Phase Converters & Power Factor
Phase Converter Efficiency
Installing a Phase Converter
Rotary Phase Converters
Static Phase Converters
VFDs as Phase Converters
     • Harmonic Distortion
Three-Phase Motors
Phase Converters & Voltage Balance
Phase Converter Applications
     • Submersible Pumps
     • Woodworking Equipment
     • Dual Lift Stations
     • Phase Converters & Welders
     • Phase Converters & CNC Machines
     • Phase Converters & Air Compressors
     • Phase Converters & Elevators
     • Phase Converters & Wire EDM
     Phase Converters & HVAC
Phase Converters & Transformers
     • Step-up Transformers
     • Buck-Boost Transformers
     • Isolation Transformers
Phase Converter Experts
Digital Phase Converters
Regenerative Power
Three-Phase Power
     • Delta vs. Wye Configured Power
Motor Starting Currents

Phase Converter Installation

A competent licensed electrician, following national and local codes should always perform the installation of a phase converter.  Unless the converter comes complete and is straightforward to install, what appeared to be a bargain can turn out otherwise.

Static converters are low in initial cost and are easy to install.  Since they can only power motors and in particular, single-motor loads, installation is straightforward.  Usually a disconnect will be required on the line side of the converter, and a motor starter on the load side if the load does not have its own controls. 

Since the rotary converter is in essence a motor, code requires the installation of a motor starter to start and protect the rotary converter.  Most rotary phase converters are sold without the motor starter required on the single-phase line side. The three elements required in a motor starter are a disconnect, a magnetic starter and motor overload relay.

The purchase and installation of this equipment can be a significant hidden cost if the purchaser is not aware of the requirement.

On the load side of the converter, a three-phase motor starter will be required to operate a single-motor load that does not have its own controls. When used as a power supply, a three-phase load center with breakers to protect wire on the circuits to the various loads is essential.

Installing a VFD as a phase converter is relatively simple and does not usually require much additional equipment. They are a solid state device, so no starter panel is required on the line side. All that should be needed is some kind of disconnect. Since the VFD is designed to be a motor controller, its output should be wired directly to the leads of the motor load. It will both start and protect the motor load. A VFD should be used only to power motor loads, and only single motor loads. It should not be used as a power supply.  Sometimes the most difficult part of a VFD is programming the parameters of the device. Simple start and stop

sequences are usually already set by the manufacturer. More involved motor control schemes will usually involve some programming.

Digital phase converters can function as a motor starter to control a single motor load or as a power supply for multiple loads or equipment with its own controls. Since it is a solid state device connection to the single-phase line is made by inserting the wires into labeled terminal blocks. A disconnect should be installed on the line side. When configured as a motor starter, the motor leads can be inserted into the converter output terminal blocks. When the converter is turned on, it will then start the motor load. The converter comes with a control circuit that accepts input from a light duty remote switch which allows the converter and the load to be turned on and off automatically. This is especially useful in pumping applications. When configured as a power supply for multiple loads or equipment with its own controls, a three-phase load center with breakers for multiple circuits should be installed to protect the wire feeding the various loads.