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Convert 1 phase to 3 phase by using an old washing machine

solvej

Feb 23, 2022
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We were in the process of going off grid when a tree fell over our power line. Hence we got off grid before we were ready as we didn't want to repair the power line. Now everything in the house runs on solar power, except for the well pump. The problem with the well pump is that it is a 3 phase motor. The solar inverter does not provide 3 phase power. I tried to get the pump up from the well, but it seems stuck. Hence this needs to find a solution by only having access to the 3 leads (+ ground) that goes 60m down the well.

I did order a VFD, thinking it will be able create 3phase from the 1phase solar inverter. But delivery keeps being delayed. So I went to the dump and found a washing machine, thinking I would find a suitable capacitor I could put between two of the leads going down to the pump. However, what I found in the washing machine looks like a VFD. I'm thinking this could be used in a better way than by just using the capacitor (which I think is too large, and may not work as the well is 60m deep.)

The three phase power provided by the power company was 240V between each of the three leads. I think this is what is called a delta configuration. Frequency was 50Hz. Hence that is what I would like to recreate.

The card I think is a VFD from the washing machine has two grey wires which I'm sure is the 1 phase input. It has a ground wire that connects to the washing machine chassis, it has a connector with 5 red wires which goes to the machine control panel and a connector with 6 yellow wires which goes to the motor. Among the 6 yellow wires there is 5.3ohm (in the motor) between all of the three leads labled 1, 2 and 3. I think these goes to the coils. There is 112ohm between #4 and #5 which goes to the end of the motor. I think this may be a speed sensor. #6 goes to the motor casing, hence I labeled it ground.

img_20220223_163856-jpg.297520


I think this thing will output 3 phase 200V-240V at 50Hz on the yellow cables labled 1,2 and 3, from the input of 1 phase 230V on the grey wires, if I just manage to manipulate the red wires correctly. Does anyone have a clue on how to do this?


The board is labeled 4321-99-100. It comes from a electrolux washing machine.

According to energy meter, the well pump consumed about 850w. Typical runtime is about 30s.
 

Minder

Apr 24, 2015
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The latest machines have used the Fischer-Paykel motor for some time now, they are 3ph out-runner motors, i.e., the rotor is external to the motor similar to the 3ph RC motor construction.
Also they are direct drive, no gear box.
 

Bluejets

Oct 5, 2014
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The three phase power provided by the power company was 240V between each of the three leads. I think this is what is called a delta configuration.

Three phase is three phase........your end gets 240v between phases via a star connection on the supply authority transformer.
Delta connection is from the (possibly) 3.3kv input there.

Adding any capacitor in a 3 phase motor circuit is a complete waste of time, does nothing.

Are you certain the submersible is 3 phase?

I seriously doubt any diy hack washing machine board will drive a 1 hp or more 3phase submersible.

What type of energy meter do you have that can tell you the motor draws 850watts?
 

crutschow

May 7, 2021
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I don't see anything from the washing machine that would generate enough power for your well motor.

So you had three live power lines to your property from the power company, since that's the only way you could have 3-phase power?
It's rare for a home to have 3-phase power.
Are you sure it it isn't 220V split-phase?
 

solvej

Feb 23, 2022
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I have never seen the well pump. I don't know what kind it is. It was down there when we moved in. All I know is the cable going down there and the power they used to have. Seller claimed the well was 60m deep. I haven't measured the depth. But it is to deep and narrow to be able to see down there.

I know the pump is 3 phase because it did only run when provided power from all 3 leads of the 3 phase power line. In this area it's quite normal to have 3 phase into the house. Control: L1-L2 = 240V, L2-L3 = 240V, L1-L3 = 240V.

The power company has a digital meter where the power line came into the house. By pressing a button I could make it display total power consumed, current amps on each of the leads (L1, L2, L3), and current power consumption. When planning our solar system I used that meter to check how much power each device (well pump, stove, fridge, water heater, computers... ) in the house used - when working and total over 24hours of (our) normal usage. I did this by disconnecting everything but the device in question.

Here are pictures of the washing machine motor:
img_20220223_163723-jpg.297540

img_20220223_163758-jpg.297541

img_20220223_163815-jpg.297542

img_20220223_163827-jpg.297543


Edit: On top of the well is a start/stop switch with a circuit breaker. It is dialed in to 4A. It is exactly this model: https://www.newark.com/schneider-electric/gv2me10/motor-starter/dp/18M2079
 
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Bluejets

Oct 5, 2014
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Not about to get in to the American distribution system if that is where you are as there are others here more familiar with it.
They do have some strange arrangements which differ from the standard in Aus and some other countries.
Can't imagine where you get your 110v from under those circumstances as you say you have 3 lines.
Could be 2 phase and neutral as #4 suggested.(if I read it correctly)
That said, my recommendation would be to get whatever line repairs are required and stop mucking around with dodgy instructables fix-its which will only end in a burnt out pump as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow.
as said previously...I seriously doubt any diy hack washing machine board will drive a 1 hp or more 3phase submersible.
Then, as you said the pump is stuck down the bore, you'll be up for a new bore, new pump AND the aforementioned line repair to boot.
 

Alec_t

Jul 7, 2015
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According to energy meter, the well pump consumed about 850w.
But the wash-machine motor is only rated 195V 3A. So it's unlikely that control board would survive long even if you got it working.:(
 

Minder

Apr 24, 2015
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What frequency is the supply, the motor says 17000 RPM??
 

solvej

Feb 23, 2022
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But the wash-machine motor is only rated 195V 3A. So it's unlikely that control board would survive long even if you got it working.:(

195V*3A*1,73 = 1012w. If the board can handle that, it should also be able to handle the 850w of the pump. Besides, if the board provides the well pump with 195V rather than the 241V, the power consumption would probably be down to 690w.

What frequency is the supply, the motor says 17000 RPM??
For the well pump: Power line was 50Hz 3phase. Inverter is 50Hz 1 phase. Battery is 48V DC. To run the pump directly on 48V DC would be preferred, but I haven't found any way to do that. (All though at 60m deep, the power loss in cable at 48V might be more than the loss in the inverter. I haven't measured cable size.)
For the washing machine supply is supposed to be 50Hz. As you point out, the washing machine motor is labeled 17000 rpm and 300Hz. I would guess 300Hz would give 18000rpm. Close enough that the numbers makes sense.
 
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WHONOES

May 20, 2017
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You could try and old car alternator. These are 3 phase devices with a built in rectifier. You could strip out the rectifier which would then give you 3 phase ac
The output of these alternators is controlled by injecting a current into the rotor with the voltage level being dependent on the magnitude of the current.
220V is achievable. The rotor current could be derived from a transformer power supply or, taken from a battery and then tap off some of the power from your alternator to charge the battery via a transformer and appropriate charging circuitry.
You could us a motor dc or ac to drive the alternator from whatever supply you have available or even use a small engine.
 

Bluejets

Oct 5, 2014
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Besides, back to square one, not enough grunt.
Again, get your power line fixed.
 
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