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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Three Phase Electricity

Soon, I'm going to break ground on a new shop. The shop will be 3,000 ft^2. I'll keep half of it for myself by installing a partition wall and rent the other half to a business, for now -- lots of oil field industry around here.

Since I have three (3) phase power across the street, I see no reason not to bring 480 volt/3 phase service to the shop. For those that have experience with it, is there anything a newbie like myself should know before venturing forward with this aspect of the build?

I really can't think of any downside to it. I love the idea of being able to buy bigger machinery! Eventually, I'll learn how to use some of it .

Thoughts, comments, experience(s)???

Have a good day!
Michael

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 11:24 PM
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I have talked to an electrician and was told the three phase motors last atleast as twice as long as they are easier to run on three phase and more efficient so I can't see a down side.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 11:44 PM
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3 phase will cost more up front but well worth it. I run a small machine shop behind my house and I went with 3 phase instead of phase converters, which is another option for running 3 phase equipment. Going the phase converter route is cheaper up front but cost more to operate and isn't good for machinery either. My advice is to do the 3 phase if you can afford it.

Hope that helps.

Ron
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 96Mustang460cid View Post
Soon, I'm going to break ground on a new shop. The shop will be 3,000 ft^2. I'll keep half of it for myself by installing a partition wall and rent the other half to a business, for now -- lots of oil field industry around here.

Since I have three (3) phase power across the street, I see no reason not to bring 480 volt/3 phase service to the shop. For those that have experience with it, is there anything a newbie like myself should know before venturing forward with this aspect of the build?

I really can't think of any downside to it. I love the idea of being able to buy bigger machinery! Eventually, I'll learn how to use some of it .

Thoughts, comments, experience(s)???

Have a good day!
Michael
You are going to be hard pressed to find any common machines that operates on 440/480V unless you buy a very large lathe [30-36" swing x 20-30' ways] that size usually has a 440v motor. All Bridgeport mills that I know of uses a 220/3 ph motor, welders...same 220v single or 3 phase, no 440v that I know of unless it came out of a shipyard. I see no reason to wire your shop for 440v unless you have connections to buy machines from Europe where 440v is more common...and much more dangerous. In fact some utility cos. will not hook you up unless you have a legitimit need and have a proper inspection that has been approved and signed off. 220v/3ph will suit your need just fine. BTW, I've worked with 440v [industrial refrigeration] and I can tell you 1st hand you do NOT want to get struck with 440v...I found myself laying on the ground about 10-15' from where I was working when I hit a live wire with a screwdriver....thought the circuit was dead...It wasn't. Another thing, never plug into a 440v socket without 1st checking for dirt and/or moisture...They will explode....and the explosion is quite spectacular, better than any M-100s you can buy.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 12:02 AM
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 12:22 AM
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You are going to be hard pressed to find any common machines that operates on 440/480V unless you buy a very large lathe [30-36" swing x 20-30' ways] that size usually has a 440v motor. All Bridgeport mills that I know of uses a 220/3 ph motor, welders...same 220v single or 3 phase, no 440v that I know of unless it came out of a shipyard. I see no reason to wire your shop for 440v unless you have connections to buy machines from Europe where 440v is more common...and much more dangerous. In fact some utility cos. will not hook you up unless you have a legitimit need and have a proper inspection that has been approved and signed off. 220v/3ph will suit your need just fine. BTW, I've worked with 440v [industrial refrigeration] and I can tell you 1st hand you do NOT want to get struck with 440v...I found myself laying on the ground about 10-15' from where I was working when I hit a live wire with a screwdriver....thought the circuit was dead...It wasn't. Another thing, never plug into a 440v socket without 1st checking for dirt and/or moisture...They will explode....and the explosion is quite spectacular, better than any M-100s you can buy.
The common practice when installing 440/480 is to install a transformer to bring things down to 220v 3 phase which is what most CNC machines require as well as many manual machines. Additionally it isn't unusual to see older manuals that still run 440v. I know, I own some. BTW, if you're thinking about CNC machines I strongly suggest staying away from phase converters, which convert single phase to 3 phase. They make a marginal imitation of true 3 phase and computer controls don't always like it.

Is 440v dangerous? It deserves a healthy respect. Get an electrician to do your wiring. This is not a do-it-yourself project. That being said I feel it is safe.

Good luck.

Ron
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 12:23 AM
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJP View Post
You are going to be hard pressed to find any common machines that operates on 440/480V unless you buy a very large lathe [30-36" swing x 20-30' ways] that size usually has a 440v motor. All Bridgeport mills that I know of uses a 220/3 ph motor, welders...same 220v single or 3 phase, no 440v that I know of unless it came out of a shipyard. I see no reason to wire your shop for 440v unless you have connections to buy machines from Europe where 440v is more common...and much more dangerous. In fact some utility cos. will not hook you up unless you have a legitimit need and have a proper inspection that has been approved and signed off. 220v/3ph will suit your need just fine. BTW, I've worked with 440v [industrial refrigeration] and I can tell you 1st hand you do NOT want to get struck with 440v...I found myself laying on the ground about 10-15' from where I was working when I hit a live wire with a screwdriver....thought the circuit was dead...It wasn't. Another thing, never plug into a 440v socket without 1st checking for dirt and/or moisture...They will explode....and the explosion is quite spectacular, better than any M-100s you can buy.
Through sources/friends, I regularly see 440/480 volt machines that I'd be interested in buying if I had the power -- lathe, press, shear, punch, ect. In fact, I normally see those big machines selling for less than a much smaller, more common counterparts. If I have the room and power supply for them, I see little downside to them. Even an old, used machine will outlast my life with the minimal use it'll see in my shop. I have little interest in running a commercial machine shop, but I'd love to have some good 'ole American iron sitting around for my occasional needs .

