What is a phase converter?
A phase converter is simply a rotating machine, much like a motor, that converts single-phase utility power into 3-phase electricity to operate 3-phase equipment. Phase converters are typically applied where utility 3-phase is unavailable or too expensive to install. A properly sized and selected converter will operate any load just as well as utility 3-phase and will provide years of trouble-free service.
How does a rotary phase converter work?
A rotary phase converter is actually a rotating transformer. Through transformer action a phase converter splits off and phase shifts a portion of the single-phase supply from the utility creating true 3-phase power. When energized, the rotary phase converter uses the single-phase 2-line supply from the utility and creates a manufactured third line of power. The 3 lines (or phases) look identical to utility 3-phase with all three lines shifted 120°. The output of a rotary phase converter is true 3-phase. Each of the three output voltages will be shifted 120 electrical degrees. If the converter is properly sized, these voltages will remain in a balanced state over the entire range of connected loads.