phase converter powering an elevator

Most industry experts will tell you that 3-phase power is preferred over single-phase converters if you have to power an elevator (or multiple elevators). This is the case for both residential and commercial elevators. As you look at 3-phase converters for sale, it is important to understand why they are preferred when it comes to elevator power requirements.

Elevator Power Requirements: The Basics

Elevators are simple machines but have a lot of moving parts and requirements. The parts that need power are:

  • Hydraulic lifting pump motors
  • Ventilation air circulation
  • Doors
  • Lights
  • Central control panel

Understanding what component has a single-phase or 3-phase converter requirement helps to understand why 3-phase converters are so important.

Voltage Restrictions

Many elevators have a strict voltage balancing modulation system, which sometimes can use as little as a 3% voltage restriction between phases. That makes the 3-phase converter necessary, as it can handle power surges that exceed the 3% limit. A single-phase converter would be overwhelmed. 

Modulated Power

Elevators also have relatively high surges in power as part of the operating routine. A lot of power is needed to run the lift, pumps, air circulation, and the central control unit. With systems with digital 3-phase converters, the load shift is modulated to address these needs before the elevator is activated. That allows for seamless distribution of power as well as assurance that the power needs will be met no matter what equipment component is being utilized. With a single-phase converter, that ability to control power needs is limited to the capacity of the equipment.

Benefits of Phase Converters for Elevators

Longer Lifespans

Less efficient transformers and phase converters generate a lot of heat. Heat can reduce the lifespan of sensitive components and can result in the premature demise of the equipment. Many phase converters for sale offer so much reduced energy waste that the heat required to operate the transformers is greatly reduced. This means the machine will not become less efficient or die out prematurely.

person pressing elevator button


Three-phase converters also provide an economical, continuous power solution. With a single-phase converter, or even a bank of several of them, continuous power will always run the risk of failure. It is also easy to convert single-phase to 3-phase, and requires very little in terms of manpower or associated costs, making the recoup of the added expense of the equipment much quicker.

Easy Matching

The purpose of a phase converter is to provide ample power to an application while distributing excess power appropriately to other applications. A single-phase converter limits that capability. A 3-phase converter provides a balanced power source for an array of load needs at once. If, for example, a building is running HVAC and an elevator, a 3-phase converter is ideal because it will provide a balanced load to both applications while not overwhelming either one.


If you have an application that has a high load need, particularly at startup or intermittently, a 3-phase converter eliminates the possibility of overload, which reduces a safety hazard dramatically. An overload can cause a fire risk as well as displace significant amounts of heat. It also can overload a piece of equipment and render it useless. Your employees can work on high-load applications without the fear of getting injured or of destroying valuable equipment.

No Restrictions

There are power and load restrictions that any single-phase converter equipment carry. The risk, as mentioned, is overload, and if they become overloaded, they shut down. That limits the array of equipment that can be used in a single-phase configuration. A 3-phase configuration has no limits. Three-phase converters can handle multiple loads--resistive and capacitive, hard-starting or voltage intense.

For an application like an elevator, there is no substitute for a 3-phase converter. For more information on purchasing a digital 3-phase converter, please visit Phoenix Phase Converters.