My 'justification' for this is I don't know who'll end up renting the other half of the building from me. I don't want to limit them with the available electricity. Wether it's 220/3 or 440/3, the power company will run the power 300' for free. Past that, it's on my dime.

If/when I move, I think the power will bring more value to the building... (maybe, maybe not???).

Have a good day!
Michael

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 11:02 AM
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3 phase, and higher voltage is always better for your supply.
It has to be transformed anyway for your lights and receptacles, (unless you use 277V fixtures)
Your electric motors are much smaller and better for the same horsepower as well, no capacitors to start them.
whoever rents the space next to you would use the high voltage if equipment is used, or can run off of a 20-30KVA transformer which are everywhere and not that expensive.
That talk of european machines not being allowed is ridiculous. They are perfectly fine to be used once you obtain your UL listing on them or a standards association stamp which are not that expensive and easy to get.
Only thing to watch is your frequency on them. lots of them run on 50 hertz so your motors would spin faster running at 60 hertz. Some can take it, some cant.

Another factor is your conductor sizes will be smaller which saves you quite a bit if you have any amount of higher current machines.


This is what i do for a living, so i have some experience

Despite what you've heard, opportunity does not knock
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 11:04 AM
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"never plug into a 440v socket without 1st checking for dirt and/or moisture...They will explode....and the explosion is quite spectacular, better than any M-100s you can buy."

M-100 isn't even close..lol. More like one of those concussion gernades the police use.
I was real lucky I was holding the plug with a heavy shop towel.
Flash Bang and my hand was 3 feet from the socket still holding the plug. I was seeing stars and wondering what had just happened.


I have an old 240v 3 phase mill in my 240 single phase garage. My plan is to use an inverter for the 3 phase power.
From what I have been told they are capable of variable speed and reverse.
Anyone use inverters for this purpose?

mike
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggindeeper View Post
3 phase, and higher voltage is always better for your supply.
It has to be transformed anyway for your lights and receptacles, (unless you use 277V fixtures)
Your electric motors are much smaller and better for the same horsepower as well, no capacitors to start them.
whoever rents the space next to you would use the high voltage if equipment is used, or can run off of a 20-30KVA transformer which are everywhere and not that expensive.
That talk of european machines not being allowed is ridiculous. They are perfectly fine to be used once you obtain your UL listing on them or a standards association stamp which are not that expensive and easy to get.
Only thing to watch is your frequency on them. lots of them run on 50 hertz so your motors would spin faster running at 60 hertz. Some can take it, some cant.

Another factor is your conductor sizes will be smaller which saves you quite a bit if you have any amount of higher current machines.


This is what i do for a living, so i have some experience
Who said European machines were not allowed? Since I was the only one who mention European machines I take that comment was directed at me. Re-read what I said and nowhere did I say they were not allowed.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 04:22 PM
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i just have to say 600v is interesting... got shocked by that one time when i was working on an induction hardening machine about a decade ago... not something id care to repeat.

just another dual quad 545 :-)
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 06:39 PM
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i just have to say 600v is interesting... got shocked by that one time when i was working on an induction hardening machine about a decade ago... not something id care to repeat.
I got hit by 640 once threw me 10 feet away luckily instead of pulling me in as it is known to do, I am very thankful for that!!!

Eric Millard
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528ci of N/A power

Circle R Racing Engines

Trick Chassis
Beloit,WI 53511
608-313-9197

http://www.trickchassis.com/

"LOL, WE DONT RACE DYNOS" Quoted for the truth!
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f250_mike View Post

I have an old 240v 3 phase mill in my 240 single phase garage. My plan is to use an inverter for the 3 phase power.
From what I have been told they are capable of variable speed and reverse.
Anyone use inverters for this purpose?

mike

It works but its hard to get all the phase voltages even. A lot of farmers have done this with the capacitor banks but now the hydro companies are much more willing to run 3 phase to the bigger farming outfits so its not as common anymore.
Find out if they are 208/240V motors, 240 Delta is not where its at anymore.
We like WYE on the customers end, as there is not really a reference to ground with DELTA systems.
all motors are capable of variable speed and reverse. All you need is a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) or a DC Drive Controller if they are DC motors.

Despite what you've heard, opportunity does not knock

Last edited by Diggindeeper; 11-13-2010 at 11:01 PM.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 10:55 PM
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Who said European machines were not allowed? Since I was the only one who mention European machines I take that comment was directed at me. Re-read what I said and nowhere did I say they were not allowed.
no you said they will not hook you up unless you have a legitimate need.
again in my experience thats not true, Here you need a CSA stamp, or to have a UL/ULC listing. where you are will be similar, it will need a standards assoc. stamp, or a UL listing, regardless of your "need"
Lots of germans flocking over here, they like to bring all their ****ty 220V to ground appliances and fixtures so we go through said motions, or convince them to switch. thats all.
If they are not obtaining certifications, i agree, they should not be hooked up.

I'm not a proponent for the european way, but sometimes that the way it goes.

Despite what you've heard, opportunity does not knock
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