Share facts or photos of intriguing scientific phenomena.

How Does a Rotary Phase Converter Work

How Does a Rotary Phase Converter Work
A rotary phase converter is a device that transforms a single phase power to a multi-phase electric power. This article explains how a rotary phase converter works.
Azmin Taraporewala
Last Updated: Jul 16, 2017
A rotary phase converter may be defined as a device that helps an instrument or a technical equipment to run on a single-phase power. This device can be used to run original three phase equipment on a single phase power. To explain the dynamics of the same, this device produces a three-phase power from a single-phase power source. Thus, what the phase converter does is to add a third source of power to the existing two power sources so that a three-phase power supply is generated.
Why Use a Rotary Phase Converter
Rotary phase converters use a three-phase source of power with a power check correction factor, that serves to be a secure bet in providing energy. This device is made effective through equipping it with an efficient kick-start capacity. This converter can be employed at locations that do not have 3 phase service provided in the area. Electric companies may provide a 3-phase service, however the charges may not prove to be cost-effective. The average cost may range anywhere between $30,000 to $90,000 to cover 1 mile with costs for internal wiring distribution costs. It can thus, be considered an economical avenue as it does not require a 3-phase service set up to be installed.
A single phase circuit installation is all that is required. It is very important that you consider the longevity factor before you purchase the rotary phase converter which provides for efficient start-up capabilities. It must also be equipped well to convert the single-phase power to three phase power sources. Before you decide on a rotary converter, check if the phase converter is providing equal and well-balanced power. If, however the power distribution is not even, the equipment can sustain damage while working.
Types of Phase Converters
There are various types of phase converters. Digital phase converters and static phase converters are the other two types of converters. The phase converters are suitable for various purposes. Static phase converters are used to give an efficient start up current to an engine whereas, rotary phase converters are employed to change single phase power to three phase power. This is not meant to deliver start-up power to engines but is used in regulating large machinery.
How to Build a Rotary Phase Converter
  • Your aim is to connect a 3 phase to a single phase current to generate 3 phase power. If you have an induction motor, it must generate 200 to 240 volts. The induction motor or generator is also known as an idler.
  • To begin the process of power conversion, you must connect the 220 volt single phase power to the motor's T1 and T2 supply wires.
  • Add a starting capacitor in between the T1 and T3 terminals.
  • Next is to place run capacitors for higher equipment efficiency between the T1-T2 and T2-T3 terminals.
  • After the connections have been made, you need to tie a rope or band with which the motor will spin. You need to do this, as the motor will not spin all by itself. You will have to do the necessary arrangements for it to spin.
  • Now, the 3 phase power needs to be deducted from the T1, T2 and T3 terminals or supply wires in order to generate power for the equipment.
  • You may make the converter better, by adding a start up switch; a magnetic start up switch may serve the purpose for the functioning of the equipment and the individual who is operating the machinery.
However, with this self manufactured equipment, you must not expect the perfect output in terms of machinery efficiency. Also, the power may not be supplied in a well-balanced manner and the equipment requiring more efficiency and power will not work well, even resulting in damage.
Working of a Rotary Phase Converter
The rotary phase converter is known to generate ⅓ source of power. The ⅓ source of power is used to combine with the two three phase motor terminals to provide power currents. The main function of this phase converter is to convert a single phase source of power into three phase source of power. What happens in here is that it uses a three-phase motor which is then coupled with two already existing capacitors. When the three phase motor is placed together, the capacitors then function as one single, large capacitor on which large machinery is able to run. When the single phase of power has to be converted, it is grouped together with two three phase motors terminal. The single-phase power source output is then attached to the third remaining lead placed in conjunction with the large functional capacitors that connects the converter with all the three-motor leads.
The rotary phase converters are known to produce three-phase motor power without proving disastrous to the equipment and its functioning as it produces a well-balanced and distributed power supply. These converters are in the position to work for years without any disruption if the quality of material with which it is manufactured is standardized. With them achieving balanced three-motor leads, they are employed for grinders, sanders, welding, large industrial ovens, wood working and farming tools.
Make sure that you always choose a high quality and efficiency rotary phase converters, with them being cost-effective as well.