Powering 3 phase with single phase

Thread Starter

Joshua_2206

Joined Apr 23, 2024
6
Hi I'm wondering if someone could help me.
I am interested in renting a small Unit to start a coffee shop. The only problem is it only has 30 amp single phase power available. I have an idea but I don't know whether it is feasible. Obviously I would approach an electrical engineer to do this if it is possible but I was hoping someone could tell me whether it is is a good idea or not.
Is it possible to use a bank of batterys as a small reservoir between a input limited to say 15 amp and an output using 32amp. Obviously the machine doesn't continuously use 32 amp so I don't think there would need to be a lot of storage space but is it ok for batteries to be continuously charging?
 

geekoftheweek

Joined Oct 6, 2013
1,249
Where are you located? I have a feeling most anywhere in the U.S. you'll have a serious uphill battle trying to make something like this work legally. Canada is probably about the same.

What kind of coffiee maker uses 32 Amp and three phase power?
 

Thread Starter

Joshua_2206

Joined Apr 23, 2024
6
Where are you located? I have a feeling most anywhere in the U.S. you'll have a serious uphill battle trying to make something like this work legally. Canada is probably about the same.

What kind of coffiee maker uses 32 Amp and three phase power?

I am in Singapore. I'm not sure on the rules but my theory was aslong as the system plugs into a standard wall socket then there would be no need to have permission.

https://keesvanderwesten.com/spirit/support

This is the machine.
It actually could be single phase I think.
Do you think it is feasible if I have no need for permission?
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,045
There is no way that a series or parallel connected battery of any voltage can reasonably assist a 15 amp service to supply 30 amps to anything.
And as we are given no hint as to what "the machine" is, or why it requires 3-phase power, there is no possible way any of us can offer a useful suggestion, that is not based on a guess.
WE are not even told what voltage that the 30 amp service is, nor what voltage "the machine" requires.

If you can provide that information then it is quite likely that you will get auseful answer.
 
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crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
34,700
This is the machine.
1713975468981.png
Can you momentarily turn off the coffee heater power when doing steam?
That would limit the single-phase peak current to about 24A.

The cut-off of the heater power could be done automatically with a relay controlled by the steam switch.
 
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MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,045
OK, this is a system with three heater elements, which appear to be "Y" connected. If you do not make espresso then you would not need steam and so could use a lot less power. But if that single circuit is all the power you can get, there is not much left for lighting.
 

geekoftheweek

Joined Oct 6, 2013
1,249
I am curious as to what would cause a person to arrive at the conclusion that the elements are wired in a "Y".

Personally I would start out with a smaller machine myself that can be used with the current electrical supply and go from there.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,045
I am curious as to what would cause a person to arrive at the conclusion that the elements are wired in a "Y".

Personally I would start out with a smaller machine myself that can be used with the current electrical supply and go from there.
The chart in post #5 could only be for a tree phase "Y" connected resistive heating element group. THAT led to the conclusion. Of course, designing a few 3-phase "Y" connected heaters and lighting arrangements over the years added to that insight.
 

Thread Starter

Joshua_2206

Joined Apr 23, 2024
6
Hi thanks for the response guys. I think I need to give some more information. Yes the the machine has one large boiler for steam and hot water dispensing and uses a large heating element this is the problematic one. The other two smaller boilers are for the individual group heads where the espresso is made. Actually if I only made espresso I wouldn't have a problem, it is Americanos and steamin milk which require a lot of re heating of the large boiler. In coffee shops there is usually one or two 'slams' a day meaning continuously making coffee for about an hour. I think it is really in these times where I will see the machines power hit it's peak, the rest of the day I think it will be hardly using any power as all 3 elements are PID controlled. I am not sure but I think that a PiD changes the wattage to achieve its required temperature? Also all the boilers are insulated. So no one thinks thats a battery bank would work? Or does something exist that would limit the power rather than tripping the electric?
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
4,496
I would think batteries alone are not an option at all as the machine will no doubt need AC, not DC to operate.
A suitably rated Variable Frequency Drive as used in industry to drive 3 phase motors may work ok as some are available to run on single phase input, and that could possible be driven by batteries but all this is talking a lot of money so just get another coffee machine.
We have a friend who has a coffee van and it all runs on a single phase feed of 240V, and 10A.
There are many mobile coffee vans that use way less power than the machine you are looking at.
 

Thread Starter

Joshua_2206

Joined Apr 23, 2024
6
Yes I understand smaller less powerful machines exist and I could start with one of these but It could soon become a bottleneck depending on the demand I receive. Why is it a problem to convert from DC to AC? Why is it any different from an electric car? It is possible to charge a car on a 13amp plug socket which would be AC right? Then the car uses DC for the batteries and then I know Tesla use DC motors but do some cars not use AC motors?
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,045
Interesting situation indeed. Electric heaters can be powered by batteries , and while the AC power rating requires the specified mains voltage, equal heating can be supplied with a lower DC voltage. But battery operation has one inescapable problem, which is that batteries eventually need to be recharged. And recharging takes a bit more power that you get out of them. Always.
What could be possible is a change-over scheme that could allow switching between the two heater/boiler systems.
That would workmtomavoid overloading your power connection..
And as for "steamin milk", I am aware that some think it is good, but i regard it as NASTY!!
SOLID BLACK is how I like coffee.
I see "pumps" mentioned, what are they and how many and how much time do they run?
During my stay in Mexico City uite a few years ago many coffee sellers had propane fired coffee makers and lever type manual pumps for the hot water, because they had no electrical hookups at all. So there does exist a possibility there, maybe. And seeing the Barista pull a lever to dispense the brew might even be a gimmick to catch attention.
 
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Thread Starter

Joshua_2206

Joined Apr 23, 2024
6
Yes I did think about LPG for the big boiler. And there is some retrofittable burners but what I fail to see is any sort of exhaust. So I don't want to be working over an open flame all day it can't be to good for your health. As for levers yes this machine can come with levers and may be an option to save a little power.
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
4,496
The spec sheet in post #5 looks to have a single phase option so you may be able to just strap it for one phase. Have someone technical look into that for you.
CoffeeSpecSheet.png
But then you are running a bit over the 30A your location provides. There is often a bit of tolerance in the rating so you may get away with it. But does your 30A include the lighting, air conditioning, signage......

While the heater on your coffee Machine may well work on DC, the switching, the pumps and the control circuitry probably will need AC.
Changing DC to AC is ok, but you would need a large inverter and and large capacity battery bank too. All that would probably cost you more than a coffee machine.
All you want to do is possible but not cheap.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
34,700
A battery could be recharged overnight of course but, as mentioned, there's the issue of the large, expensive inverter needed to convert the DC back to AC.
The heaters could likely be powered off DC, eliminating the inverter requirement, but that would require some modifications to the machine.
 

geekoftheweek

Joined Oct 6, 2013
1,249
The spec sheet in post #5 looks to have a single phase option so you may be able to just strap it for one phase. Have someone technical look into that for you.
General information on the site mentions a single phase conversion kit that can be installed. Unfortunately for any technical details the site wants you to submit a request.
 
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