What Is A Phase
A phase converter is a device that produces
three-phase electrical power from a single-phase source, thus
allowing the operation of three-phase equipment at a site that only
has single-phase electrical service.
The first phase converters were
invented nearly one hundred years ago. These were static phase
converters, and they have changed little since that time. Over the
years, other technologies have been employed as phase converters and
hundreds of companies, large and small, manufacture phase
There are rotary
phase converters, variable frequency drives (VFD) adapted
as phase converters and the newest technology, digital phase converters.
This can make the search for one a confusing process. This
technical paper, A Comparison of Phase
Converter Technologies is a good source if you want a
scientific, detailed explanation of phase converter technologies.
Phase converters have been widely
used because three-phase service from the electric utility is not
available in all locations. Three-phase service is generally
expensive to install and may not be available at any price in remote
locations or residential neighborhoods. It is more expensive
than single-phase service because it requires more wires, more high
voltage transformers and a different service
It is also common for the utility to charge a higher
monthly service fee for providing three-phase service.
here for a more detailed explanation of three-phase
There are dramatic and important
differences among phase converters in terms of price, power quality,
voltage balance, efficiency, versatility and ease of installation.
Hopefully this site will help you to understand these issues and
make it easier to select the right converter for your application.