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Tool Talk Discussion Board

Re: Installing 3 phase in your shop

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Posted by NCWayne on February 02, 2014 at 19:49:54 from (

In Reply to: Re: Installing 3 phase in your shop posted by buickanddeere on February 02, 2014 at 18:59:43:

Why do you say that "it operates without smoke and makes enough power not to stall"? Reason I ask is that there are quite a few rotary converters out there now days designed with 'tolerances' tight enough to run computerized CNC machines....with ratings up to, and probably in excess of 60 HP. Fortunately for those of us running nothing but 3 phase motors the tolerances don't have to be that tight so getting, or building a converter that works is a lot cheaper and easier. The main thing you need for it to work right is to size the idler motor, and capacitors in such a way that the three legs are kept pretty well balanced. If you can manage to do that you'll have no problem developing full power without making any smoke or having any other problems. Personally I built my own out of a 10 HP motor and a bank of capacitors about a year or so back. When I got it all together and started my mill for the first time I machined a piece just to check it out. I then put an amp clamp on all three legs with the spindle motor, and the feed motor both under a good load . What I found was that both the two legs 'supplied' from the power company, as well as the third 'manufactured' leg, all three were within one amp of carrying an identical load. It doesn't get much better than that....especially for home made....

That said, there is a big difference between a rotary converter and a static converter. With a static converter all you've got is a bank of capacitors wired in such a way that they will get the motor spinning and essentially your running a three phase motor on two legs. In doing so your right, it does run and doesn't create smoke, but you cut the power available by at least a third, if not more, depending on the design of the motor. Too a static converter will not run more than one motor at a time where a rotary will. In fact every 3 phase motor you start off the converter also begins to act as an idler, and actually only adds to the power actually available.


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