My generator (a Fermont MEP-803A, 4 cyl diesel, 10kW rated) can run in three distinct modes:
- Single-phase 120V, in which one terminal is hot, and another is neutral
- Single-phase 120V/240V, in which two terminals are hot, and another is neutral. The difference between the terminals is 240V, and each one to neutral is 120V.
- Three-phase 208Y, in which three hot terminals are each 208V apart from each other, and each one is 120V from the neutral terminal.
I need to run a bunch of lights that all need 120V. So the obvious thing would be to just use the 120V mode. But I'm thinking it may be better (more efficient maybe? less vibration maybe?) to run it in three-phase mode, with the load balanced among the three hot terminals.
My thinking, based on my coarse understanding of generators, is that in three phase operation, the torque should be more homogeneously distributed over the course of a single turn of the engine, so there should be less vibration and more equality in effort among the cylinders. In short, I'm guessing that three-phase generator operation would have the same advantages three-phase motors have over single-phase motors.
Is my thinking correct here? If not, why not? Conversely, are there any disadvantages to three-phase operation over single-phase operation?