Phase converters transform single-phase power into three-phase power for the operation of industrial motors, pumps, and other equipment. A 3-phase converter is a rotating machine, much like a motor, that converts single-phase utility power into three-phase electricity to operate three-phase equipment. Typically, phase converters are used when utility-supplied three-phase power is unavailable, or three-phase machinery is too expensive to install. A single-phase to 3-phase power converter is often used in remote or rural areas, or when the cost of a three-phase extension is prohibitive. Single-phase to three-phase phase converters have a wide range of applications. A three-phase motor is the main component and the available supply is single-phase. A high power induction motor drive that uses a classical three-phase converter has the disadvantage of poor voltage and current qualities.
A rotor phase converter is the most flexible and reliable type of phase converter that produces true 3-phase power to run any type of load or combination of motors. The most important part of a rotary phase converter is the idler motor, which typically has no mechanical load connected to its shaft. Since applying single-phase power to a three-phase motor will not start rotation, a method of starting the rotation of the idler motor is necessary. Static phase converters can be used for the starting and running of a three-phase motor on single-phase power. These devices produce only the third leg of power during the startup of electric motors.
Single to three phase converters provide three-phase power from a single-phase supply. Phase converters can solve the problem of single-phase to three-phase conversion for solid-state power supply loads in transmitters, computers, and other electronic equipment. Many phase converters use capacitors to balance voltages between three legs. Single phase power systems have an AC source with only one voltage waveform, as opposed to split-phase power systems that have multiple (in-phase) AC voltage sources connected in a series, delivering power to loads at more than one voltage with more than two wires.