So, I have been buying, selling and scrapping 3 phase motors in the last couple of years. I even made (and sold) a 15 HP phase converter a couple of months ago. That worked out great financially.
All of this made me think: what exactly is the difference between a motor and a generator? Can a circuit of some kind be added to a regular 3 phase motor so that it converts mechanical energy input into electrical energy output?
For example, a phase converter is actually a "generator": if two of its "legs" are excited with single phase input, it "generates" third phase that is shifted 120 degrees.
This, obviously, does not qualify as a standalone generator, since it requires snigle phase input on L1-L2.
But can this motor somehow excite itself to generate electricity?i