Phase-Changer Installation & User Guides

[click here to download theAustralianOperation Manual and Warranty Policy- printer friendly pdf version]

[click here to download theAustralianInstallation and Technical Manual- printer friendly pdf version]

Phase-Changerconverters are manufactured to the highest standards and utilizea unique
microprocessor based controller to provide quality 3 phase output from your single
phase utility supply.

While your converter does provide a true 3 phase output, there are a few 'tricks' that
you must understand before you connect your Phase-Changer power converter.
Therefore it is most important that you read the following installation information
BEFORE powering up your equipment.

1. Understanding the Phase-Changer Output

Note: Colours,Voltages, Currents and Warranty quoted refer to the Australian models
- this will vary between countries

Three phase converters are designed primarily for the connection of 3 phase machines
and other 3 phase loads. It is important that you understand that 2 of the 3 phases are
generated by the converter. The third phase is the original supply active which is used
to power the converter. This phase goes straight through the converter and IS THE
REFERENCE TO EARTH OR NEUTRAL. The two generated phases are L1/Red
output and L2/White output.
L1/ Red output to earth or neutral will measure approx 160V.
L2 / White output to earth or neutral will be approx 360V.
L3 / Blue output to earth or neutral will measure the original supply voltage - 240V.
For 99% of applications this is not a problem as phase to phase voltages of 415V +/-
5% between each of the 3 phases still exists.
What is important is that each machine connected to the converter is checked to the
following guidelines. If not, machines may not function correctly and in some extreme
cases, damage to the machine or the converter may occur.



2. Phase-Changer Electrical Connection

During start-up of the 'Phase Changer' converter or any connected motor or machine,
supply currents may rise to 500% of the maximum nominal input currents shown on the
motor nameplate. The converter should be installed as close to the switchboard as
possible. This will reduce voltage drop when the converter or an external motor starts.
Install a motor rated fuse or delayed circuit breaker in the customers switchboard.

Install an industrial single-phase three pin wall switch-socket combination, or connect
directly to the Switchboard circuit breaker. The neutral wire must be connected (even on
480V installations). In standard form, the converter is supplied with a 5mtr orange circular
supply cable for direct connection to the single phase power supply.

Motor Rated Fuses or Circuit Breaker Size @ 240V
Approx max continuous
Output current at 415V 3 phase
Position of pilot motor
4KW Converter 20A 10A 7.5A Internal
6KW Converter 30A 15A 11A Internal
8KW Converter 40A 20A 14.3A Internal
11KW Converter 60A 30A 20A External
15KW Converter N/A 40A 28A External

Please consult Phase Change for larger sized converters (ie 18KW, 22KW, 30KW, 37KW,
45KW, 55KW, 64KW)

Output: In standard order, the converter is supplied with a 5 core orange circular output
cable approx 5 mtrs long. Ideally, this could be connected to a small 3 phase distribution
board to provide individual correctly sized circuit breaker protection to the connected
load(s), just like a normal 3 phase installation. Machines or 3 phase outlets would be
connected to the distribution board. Alternatively, converters can be ordered with either
optional outlet(s) or with a small distribution board fitted to the converter housing. Some
users connect the converter output cable direct to a machine, however note that machine
protection will be limited to the converter's supply CB or fuse only.

All hard wired converters arefitted with correctly sized input and output 'D' curve circuit breakers for convenience and protection. In these cases you will need to supply and connect suitable cable between the converter, the supply and the load. You must still provide overcurrent protection device at your switchboard supply point.
It is most important that this cable size is generous and not under-sized.

3. Machine Connections

Most 3 phase machinery requires a 3 wire 3 phase (plus earth) connection only. If this is
the case with your machine, and a plug is fitted there will only be 4 pins on the plug. Many
of these have no more than a 3 phase motor and a switch, without any internal control
circuit or contactor. For these type of machines no special connection is required other
than checking motor direction, which can be changed by swapping two of any of the 3

3 Phase 3 Wire (plus earth), without Neutral but with internal control circuit,
contactors and/or relays:

The internal control circuit will be designed to operate off two of the three phases, or 415V
(Australia). This will either be via a 415V control transformer or by contactors and relays
that have 415V coils fitted. In any case it is critical that the control circuit is powered from
the L1 / Red and L3 / Blue phases only.

To check this one method is to simply trace out the wires. Alternatively, connect the supply
to and from the converter so the control circuit of your machine is powered up, but do not
attempt to start the machine itself. Using a multimeter on the ACV range, measure each of
the 2 legs of the control voltage to earth. For example, across the control transformer
input, one leg should read 160V (being L1) to earth and the other should read 240V (being
L3) to earth. Between the 2 phases there will be 415V (or possibly up to 5% more, due to
an unloaded condition).

