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The Benefits of a Rotary Phase Converter Compared to Utility Three Phase and Three Phase Generator

It is true there are other options out there to get three-phase power to your equipment. Each option has its pros but it does come down to what is affordable for you and your situation. The options are to get three-phase power are through your utility line, a gas or diesel generator, or through a rotary phase converter. Here we give you a breakdown of the costs associated with each option so you can make an educated decision on which route is best for you.

Three Phase Generator

This option is good if no power is available at the site. These generators can run on gas or diesel fuel. Generators are also available in both single-phase and three-phase options.  There are many different sizes available depending on specific needs. The price is also reflected by the size of the generator and can range greatly.

What we can look at to evaluate this option is the operating costs of a generator.  With a generator, the operating costs will fluctuate with the cost of oil as it would with driving our cars. Because of this, we are looking at an average of $0.46 per (kW-HR) for your cost to create power off a generator. Then, with it being an engine that is running to create the power you have to keep up with the standard engine maintenance schedule. This option does provide three-phase power but the quality of the power can vary depending on the manufacturer of the generator.

Utility Three Phase

This is typically the first option that comes to mind when someone thinks about getting three-phase power. Three-phase power from the utility company is not always available in all areas and if it is, it can be cost prohibited. On average, the cost to bring in three-phase utility power is approximately $50,000 per mile plus site prep costs. The cost on average for usage is about $0.10 per (kW-HR) plus minimum usage requirements and demand charges. With utility three-phase power your power quality is roughly at a 10% voltage balance across the three legs. If the three-phase utility is a route you choose, it’s a good idea to do a true cost analysis to know all of your costs upfront before investing in having it brought in.

Digital Rotary Phase Converter

A digital rotary phase converter is a very cost-effective option to provide three-phase utility to your shop. This choice gives you the option to run three-phase equipment off single-phase power whether it’s from the utility company, a generator, or a solar power system.  The American Rotary digital phase converter is available in many different sizes. You can tailor your needs to operate one single load at one time all the way up to a whole three-phase operation. Since the converter is available in a wide range of sizes, it’s also very affordable compared to the other three-phase options.

One item that a lot of people fear when running their equipment is the quality of power they use. This can be a true statement depending on the rotary system that you are running. This is not true however with an American Rotary system.  Within our digital rotary phase converter lines (AD, ADX, and AI) we feature our patented MicroSmart Controller. This digital controller monitors and controls your voltages across the three legs of power providing precise voltage balance to your equipment and adding additional fail-safe features to your phase converter operation. By monitoring your voltage every 50 Milliseconds and providing better voltage control, this helps prolong the life of your converter, allows significantly more load capacity (ADX and AI), and will run your equipment more efficiently.

With all American Rotary phase converters, we utilize a custom-designed induction generator as our idler. This features our VIT Generator which is a true soft start idler that uses 1/3 of the inrush current of a comparable three-phase motor. This technology also allows you to run the phase converter 24/7 a little to no load without any negative effects. Our idlers run very smoothly, quietly, and efficiently.

Lastly, this technology produces a true three-phase sine wave allowing you to run your equipment on full three-phase power off a single-phase power source. You will have a voltage balance of about 5% or greater when measured leg to leg. The approximant cost to running a phase converter is $0.12 per (kW-Hr).

Having a phase converter saves you from having to worry about the large expense of bringing in three-phase utility power, having minimum usage requirements, and having to worry about having fuel on-site to run your generator. To find out how affordable it is to make your American Dream your reality, contact American Rotary today.

22 thoughts on “The Benefits of a Rotary Phase Converter Compared to Utility Three Phase and Three Phase Generator

  • sid

    September 1, 2017 at 12:23 am

    can it run a welder without burning out.

    • admin

      September 14, 2017 at 11:28 pm

      Hi, Sid. Yes, Absolutely!

  • Paul

    August 9, 2018 at 7:25 am

    Can you run a forklift charger 3phase?

