3PH Means 3PH


Now I remember.  After hooking up the hydro (Ca-nay-dee-en for electricity) I was toying with the Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and something twigged.  This is a three-phase motor and was hooked up to a three-phase source of power…and this is a three phase-to-three phase VFD.  Nowhere in this region is three-phase available.  And now the words come back…it’s just something I remember from when we picked it up…you’ll need three phase…you do have three phase don’t you?  Um.  I guess not…no.  No we don’t have three phase.  SO…there’s no way for the motor to run?  The answer is yes, there certainly is.  A couple of ways in fact.

Phase in electricity describes the method used behind the rapidity of the back-and-forth motion of electrons in alternating current (ac) which creates the power.  Typically our lights, appliances, and motors in our homes are single phase.  That means that a single wave of electrons moves back and forth, with waxing power and waning power as the wave accelerates and decelerates, stops and reverses itself.  This works well for typically lower-powered devices.  But when a larger, industrial motor is working, it works better either on direct current (dc), which is a high-maintence machine, or else by splitting the current into three waves, which overlap themselves by a third, thereby maintaining a more constant pressure presented to the motor.  Current capacity in three phase is three times that of single phase.

A dc motor is out of the question for this loom application.  The truly great news is that it is totally possible to convert single phase to three phase with the right VFD!

Using a rectifier to convert single phase ac into dc power, a power inverter of three semiconductor switches to produce square waves at 0, 120, and 240 degree stages, giving a constant power to the motor.

This 6 hp motor only uses 6 amps.  So, I disconnected the old three phase VFD and put in an order for a new one.

I figured all this out after getting up at 4:30, taking the dogs for a run, reading, writing, finishing prepping more ground for a new seedbed of brome grass, running the dogs, eating a quick lunch, and completing the electricity in the weaving shop.

A Wall, A Landing, And Stairs Today

I cut 5″ flashing from a sheet of 8′ tin.  We bent the tin and attached it to the stud wall footing.  We cut one inch rough sawn siding to length and nailed it into place.

We finished the wall.  We cut two inch lumber, squared it and anchored to the wall, and built the first part of the framework for the landing from these.  We hauled the stairs to where it would be placed and set up the second part of the landing, secured it to the first, and then worked the stairway into place.




Maple Top Work Bench

DSC00005The first of several needed and planned for in our weaving shop, this work bench is made from a laminated maple table top that was on its way to the dump…a renovation happening at an electrical shop.  I first began sanding the top with a hand-held belt sander this afternoon.  It was so discoloured, scratched, and gouged that it took an hour to just get it to a decent state.

I trimmed all sides with a circular saw to make the edges sharp, then cut and planed 2″x6″ dimensional rough lumber to make the start of a stand…



With more sanding belts I will finish the top, apply an oil finish and build a couple of shelves for storage both under and above.

Lenze Controller – Frequency Inverter

Lenze makes the AC Tech SMVector frequency inverter, a variable frequency drive (VFD).  It is a controller that regulates the frequency (hertz (Hz)).  The faster the frequency, the faster the RPM’s of a motor.  If an application does not require a motor to run at full speed, a variable frequency drive (VFD) can be used to ramp down the frequency and voltage, changing the load.

In the case of this loom a lower frequency allows the loom to run at a slower, more regulated speed.





AC Tech (manuals) – http://www.actechdrives.com/PDF/AC-Tech/AC-Tech-SMVector-Drive-User-Manual.pdf

Lighting, Cleaning, Situating


Wiring a couple of fluorescent fixtures, installing them, picking up and cleaning after installing wiring the other day, and placing the loom where it will go took up most of the morning.  A centre support beam needed to be moved to allow for adequate space while loading the sectional warping beam.

In preparation for wiring the weaving shop the items for the weaving itself which had been placed on the shop cement needed to be moved.  In order to get it out of the shop a roof had to be put on the shop.  With that done and the seams sealed today we packed all of it (wool, cotton, and 500+ empty canning jars) – three containers at a time – on our Kubota’s loader and hoisted them up above.  Material for stairs is already planed and cut, but there is no place in which to construct it.  So today was the day.  And here it is, the first of our materials stored safely, cleanly, securely, and protected.


Our sixteen years here has been like an octopus, starting projects here and there, working on them as we had opportunity and need.  It may not seem like much, but starting to move this material into this area marks the completion of another stage, started years ago.  It feels really good.

Rolled Roofing Installed On Shop Ceiling

…cleaning the floor/ceiling of our weaving workshop, then applying roofing underlayment, and finally laying down rolled roofing (in white, which is all they had, but was great because it gives a bit more light up above)…I now need to seal the cracks with some heated asphalt sealant…tomorrow?…and then pour on the sand so that these sealed cracks will not stick to the weaving items and other things we will store up there…