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Thread: 3-Phase vs Single Phase Equipment

  1. #31
    This was my standard advice when I was in the biz:

    -If home shop, try as much as possible to keep machinery 1-phase.

    -If commercial shop, invest in the phase converter. You might not need any big machines now but you probably will as your business grows. A WB sander, big planer, or large compressor will probably be in your future one way or the other. I can think of several shops in my area who were trying to get by on 1-phase and perpetually complaining about that as a limitation to their growth/capabilities.

    As far as a Phase Perfect in the humidity, I doubt that would be an issue. I personally had two customers with PP’s in non-climate controlled shops here in the Austin area and it gets terribly humid at times. The enclosures on those are nema-like. I guess you could put dessicant packs in there if it was a worry but again, I doubt there would be any problems. The biggest concern with humidity will be keeping moisture out of your compressed air system. Good luck with your project.

    Erik
    Ex-SCM and Felder rep

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Courtenay BC Canada
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    2,750
    I have a very similar shop and set up as the OP.


    I have the 20HP Phase Perfect which is supplied by a 100A, 220V PH1 Breaker. My compressor and Dust collector are 5HP and 4HP. Both are single phase. I would keep the DC and Compressor single phase because they're machines that serve other machines. I also have a Wide belt, in order to run it I have to have the compressor and DC operating. My shop has 7 Machines that are 3 phase, for your own info, I can leave the planer running at 10hp and turn the table saw at 7.5hp on and off. The issue I do have however is that I used a power distribution panel that is fed by the Phase Perfect, and then feeds power to the 7 machines. My planer has an extremely aggressive motor brake which dumps regen power when I turn it off and affects all the other machines in the shop.

    The Wide Belt will blow a small 1 amp Fuse that protects the electronics and the Mortiser has a built in VFD which will trip.. Both are caused by a power spike, both are caused by the planer. I've had electricians ensure the wild leg is on the correct leg of each tool, the issue seems to stem from the PP have a large resistor that doesn't let regen power back in, so it seems to get pushed back out to the machines.

    Other than that, its a great set up. My PP is I believe a 2008. Been a great machine. 14 years old.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
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    3,124
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Fisher View Post
    I have a very similar shop and set up as the OP.


    I have the 20HP Phase Perfect which is supplied by a 100A, 220V PH1 Breaker. My compressor and Dust collector are 5HP and 4HP. Both are single phase. I would keep the DC and Compressor single phase because they're machines that serve other machines. I also have a Wide belt, in order to run it I have to have the compressor and DC operating. My shop has 7 Machines that are 3 phase, for your own info, I can leave the planer running at 10hp and turn the table saw at 7.5hp on and off. The issue I do have however is that I used a power distribution panel that is fed by the Phase Perfect, and then feeds power to the 7 machines. My planer has an extremely aggressive motor brake which dumps regen power when I turn it off and affects all the other machines in the shop.

    The Wide Belt will blow a small 1 amp Fuse that protects the electronics and the Mortiser has a built in VFD which will trip.. Both are caused by a power spike, both are caused by the planer. I've had electricians ensure the wild leg is on the correct leg of each tool, the issue seems to stem from the PP have a large resistor that doesn't let regen power back in, so it seems to get pushed back out to the machines.

    Other than that, its a great set up. My PP is I believe a 2008. Been a great machine. 14 years old.
    I didn't think of it at the time, but my setup is very similar to yours in that I kept the dust collector and compressor on single phase. So they don't draw any power from the Phase Perfect while a large 3-phase machine like the wide belt sander is running.

    My bandsaw has a DC motor brake, but it doesn't seem to affect the other machines.
    - ďItís not that Iím so smart, itís just that I stay with problems longer.Ē Ė Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Fisher View Post
    I have a very similar shop and set up as the OP.


