A polyphase system is a means of distributing alternating current electrical power. Polyphase systems have two or more energized electrical conductors carrying alternating currents with a definite time offset between the peak amplitudes of the wave in each conductor. In modern utility power generation and distribution three phases are used, with the phases separated in time by one third of an AC cycle. A polyphase system must provide a defined direction of phase rotation, so mirror image voltages do not count towards the phase order. A 3-wire system with two phase conductors 180 degrees apart is still only single phase. Such systems are sometimes described as split phase.

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