    • admin

      September 17, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Paul, if the charger requires 3-phase power, then yes. Please give us a call at 1-888-743-6832 and we will be happy to help!

  • Doug Applegate

    September 17, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    I do not ever see any information about the difference in phase angles and the effect on the machines. Does a rotary phase converter produce a 180-90-90 angle where a generator or utility produce 120-120-120 angles?

  • 900 HP Variable frequency drives

    October 30, 2018 at 4:28 am

    Rotary phase converter devices provides really good benefits to people. That is the reason why they are so important for them. Thank you very much for providing this good post here. I think after reading this people will be able to get good information regarding these phase generator devices.
    900 HP Variable frequency drives

  • Zach Brunetti

    November 15, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Bought a 3P dust collector. Home has Single Phase power. Interested in sizing RPC to the task and getting cost estimate for service.

    • Sarah

      June 5, 2020 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Zach, if you are still in the market we would be happy to help discuss which converter would work best for your set up! I will have one of our team members reach out to get some further information.

  • Anthony b

    January 10, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    I’m living in the caribbean, and only have single phase power. How cost effective this will be to run a Lathe machine with a 4hp motor 3phase?.

    • Sarah

      June 4, 2020 at 6:53 pm

      Hi Anthony, for that size lathe I would recommend at least our AD10. Feel free to contact our Caribbean stocking distributor Jero! Their phone number is 787-270-1268!

  • Ray

    February 9, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    I want to run my new table saw on 3 phase, but my planet and dust collection on single phase. Is this doable?

    • Sarah

      June 4, 2020 at 6:22 pm

      Yes that would not be a problem! I will have one of our sales associates reach out to you to get further information and they will be happy to look into which converter will work best!

  • Bob

    March 22, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Can I produce 200 amp 3 phase off of a 200 Amp Single phase for a variety of wood working equipment ?

    • Sarah

      June 4, 2020 at 6:08 pm

      Hi Bob, If you were to max out your single phase 200 amp panel you would be able to get close to half of that on the three phase side. You would be looking at our AD/ADX-75 which is capable of starting up to 105 amps three phase, and run a combined load of 210 amps. Please feel free to call one of our sales associates at 888-743-6832 they would be happy to go over pricing and availability for you!

  • Dave

    July 5, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Looking at the pictures of this “microsmart” controller, the components do not look like they can handle any power. I can see how a unit like this can “monitor” the voltage balance between the phases , but I can’t see that it can “do” anything about it. Can you describe what it does and how it works? Say a changing load disturbs the balance and one leg is 50 volts high. What happens?

    • Sarah

      June 4, 2020 at 4:15 pm

      Hi Dave,

      The micro smart control board is programmed with multiple fail safe features and is wired to several different components inside of the control panel. With doing so it helps balance all of the legs by kicking in and out capacitors when needed.

  • brandon

    August 24, 2019 at 5:03 am

    What is the average cost per kw/h to run utility 3 phase power?

    • Sarah

      May 28, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      Hi Brandon! Since we use custom design Baldor electric generators our largest 75hp will only cost roughly around .21 cents per hour pulling only around 2.1KW!

  • Brian

    October 11, 2019 at 8:30 am

    I am impressed with my AD15 it is remarkably quiet and the equipment runs very smooth. Since becoming a new owner of an RPC I’ve begun doing a lot more research now that they really interest me and I see the benefits you mention above. I do have a question I see you mention they can run 24/7. Can I leave mine running at idle even when not running equipment if I want to go home and let machine cycles finish as well to not worry about the dreaded control battery that’s getting tired on my Fanuc? Wondering how it would affect life expectancy if I choose to leave on and what costs to my utility when it is sitting running idle? Thanks.

  • mags

    October 25, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    can it run a commercial dryer without burning out?

    • Sarah

      May 28, 2020 at 2:43 pm

      Yes it definitely can! Feel free to call our sales team at 888-743-6832 and they will be happy to look into which converter would work best for your unit!

  • ปั๊มไลค์

    May 30, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

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