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First Project With the New Powermatic Table Saw #5: Rotary Phase Converter Installed

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Blog entry by psient posted 03-09-2012 08:44 PM 2567 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Caster and pre assembly note Part 5 of First Project With the New Powermatic Table Saw series Part 6: Mobile base tested »

The 3 phase panel and rotary phase converter are now installed.

It took me 2 weeks to get the panel wired. Note the fuse block for the Table Saw’s circuit. This was a slight hassle as the supplier sent me the wrong block and fuses. They straightened it out and the part arrived today.

The hardest part of the whole installation was dealing with the 240v single phase wire feeding the RPC: #4 AWG. I don’t know why you can’t see that part of the panel. You can when you view the shot in photobucket but when uploaded here it cuts of the right-hand side of the photo.

The three phase wiring is all #6 AWG. I will use the distribution block for the 240v single phase to run a plug on this wall. The welder will use that plug. I’ll use a 50 amp breaker. Tapping off the 60 amp line used for the RPC is allowed however, it cannot be used while the RPC is being used. That is I cannot use that circuit to weld on when I am working at the Table Saw. No problem.



7 comments so far

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1836 posts in 1744 days


#1 posted 03-10-2012 12:29 AM

I’m interested ! What are the advantages of using this type of phase converter ? Is this specific to only that table saw or can you run other 3 phase machines (even if it is one at a time) with it ? The phase converter my uncle had to run his seed mill was only for his mill. I don’t recal him having another motor running to drive the convertor.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Gpops's profile

Gpops

245 posts in 2192 days


#2 posted 03-10-2012 07:13 PM

Nothing negative, Just a safety note from an old time retired electrician. Your single phase 220 volt distribution block shouldn’t be marked with white tape. White tape indicates a neutral wire not a hot wire. Those are the two hot phases of the 220 volt single phase system. Just don’t want anybody to get hurt thinking it is a 110 volt single phase circuit. I would fuse the output of the phase converter to the amperage rating of the saw if it is smaller than the max output of the phase converter to protect the saw. Let us know how well the saw works as I am always coming across old three phase power tools for cheap. Don

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15071 posts in 2423 days


#3 posted 03-11-2012 05:45 AM

It should work great! I have wired a few of those. They preform better than the electronic versions, especially starting loaded motors such as compressors or pumps. You can run any type 3 phase load off of it.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View psient's profile

psient

63 posts in 1061 days


#4 posted 03-11-2012 02:44 PM

HI All:

Thanks for your comments. I look forward to hearing more from you guys as the project moves forward.

The illustration is of the shop’s sub -sub-panel. I wired and designed the panel in this picture relying on close communication with both Powermatic and American Rotary.

CanadianChips:

I am NOT an electrician and am reporting what I’ve been told 2nd hand. American Rotary provides a balanced, CNC ready, softstart design here.

The motor in the picture iis an idler only and mitigates a massive influx of current upon 3phase power start-up. Thus starting the phase converter won’t cause a massive surge to my single phase power at the Main Panel that feeds the house. I think it also prevents my neighbors from experiencing a drain on theirs. The size of the converter is 20 HP and provides power up to and including any 10HP machine. I can run anything 3 phase from this equipment if I am mindful of the OVERALL load.

Gpops:

I copied the wiring coding of my shop’s sub panel wired by a licensed electrician. The shop’s sub panel is ONLY 240v; no 120 circuits at all. All of my shop’s 120v circuits are fed from the property’s Main Panel and are wall receptacle. I am not sure I understand what your safety suggestion is. The panel in the photo is wired correctly for 220 and the coding is correct as such, isn’t it? Is there an appropriate code that will discriminate between 220 and 120 Single Phase. Should I place a label in the sub-sub-panel that states 240v only?

The saw has a dedicated 30 amp fused circuit as per Powermatic’s instructions. In addition, the 240 single phase tapped from the sub-sub-panel’s input via the distribution block has a 50 amp circuit breaker of its own. I can use this breaker as a disconnect if I am running the saw so there is no accidental drain on the saw’s circuit from another source.

Thus using this scheme, I have a 50 amp 240v single phase circuit in the RPC’s sub-sub-panel for my new ESAB welder (not shown in the photo). Positioning a 240 single phase receptacle on the shop’s wall shown in the photo allows me to access the welder and its controls without having to turn around from my welding table. After discussions with American Rotary we agreed that as long as I was mindful of running the welder when the table saw was not being used, there is no hazard.

Just some details. The RPC’s circuit is a breakered 60 amps using #4 wire running the 23 feet from the shop’s sub panel to the RPC’s sub-sub-panel. The 3 phase circuit uses #6 wire. I’ll also use #6 for my 240 single phase run to the welder’s plug.

TopamaxSurvivor:

I run my Bridgie from another RPC (5hp). The company that manufactured this RPC (American Rotary) has always been a strong supporter of any issues, questions, design features I have had. This is why I chose them for the larger converter.

*

I’m wiring the welder’s receptacle this morning. After that I’ll weld up the caster mounts. Then I’ll weld them to the table saw’s mobile base. Next I’ll hoist the saw from its pallet to the base. Given that everything is accomplished today, the saw will be up and running tomorrow.

Of course there is always Mr. Murphy lurking somewhere in the shop.

Jon

View Gpops's profile

Gpops

245 posts in 2192 days


#5 posted 03-11-2012 03:23 PM

My safety concern was that the white tape indicates that the circuit is a 110 volt circuit not the 220 volt single phase it is. White tape indicates a neutral not a hot. just a heads up for maybe anyone else looking to wiring something. Don’t want anyone getting hurt. You could mark the two phases black and red if you wish to identify them as hot. just not Green or white. Small issue the unit is wired correctly just labeled wrong. Oh brother, I am sounding like the Grammar police for electrical:0) Not intended. Don

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15071 posts in 2423 days


#6 posted 03-11-2012 05:38 PM

Murphy won’t bother you if he doesn’t get into his law enforcement mode ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View psient's profile

psient

63 posts in 1061 days


#7 posted 03-12-2012 11:43 AM

Gpops:

I see. I will re-mark the white with red. Thanks for informing me. I will also note the deviation from convention with a placard inside the panel.

I welded the caster mounts yesterday. Today I’ll weld the mounts to the base and also the gussets. I’ll hopefully get to the saw later this week.

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