Winegrowers Supplies  -  power inverters - some advice

If you wish to use machinery which has a 3-phase (380/400 volt) motor, but you do not have a 3-phase electricity supply there are two options:-

1. Buy a 3-phase inverter.

   There are many types and sizes, for example, for smaller machines:-

   The Clarke PC-40 is a compact power converter - designed to enable 400v, 3-phase motors & equipment to operate when only 230v mains power is available; it converts 230v 1-phase input into 380-415v 3-phase output. The PC-40 has adjustable power output to match the requirements of motors up to a max. of 3.5 hp (2.61 kWatt); sell at 224.10 + Vat.
The PC-40 just works successfully to power a Voran 100P2 pack press with AMH mill running, although it must be wired through a 20 Amp MCB to allow for short peak loads; it should not be connected to a 13 amp socket.

   There is also a PC-60 model which is for up to 5.5 hp (4.1 kWatt); sell at 269.10 + Vat. This must be wired through a 32 Amp MCB.

Note: It is essential to choose an inverter with at least 2x the power of the motor, and preferably 3x for some types of motor (eg. mohno-pumps), in order to allow for starting current.  1.0 horsepower (electric) = 0.746 kWatt.

For larger motors I suggest talking to an expert, David on 01623 720 730.  - First read 'How to Choose'.

He sells various models, 3.0 hp (450 incl Vat), 5.0 hp (775 incl Vat), and 7.5 hp (895 incl Vat) which needs to be wired up to a 40 amp single phase supply (through a separate MCB, like an oven is). These have soft start, and the ability of speed control by frequency inversion provided your electrician connects it up (via an external starter) directly to the motor, bypassing the on/off switch on the motor of your machine.

Or if your motor is dual-voltage then you could have it re-wired as 230v 3-phase, and use an inverter from 230v 1-phase input to 230v 3-phase output, which is much smaller and cheaper than a 380v inverter.


2. Replace the 3-phase motor with a single-phase one.

    For example for a Voran 100P2 pack press:-
    A new single-phase motor and switch cost about 100 + Vat (e.g. from Amtecs in Hungerford and works without starters etc (it does have a couple of large capacitors).

Note: all electrical work needs to be carried out by a qualified electrician.