American Rotary Blog

American Rotary Phase Converter Unboxing, Setup, and Wiring

Thanks to American Rotary customer, Michael Murray, we have a few videos to show you exactly what to expect when you receive an American Rotary phase converter. The unit used in these videos is an AD series  model. So keep in mind, some things may vary depending on your specific order for your unique setup, but this should give you a good idea, especially when ordering a similar unit.

Phase Converter Unboxing:

Phase Converter Setup:

Phase Converter Wiring:

Have an American Rotary experience or setup you would like to share? Send us pictures or videos at info@americanrotary.com and we will be glad to share them with our community!

How to Get Affordable Three-Phase Power on Your Farm

Look for a Rotary Phase Converter with These Three Fundamentals

Most farms lack access to the three-phase power grid, and paying the power company to bring three-phase power onsite is expensive.

However, there is a cost-effective way to gain three-phase power for irrigation pumps and tower pivots, hullers and balers, grain dryers, and any other heavy-duty agricultural equipment your operation requires. A phase converter can give you the precise power you need while keeping your costs low.

So, what makes a good rotary phase converter? The right solution should provide these three advantages:

1. Durability to Withstand Extreme Conditions
2. Voltage Balance
3. Automated and Wireless Control Options

three-phase power for farming

1. Durability to Withstand Extreme Conditions

As with all your equipment, you need your phase converter to handle the rugged physical conditions, swings in temperature, etc. on your farm. A few things to look for in a durable phase converter include:

— The ability to withstand temperatures ranging from -50 to 120 degrees
— The ability to tolerate rain and snow
— The ability to combat wind and dust
— Fully enclosed housing with rodent screens
— Heavy-duty mounting capability

2. Voltage Balance

It’s important to look for a phase converter that has variable impedance technology built directly into the idler/generator. This will drastically reduce inrush (starting) current for reliable starts, every time, with no voltage drop.

Unfortunately, many phase converter manufacturers claim that they have such technology, when they instead use a regular stock motor, rewire it for low voltage and cut off the exposed rotating shaft, which is also a huge safety hazard. If you’re not sure whether a particular phase converter actually provides variable impedance, feel free to contact us.

Additionally, a phase converter should be rated to run single or multiple motor loads. This capacity is only limited by the single-phase current available. By selecting a converter with precision balanced from a “no-load” condition, you can easily run a small motor together with larger ones using the same phase converter. More importantly, it should also be able to operate with no load engaged for an indefinite period, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your converter while your equipment loads are not operating.

3. Automated and Wireless Control Options

When you’re running a physically demanding business like a farm, you don’t have time to waste. Having to constantly start up or check the performance of your machinery throughout the day can really drag down your operation.

Options to add wireless remote starters and SDDO (Start Delay, Delay Off) timers can alleviate these issues regarding your phase converter. A long-range radio frequency remote starter can allow you to simply start your phase converter without having to go out to the converter itself, wherever it may be on your land. An SDDO timer lets you take the convenience a step further, automating when your machines turn on and off — a feature that can be valuable with a pivot irrigation system, for example.

With these three key attributes in mind, you have a good head start toward finding a rotary phase converter that best suits the demand of your equipment and output on the farm. But if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

In the meantime, here’s an example of how a 30-acre pickle farm in Indiana is running their entire irrigation system with the help of rotary phase converters.

Save on Your 2016 Taxes When You Buy an American Rotary Phase Converter

Taxes are costly. Fortunately, there are incentives such as Section 179 that can help you save on your taxes so you can grow your business.  

Who qualifies for this deduction? According to Section179.org, “all businesses that purchase, finance, and/or lease less than $2,000,000 in new or used business equipment during the tax year 2016 should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction.” In other words, you get to deduct the entire purchase price of your equipment from your gross income in the tax year that you purchased it.

There are a few limits. The first is that the deduction is limited to $500,000 the first year, plus 50% bonus first year depreciation and normal first year depreciation.

Second, the total amount of the equipment purchased cannot exceed $2,000,000 (making it a true small business tax incentive).

Lastly, the equipment must be purchased and put into service within the applicable tax year, which means the deadline for getting some new three phase power is by the end of the day on December 31, 2016.

As you can see, Section 179 is a simple tax incentive created specifically for small and mid-sized business owners to take action and continue moving their business in a positive direction.

As a guide for how Section 179 can help your business, please see the chart below…..

As always, be sure to speak with your tax professional for more information and if you qualify for this and any other tax deductions. For more information visit Section179.org.

