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idealarc power factor capacitors

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  • idealarc power factor capacitors

    I'm moving into a new shop in which the electrical service is somewhat limited. I have an Idealarc TIG-250/250, Code 8809 (no suffixes given), Ser. # AC-781769.

    Some of these units came with power factor correction, consisting as far as I can tell of a "stabilizing capacitor" (P/N S-10191) and a "stabilizing resister" (P/N S-10404-19). The Lincoln parts blow-ups I've found do not show these components. Where do I look to see if my welder has them? My interest in this is that, as I understand, having the power factor control parts has the effect of damping the amperage surge when the welder is switched on. If so, this might let me get away with a slightly undersized power supply circuit breaker (min. 92A is called for by the specs on the welder for 240VAC; 100A for 208). I never have had reason to run the welder "wide-open" and don't expect to, but some owners of this machine report popping slightly undersized breakers when switching on (while others say they have no such problem).

    I understand that there are no NOS parts for this welder. But IF my machine proves not to have the power factor correction circuit, AND if this in fact has any bearing on kicking off breakers, are the specs known for these parts, and could I wire-in a generic capacitor and resistor of the right specs??

    And is there a drawing somewhere that shows this circuit or the components?
    Last edited by old jupiter; 02-24-2015, 10:36 PM.

  • #2
    If you look at page 27 of the manual (IM315 from the Lincoln site) at your lower right hand side, the power factor cap wiring is there. It is wired across the input. I'm sure by now you are aware that the machine will use more kwh with PFC at idle and less during actual welding. I'm not sure if PFC will make nuisance trips better or worse as the caps will have to charge every time you turn the machine on. As for the actual values there was something about them on Welding Web if i recall correctly. I'll see if I can find it when I have time. Good luck with the move.---Meltedmetal


    • #3
      My understanding of power factor correction is not specific to Idealarc. Dialarc from Miller, its primary competitor, uses a transformer / capacitor. The down side is it raises sharply the amperage at idle. Power factor correction in industrial applications uses a controller which monitors power factor, relaying modules of capacitors on and off as need requires. Having capacitance when not needed is not a good thing. One factory I deal with has premature lighting failure when on Sunday the motors are turned off. It is likely cheaper in both installation, and power consumption, to upgrade your power supply.
      Dynasty 280DX
      Bobcat 250
      Spool gun
      Twentieth Century 295
      Twentieth Century 295 AC
      Marquette spot welder
      Smith torches


      • #4
        Here are the manual and parts pages for that unit Code# 8809
        if that is any help

        This one has some info on the PFC Capacitors (Condensors)

        However.... this Might Just be a good excuse to upgrade to a more efficient and capable DYNASTY 350DX Tigrunner.....

        Just Sayin...

        The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

        “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

        Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

        My Blue Stuff:
        Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
        Dynasty 200DX
        Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
        Millermatic 200

        TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000


        • #5
          I think this thread has the "value" info you are looking for.



          • #6
            Thank you all for the advice and the links.

            Besides looking at all of them, I did some more google-searching on the subject. Unfortunately, my book-learning on power factor, kva, and such, was done forty years ago, was never used, and has fallen right out of my unicellular brain, and now is not easily refreshed!!

            Added to this is the problem of disagreement among self-described experts and professionals. I don't give a lot of weight to the opinions of amateurs based on their personal experience, since this should be a subject upon which "opinions" are inappropriate, like having an "opinion" on whether two and two are four. So when I find professionals expressing contradictory opinions, sometimes seemingly at odds with what the equipment manufacturers say, I don't know what to think!

            Where this particularly seems to apply is to the subject of grounding. Grounding of machines, of work tables, of electrical service-entry panels, of metal buildings (this shop is in a 45' steel shipping container east of Seattle), even of shop-trucks, and as you all have probably seen, the arguments seem to get even hotter when the grounding discussion is related to TIG machines like my Idealarc, and hotter yet when the discussion is safety-related.

            And these expert (anybody who knows a lot more about it than I do?) arguments are hardly restricted to electrical issues that bear on welding. When I first got a shipping container and did some searching on grounding, I looked a a couple of survivalist sites where the worries were about protecting your stuff against possible EMP strikes in a war with China or somebody, and from really big solar flares. Yes, a shipping container is a ready-made Faraday cage; no, not necessarily; drive the grounding rods and you're good; no, this is a really complicated problem; and on and on it went, even though some of the participants on opposing sides cited their professional credentials and experience.

            I haven't yet taken the side-panels off the housing to see whether this machine has the PFC circuit, but so far as I can gather from the confusing search is that for MY own particular situation, having or not having the factory PFC circuit won't make a great deal of difference. As to grounding the machine, I'll start with the manufacturer's advice, and for the rest of it I suppose I'll just pick the suggestions that sound best and see what happens.

            Thanks again.
            Last edited by old jupiter; 02-26-2015, 10:21 AM.