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  • +Phase converters

    I know this is a little off topic on this forum, but wondering if anyone out there know anything about phase converters. I have a shot at picking up a good used 14"x 36" lathe from an old friend of the family at a steal of a price!
    Problem is it is 230/440 3 phase electrics. I do not have 3 phase in my shop but looking in to phase converters, which type,static or rotary? Static is a lot cheaper but will it hold up ,or why so much cheaper?
    ;
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  • #2
    I use a vfd[variable frequency drive] on my three phase vertical mill. You need to match it according to the horsepower of the motor.
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    • #3
      I would recommend going with a rotary type converter over the static. The rotary type converters will minimize (or eliminate) "loss of HP" when going to 1Ph. Phase-A-Matic is a good company that can sell you a good converter. Their phone number is 800-962-6976.

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      • #4
        I won't go into too much detail as this has been covered before.

        Anyway if your motor is 3 Horse power or less a VFD Variable frequency drive is the best way to go. But you need to up size it by about 50% to 100% as the inrush current a motor needs can be substantially more then the VFD is capable of putting out even though it is rated for the HP of your motor.

        So a 1 HP motor should get a 1.5 to 2 HP drive a 3 HP motor should get a around 3 to 4 HP drive.

        Anything bigger then that and a VFD will not work as they don't generate a third leg of power with having on two legs of incoming power. It just requires to much amperage to do it correctly.

        You'll notice this on inverter welders that have a higher output on three phase then on single even though the voltage has not changed.

        Chances are the lathe you mentioned has a 2HP motor or smaller. A VFD capable to fire it up is going to run about $250 give or take.
        And they are simple to wire up as well. No big deal. You just need single phase 220 coming in. thats all.

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        • #5
          http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...ad.php?t=19631


          I had a thread on exactly the same subject here..
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          • #6
            I have a knee that uses a phase converter. A couple things I've found that you might consider, with the digital type you loose about a third of your horsepower as only 2 legs are working, the 3rd leg only works via the phase converter until the motor starts. When you start the motor there's slight delay from the time you turn the switch until it starts. On a lathe the motor usually runs all the times so the delay isn't a real problem. With a rotary type converter you get real 3 phase power so you'll get the horsepower and no delays. The down side is the rotary converter consumes power even if the tool isn't running.
            Frank
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