Can I Run a 480 Volt Piece of Equipment On a Rotary Phase Converter If My Single-Phase Voltage Is 240?

From household refrigerators to industrial machinery, all heavy-duty equipment requires steady power to operate. Those who operate heavy-duty equipment often need to switch between using single-phase (i.e. lower voltage) power and three-phase (i.e. higher voltage) power since different loads require power with different voltages. A rotary phase converter and a step-up transformer are essential to get the reliable power you need. Keep reading to learn more about how to run higher voltage equipment with lower voltage power.

Voltage, Current, & Electrical Power

In order to grasp how one voltage phase can power equipment with a different voltage phase, you first need to understand what the terms voltage, current, and electrical power mean. Here’s a breakdown of each component in the process:

  • Voltage: Voltage measures the potential difference between two points.
  • Current: Current is the flow of electric charges.
  • Electrical Power: Electrical power exists in two forms: direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC). Direct current flows in one direction while alternating current reverses the flow direction periodically.

What Are Voltage Phases?

Voltage phase refers to the electrical voltage supplied to a device and is measured in volts and cycles per second (Hz). A circuit’s three voltage phases are 120 volts, 240 volts, and 480 volts. The voltage phase is what provides the electrical current to the appliance or piece of equipment for it to operate.

A voltage phase can be either single-phase or three-phase, depending on how many wires are used to deliver power. Single-phase voltage uses one wire, whereas three-phase voltage uses three wires.

Can I Run a 480 Volt Piece of Equipment Using a Rotary Phase Converter if My Single-Phase Voltage Is 240?

Imagine that you need to run a piece of equipment that has a voltage of 480, but your single-phase power supply only has a voltage of 240. Is this task possible with the help of a rotary phase converter? The simple answer is yes. However, a rotary phase converter alone won’t get the job done. Powering the larger load will require the use of a step-up transformer. This type of system increases the electric current’s voltage enough to take it from 240 to 480.

How Do You Convert 240 Volt Single-Phase Power to 480 Volt Three-Phase Power?

Voltage must match the operational levels of the equipment it powers. In other words, the voltage must align with the equipment’s voltage capacity. A low voltage load can’t power a piece of equipment with a higher voltage capacity. It requires more power. The lower voltage load needs the combined help of a rotary phase converter and a step-up transformer.

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On its own, a rotary phase converter produces a three-phase voltage that matches the input voltage. This means the phase converter doesn’t change the voltage level whatsoever. A step-up transformer accelerates the voltage of the electrical current, thus enabling you to power equipment with larger loads. So, if you need to convert 240-volt single-phase power into 480-volt three-phase power, invest in a rotary phase converter and a step-up transformer.

What Is a 240 to 480 Step-Up Transformer?

Before diving into the ins and outs of 240 to 480 step-up transformers, let’s cover what a transformer is in its most basic form.


A transformer is an electrical device that changes the voltage of AC power from one level to another. The device usually has two coils of wire wrapped around an iron core and an insulated wire—better known as a secondary winding—wound around the first coil. When electric current flows through the first coil, it generates a magnetic field. The magnetic field then induces an electric current in the second coil. The voltage in the secondary winding is determined by a) the number of turns in the second coil and b) its distance from the first coil.

240 to 480 Step-up Transformers

Now that you know what a transformer is and what it does, you’ll better understand how a 240 to 480 step-up transformer works. The purpose of this device is to get you from 240 voltage AC power to 480 voltage AC power by increasing the voltage of the electrical current.

A step-up transformer has a high secondary voltage and a low primary voltage, meaning the electrical current will be higher on the secondary side. This type of transformer has two coils of wire: an input coil—which is connected to the source of power—and an output coil—which is connected to the load. Step-up transformers are frequently used in factories to power welding equipment and other industrial machinery. Homes also use them to power electric clothes dryers and electric ovens.

Reliable Rotary Phase Converters

Are you looking for a high-quality rotary phase converter that will power all your heavy-duty equipment and last for years to come? Phoenix Phase Converters has everything you need. We offer a large selection of rotary phase converters to meet the unique requirements of your application. Crafted with durable carbon steel, our phase converters are built to last. Their totally enclosed design enables them to withstand every element, making them the ideal option for both indoor and outdoor use. View our catalog of rotary phase converters and choose a system with the correct specifications for your application. When you need reliable power, you can rely on our equipment. Give our team a call by phone at (866) 418-9060 to receive assistance with choosing a phase converter for your commercial application.