2016 section 179
2016 section 179 tax deduction write off. Image from section179.org

A Primer on Three-Phase Power for Machinists

Here’s What You Need to Know to Make the Most of Your Equipment

Are you confused with the difference between single-phase and three-phase power? If so, you’re not alone.

Although many types of machining equipment operate off three-phase power, owners of this equipment often don’t realize what this means until it’s in their shop. But a lack of proper three phase power can prevent you from getting the equipment you really need, setting up the equipment you have, getting the equipment they really need, or even from growing your business.

So let’s clear the confusion and help you get three-phase power right.

Common Misconceptions about Three-Phase Power

— You have to get a building that already has three- phase power installed.

— You shouldn’t buy three-phase power equipment for your workshop or business because — you won’t be able to install it.

— Your only option for three-phase power is to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get it installed by the electric company.

— You need a diesel-guzzling, dirty, noisy generator to create three-phase power.

Worst of all, some machinists even buy three-phase machinery without knowing it requires three-phase power to run! Now, that’s frustrating!

3 Keys to Optimal 3-Phase Power

Whether you operate a full-time shop or like to tinker around in your garage on the weekends, here’s some good news. For manual mills and lathes, CNC mills and lathes, or machine and turning centers, a rotary phase converter can give you the precise power you need while keeping your costs low.

So, what makes a good rotary phase converter? The right solution should provide these three advantages:

1. Voltage Balance
2. Reliable Start-up
3. Scalability

1. Voltage Balance

CNC phase converters are phase converters that meet the requirements of 3-phase CNC applications by maintaining at least a +/-5% voltage balance. The more balanced the output of the rotary phase, the better a piece of equipment will operate and the longer it will last. Unbalanced voltages seen with non-CNC phase converters can be hard on the equipment, causing undesirable conditions such as excess noise and poor performance.

Rotary CNC phase converters can be used on any type of equipment, especially voltage sensitive machines such as CNC machining centers, milling machines, lathes, PLCs, EDMs and any other type of equipment that relies on balanced input power. But first, verify that the rotary CNC phase converter is rated for the specific kilowatts (kW) that your equipment or machine requires.

2. Reliable Start-up

For years, phase converters have had a reputation of drawing a huge inrush current upon start-up. This disproportionate power draw has resulted in, among other problems, dimming neighbors’ lights, demand charges from the utility and large increases on power bills.

So it’s important to look for a phase converter that has variable impedance technology built directly into the idler/generator. This will drastically reduce inrush (starting) current for reliable starts, every time, with no voltage drop.

Unfortunately, many phase converter manufacturers claim that they have such technology, when they instead use a regular stock motor, rewire it for low voltage and cut off the exposed rotating shaft, which is also a huge safety hazard. If you’re not sure whether a particular phase converter actually provides variable impedance, feel free to contact us.

Additionally, a phase converter should be rated to run single or multiple motor loads. This capacity is only limited by the single-phase current available. By selecting a converter with precision balanced from a “no-load” condition, you don’t need to worry about running a small motor together with larger ones using the same phase converter. More importantly, it should also be able to operate with no load engaged for an indefinite period, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your unit while your equipment loads are not operating.

3. Scalability

One of the great things about phase converters is the ability to scale your energy use as your shop or business grows. However, if you build your own or buy a lesser-quality converter, this is hard to do. You might not get the best fit for your usage and equipment.

High-quality phase converters are capable of phase synchronization for increased capacity to double, triple or quadruple your power.

With these three key attributes in mind, you have a good head start toward finding a rotary phase converter that best suits your needs. But if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

In the meantime, here’s an example of how a machining company is scaling their business with help from rotary phase converters.

East Side Cabinets with American Rotary Phase Converters

In this video, Dave & Dave visit East Side Cabinets, a maker of European-style cabinets located in Madison, Wisconsin. Bryan gives us a tour of his shop and shows how multiple phase converters from American Rotary power all of his equipment including his edge-bander, air-compressor, and his CNC router, which are all three-phase. As East Side Cabinets expands, American Rotary has continued to provide the single to three-phase solution for the company.

American Rotary supplies phase converters for every facet of the woodworking industry. While a single phase converter can be used to operate a single piece of machinery, woodworkers often need to start and run multiple 3-phase machines (sometimes simultaneously), which also have varying load conditions. The balanced output of American Rotary phase converters allows for the safe operation of very small, lightly loaded 3-phase machinery on the same rotary 3-phase converter as larger, hard-starting equipment.

For more information how you can leverage the benefits of a phase converter for your wood shop, visit our woodworking applications page.