Single Phase Power Solutions offers an alternative to traditional three-phase power with its 50-hp 1-to-3 Microgrid Power Source units that source directly from a single-phase utility service. They can be used to operate a 25-hp three-phase motor, and multiple other motors up the remaining 25 hp of capacity, according to the company.
The 50-hp units start at $24,000, significantly less than the cost of sourcing commercial three-phase power in the U.S., according to Ben Morris, director of sales and marketing for Single Phase Power Solutions,
“A lot of shops have equipment that uses three-phase motors which requires three-phase commercial electricity. So, for rural woodworkers, the issue they run into in the U.S. to add three-phase electrical infrastructure to your property, it costs about $100,000 per mile. For example, for a custom cabinetmaker with a facility in the middle of nowhere who’s 10 miles from the nearest three-phase access, it could cost around $1 million dollars,” Morris says.
“In the last year, we’ve sold these to a custom cabinetmaker in Iowa and a woodworking shop at an Amish community in Kansas. Places like that that don’t have access to three-phase power but they want to expand their business and buy larger commercial equipment.”
Morris adds that the technology in the units produces clean, balanced voltage, which is important for eliminating voltage sag when starting a machine that can affect the entire shop.
“Our solution is called a microgrid that generates three-phase power off a single-phase line. It’s not converting, it’s generating, so in the same way it would be like buying a diesel generator but without the need for fuel and required maintenance,” says Morris.
“The other solution people have turned to in the past is a phase converter that hooks up to a single-phase electricity and manufactures three-phase, which is an artificial third leg of electricity that allows three-phase motors to run. The reason this is bad is three-phase motors have a high inrush, which means to start the motor it takes about six to eight times its running current. So, a motor running at 100 amps you need 700 amps to start it on single-phase connection, causes voltage sag with three-phase motors pulling too much.”
Microgrid 1-to-3 Power Source units are also available in 75- and 100-hp configurations.
For more, visit www.sppowersolutions.com.
This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue.