When would you choose a Rotary Converter?

Rotary converters are a power supply, which means you can use them to power one or multiple machines. They are a more cost-effective choice as compared to the digital converter. Many people choose to purchase a rotary converter when they only have a single machine to power in their shop.

Built to Last

Our PhaseMaxx converters are built to last. We regularly get calls from people who bought a second-hand PhaseMaxx converter and are looking for installation manuals. We still get support calls from people who own PhaseMaxx converters that are over 20 years old.

Manufactured and Supported from Edmonton

We have been building the PhaseMaxx rotary converters for 35 years. If you need replacement parts, we likely have them on the shelf as we use these parts daily.

If you call for support, we will ask you for the serial number on your unit. This is because we have a file on every converter we build. We will have photos of your exact unit, the full internal parts list, and electrical drawings. We can walk through troubleshooting with you as if we were standing there next to you.

How does a Rotary Phase Converter Work?

A rotary phase converter works by spinning a 3 phase electrical generator. This generator is a specially designed 3 phase electric motor with a horsepower rating and a frame size suitable to support the 3 phase equipment you need to run.

3 phase motors have 3 connections to their windings (seen in picture). The rotary phase converter panel starts the 3-phase motor using only single phase. It does this by connecting only to 2 of the 3 connections. These connections are usually labelled as L1 and L2.

Rotary Phase Converter Connection to Generator to Produce 3 Phase*

Rotary Phase Converter Connection to Generator to Produce 3 Phase

*This is a simplified version for education purposes. It does not account for soft starting or generators with more than 3 leads.

Once this generator has fully started, the phase converter control panel connects to the generator's 3rd phase output (line L3). Together, this 3rd phase and the single phase you already are your 3 phase power.

Some manufacturers use plain old electric motors as their generators. While this will create the 3rd electrical phase when idling, once loaded the 3 phase power it produces could collapse. The key to a high-quality rotary phase converter design is in the generator that is used and how that control panel manages its power output and its voltage balance when it's placed under load. Electram has invested countless research and development hours to determine the best generator to use and how to optimally manage it.

The phase converter size is determined by the size of the electrical generator and the size of control panel needed to start that generator. Generally, if you have a large 3 phase electric motor to start then you will need a large generator. If you have a large generator, then you will need a large control panel to start it. The size of the rotary phase converter control panel is determined by the number of capacitors it needs to both start the generator and to manage its output under load. The control panel can bring capacitors in or out depending on how much you are loading it down.

Easy Setup

The setup is simple. Your single phase electrical panel will send 2 wires to the rotary phase converter. The output side of the converter has 3 lines that can be run directly to a machine or to a sub-panel. A rotary converter also has a generator that sits on the ground. This generator is an electric motor that doesn't have a shaft. The third electrical phase is produced by spinning this generator. Depending on the model, 3 or 6 electrical wires will connect the generator to the panel.

Rotary Phase Converter Connection to a Single Machine

Hooking up a rotary converter to a single machine

Rotary Phase Converter Connection to Multiple Machine

If your phase converter will be used to power multiple machines in your home shop or commercial workshop, then you will install a sub-panel. Each machine will connect to its own breaker in this sub-panel.

Hooking up a rotary converter to a multiple machines

CSA Approved

Electram is a CSA approved manufacturer. All our PhaseMaxx phase converters are CSA approved. Our operations are regularly inspected by CSA for compliance and manufacturing best-practices.

This is a picture of a nameplate from one of our PhaseMaxx 5T rotary phase converters. Highlighted on this nameplate is the CSA stamp of approval.

Hooking up a rotary converter to a multiple machines

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