3-phase to single phase
Is it possible to convert 3-phase equipment to single-phase power? March 20, 2001
I have an opportunity to purchase a 16" 5 HP Power Mate planer, but it is 3-phase. Can I convert it to single phase?
It is easy to convert single phase to 3-phase to run the planer. You can usually find phase converters used or buy a new one. You can also make your own with another 3-phase motor.
I converted my old Coronet Major lathe, from single phase to 3-phase, so I could control the speed for spindle/bowl work. It was expensive. I am glad I did it using a converter, which can also control direction and braking!
It is pretty easy to convert single-phase power for use by your 3-phase equipment. It can be a static starter only or a rotary converter. It is not the motor itself that is converted, but the supplied power that one converts.
Woodworking tools such as planers and saws are more demanding than metal tools because they usually require a higher percentage of available torque from the work motor. For this reason, it is advisable to build your phase converter from a high-speed (3600) 3-phase motor, at least as large as the work motor. Bigger wouldn't hurt.
This is done frequently. It's much cheaper than buying commercial units. I have been using phase converted power for 30 plus years in my machine shop.
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