Digital phase converters provide high-quality, perfectly balanced power. This is especially important if you have a CNC machine or a machine that requires the highest quality power.
Benefits of Digital Converters
Perfectly Balanced Power
The power produced has a voltage that is balanced to within 2% of the other lines. This is a huge advantage of digital phase converters. Consistent power allows your machine to have consistent torque. If you have a machine with electronic parts, the balanced power helps ensure that the circuit boards have the power they need to communicate reliably.
Low Standby Power Consumption
The digital converter uses very little power when you are not using it. Unlike a rotary phase converter that needs to power a spinning generator spinning at all times, the digital converter draws about the same as a computer when not in use.
This feature is beneficial when your motor needs to turn infrequently but on demand. Examples of this include elevators or air handling units. In both cases, the phase converter must be ready to produce power on demand but for the majority of the time the converter will sit idle. Having a unit that does not demand excessive power.
The setup of a digital converter is incredibly simple. Your single phase source from your electrical panel will send 2 wires to the digital phase converter. The output side of the converter has 3 lines that can be run directly to a machine or to a sub-panel.
Power from a Single Phase Panel to a Single 3 Phase Machine
Power from a Single Phase Panel to Multiple 3 Phase Machines
If your phase converter will be used to power multiple machines, then you will install a sub-panel. Each machine will connect to its own breaker in this 3 phase sub-panel.
The digital phase converter comes with a digital readout so you can see what is happening with your single phase power as it is converting to 3 phase power. The display will show the input and output voltages, the amperage output, and error codes. When your shop is up and running, you can see the power being supplied to your converter and the demand your shop is placing upon the converter.
The digital display is incredibly helpful when troubleshooting power problems. For example, you may see “over voltage” or “under voltage” displayed on the screen. This shows that the incoming power is either too low or too high. Without this, your single phase to three phase power may become unstable without you knowing, resulting in inconsistent results in your operation.
Unstable power, especially in rural areas is quite common. Wind storms causing power lines to swing can cause spikes. Your neighbours are also connected to the same lines as you so if they are doing something unusual then this will affect your power also.
When the power in your area has been restored then the digital phase converter will automatically attempt to restart (this can be disabled).
The important part is that you know what happened. The latest models of Digital Phase Converters also allow you to review past errors, in case things have returned to normal by the time you or your electrician arrives on-site to troubleshoot.
How does a digital phase converter work?
This is the latest technology available for phase conversion. To create the perfect sine wave, the unit uses an “active front end” technology. The digital phase converter takes the AC power from your panel, converts it into DC, and then recreates the AC waves from scratch. Building the 3 phase power from scratch by going through this AC-DC-AC transformation allows the phase converter to specifically tailor the 3 phase power output. This allows the output to be perfectly balanced across the 3 lines.
New features are constantly being released into the latest models.
Better on Your Motors
By having a perfectly balanced power source, motors will run cooler and will have more torque. Your motor is going to create a magnetic field when given an electric current. This magnetic field is what gives the motor its torque potential. If a voltage imbalance occurs then the magnetic fields will also be of different strengths or different torque strengths as it rotates. Some motors run quieter on digital converters because of the voltage balance.