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. Digital phase converters are 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 our system. Within our digital rotary phase converter lines we feature our patented 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, and will run your equipment more efficiently.
With all our phase converters, we utilize a custom-designed induction generator as our idler. This features a 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.