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Author Topic: Whats the best route  (Read 1925 times)

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Offline Kansas

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Whats the best route
« on: July 09, 2011, 03:31:32 PM »
Friends of mine in the sawmill business along the Missouri River are looking at probably being flooded out in the next couple of weeks. They called and wondered about converting our E25 LT 40 HD to diesel or gas. We aren't using it right now, and they were wondering about the possibility of converting it to gas or diesel. They have a place to go, but no 3 phase electric.  When I talked to Woodmizer a few years ago when we bought the LT70, I was curious if the question came up from a potential buyer,  because at that time we planned on selling it. They indicated it would be very difficult. Has anyone every made this conversion successfully and how hard was it?

I have seen some on here on phase converters, but the question is, would a standard 220 single phase service support a phase converter? I believe it would, but what would it take to do one for a 25 horse electric motor? I been trying to steer them that route, but trying to do some legwork for them being they are spending their time trying to move lumber and equipment out of the flood area. Any and all advice is appreciated.

 

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Whats the best route
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 03:38:45 PM »
I wonder if it wouldn't be more cost efficient to have a small gen set for the 3 phase.  Can't help you out on the conversion. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Larry

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Re: Whats the best route
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2011, 04:55:16 PM »
No problem at all running a 3-phase converter off ordinary 240V single phase house service.  The question is will the single phase transformer support a 25 horsepower motor plus whatever else needs to be run.  Most transformers have a number of the side...something for a normal house would be 15 to 50 which is the KVA rating of the transformer.  Get that number and give WM, a knowledgeable electrician, or converter manufacture a call.  I would avoid calling the power company.

Cost can escalate quite fast if a proper installation is completed.  Besides the phase converter, you will need a disconnect or possibly a 3-phase breaker box, heavy gauge wire, and a motor starter.  Yes, some folks have built converters on the cheap for maybe a hundred, but sometimes shortcuts can be deadly.

For a phase converter that big consider using one with a soft start to avoid dimming lights.  The last thing you want is for a neighbor to complain to the power company.

Phase converters are really simple and reliable pieces of equipment.  Ive built several with the last one being a 10 hp converter.

Did the levy break at Wathena?
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline Kansas

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Re: Whats the best route
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 06:13:15 PM »
Thanks for the info Larry. They really need enough for both a mill and edger, around 40 horse.

The Army corp of engineers had a meeting up there earlier this week with the people there. They thought there was a high possibility of it giving way starting middle of July. Guess sand boils are starting pretty seriously up there along the levee. Middle of July isn't far away.

Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Whats the best route
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 09:27:36 PM »
We're running an LT40 SUper with 25 electric on 50 hp roto phase converter.  I think the transformer is no bigger than 50 kVA.  I think we have a 400 amp meter base.  

Here is a link to the post in the knowledge base about our setup.

http://www.forestryforum.com/cgi-bin/tips/tips.cgi?display:1048263552-19768.txt



Here is our phase converter setup.  All the boxes are explained in the post.  This setup has been running for almost 10 years.  It also runs our edger, hd pump, and jump saw.
Wood-Mizer LT40HDE25 Super 25hp 3ph with Command Control and Accuset.
Sawing since '94

Offline Ianab

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Re: Whats the best route
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2011, 03:11:23 AM »
If it's a temporary move I would be looking for a trailer mounted genset with enough grunt to run the mill and other equipment.

I'm guessing the mill has various smaller electric motors and control gear, not just the main drive motor, so replacing all of them gets complicated (expensive)

Bibbyman's phase converter and assorted wiring will work if you have enough single phase power to work with, but it's a lot of expense for a temporary set up. A 2nd hand generator, that can be resold later, or even hire one for a couple of months? Have you up and running same day and no worries about the supply size. Sure the generator is going to make a bit of noise, but probably only similar to what the mill makes anyway. It's going to burn some diesel, but you aren't paying for power so it's not so bad. With a decent generator you wont need mains power to the site at all, so no connection charges at all?

Ian
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline jdonovan

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Re: Whats the best route
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2011, 07:26:46 PM »
I wonder if it wouldn't be more cost efficient to have a small gen set for the 3 phase.  Can't help you out on the conversion. 

You need a generator considerably larger than the motors steady state draw to be able to start it. It might be do-able on a smaller generator if they start the motors in the right order.

Offline Ianab

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Re: Whats the best route
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2011, 08:07:28 PM »
This is true.

I think Ron meant "small" as a relative term.

A 15hp motor needs about 16kva to run, but maybe 28kva to start, more if it's DOL starting. But 35 kva genset is something that mounts on a small trailer, and the local hire co has a row of them parked in the yard.

You still need to size your phase converter and single phase mains to handle that start current as well, or you start tripping breakers.

Ian
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline barbender

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Re: Whats the best route
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 08:52:05 PM »
I'd check out renting a Gen set as well, if its a temporary set up that would have to be the most cost effecient. Or, find somewhere to set up that has 3 phase power.
Too many irons in the fire


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