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“If my motor operation looks normal, why would I use frequency inverters?”  Good question!

As some of us are informed, frequency inverters are used in any operation in which there is mechanical equipment powered by motors. The inverters provide extremely precise electrical motor control, so that motor speeds can be ramped up and down, and maintained, at speeds required. Thus, it utilizes only the energy required, rather than having a motor run at constant speed and utilizing an excess of energy.

Since motors consume almost all of the energy produced, the control of motors, based on demands of loads, increases in importance, as energy supplies become ever more strained. Additionally, end users of motors can realize 25 – 70% energy savings via use of motor controllers.

 

Among the most successful strategies managers have at their disposal for controlling electrical energy use and minimizing utility costs is the use of frequency inverters. Incorporating frequency inverters into applications such as fans, pumps, and cooling towers can reduce energy use.

 

Here 5 beneficial functions of a frequency inverter:
1. Controls starting current

When a normal powered (AC) motor is started “across the line,” it takes much time to gain power to start the motor and load. This power activates the motor windings and produce heat, which will eventually reduce the endurance of the motor. A frequency inverter starts a motor at zero frequency and voltage. As the rate and voltage “build,” it “magnetizes” the motor windings, which typically takes 50-70% of the motor full-load current. Additional current above this level is dependent upon the connected load, the acceleration rate and the speed being accelerated, too. The substantially reduced starting current extends the life of the AC motor, when compared to starting across the line. The customer payback is less wear and tear on the motor (motor rewinds), and extended motor life.

2. Controls acceleration

A frequency inverter starts at zero speed and accelerates smoothly on a customer-adjustable ramp. On the other hand, an AC motor started across the line is a tremendous mechanical shock both for the motor and connected load. This shock will, over time, increase the wear and tear on the connected load, as well as the AC motor. Some applications, such as bottling lines, cannot be started with motors across the line (with product on the bottling line), but must be started empty to prevent breakage.

3. Adjusts operating speed

Use of a frequency inverter enables improving of a process, making changes in a process, allows starting at reduced speed, and allows remote adjustment of speed by programmable controller or process controller.

4. Controls motor “stopping”

Just as important as controlled acceleration, controlled stopping can be important to reduce mechanical wear and tear because of the shocks to the process or loss of product due to breakage.

5. Saves energy

Frequency Inverters operate only with the necessary power, rather than having the motor function at fixed speed and utilizing a surplus energy. Using a fixed speed motor would require some type of mechanical regulating device, such as a vane or damper; but the fact remains that the motor would still be running full load and full speed (full power). Energy savings can be sufficient to pay back the capitalized cost in a matter of a couple of years or less, depending on the size of the motor.

Developments in frequency inverter technology are putting even more power in the hands of maintenance and engineering managers, who are taking a closer look at the life-cycle costs and potential benefits of this device for their facilities. Thus, it is a great advantage to use frequency inverters in enhancing all motor powered operations.

 

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frequency drivesAt the spark of the industrial millennium, the invention of mechanisms had begun to improve our way of life. Machines such as AC induction motors are rampantly used in most industries today. Rotating at a preset speed, an AC induction motor is directly driven by the frequency of an electric power source. These motors serve as major forces in almost every industrialized process that work with any electrical application, like different kitchen appliances, air conditioners, water pumps, automobiles and even compressors and boiler pumps.

Other than system proficiency, the majority of industries are now after less costly means without compromising outputs and the entirety of the processes.

Frequency Inverter Functionality

Here is where the Frequency Inverter comes in. Technically, a Frequency Inverter or much known in the industry as Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) is an electronic device that can adjust the rotational speed of an AC motor by controlling the frequency of the electrical power supplied to the motor. This unit is able to manage speed, temperature, pressure, or flow as intended to run respective systems. Instead of directly connecting the power supply to the electric motor, it is linked to the input of the VFD and then the power is run from the output of the VFD to the motor.

Installing VFDs in your customary systems provide advantages that contribute to the enhanced general performance of your AC induction motors.

It can grant the necessary control as well as save a lot on energy consumption. A Frequency Inverter primarily functions to increase efficiency rate of a motor-driven unit by pushing through accurate and uninterrupted process control with a variety of speed range. Control of speed and power is within your hands. With an adjustable speed drive, you can also achieve overall control from matching speed to altering the load requirements that result in conserving energy.

Another thing from VFD is that you can spare yourself the trouble of having excessive separate controllers in managing your motor system. Thus causing reduced maintenance costs by crossing out throttling valves, dampers, and other superfluous controls, since VFDs already have apt sensors and electronics used to interface the driven unit with the inverter.

In addition to lesser upkeep expenditures, the device allows you to minimize operating frequencies consequently lengthening service life and optimizing durability of bearings and motors. Frequency inverters also add protection from damage to your motors that cannot withstand excessive torque by allotting specified limits into a user-selected level. This is possible thanks to the highlighted control provided by the electronic device.

Using VFDs disables the need for soft starters. No need to worry about limiting the current level when starting the load due to the extensive control of the inverter over the motor equipment. It can achieve the desired power and speed with ease. The adjustable speed drive also does away with other common motor-driven issues such as water hammer setbacks in a liquid system.

Cost-effective and useful in assuring premium system functionality, VFDs ultimately offer better, more productive and trouble-free operations for your AC induction motors.

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