I'm of the opinion that you should look for a different kiln. There are
no shortcuts to providing the needed wattage---be it with three phase or
single phase. The demand on amperage for the phase converter will be just
as great as if you went single phase directly to the kiln, so I see nothing
gained with the three phase unit aside from lower amperage per leg. Overall,
you'll still consume the same amount of power, and you'll be paying for the
phase converter and its losses in the bargain. You'd be better served to
buy a kiln that is single phase, with a higher current demand (because it's
only single phase)-----and avoid the phase converter. I'd have a totally
different attitude were you powering a machine tool. I wonder if Bruce
Unless you got a real steal on the kiln, _and_ it can be easily rewired
for 220 single-phase, I agree with Harold.
Three phase power is great for rotating machinery, because you get better
starting torque and smoother running.
Three phase power is nice for he-man power electronics because you need
less (or no) smoothing capacitors after rectification.
Three phase power has little advantage other than smaller wires for
heating, because a heater doesn't care if the power is perfectly constant
or if it pulses at 120Hz -- it gets just as hot either way.
Were it mine, I'd look to see if the heaters are connected in a delta,
and if so I'd say "yipee!" and reconnect them in parallel for single-
phase operation -- unless I had to buy enough parts that I could just get
a new kiln.
If you have to ask, I'm not going to recommend that you do the above --
just check to see if it gives directions for wiring it as single-phase,
and if it doesn't start shopping around for a unit to replace it with.
I would expect it to be fairly easy to rewire the kiln to use single
phase power. Who makes the kiln? And what model is it. It is very
likely that you can use the existing elements. The worst case would
be that you have to install new elements. Which would not be all bad
as elements age and fail. So you would be starting with new
elements. You can get new elements at Seattle Pottery.
You should be able to easily rewire it for single phase. More than
likely there are multiple elements for each phase, if you luck out and
have 6 or 12 elements, you can get a balanced load. If not, you can run
it at reduced power or unbalanced load.
Ra> Hey guys,
Thanks for all the answers (and non-answers) everyone. I'm looking at
a lightly used kiln and less than 1/2 of what it would cost new. I
think the main reason is the 3 phase requirement.
It's a Skutt 1227 if that helps in your answer.
I HAVE a 5HP phase converter for a roller, but someone else said it
would take 40 HP to do it. I don't know what it would take to rewire
it to single phase... that sort of thing is way above what I know how
to do, generally speaking.
I really need a kiln and this one seems priced right, but not if I
NEED to get a huge-ass converter.
You are looking at a 11 kW kiln. A year ago I bought a 10 kW kiln for
$50. It was single phase. Half of what it costs new, does not sound so
appealing to me personally, for a 3 phase kiln. An easy to find deal
on a 10 kW kiln is about 300-400 dollars. Far less than what a phase
converter would cost. Besides, a kiln runs only intermittently, in
short bursts, but the phase converter would have to run continuously,
adding to the cost. If you do not know how to rewire a kiln, a phase
converter in size required, would cost more than a new kiln, or at
least about as much.
To me, it is either rewiring it or looking for a diff. kiln. For
rewiring, the price has to be "almost free".
Welcome back. Merry Christmas. Drop in more often.
220 VAC at 31 amps works out to 6820 watts. Using a loose rule of
thumb, it takes 750 watts per horse power. Therefore, your kiln is
equivalent to a 9 HP motor, and rotary converters are derated by as
much as 50%, so you would need a 15HP 220VAC 3-phase motor set up as
the rotary convert or to accommodate it, IF it was a motor. But it's
not. I suspect that there are also reasons other than the heaters
that this is three-phase. So, best advice was given by another......
Try contacting the manufacturer, and if they can't tell you, ask for a
schematic, and get back to us.
About 20HP would do it. I'd really consider rewiring it to single phase
which would draw 54 amps. With the RPC you are going to draw more to run
the motor + cranking up 20HP might dim your lights depending on the size of
My 5HP starting up flickers the lights a bit out in the garage.
I seem to remember something about 3 phase keeping the elements powered
longer but I don't see how you get past P=IE no mater what you do.
And 60 seconds on google comes up with the wiring diagram for the 3
and the single phase version:
The only difference is the main terminal block, the wiring from the
terminal block to the relays, and the main power cord. All the elements
are rated 208/240 with no derating in power. Note that the power rating
for the 240 single phase version is 48 amps with a 60 amp breaker.
The OP does not sound like the type who can handle heavy power wiring
but I'm sure the local pottery place could do this in an hour or so. Any
high end pottery supply place has a tech that relines and rewires kilns
on a daily basis. They also do the upgrades to add more sophisticated
controls, the power wiring is just a small part of that.
David Bill>> >>
Further reading brings up these statements:
Three phase operation. Only special order Models KS-1027, KS-1227,
KM-1027 and KM-1227 will operate on a three-phase supply. However, any
Skutt kiln can be properly powered via unbalanced connection to two of
the three hot wires of a three-phase supply. Of course, the green safety
ground connection provided in all Skutt power cords is also used.
Three-phase installation. Three-phase models KS-1027, KS-1227, KM-1027
and KM-1227 can be plugged directly into a three-phase (15-50OR) wall
208 versus 240 supplies. As you can see from the chart, most Skutt
models are available in either 208 or 240 volt versions. The exceptions
are models KS-714 and KM-714 which are universal, and will fire with
240V or 208V power. The "120/208V" supply is increasingly encountered in
schools and newly built communities, because it is more efficient for
heavy 120V loads. This affects models KS-818, KS-818WR, KS-1018,
KS-1027, KS-1227, KM-818, KM-818-30A-3, KM-1018, KM-1027 and KM-1227
because their elements receive the full 208 *or 240) applied volts. The
208V versions should never be fired on a 240V supply without first
installing a full set of 240V elements. Otherwise, all components will
be seriously over-taxed.
I got a note back from Skutt tech support, it'll cost around $400 in
parts (plus labor if I don't do it myself) to get it to run on 240v.
Now I just have to decide if I can afford the kiln plus that...
Thanks for all the advice.
It's true, I have been GONE for a while, not that I was ever a huge
poster here. Life's been good and bad... got divorced, sold a
sculpture to the City of Issaquah (washington), got skin cancer, had
the chance to go to Africa (and TIMBUKTU) on someone else's dime...
Now I just need to sell a sh*tload of ART to pay off the divorce loan
I got... it let me keep my shop!!! (but I have 1 1/2 years to pay it
back or I have to sell it all.)
What's that you say? too much information?? hehe
Happy winter everyone!
James, Port Orchard, Washington, USA, Earth
In the words of someone with four bypasses and five divorces (or was
that the other way...) "Why get married? Instead, buy a house for a
woman you hate".
This individual smoked, drank, and ate non-healthy foods. He can't die,
there isn't blood in his veins, but a mix of alcohol and bacon grease...
Ra> Life's been good and bad... got divorced,