Going to a single phase motor on 10x15 windmill

I’ve read that I can swap out motors and use a single phase 110 motor to run my 10x15 windmill… unfortunately I know nothing of electricity or motors.. would one of you be kind enough to hold my hand through this and direct me to a site where I can buy a motor?


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It might be a whole lot simpler to find yourself a static phase convertor. This is an electronic device that mimics 3 phase power, allowing use of three phase motors (though at a slightly reduced rating) without replacing the motor and replacing all the switchgear (on switch/motor starter etc). They are available for around $150.00 and are readily installed by the owner, or an electrician if one lacks electrical wiring talent.

I have one on my Windmill and the only time it is ever a problem would be if I have the speed turned up high, which creates too much of a starting load. It is a 3 hp unit. You can also get a rotary phase convertor, which will supply the full motor rating, but they do cost more.

I just completed a similar configuration for a C&P 10x15 last night. I’ll send you pics this weekend. I picked up a variable frequency drive from an electrical supply company ($100) and had an electrician configure it to a three-phase motor in our garage ($300).

Please note that there is a difference between a phase convertor (single voltage/motor speed output) versus a variable frequency drive which has variable voltage/motor speed output. The windmill only requires one motor speed (1725 rpm IIRC) with the variable speed made up by the variable speed pulley crank that moves the orientation of the motor/belt. A windmill does not need a Variable Frequency Drive unless the variable speed pulley has gone missing. Motors running at less than their design speed may not deliver full torque/power at reduced speeds, and one may increase the risk of motor damage when running at very low speeds. At this point I would point you towards a motor electrician, as this dips outside of my knowledge. Happy wiring!

Check your local phone book for motors used ones are cheap especially single phase. It is the best way to go if you don’t have 3 phase(3 hot lines) coming into your shop. Need to make sure HP, rpm and shaft diameter match the existing motor so the variable speed pulley will operate properly. Also make sure it can be bolted to the existing motor mount. The only problem with single phase motors is power draw not a problem unless you are running a full time operation. If you have access to a manual it describes how to set up the motor and pulley.

Thanks for all the replies, but I have a guy coming in who works for a nearby school district that teaches a course with a couple of windmills, he set them up and maintains them, and he’s going to look it over for me and set me up with something that works.

When he’s finished I’ll post the configuration so those who have the same issue in the future can get it figured out.

Thanks for the help!

Good luck with the configuration. I’ll hold off on posting pics of my setup as it appears that it might not be applicable to your needs. I have been told though that the variable frequency drives can be used to convert from three to single phase without utilizing the variable speed controls. In my setup, that is what I’ll be doing as the motor has its own manual variable speed controller that is attached to the press.

I can’t speak much to this though as this topic is still very new to me!

Well, I had an electrician look things over and the guy that I hired to wire up the garage did it dangerously wrong. Anyways, I have power and she runs smooth as butter- I cleaned and lubed her, then I fed her some 60lb accent opaque, some Beckett-Vellum 80 pound cover and some Elan Metallics cardstock with no problems at all. Not bad for spending the last 10 of her fifty years in a basement!

Now all I need is to buy her some new rollers and ink her up.