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Pioneer of three-phase current



Michał Doliwo-Dobrowolski was born on January 2, 159 years ago. He was the son of a Polish nobleman, but he grew up in Russia and studied in Germany, where he began his scientific work and made his greatest discoveries. Why is it worth learning more about him?

As part of his scientific work, at the request of Allgemeine Elektrizität-Gesellschaft (AEG), he developed the world's first three-phase generator. He also developed a 100 HP three-phase motor, which was demonstrated at the World Electrotechnical Exhibition in Frankfurt in 1891. It was the demonstration of this invention and the ability to supply electricity that stopped the development of the DC power grid and gave rise to the power industry as we know it today.

This great inventor, who is mentioned alongside such greats as Nikola Tesla, shall be remembered. While setting up the transmission line to supply power to the motor presented in Frankfurt, Dobrowolski organized a show in front of a commission composed of representatives of the surrounding towns. Their population was afraid of the risks associated with the presence of the transmission line. During the demonstration, the line was deliberately cut and the inventor, without turning off the power, picked up the wire with his bare hands. Naturally, earth leakage relays tripped, but in this way the inventor dispelled the safety concerns.

Obviously, the transmission line designed by Doliwo-Dobrowolski operated at a voltage much lower than the current standards. Today, working with three-phase current, supplied to many households, and above all commonly used in the industry, requires greater safety measures. However, it is difficult to imagine the modern world without the "three-phase". Just take a look at the TME catalogue with thousands of three-phase current devices.

First of all, all meters, analysers, and testers, used to test or monitor the power quality. They are used not only in the power industry - they are indispensable in every machine park. They are also the basic working tools for electricians, electromechanics, maintenance technicians, and installers, especially where automation is concerned. This, in turn, is often driven by three-phase motors and cooled by three-phase fans. There are a number of related components: inverters, drivers, relays, contactors, etc. This list is complemented by countless devices protecting users and installations, such as circuit breakers, RCD circuit breakers, or safety switches. Elements that must absolutely be placed in residential and commercial panelboards.

A number of basic elements are dedicated for three-phase current systems. The most obvious are bridge rectifiers, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. These are also anti-interference (surge) filters and special capacitors. And yet three-phase current is used not only in the power industry - it is used, for example, in RC modelling, for precise drive control. It is also used in many other devices in the field of robotics, including industrial robotics - that is why the TME's catalogue includes IGBT bridges, motor drivers, and the drives themselves.

And finally, perhaps the most obvious product that perfectly illustrates the evolution that has taken place in three-phase power supply over the last century. It has resulted in the uniform standards for three-phase connectors. Perfectly protected, occurring in numerous, highly specialized varieties.

Finally, let us remind you that when working on electrical installations, special precautions and all safety measures shall be in place - the TME staff will help you with this if needed. Our offer includes protective gloves, workwear, and properly insulated measuring accessories and tools.


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