- Digital phase converter
A digital phase converter creates a three phase power supply from a single phase supply. A digital signal processor (DSP) is used to control power electronic devices to generate a third voltage, which along with the single-voltage from the supply creates a balanced three-phase power supply.
In one type of digital phase converter the input rectifier consists of IGBTs in series with inductors. The IGBTs are controlled by software in the DSP to draw current from the single-phase line in a sinusoidal fashion, charging capacitors on a constant voltage DC bus. Because the incoming current is sinusoidal, there are no significant harmonics generated back onto the line as there are with the rectifiers found in most VFDs. Thecontrolled rectifier input allows power factor correction.
The output inverter consists of IGBTs that draw on the power of the DC bus to create an AC voltage. A voltage created by power switching devices like IGBTs is not sinusoidal. It is a pulse-width modulated (PWM) waveform very high in harmonic distortion. This PWM voltage is then passed through an inductor/capacitor filter system that produces a sine wave voltage with less than 3% total harmonic distortion (standards for computer grade power allow up to 5% THD). By contrast, VFDs generate a PWM voltage that limits their versatility and makes them unsuitable for many applications. Software in the DSP continually monitors and adjusts this generated voltage to produce a balanced three-phase output at all times. It also provides protective functions by shutting down in case of utility over-voltage and under-voltage or a fault. With the ability to adjust to changing conditions and maintain voltage balance, a digital phase converter can safely and efficiently operate virtually any type of three-phase equipment or any number of multiple loads.
The solid state design results in a relatively small package with no moving parts except for small cooling fans. The converters operate at 95-98% efficiency. When the converter is energized with no load, it consumes very little power.
- RadioWorld Magazine featured article: Harris Impressed by Phase Technologies PT355 by Terry Cockerill, 12.31.2009 http://www.rwonline.com/article/92406
- Wine Business Monthly featured article: What's Cool: Digital Phase Converters November 15, 2008 http://www.winebusiness.com/wbm/?go=getArticle&dataId=59858
- January/February 2008 Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine Featured article "The Digital Converter; A New Way to Generate Three-Phase Electricity for a Winery"] by Ben Guthrie. http://www.phaseperfect.com/files/vawmm_article0108.pdf
- United States Patent #6297971
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