In the design work for a project to convert from single phase to three-phase AC power supply, where should we start implementation of the project? What problems might face in converting single phase to three phase power and how to avoid them?
We can change 1 phase power to 3 phase like any other power project; determine the type and size of the load, investigate the various ways of converting a single phase power supply to a three phase one, once a suitable technology is determined then figure out if we have the budget to pay for the equipment.
We can get three phase power from single phase as the same of using a typical model of first rectifying AC to DC and then converting the DC to 3 phase AC power supply. Here we might face some problems like below but which can be overcome.
1) Component sizing at single phase rectification level may be demanding due to high peak currents drawn to maintain DC link voltage.
2) Quality of DC link voltage may be poor and hence you might require better filters in design.
3) For quality output wave, we might require very high frequency switching of solid state relays. There are some applications available on the internet which is PIC based.
GoHz has built such a project while working with R&D of railways AC coaches power supply where single phase AC first get converted in DC (clubbed with Alternators mounted on wheel axle of self-generating coaches) then DC booster chopper used followed by DC to 3 phase AC Inverter (These two stages clubbed and called converter). Product/system has been successfully used and well proven without any of the three issues mentioned above.
There are many proven technologies for building your own project of converting single phase to three phase power supply, it is up to you to match the technology to the load and do it within your budgetary constraints.
For a simple solution, you can just get a single phase to three phase variable frequency drive if the load is three phase induction motor while there is only single phase power available and the power capacity less than 5hp, different with a variable frequency drive, a static frequency converter is more flexible if the load needs pure sine wave power.