Purchasing the right variable frequency drive to power your equipment is essential to enhance your operations. Learn about the difference between single phase vs. 3-phase VFDs, the advantages each provides, and the options offered by Invention House.
Overview of Single Phase vs. 3-Phase Variable Frequency Drives
VFDs regulate the voltage and frequency provided by a power supply to a connected motor. These drives have various commercial and industrial applications and enhance productivity by allowing workers to control variable speed and torque. Most companies offer equipment in two options:
Single-phase motor drives use phase and neutral wires to change the supply voltage of an AC power system. The phase wires carry the current load, while the neutral wire creates a path that allows the current to return. Most single-phase VFDs require extra circuits to work since they don’t generate a rotating magnetic field when connected to an AC motor. Single-phase drives have various applications for low-power equipment, including:
- Airflow controllers and blowers
- Centrifugal pumps
- Non-industrial fans
- Vacuum cleaners
- And more
3-phase drives are known as self-starting motors because they don’t require a capacitor, start winding, centrifugal switch, or other starting device. These VFDs are ideal for industrial and commercial applications because they provide three alternative currents with three separate electrical services. Because they provide self-starting qualities, 3-phase drives are ideal for the following industrial applications:
- Air compressors
- Freezers and refrigerators
- HVAC equipment
- Drill pressers
- Heavy duty machinery
- And more
The Difference Between 3-Phase and Single-Phase VFDs
Understanding the key differences between 3-phase and single-phase VFDs is essential to finding the right product for your processes. Here are some things that separate the two drives:
The biggest difference between the two VFDs is their starting mechanism. Single-phase drives are not self-starting and require an external device. 3-phase variable frequency drives are self-starting and don’t need additional equipment.
3-phase motor drives operate more efficiently than single-phase VFDs because they have three windings that carry the current. This means they consume a lower amount of electrical power to maintain operation.
Single-phase motor drives provide a limited starting torque. However, 3-phase VFDs have a very high starting torque, making them ideal for industrial applications.
Another major difference between the two VFDs is their power rating capacity. Single-phase is ideal for low-power rating applications, while 3-phase motor drives are made for high-power rating processes.
How To Decide Which VFD is Right for Your Processes?
When deciding between a single-phase and three-phase VFD, the primary considerations should be size, cost, and application requirements. Single-phase VFDs are typically cheaper and require less space than 3-phase models but will not offer as much power or control capabilities. 3-phase VFDs are more powerful and offer better torque control, voltage regulation, and power factor correction but come with a higher price tag and larger footprint. Here are some key considerations when selecting the right drive for your business:
- The number of motors that you need to control
- The input power in voltage and the number of phases each motor needs
- The horsepower and current rating of each motor at full load
- Your operating environment
- The motor speed or torque required for your processes.
Want To Learn More About Our 3-Phase and Single Phase VFDs?
Check out our whitepapers to learn basic facts and troubleshooting tips.
Variable Frequency Drives Offered by Invention House
Whether you’re purchasing a single-phase or 3-phase VFD, finding the right provider is essential for getting the right product for your processes. As a leading provider of custom, mil-spec motor control products, Invention House offers ruggedized variable frequency drives that offer enhanced features not provided by off-the-shelf equipment. Our line of VFDs includes the following:
VFD for Single Phase Motors
Invention House offers a line of flange-format 120-volt single-phase VFDs that efficiently control motors for OEM equipment. The drives we manufacture are designed to meet mil-spec and demanding operating OEM requirements, and come in two models:
SPD-2230 Single-Phase OEM Motor Drive
Our SPD-2230 is constructed on an aluminum flange chassis and conformal coated to protect essential components. It’s designed to operate in extreme temperatures and features a connector-based input/output for quick assembly. Other features include:
- 120/230 VAC
- 50/60/400hz – Up to 25kHz output
- Alodine and anodized coatings
SPD-500 Single-Phase OEM Motor Drive
The SPD-500 is a single-phase motor drive that efficiently supports OEM and military operating equipment in any environment. Our VFDs are designed to sense changes in altitude and automatically adjust operating power to maintain consistent operations. Additional specifications include:
- Tilt sensors
- Single-phase in/out
- Three configurable relay outputs
- Connector-base I/O for easy assembly
Variable Frequency Drive for 3 Phase Motors
Invention House understands the important role a high-functioning 3-phase motor drive plays in various processes. Our military-grade VFDs have been used in cooling fans, blower motors, radar systems, and HVAC equipment and meet engineering capability for the following:
- Electronic design
- Power circuit design
- PCB layout
- MIL-STD-810 compliance for environmental engineering considerations and laboratory tests
- MIL-STD-461 compliance for electromagnetic interference characteristics requirements for equipment
- MIL-STD-464 compliance for interface electromagnetic environmental effects requirements for systems
Why Partner With Invention House?
Finding the right provider is just as important as purchasing the right equipment. Partnering with Invention House provides the following advantages:
Our experts have over two decades of experience and leverage our knowledge to build custom VFDs that suit your processes.
Large drive manufacturing companies limit their customization options because they face significant order fulfillment requirements. Invention House is a small and independent company, allowing us to meet the specific needs of our customers.
Contact Invention House today and see how we can enhance your operations with our ruggedized VFDs
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Engineering reliable, efficient, and economical motor control products for our customers. Our machines are American-made, operating in challenging environments, and meet strict military-grade compliance.