    I have the 20HP Phase Perfect which is supplied by a 100A, 220V PH1 Breaker. My compressor and Dust collector are 5HP and 4HP. Both are single phase. I would keep the DC and Compressor single phase because they're machines that serve other machines. I also have a Wide belt, in order to run it I have to have the compressor and DC operating. My shop has 7 Machines that are 3 phase, for your own info, I can leave the planer running at 10hp and turn the table saw at 7.5hp on and off. The issue I do have however is that I used a power distribution panel that is fed by the Phase Perfect, and then feeds power to the 7 machines. My planer has an extremely aggressive motor brake which dumps regen power when I turn it off and affects all the other machines in the shop.

    The Wide Belt will blow a small 1 amp Fuse that protects the electronics and the Mortiser has a built in VFD which will trip.. Both are caused by a power spike, both are caused by the planer. I've had electricians ensure the wild leg is on the correct leg of each tool, the issue seems to stem from the PP have a large resistor that doesn't let regen power back in, so it seems to get pushed back out to the machines.

    Other than that, its a great set up. My PP is I believe a 2008. Been a great machine. 14 years old.
    Interesting. What make/model is the planer?

    I have very limited knowledge in this area so feel free to disregard but is there any way to control the rate of deceleration on the planer (ie: make it stop slower so the regen isnít as strong?)

    You may want to look into (a small) regenerative VFD that can help intake that extra voltage and dissipate it out in a more controlled way. I have never done this in practice and only read about it in more industrial applications where there is a need and benefit to re-capturing that regen power but maybe thereís a solution in there somewhere?
    Still waters run deep.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Courtenay BC Canada
    Posts
    2,750
    The Planer's a Martin T-45 but I think any large planer would have the same effect. The Motor is 10HP and the Brake is really fast considering the cutterhead is probably 100 lbs. Other machines have as more or close to the same power but don't cause the regen power issue. I have a large Jointer with a brake, I think its 8hp .. i can't remember, it doesn't cause the regen power. Its odd.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,511
    Lots of good advice thus far. i have a mix of single and 3 phase equipment in my shop. 3 phase is supplied by either a 30hp RPC or a 400HP generator.

    Personally, if it's 5 hp or under I'd recommend single phase, and above that 3 phase. So I'd buy a single phase dust collector and air compressor. I've run a 25hp WBS off of my phase converter, but it struggled to start it. Once started it ran fine.

    One thing to keep in mind is that single phase equipment usually has a higher resale value due to the increased market from hobbyists.

    Higher HP equipment can see significant cost savings in electrical supply due to the smaller wiring required for 3 phase - and even greater savings if you opt for 480V equipment. Although my generator puts out 480, my RPC puts out 240. I have one piece of 480 equipment that I can run off of the RPC through a step-up transformer. It works fine and saved me a lot of $ on wiring. You can frequently buy dry pack transformers at auction for pennies on the dollar. I've acquired 4 that way, and you can use them for either stepping up the voltage or stepping down.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,414
    You can add a line reactor on the input to the big machines causing problems. Or you could add a bigger (more expensive) one for the entire PP output. You can also use one on the input to the PP. It is easier/cheaper to buy a used three pole one and use only two poles rather then a special two pole unit
    I have a whole house surge suppressor in my shop sub panel. My panel is a square D QO panel so... The surge suppressor is a direct plug in. Looks just like another two pole breaker and one white wire to the neutral bus. New panels may use plug in neutral connection so there is no wiring needed. Literally plug and play. As long as there are two free breaker slots it was a simple install. It has a green led to show it is working. It is supposed to be as close to the infeed as possible. Ebay around $35. I assume other panel makers do the same.
    Bill D.

    https://www.amazon.com/Square-Schnei.../dp/B000CG80KY
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 06-01-2022 at 11:23 AM.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    7,071
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    7
    I have a few machines running on an RPC and a few others with (now) built-in VFD’s. I don’t mind either approach but lean heavily toward the VFD now for the ability to program in things like the start and stop features. Malcolm helped me wire in push button controls and safety features such as a disconnect and a series of emergency stop buttons.

    This doesn’t much apply to a dust collector but on my saw I tripped the overload which immediately stops the machine. I had a cut begin today bind and as soon as the amp draw exceeded the limit it shut off. Great feature to have as it worked even faster than me reaching for the e-stop.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

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