power converter fundamentals

What is a power converter? It is a power supply unit that delivers energy to electronic equipment from an electrical outlet like your single phase power outlet in your home or business. The power converter regulates the electrical current to meet your equipments electrical requirements. When you purchase such equipment like laptop computers, cell phones, game boys or anything of that sort, you will notice that it comes with a small power supply unit that you plug into your electrical outlet. This little unit regulates your power supply going into your equipment.

A lot of power converters are called switched mode power supplies. They include a circuit inside of the power supply unit to regulate the current. This circuit runs through the power supply very fast and regulates the current which stabilizes the current to a set voltage that is then sent straight to your equipment. Your equipment would tend to burn up if it was plugged into an electrical outlet that didn’t have a power converter used on it.


There are many types of power converters on the market today to power your equipment properly. One of the largest selections when learning what is a power converter, is the phase converter. A phase converter generally takes that single phase power and converts it into three phase power so that your three phase power equipment will run smoothly and efficiently. We have the static phase converter which gives your equipment enough three phase power to basically start your equipment and then it falls back to your single phase power.

Then we have the rotary phase converter which is the most popular of phase converters used. This converter takes your single phase power and converts it into three phase power. A true three phase rotary converter will have an active generator and power factor correction. This will give your equipment many years of reliable three phase power.

Another type of phase converter is the digital phase converter. The power converters are electronic and non-mechanical. They are able to produce a balanced three phase power and are usually a very quiet phase converter. There is a downside to these phase converters which is they tend to take a sine wave and it dissects it, then spits out very choppy three phase sine waves. They also tend to have a greater harmonic output than the other phase converters on the market today. The digital phase converter is also known for burnout by power surges and lightning strikes. They have a much shorter lifespan and can become very costly in running your three phase power equipment.

One more phase converter is the CNC phase converter. CNC stands for computer numerical control which refers to a computer that reads G-code instructions that drives a machine tool. CNC equipment is designed to use three phase power. The CNC phase converter produces three phase power from a single phase power load to work the sensitive computer technology of CNC machinery. When learning what is a power converter, you will see that the CNC phase converter also has a three phase generator with power factor correction just like the true three phase power rotary phase converter.

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