to their equivalents in delta systems. A delta circuit is a three-wire circuit, whereas a wye circuit can be either a three-wire circuit or a four-wire circuit. In wye configuration, the loads are unbalanced in a Y configuration.

 


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References :


[0]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wye-delta_bridge_simplification.svg

[1]Image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wye_Delta_01.png

[2]Bakshi, U.A. and A.V. Bakshi. Electric Circuits. Pune, India: Technical Publications, 2008. Print

[3]Fleckenstein, Joseph E. Three-Phase Electrical Power. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2017. Print

[4]Willis, H. Lee. Power Distribution Planning Reference Book (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2004. Print

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