Three Phase Converter Question

I've got a working 7.5 HP idler running a true 5 HP (24 amp draw) 120 gallon air compressor plus my Bridgeport and a couple of other smaller motors. This motor runs on a 40 amp breaker out of a 200 amp main. I need to increase my service to accommodate a three phase welder. Is it possible to add another motor in the circuit rather than build a new larger system from scratch. My idea is to break the circuit between the existing 7.5 HP idler and the air compressor/ mill and drop each of the three legs down to a disconnect. Then from the disconnect wire the three legs into a larger motor which would feed the welder when needed but would be dropped from the circuit when not using the welder. The welder requires about 35 amps line input and outputs 250 amps at 100% duty cycle. Anyone with experience with this? I'm not sure this is feasible. I'm unsure of how big of a 'secondary idler' I'll need and unsure of how big of a motor the 7.5 HP 'primary idler' will start. What will this do to my feed from the main to the 7.5 HP motor? Will I need to increase the wire size and breaker size from the 7.5 HP motor to the 200 Amp main service, or should I wire the larger motor as the primary Idler straight from the 200 Amp Main and use the 7.5 to supply the additional power for the welder? All comments/suggestions welcome. Best regards

"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress.. But I repeat myself."

--Mark Twain

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What I had in Colorado was a two stage setup. For the mill and smaller stuff I had a 3HP rotary converter. For larger loads, I started a 7.5 HP idler from the running 3HP converter. Both converters ran when I had a large load, like the motor/generator arc welder. This worked great. The 3HP converter had capacitor start, etc. The 7.5HP idler had a mag starter and caps, but no additional start circuit, it started just fine off of the 3HP motor (no load).

The main trick here is you have to think carefully where the currents flow (in which wires) and how heavy those wires have to be. You need

10.5HP wiring from the breaker to this setup. Instead of running 10.5 HP heavy wire to the plugs in the shop, I ran 3HP wiring to the small plugs, and 10.5HP wiring to the big (50A welder) plugs. I suspect it would have given an inspector fits, but I'm pretty sure it was safe.


Lefty wrote:

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Steve Smith

I have a two idler setup as well and am very happy about it.


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