In electrical engineering, single-phase electric power refers to the distribution of alternating current electric power using a system in which all the voltages of the supply vary in unison. Single-phase distribution is used when loads are mostly lighting and heating, with few large electric motors. A single-phase supply connected to an alternating current electric motor does not produce a revolving magnetic field; single-phase motors need additional circuits for starting, and such motors are uncommon above 10 or 20 kW in rating.
Standard frequencies of single-phase power systems are either 50 or 60 Hz. Special single-phase traction power networks may operate at 16.67 Hz or other frequencies to power electric railways.
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