If L2 is connected, one leg will read approx 360V to earth and some minor changes will
need to be made to correct this:
Suggestion 1; swap the control circuit supply wire in the control panel to the correct phase.
Suggestion 2; rotate phases on the machines supply plug or connection box to establish
the correct voltages on the control circuit. Use multimeter voltage check to confirm.

Test the machine; Once all of the above is OK, quickly pulse the motor on and off to check
direction. If correct the installation is now complete. If the motor direction needs changing,
swap supply phases L1 / Red and L3 / Blue ONLY. This will reverse the motor direction,
while keeping the control circuit phase connections still correct. Swapping phases at the
machines supply will change the direction of all motors or individual motors can be
changed at their control contactor or overload.

3 Phase 4 Wire (plus earth), with Neutral:
All 3 phase machines that also require a neutral connection, have one thing in common -
there is 240V load(s) associated with that machine. It may be a control circuit, lighting,
heating element, smaller single phase motor, solenoid etc.

What you must do is determine that the single phase load(s) are and ensure that the active
associated with that load is supplied by L3 / Blue wire from the converter. As explained
previously, this is the only phase that has a 240V reference to neutral (& earth).

If the wrong phase is connected, the supply voltage to the single phase load(s) will be low
(approx 170V for L1) or high (approx 360V for L2). The machine will probably not function
correctly and in extreme cases damage may occur to either the machine or to the

Suggested checking method;
Apply power to the machine, but leave the main switch or circuit breaker on the
machine turned off.
Use a multimeter to identify which phase is which. As stated previously, L1 to N or
earth will be approx 170V, L2 to N or earth will be approx 360V and L3 to N or earth
will 240V
Once you know the phase connections coming in, switch off the converter and trace
the machines wires to ensure any 240V loads are connected between L3 / Blue
phase and Neutral ONLY.

Test the Machine: Once all the above is OK, pulse the motor on and off to determine
motor direction. If correct, installation is complete. If the motor direction needs
changing, swap L1 / red phase and L2 / white phase ONLY. This will change the
motor(s) direction, while still keeping the control circuit and other single phase loads on
the correct L3 phase. Swapping L1 & L2 at the machine supply will change the
direction of all motors, while individual motors can be changed at the associated motor
contactor or overload.

The most common single phase 240V load on a machine is a control transformer,
however it is possible (in very few cases) to have a 415V control circuit while still
having other single phase 240V loads on the machine. In this situation, you will need to
take extra special care, when checking out the machine connections. A competent
controls electrician is highly recommended.

Provided the correct sized converter is selected, most 3 phase welders work extremely
when powered by a Phase-Changer. All Phase-Changer converters are fitted standard
with a 'hard start feature' which will provide a significant power boost for short periods in
high load conditions. This is ideal for most machine applications, but not necessarily
desirable while welding.

As welder sizes, operating currents and welding applications vary dramatically, it is very
difficult to set the correct level for the 'hard start' feature to cut in during welding
applications. A 'hard start' event will be evident by a solid pulsing of the converter. If this is
happening a lot while welding, you may well be welding at high currents nearer the limit of
the converters output capability. In very few cases and as an added feature in the Phase-
Changer, the hard start feature may be desensitised by removing a link LK1 on the top
board of the microprocessor controller. As an option we can fit a selector switch to the
outside of the converter for multiple applications where the two levels of sensitivity can be
selected simply.

Single phase 415V welders; There have been a couple of instances where a customer
thought he had a 3 phase welder (as it was fitted with a 3 phase plug),
but in actual fact it was a single phase 415V welder, which was connected across two
phases only. This needs to be confirmed before connecting the welder to the converter. If
it is in fact a single phase welder, the input current requirements need to be determined
and you must then confirm with our factory before proceeding. Welders by their nature are
high current / high power devices and while the current draw on 3 phases can be quite
high, it is significantly higher if the welder needs to operate of two wires only, in the case of
a single phase 415V connection. While we do not recommend the connection of single
phase welders to Phase-Changer converters, connection may be possible provided the
input power requirements do not exceed the rated output of the internal transformer or of
the internal start and load contactors. Connection MUST only be between L1 / red phase
and L3 / blue phase. Any connection to L2 / White phase will not work and will probably
cause damage to the converter, which will not be covered under warranty. Damage due to
component overload caused by the connection of single phase welders to Phase-Changer
converters will also not be covered under the factory warranty.

4. Converter Operation
A successful converter start will be evident by the sound of the rotating pilot motor and the
click of the load contactor energising a few seconds later.

