I'm thinking of moving some of my smaller machines to Europe. They are
currently using 220VAC single phase motors for 60Hz (up to 5HP) . In
Europe I have access to either 3-phase 380VAC/50Hz or single-phase
220VAC/50Hz. Can someone give me an advise? Can I use some sort of
inverter setup with a transformer, etc? Reason I'm asking is that I can
get free inverters from a friend of mine. I could actually get a 11KVA
inverter for free and it should perhaps be big enough for running more
than one machine. But I guess I need a transformer on its output? And
to complicate things my motors are single-phase.
Most induction motors are rated for both 50 Hz and 60 Hz. Check the
name plate. You shouldn't have any trouble running your 220v single
phase induction motors on Euro 50 Hz power. You will lose a few RPMs
but otherwise there will be no ill effects.
Home of the TS-Aligner
> I'm thinking of moving some of my smaller machines to Europe. They are
> currently using 220VAC single phase motors for 60Hz (up to 5HP) . In
> Europe I have access to either 3-phase 380VAC/50Hz or single-phase
> 220VAC/50Hz. Can someone give me an advise? Can I use some sort of
> inverter setup with a transformer, etc?
An inverter converts DC into AC.
US motors(60Hz) won't operate on European(50Hz) power.
50Hz requires more iron in the motor,
Lowest cost solution:
Buy 50Hz motors in Europe.
BTW, Europe operates on 380/220/3Ph/50Hz, 4 wire Y which provides
380/3Ph and 220/1Ph from the same source.
The only machines I can think this would be worthwhile for would be
just the sort that's most easily installed - 230V single phase 50Hz of
2 or 3hp. For these you simply wire them up.
European spec for control gear though is _much_ better than US
practice. If you're commercial, educational or needing insurance then
you'll need to comply with this. For anyone else it's just a damn good
idea anyway. You need an isolator switch (a special type of double pole
switch, usually lockable too) and most importantly a no-volt release
(magnetic contactor) switch.
Standard US-issue magnetic latch switches are not acceptable and the
idea of using toggle switches on machinery will produce stares of
You'll also need to meet the PUWER 98 reg for importing machine tools,
esp. as regards time for machines to either coast to a stop, or needing
electrical brakes added. If you web search, then the UK HSE has a good
PDF explanation of the rules.
Any decent electrician (UK at least) will be able to sort you out, and
this switchgear is hardly expensive either. However fitting electric
braking seems to attract rip off pricing.
Inverters produce AC. Many of them (single to three phase converters)
are also AC powered. If you _really_ needed to shift frequency (perhaps
for a 400Hz motor) then you might well use an inverter, otherwise I
think it's unlikely.
You might want to use an electronic 3-phase inverter if you either have
money to burn or you want the variable frequency drive for speed
control. For any other phase conversion purposes though, go for a
rotary converter first.
I've not yet seen a motor that was so poorly designed and under-rated
that shifting from 60 to 50 Hz was enough to cause problems, for
typical workshop duty cycles. OTOH I'm far from impressed with US
electrics and build quality, so maybe they do exist.
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