What Are The Major Categories of Phase Converters?

There are three major types of phase converters: Static Phase Converters, Rotary Phase Converters, and Digital Solid State Converters. Read on to learn more about each kind of phase converter.

Table of Contents

Static Phase Converters

Static phase converters are the most straightforward of these units. They will start a 3 phase load but run it only under single phase power. The load is limited to about 2/3 of its rated capacity.

What are static phase converters?

Static phase converters can start 3-phase motors, but cannot be used as CNC phase converters. Once an electric motor has been started, the static phase converter will disengage and allow the electric motor to run only on single-phase power. The resulting power is unbalanced and the equipment is only able to operate up to around two-thirds its rated horsepower before forcing too much current through the winding of the motor. This unbalanced output and the resulting "single-phasing" of a 3-phase motor is hard on 3-phase equipment and may shorten the life of the motor itself. All three phase applications that require smoothly balanced 3phase output, or will be operated at or near 100%, will require rotary phase converters or digital CNC phase converters to operate effectively. While static phase converters work fine in some applications, they tend to be hard on 3-phase equipment and their use is limited.

Rotary Phase Converters

Rotary phase converters are much more sophisticated units. They create true three phase power supply, often more precise than utility-supplied three phase power.

There are two types of Rotary Phase Converters:

  • Basic: these provide excellent three phase power with voltage on all three lines being +/- 10% of one another.
  • Professional: this is a more precise system that keeps tolerance +/- 5% or less, which is appropriate for more sensitive loads including CNC machinery.
man using a CNC mill to cut parts for residential cabinets

    What are CNC phase converters?

    CNC phase converters are phase converters that meet the requirements of 3-phase CNC applications by maintaining at least a +/-5% voltage balance. American Rotary offers a complete line of rotary phase converters. Designed with a custom-balanced soft-start three-phase generator, pure sine wave output, and power factor correction produces extremely smooth and balanced 3-phase output. American Rotary CNC phase converters are recommended for all types and brands of CNC equipment and applications.

      Digital Solid State Phase Converters

      Digital solid state phase converters are another type of single to three phase converter. This type uses a digital signal processor to produce virtually perfect three phase power for extremely sensitive applications.

      What are digital phase converters?

      Digital solid-state phase converters, or simply digital phase converters, are the latest advancement in CNC phase converter technology. This state-of-the-art technology using a digital signal processor, or DSP, to monitor the phase conversion process and then adjusting the input and output continually of the CNC converter to maintain a perfectly balanced power condition under all load conditions.