In standard form the Phase-Changer is not fitted with power switch. For these models
simply turn power on at the supply circuit breaker or on another separate external power
switch that has been installed by your electrician.

Phase-Changers from 8KW upwards are also fitted with a delayed start contactor also.
This contactor is controlled by the microprocessor controller and ensures that the pilot
motor has stopped rotating before allowing the converter to start or restart. During a
normal start there will be a few seconds delay once power is applied before the converter
actually starts. In the event of a brown out or other short term power loss, the converter will
shut down completely and wait until the start conditions are safe before automatically
restarting the converter. Depending on the size of the converter, the restart may take
anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute.

All Phase-Changers are fitted with a delayed output contactor that connects the load to the
converter several seconds after the converter has started. This prevents failed starts due
to loads being connected to the machine at the same time that the converter is attempting
to start. This is also for applications like compressors, with the internal load contactor
replacing the need for an external timer and motor contactor which is usually required with
other converter manufacturers installations.

There is no overload protection fitted inside the Phase-Changer. Simply selecting the
correct size supply circuit breaker, as detailed in the previous table, at the time of
installation will provide overall overload protection. We always recommend that individual
machines are separately protected by the correct sized 3 phase circuit breaker or fuses, in
exactly the same way as a normal utility 3 phase installation.

4.1 Phase-Changer Options
Delayed Start; standard on 8KW plus converters as detailed above. Does provide
addition protection to the converter from power disturbances etc. Can be fitted to
smaller converters, usually with either the on/off switch or manual/off/automatic
switch as detailed below.
On/Off switch on converter; for starting and stopping the converter locally. Requires
delayed start option as detailed above.
Manual/Off/Automatic switch; allows manual operation of the converter or automatic
operation via a 2 wire remote control cable. This is ideal for compressors, cool
rooms etc, where an existing pressure or temperature switch on the machine can
be used to start the converter which in turn provides the 3 phase power back to the
- Neutral Balancing Transformer: In some cases it is almost impossible to configure
a machine so all single phase loads are connected to L3. By fitting one of these
transformers to the output of the converter, the neutral is centred between the phases
so 240V will then exist between each phase and neutral. This is very rarely required,
but is available if needed.

5. Service
Phase-Changer Converters are designed for long life operation. Other than
an electric motor, there are no moving parts in your Phase-Changer Converter. Regular
servicing is not required.

6. Warranty
Three year 'back to base' from invoice date. Includes parts and labour, but excludes
transport charges. See the Operation Manual for full details.

7. Phase-Changer Controller

The controller is installed inside the power converter and does not need to be viewed for normal operation.
The electronics in the converter will detect the motor if it is still spinning, wait for it to slow
down to a near stop, add a four second delay, then go through a normal startup sequence.
While the motor is waiting to start the 'decimal point' on the LED display will flash.

(Note that the single-stage 'PCS' series of converters do not come with this LED display).
When the converter starts there is usually a brief 'shudder' as the internal motor is quickly
brought up to maximum speed. The LED display will briefly flash a digit '8' as the internal
motor is first activated, but this will quickly revert to a '0' or '1' as the converter reaches full speed.

Approximately two seconds after the converter starts, a second switch will automatically
operate to connect the generated 3 phase power to the customer load. This short two second
delay ensures that the converter motor has achieved full speed before any load is applied.
(The 3 phase circuit breaker within the control box must be ON for the load to be connected)

Connecting the load

Once the 3 phase customer load is successfully applied to the converter, the electronics will
measure the load current and decide how it should be managed. As well as displaying a
'0' for a no-load condition, the converter can display a value from '1' to '7' which indicates
the present drive level of the converter. If the load is a light one, it may simply step up to
a level '2' or '3'. Level '7' would be regarded as a heavy load. When the load has settled
down, the display will remain steady on a given drive level and the decimal point of the
display will have a steady glow. This indicates that all the output voltages are satisfactorily
balanced and stable.

Display Level '8' is a special 'Hard Start' level that only comes on briefly when the converter
is first activated or when a very heavy, hard to start load is first applied. It engages a large
bank of capacitors inside the converter to get big motors turning. Equipment such as air
compressors and refrigeration systems need a lot of energy to get the motor going
against built up air or coolant pressures. The converter will automatically govern the
duration of this boost level so that it quickly reverts back to level 1-7 tracking as soon as the
load gets going.

This special Hard Start level is a valuable feature of all Phase Changer converters. Because
it can draw on the energy stored in the capacitor bank and the kinetic energy obtained
from the spinning converter motor, it can deliver instantaneous current many times the
maximum level available from the power line source. If sufficient start power cannot be
delivered to a big load, then the load motor will stall and effectively short out the supply
until a circuit breaker trips a shutdown.