What is a VFD- Variable Frequency Drive?
A Variable Frequency Drive, or VFD, is often referred to as an inverter. A VFD may also be called an AC drive, adjustable frequency drive, variable speed drive, adjustable speed drive (VSD), variable frequency inverter (VFI), or microdrive.
Whatever the name, a VFD is a type of motor controller that drives and controls an electric motor. The VFD controls the motor speed and torque to meet the application’s requirements by varying the frequency and voltage supply.
Frequency is directly linked to the motor’s RPMs; the higher the frequency, the greater the number of RPMs.
Advantages of using VFDs
1 – Reduce Energy Consumption and Energy Costs
In case that an application does not need to be run at full speed, you can cut down energy costs by controlling the motor with a VFD, which allows you to match the speed of the motor-driven equipment to the load requirements.
Electric motor systems consume for more than 65% of the power consumption in industry today. Optimizing motor control systems with VFDs can reduce energy consumption in a facility by as much as 70%. In addition, using VFDs can improve product quality, and reduce production costs. This combines to return on investment for VFD installations.
2 – Soft and Efficient Motor Control
Operating your motors at the most efficient speed for your application can reduce errors, thereby increasing production levels and boosting revenues. For example, the smoother action VFDs enable for conveyors and belts can eliminate jerks on start-up, allowing higher throughput.
3 – Extend Equipment Life and Reduce Maintenance
Ensuring optimal motor control helps equipment to last longer, and reduces downtime due to maintenance. Since the VFD optimizes control of the motor’s frequency and voltage, the VFD offers better protection for your motor from issues such as electro thermal overloads, phase protection, under voltage, overvoltage, etc.. Starting a load with a VFD protects the motor or driven load from “instant shock” of across the line starting; smooth starting eliminates a great degree of belt, gear and bearing wear. And additional benefit is the reduction and/or elimination of water hammer via smooth acceleration and deceleration cycles.