History of phase conversion technologies

Phase Converter Technology

There are a number of distinct technologies on the market designed to convert single phase to three phase. Static phase converters, rotary phase converters, and variable frequency drives are all effective in certain use-cases. The digital phase converters manufactured by Phase Technologies are the only phase converters available that are effective for virtually any application, providing grid-quality power where you need it.

The technical white paper, ‘A Comparison of Phase Converter Technologies’ is a good resource if you want a scientific, detailed explanation of phase converter technologies. LINK/IMG

Phase converters have been widely used because three-phase service from the electric utility is not available in all locations. Three-phase service is generally expensive to install and may not be available at any price in remote locations or residential neighborhoods. It is more expensive than single-phase service because it requires more wires, more high voltage transformers and a different service panel. It is also common for the utility to charge a higher monthly service fee for providing three-phase service.

Digital Phase Converters

Phase Technologies revolutionized phase converter technology by utilizing proprietary software in a powerful microprocessor to control solid state power switching components. This microprocessor, called a digital signal processor (DSP), monitors the phase conversion process, continually adjusting the input and output modules of the converter to maintain perfectly balanced three-phase power under all load conditions. Like rotary and static phase converters, a digital phase converter generates a third voltage, which is added to L1 and L2 of single-phase service to create three-phase power. However, that is where the similarity ends. A process called double-IGBT conversion generates the third voltage. Double conversion means that AC power from the utility is converted to DC, then back to AC. The power switching devices used in this process are insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT). The solid state design results in a relatively small package with no moving parts except for small cooling fans. The converters are very efficient, operating at 95-98% efficiency. When the converter is energized with no load, it consumes very little power. See Phase Technologies’ Digital Phase Converters