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3 Phase Converter


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#1 powerking56 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 06:22 AM

A good friend has the opportunity to aquire a milling machine, but it is set up for 3 phase which he does not have in the home shop. Is it possible to build a 3 phase converter? Or is it best to see about re powering the beast with a single phase motor? It is mostly a question of budget, we are working with a shoestring and a well worn one at that. Looking for ideas and I couldn't think of a better place to go for good advice!!
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#2 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 06:37 AM

The lathe I have in my shop is a 3 phase,but has been converted to single phase.I'm not sure how it was done exactly.There is a box on the wall with two transformers in it.All I know is it work fine,so yes it can be done.
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#3 jms180 ONLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 07:28 AM

i have seen it accomplished using a three phase motor and capacitors to gererate the third phase. Using 240 volts single phase and the motor generated the thind phase. How well it works I do not know. Most guys buy a three phase converter using single phase 240 in 3 phase 240 out.

Edited by jms180, November 05, 2012 - 07:37 AM.

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#4 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 07:35 AM

The phase converters that I have seen do not actually "create" a third phase. They put a voltage potential on the third phase, but there is no current that flows in it. The end result is that the motor will run but it will have 1/3 less power. I have heard of running an outside 3 phase motor on single phase to generate the third phase, but I'm not familiar enough with the process to tell how it's done.

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#5 jms180 ONLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 07:42 AM

You are correct caseguy the one i saw was using a three phase motor for one leg for three phase. The old brain is not thinking well this morning only on 2nd cup of coffee. I do not know how well it worked for that was many years ago.I helped him connect it up but i stood behind door when he turned the power on.

Edited by jms180, November 05, 2012 - 07:46 AM.


#6 Guest_gravely-power_*

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 07:45 AM

This is what I use. Even though it's 2/3 power, it is more than enough for what I do. And it's cheap.

http://3phaseconvers...com/static.html
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#7 Guest_gravely-power_*

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 07:53 AM

Also, if you Google 3 phase conversion, there are 100's of homemade systems.
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#8 WNYTractorTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 09:59 AM

Lots of folks use the phase converter and as said the 3rd phase doesn't carry any power.. So when you get to working the thing it pops off.. If your plans are to work the mill hard/alot I'd contact my power company to see if they can run 3 phase in to you.. The box & equipment to receive the power is a bit pricey though.. It's actually cheaper to run 3 phase equipment as it's naturally balanced and the amp/power draw is equal unless you run other items off one leg or the other.. The power company will bill you the max power draw on any particular leg so balancing your circuits to achieve the lowest peak draw is a real $$$-saver! Shop around @ Tractor supply or H/Frieght for a comparable single phase 220V motor would probably be the cheapest option. You will still need to wire that to your existing feed panel though and #6 or #8 wire is a tad pricey too..

:goodl:
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#9 Cvans OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 11:03 AM

We used to sell old 3 phase motors from our facility to guys on the farms who were using them to make converters out of. Must work as I never had a hard time finding people who wanted them. Might try a google search to get more information.

#10 Texas Deere and Horse ONLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 11:17 AM

Search You Tube and you will find electronic and rotary models being shown and used.

I have used one like this one before, it seems to work very well.



#11 Arti ONLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 11:21 AM

If the motor can be easily replaced I would probably be the best option.

A few considerations are the horse power of the motor and possibly the voltage In the United States, typical 3 phase voltage is 208-230VAC, or 460-480VAC you might want to check on this before you go ahead with the project.

#12 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 11:24 AM

Here is another one that is belt driven, very easy to build.



#13 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 11:26 AM

If the motor can be easily replaced I would probably be the best option.

A few considerations are the horse power of the motor and possibly the voltage In the United States, typical 3 phase voltage is 208-230VAC, or 460-480VAC you might want to check on this before you go ahead with the project.


You can usually find older 3PH motors and build a converter cheaper then you can buy a good 1PH motor with big enough HP to replace the 3PH motor you are trying to run. The 1PH motor used to start the 3PH generator is a lot smaller HP, not very expensive to buy.

#14 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 11:38 AM

My FIL had a Pattern Making business and needed to run several 5 to 10 HP 3PH motors. He moved to another area that didn't have 3PH close to his place. He built a small rotary converter to run his 2HP table saw. That converter he built was using a 3HP motor for the generator. He found out that if he had the converter running and the Saw, he could then his 5PH 3PH 36" disk sander. With those running he could also run his 10HP 3PH 24" Planner. Each one of the motors running with no load added to the generator capacity to run bigger motors.

I know this sounds like a lot of motors running, but the total load was not much more then the Amperage needed to run the Planner.

He got both of the motors needed to build the converter from the scrap yard, and was told he could bring them back if they were bad. Both needed bearings replaced to make them run.
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#15 Big John OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 12:56 PM

To make a 3-phase converter to run a motor at almost 100% power do the following:

1. Obtain a static converter for the size of motor you want to run. (Capacitor box).

2. Get a 3-phase motor twice the hp of motor you want to run. This is the rotary converter. This is the idle motor. Capacitor box should be big enough to start & run idle motor..

3. Tie the leads of the idle motor & the motor you are running to output of
capacitor box. All voltages across each pair of leads of 3-ph should be within
10%. If they are not, you will have to add or subtract capacitors to get them
right. This will give the best motor life & power from your mill. This comes
from H&W parts house that sells rotary & static converters & Bridgeport mills &
parts. www.machinerypartsdepot.com All of the above is on the web site. Look on web site on left side for machine accessories & 3-phase converters. The above about the 10% voltage balance comes from the
builder of my rotary converter rated at 10hp which cost me $915 in 1995.


Big John

Edited by Big John, November 05, 2012 - 01:11 PM.





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