Many readers of this website will be familiar with the issue: they have either acquired or are considering acquiring a piece of three-phase machinery yet they do not have three-phase electrical power in their premises. The purpose of these FAQs is to outline the options available and the factors to be taken into account. It is not intended as a technical electrical engineering discussion but some basic electrical terms are introduced so that it makes sense. The author is an engineer at the phase converter manufacturer Boost Phase Converters but the FAQs attempt to present all the options objectively.
Please remember that these FAQs and the website is copyright © Boost Phase Converters, 2011 and you should contact us for permission if you intend to quote more than brief extracts. We would not ordinarily refuse such enquiries and are happy to write articles for magazines etc.
A. About Three Phase Power
A.1 What is the difference between DC and AC?
A.2 What are the different voltages in AC and what does rms mean?
A.3 What is three phase AC?
A.4 What voltages are used in different parts of the world?
A.5 What is the difference between single phase and split phase?
A.6 Why is three phase power used and why should I buy three phase machinery?
A.7 What is power factor?
A.8 What is zero point crossing (noiseless) switching?
A.9 What are the different sorts of connectors (plugs and sockets)?
A.10 Can I use my UK phase converter in continental Europe?
B. About Phase Converters
B.1 What are the alternatives to a phase converter?
B.2 What types of phase converter are there?
B.3 So tell me about static phase converters and phase diagrams
B.4 What are the problems with statics
B.5 So why are rotary phase converters better?
B.6 How powerful are phase converters?
B.7 How efficient is a phase converter?
B.8 How large a power supply will I need?
B.9 Does welding equipment require a larger power supply?
B.10 What breaker or fuse should I fit?
B.11 What about line drop, voltage variations, electrical noise and wire sizes?
B.12 What are bleed resistors?
B.13 Do phase converters make a noise and where should I put mine?
B.14 Are there any other features to look for in a phase converter?
B.15 Tell me about customer support and installation
B.16 How long will a phase converter last?
B.17 Do you have a selection guide for phase converters vs. VSDs etc?