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Thread: Converting European 3 Phase Power tools to Canada electricity

  1. #1

    Converting European 3 Phase Power tools to Canada electricity

    Hello,

    I am interested in what it would take to convert a European bandsaw (Hammer N4400) with 3 Phase (400 V) 2.5KW, 50 Hz to Canadian household electricy (120 V, 60 Hz).
    The machine has become quite specialized for me, so I would prefer not to have to replace it.

    In addition I have a large reverse pulse jet air filteration unit (3.5 KW) that I want to do the same with.

    I hope its possible and cheaper than buying new machines...

    Thanks,
    E

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    The bandsaw can likely be a candidate for a new motor. Or, if it has delta connections (look on the motor), you could change it quickly to 220v three phase. Then you could power it with either a vfd from your household 220v circuit (dryers I think are typically wired for higher voltages). I think some kind of rotary phase converter would be another option to make 220-240v three phase.

    I like a vfd on my bandsaw for the soft start, even though I have three phase power at home.

    The 3.5 kw dust unit is going to be a heavy load…probably need a phase converter or phase perfect on a dedicated 220-240v circuit which would then solve power for both machines.

  3. #3
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    I agree with Gregg. A VFD running on the 240v single phase in your home (it would be highly unusual that you would only have 120v rather than the normal 240v service) would likely be a way to run the machine as-is if it can be had with 400v output, but maybe a transformer may also be required. Replacing the motor with a 240v single phase or a 240v three phase plus a VFD are also good options. The motors would just need to have the correct "frame type" to mount to the saw. A 120v motor may not be practical because it will limit your power to 1.5-2hp max which is inadequate for a large machine like that.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    The N4400 is a nice machine but only worth so much cost when swapping stuff. Changing the motor might be expensive if needing 2.5kw in the same frame size. Euro companies use small frame motors that are hard to source with the given hp. If you change the frame, you also need to swap pulleys. Electricals may need changing too if the voltage is reduced. A used step up transformer and vfd might be cheaper if you can find a used transformer close enough to not have to ship it. I'd compare those costs with buying a used bandsaw of correct voltage. Dave

    PS. Keep in mind that if just converting without a vfd, the blade speed will increase 20%. If you swap pulleys, take that into account or live with the extra speed.
    Last edited by David Kumm; 10-05-2021 at 11:25 AM.

  5. #5
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    AFAIK the 120 input vfd's max out at 1 to 1.5 hp. You 2.5 KW motor is about 2.6 HP. You can use that vfd to run the band saw but it will only produce the 1 to 1.5 hp out of the motor. If you had single phase 240 volt, a 3hp vfd would do it.
    Then you would have to install a transformer after the vfd to increase the voltage unless the motor can be rewired to 208.
    Bill D
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 10-05-2021 at 4:08 PM.

  6. #6
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    2.5 kw should be close to 3.4 hp. Dave

  7. #7
    Thanks for the responses.
    THe reality is that both machines will be running at the same time (saw and dust collector) which is almost 6 KW load. Is this realistic with a VFD?
    What kind of motors can I get to replace the need for the VFD that would work in the common homeshop?

  8. #8
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    Sep 2003
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    Gold Coast, Australia
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    You cannot run more than one machine on one VFD. Again, you would need to have at least a 240v single phase service in your work area to power any motor able to do the kind of work you want. Then you have a chance to run two VFDs. That’s assuming that you can connect the 400v 3~ motors in delta which is 240v 3~. If you can, and you have 240v single phase, then you can get suitable VFDs to power those motors without the added complications of step-up transformers.

  9. #9
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    By the way, have you asked a Felder dealer what kind of motors they use for the North American market on the Hammer bandsaw?

  10. #10
    I did contact Felder and still waiting to hear back...
    But I did a quick search on VFD and it looks pretty reasonable cost wise to get one at about $100 (per machine) and that would be way cheaper than starting to modify machines...
    I think that's the way to go, thanks everyone for the input!!

  11. #11
    Another option would be to have the motors rewound to 240v and use a simple 3hp vfd on each one.

  12. #12
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    Neither machine will have a Canadian Electrical Approval, thatís issue one.

    Second issue is voltage, in Canada you canít distribute voltages higher than 150 volts to ground in a residential setting, so both machines will need an approved VFD and transformer mounted on the machine, then a field evaluation inspection will need to be performed on each machine, if there are no issues that would be about $300 per machine. If there are issues such as unapproved wire or devices, those would need to be replaced as well.

    I only take this approach on stuff that isnít available otherwise, in your case thatís not the caseÖ..Rod.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    Neither machine will have a Canadian Electrical Approval, that’s issue one.

    Second issue is voltage, in Canada you can’t distribute voltages higher than 150 volts to ground in a residential setting, so both machines will need an approved VFD and transformer mounted on the machine, then a field evaluation inspection will need to be performed on each machine, if there are no issues that would be about $300 per machine. If there are issues such as unapproved wire or devices, those would need to be replaced as well.

    I only take this approach on stuff that isn’t available otherwise, in your case that’s not the case…..Rod.
    Rod, is that the case for a commercial application only? Would it apply to a home hobby shop?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    Rod, is that the case for a commercial application only? Would it apply to a home hobby shop?
    Hi Doug, commercial locations are not restricted to 150 volts to ground.

    All electrical equipment requires a Canadian electrical approval for sale or use in CanadaÖÖ.Regards, Rod

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    Hi Doug, commercial locations are not restricted to 150 volts to ground.

    All electrical equipment requires a Canadian electrical approval for sale or use in Canada…….Regards, Rod
    Electrical inspectors always keep a very sharp eye out for non-approved equipment.

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