View Full Version : convert 3 phase to single phase?

04-04-2013, 06:34 PM
Hey guys I'm after a little help... I've got my eyes on a multicam router but the trouble is its 3 phase which I don't intend to use in the new unit.

My question is.... Is it possible to convert 3 phase to single phase? Is so is it a huge deal and expensive?


04-04-2013, 07:08 PM
Would one of these be easier than gutting it?

Clarke Single to 3 Phase Converters - Machine Mart (http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/range/details/clarke-single-to-3-phase-converters/path/transformers-inverters-phase-converters-sol)

04-04-2013, 07:43 PM
The motors can be controlled from a VFD. If the rest of the electronics is 3 phase also then these will run from separate power supplies. These can be swapped out for single phase ones. Give us some details on what is controlled by the 3 phase or links to what you have in mind.

04-04-2013, 08:09 PM
With a big machine like that, I think I'd be tempted to find out how much it would cost for your electricity supplier to install a 3-phase supply. YES, they WILL run 3-phase supplies to domestic properties from the local transformer. IMO, 3-phase is MUCH more useful than single phase because not only you can run (cheaper) industrial equipment, but it is easy to get a single phase supply by using any phase and the neutral. Generating 3-phase from single phase is MUCH more difficult and never perfect.

If that's too expensive, then single phase to three phase converters would be the next step, however they can be costly if you're running big motors.

Next would be to consider using three phase motor inverter drives (a.k.a. VFDs) that take a 240V AC supply and spit out a variable frequency 3 phase motor supply. I quite like the Telemecanique/Schneider Altivar drives but they're not cheap. Other makes exist, but just make sure that the drive supply is 240V AC supply and not 3-phase.

And the LAST resort would be to convert the machine to single phase motors.

04-04-2013, 10:02 PM
D-Man I just had a look at there site, are you thinking of buying this new? if so they may be able to supply it single phase?

05-04-2013, 07:39 AM
Cheers guys, it's not one of the new ones it the early ones. I believe 2004

It's a multicam 44plus only a 4x4.

I've since had some good advice that the machine was over priced for that machine. So I may just leave it. At least your comments will come in handy if I do find 3 phase :-)

05-04-2013, 11:53 AM
One thing to remember, especially if you're looking at industrial use, is 3 phase motors are more effiecient. It's only a few percent difference, but when you add that up on a machine that does a lot of work, it can make quite a big cost difference over the lifetime.
Then are the benefits that 3 phase motors are smoother running, have better start characteristics, and are easier to reverse.

05-04-2013, 11:55 AM
Thanks bud I will keep that in mind. So you recommend to go with 3 phase over the single for efficiency?

I always thought that it was a huge price difference due to it being a high voltage

05-04-2013, 12:24 PM
3 phase is nearly always better when it's an option, however power companies will screw* you over to get it, but once you get past the installation cost things get cheaper.
3 phase isn't really high voltage, it's only referred to 415V because that's the maximum possible voltage difference you can get at any one time. 3 phase is just three 240V phases with 120degree seperation, and you get the 415V by taking power from two of the phases as when one is at 240V, the others will be at -175V (because you can never have two peaks directly opposing, you never get a 240 and -240 peak at the same time). To get 240V, you just pick a phase and use neutral.

*power companies will screw you every way possible when it comes to them doing anything on their side. I know somebody who got charged 1500 for them to just come and move a cable from one hole into another hole (had to move the cable to clear a house extension), with all the digging already done!

05-04-2013, 09:32 PM
If you need 3 phase, and the power companies are holding you to ransom, why not consider a generator. I needed a 3 phase supply for some woodworking machinery and was quoted over 14k for a connection, but managed to buy a second hand 10kW 3 phase generator for 700. Obviously running cost for fuel are much higher, but if its only for occasional use it might be the cheaper option.

John D

06-04-2013, 12:16 AM
Good idea, but might upset neighbours if in town. G.