What is a (VFD) Variable Frequency Drive?
A Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) is a type of motor controller that drives an electric motor by varying the frequency and voltage supplied to the electric motor. Other names for a VFD are variable speed drive, adjustable speed drive, adjustable frequency drive, AC drive, Microdrive, and Inverter.
Frequency is directly related to the motor’s speed (RPMs). In other words, the faster the frequency, the faster the RPMs go. If an application does not require an electric motor to run at full speed, the VFD can be used to ramp down the frequency and voltage to meet the requirements of the electric motor’s load. As the application’s motor speed requirements change, the VFD can simply turn up or down the motor speed to meet the speed requirement.
Benefits of using VFD:
1. Reduces Energy Consumption and Energy Costs
If you have an application that does not need to be run at full speed, then you can cut down energy costs by controlling the motor with a variable frequency drive, which is one of the benefits of Variable Frequency Drives. VFDs allow you to match the speed of the motor-driven equipment to the load requirement. There is no other method of AC electric motor control that allows you to accomplish this.
2. Increases Production through Tighter Process Control
By operating your motors at the most efficient speed for your application, fewer mistakes will occur, and thus, production levels will increase, which earns your company higher revenues. On conveyors and belts, you eliminate jerks on start-up allowing high throughput.
3. Extend Equipment Life and Reduce Maintenance
Your equipment will last longer and will have less downtime due to maintenance when it’s controlled by VFDs ensuring optimal motor application speed. Because of the VFDs optimal control of the motor’s frequency and voltage, the VFD will offer better protection for your motor from issues such as electrothermal overloads, phase protection, under voltage, overvoltage, etc.. When you start a load with a VFD you will not subject the motor or driven load to the “instant shock” of across the line starting, but can start smoothly, thereby eliminating belt, gear, and bearing wear. It also is an excellent way to reduce and/or eliminate water hammer since we can have smooth acceleration and deceleration cycles.