The Power Factor of a three phase motor is the ratio of the current produced by each phase of the current to the total current produced by the other two phases. This ratio can be calculated using the two-wattmeter method or by the watt-to-volt-ampere ratio. A three-phase motor with a fluctuating load can have a higher Power Factor than one with a fixed load. This is due to the pulsating component of the current generated by the three phases. In a three-phase motor, the current in the three phases generates a magnetic field inside the rotor. This field is color-coded so that it matches graphs of current in each phase. Large letters indicate locations of the strongest magnetic field, while small letters show locations where the magnetic field is weakest. This magnetic field forces the rotor to spin in a certain direction. This produces a sinusoidal magnetic field.
Generally, three-phase wiring is color-coded to distinguish between the phases, allowing for balanced load distribution and correct phase rotation for motors. Different countries have different color-coding systems for different electrical systems. In some cases, there is no standard and color-coding is done by the manufacturer. In some installations, different colors are used for grounded systems and non-ground systems.
A three-phase motor uses three coils that each rotate in three-thirds of the rotor. The magnetic poles in each line progress by 1/3 increments around the rotor, and the direction of rotation depends on how quickly each line reaches full voltage. Because of the cyclic nature of three-phase motors, it is a reliable and consistent way to drive a motor.