400 volt 3 phase 16 amp machine -- can it be used in the US?

Summary
Coffee Roaster in New Zealand 400 volt 16 amp 3 phase
Maybe you can please give advice. I have a coffee roaster here in New Zealand I would like to bring to the US. It is 400 volt 3 phase 16 amp. It has a blower, a heater and computer components to run it. It is like a very large popcorn machine. Can this work in the US?
 

phinds

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How does it even run in New Zealand? Where do you get 400 volts???
 
We have normally 220. 400 volt is for large machinery usually but very efficient.
 

phinds

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Ah. I don't know if 400 is even available here. Certainly not in a house or apartment.

You could use a step-up transformer but that would end up requiring way over 15 amps for your device and I don't think you can get that either in a house or apartment.
 

Averagesupernova

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I suppose the logical thing to do is ask what environment it will be set up in. Anyone who has a roaster that size in any country and has intentions to move it must have a pretty good reason along with resources.
 
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Do you have an electrical schematic of the power and control circuits?
Is it necessary for it to run on both 400V/50Hz and 460V/60Hz, or will it remain at 460V/60 Hz?

There are several ways to go about it, and balancing the best vs. least expensive ways becomes the question.

1. Plug it into 460V, and see what happens.
Not recommended, because at least one, and probably more components are likely to fail, possibly including catching on fire.

2. Use a transformer to step up 400V to 460V.
12 KVA may do, but 15 KVA gives more thermal headroom and motor startup surge capacity.

This takes care of heater and control voltage, but a 50 Hz, 3 phase motor operated at 60 Hz will run 20% faster (60Hz/50Hz) than rated speed.

Whether you can get away with it depends on the specific blower/motor combo. Possibly, if the motor doesn't now operate at close to full load amps AND the blower design allows it (or the blower isn't coupled directly to the motor shaft, and can be brought down to design speed by changing the sheave ratio). Depending on design, the power required by a centrifugal blower increases by up to the square of speed increase. Another possibility is to add a variable frequency drive to operate the motor at design voltage/frequency/speed.

3. Modify machine to operate on 460V.
Replace motor and heater to 460V equivalents. Replace control transformer from 400V to 460V primary.
 

Vanadium 50

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In theory, I suppose you could use a motor-generator.

It will not be trivial to find somewhere to plug this in: 16A at 400 V is 53 A at 120. While I have 100 A service to my home, no circuit takes more than 30 A.
 
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Pretty sure you will be able to work it out, where do you want to install it? ( Nameplate image helpful as well) - for a home install may be tricky, but a load like that is more a commercial load - is this for a business?
 
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400V three phase is standard in UK and presumably NZ commercial and farm premises, and some lucky homes. You’ll need a two-stage inverter drive capable of handling the max power rating, plus some extra for peace of mind. This will be best run from a US 220V supply. Try Invertek.
 

Baluncore

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The international standard for single phase has become 230V. Three single phase lines, separated in phase by 120°, make a 400V 3PH supply. Notice that 230V * √3 = 400V.

In the USA there is a little more legacy confusion. The single phase voltage was 120V which made three phase 120V * √3 = 208V. Industrial equipment in the USA can be hard-wired using either 120/208V or 277/480V.

Those USA voltages are outside the specifications for your AUS/NZ 400V 3PH equipment. Also the USA has a 60 Hz supply, while AUS/NZ have a 50 Hz supply, so motors may run at different speeds.

One obvious solution is to run the NZ equipment in the USA from a three-phase motor Variable Speed/Frequency Drive. That will allow you to convert both the voltage and frequency to the AUS/NZ standard. The input will need to be from a USA three phase supply to provide the power required. VFDs or VSDs are now low cost, maybe only a few hundred dollars.
 
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In residential housing ?
Yes, you can have 3-phase in your house, not common but people who like a good workshop can have it as an option. I was thinking of having it at my place when I had an IBM 1420 in my garage.

Cheers
 

Baluncore

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phinds

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I wasn't actually asking about 3 phase, but about the 400 volts. I did not realize that was used in residences.
 
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I wasn't actually asking about 3 phase, but about the 400 volts. I did not realize that was used in residences.
Sorry, I misunderstood, I haven't personally seen 400V used in a residential setting and I believe it is rare.

Cheers
 

Baluncore

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Sorry, I misunderstood, I haven't personally seen 400V used in a residential setting and I believe it is rare.
400 V is supplied as 2PH or 3PH. It may be rare in the USA, but it is used throughout Scandinavia, and is reasonably common in Australia.
It is now called 400V, 3PH, but was previously referred to as 415 V in .au when 240VAC was the 1PH standard.
 

sophiecentaur

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I wasn't actually asking about 3 phase, but about the 400 volts. I did not realize that was used in residences.
A 3Phase supply is normally specified by the Volts between phases - which would be about 400V for a domestic 230V single phase supply.
In theory, I suppose you could use a motor-generator.
It would be expensive but a special 3Ph supply installed in your home would really cost you a lot. You could always look around for a s/h motor generator set. Moreover, you could move house and take the generator with you!
 

russ_watters

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How does it even run in New Zealand? Where do you get 400 volts???

Ah. I don't know if 400 is even available here. Certainly not in a house or apartment.

You could use a step-up transformer but that would end up requiring way over 15 amps for your device and I don't think you can get that either in a house or apartment.
@John Zealand didn't specify - as far as I can tell - whether this is for a residential or commercial operation. Who needs an 11 kW coffee roaster for their home?

For residential it is difficult, as houses don't have 3-phase power. For commercial applications, it's a trivial exercise of installing a transformer and adjusting the taps to get the required voltage. It's done all the time on specialty equipment shipped between continents.

I'd check with the manufacturer, though; it is very common to have a wide voltage tolerance on electrical equipment, and it is quite possible this device will run just fine on a normal 480V/3ph commercial circuit.
 

russ_watters

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In theory, I suppose you could use a motor-generator.
It's an actual thing:
A rotary phase converter, abbreviated RPC, is an electrical machine that converts power from one polyphase system (including frequency) to another, converting through rotary motion. Typically, single-phase electric power is used to produce three-phase electric power locally to run three-phase loads (any industrial machinery with three-phase motors) in premises (often residential or consumer) where only single-phase is available.

rotary_phase_converter.jpg


I've seen odd-voltage transforming on process equipment implemented a bunch of times, but only once ever seen a rotary phase converter applied. It's pretty rare in commercial/industrial applications to have both single phase power and a large power need at the same time.
 
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400 V is supplied as 2PH or 3PH. It may be rare in the USA, but it is used throughout Scandinavia, and is reasonably common in Australia.
It is now called 400V, 3PH, but was previously referred to as 415 V in .au when 240VAC was the 1PH standard.
Yes, I know, I am not in the US, I am in New Zealand.

Cheers
 

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