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single to three phase converter


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I have access to a free 3-phase fairly meaty hydrovane air compressor.

Is there anyway of powering it from a single phase supply (presume the supply has enough amps) without spending an arm and a leg on an horrifically expensive converter?

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How many amps is 'enough'?!?! A lot, methinks. Any idea of the spec?


ALRIGHT big boy don't get your knickers in a twist. Can one of the mods move this please before Al has a fit :P:D:P ta

ignore the meaty comment- in some odd freudian way i type that by accident

it's only a piddling 2.2kw that supplies around 8cfm- just enough to run air tools i hope

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ALRIGHT big boy don't get your knickers in a twist. Can one of the mods move this please before Al has a fit :P:D:P ta

it's only a piddling 2.2kw that supplies around 8cfm

:D Pants officially un-wadded.

Ok, cool, just a tiddler really. Defo swap the motor.

Al. Undercover, unpaid, unrequired Mod.


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It is possible to run three phase motors on single phase by using capacitors to effectively create the three phases, however this will require quite an investment in parts, and isn't particularly efficient- My dad has used this to run his lathe, but he had the parts already, and the motor is relatively small (sub horsepower IIRC). For the price of the parts I'd be inclined to either change the motor or buy an invertor or convertor- they do turn up from time to time secondhand.

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Have a look on http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk/ as there is a guy who regularly advertises inverters on there for sensible money. I run my milling machine form an inverter purchased though the guy on there.

You would likely spend less by getting a single phase motor, or even a complete compressor though.

2.2kw is nigh on 3HP which you should be able to find an inverter for for sensible money...



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I had to invest in one for my old unit and i got one from transwave i had to tell them all the info on the machines and welders and had one built(rotary type) it wasnt cheep (around 2k) it had a switch on so as the weler could be used which was a pig as then you couldnt use anything else,and it needed a dedicated 80amp supply to run and a forklift to move it.

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I don't think inverters are suitable for compressors, I know static converters don't like them, mine used to go into start

up mode every compression;-) maybe a hydrovane would be OK though.

If it's just one thing you want to run a single phase motor is the easiest way.

Rotary converters don't cost a lot to make, I spent about 200 squid on mine. That was a custom wound transformer, new

capacitors and all the other bit's were new[except the motor]. Once the converter is turned on any of my three phase kit, polisher,

grinder, mill, lathe, saws, plasma and compressor can be used.

You can just use a three phase motor as a converter. Wire your single phase to a three phase motor, spin the motor with a bit of string and switch the mains

on when the motor is spinning, if it comes to a dead stop try again and spin the motor the other way. it should accelerate up to speed. You can take

three phase off the motor terminals, the voltage on the 'wild' phase will be low but motors happily run off it.. If you do a search you will find people

in the states running CNC workshops off converters like this... If you want to test your compressor and have a 5hp or so 3 phase motor try it.. First

time I did this it freaked me out all those years of turning down three phase kit and it was so easy to get it running, I tried this when I needed to run

a grinder on single phase.

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