Variable Frequency Drive - VFD's
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Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and its Benefits
What is a variable frequency drive? The technical definition of this term is that it is a kind of modifiable drive efficient in controlling and monitoring motor speed from the AC current and torque by constantly changing the input data and figures received by the motor. VFDs can also be referred to by the following terms: Adjustable frequency drive (most commonly used term), variable speed drive, AC drive, micro drive or inverter drive. The usage VFDs is vast owing to the 25% of the world' s electrical energy consumed by electrical motors used in industries and industrial plants. VFDs are available for both small appliances to large factory machines, mine mill drives and compressors. In the recent years, motor related power electronics technology has reduced the size and cost of VFDs and in the process, improved performance of the device. VFDs are available in different low voltage and medium voltage AC-AC and DC-AC combinations. A VFD simply regulates the motor speed in an appliance to meet the requirements of the electric motor load.
Functioning of a VFD
The first stage of a Variable Frequency AC drive is the converter. It contains 6 diodes comparable to check valves used in plumbing mechanisms. They allow the current to flow in one direction only for example, whenever A-phase voltage is higher or rather more positive than B and C, then that diode opens and allows current through. When the B-phase is more positive then the diode withholding the B-phase will open and the A-phase diode will close. This happens likewise to the C-phase and also the other three diodes on the negative side to make up the six diodes. This can be referred to as a 'six pulse VFD' as the current pulses as each diode closes and opens. It is the typical configuration of current Adjustable speed drives, or VFDs.
In the second stage, we can relate to voltage amount and how it is regulated. For instance, if a higher voltage than required is fed to a machine, the VFD DC bus attains a DC voltage with a ripple. Adding a capacitor to the system absorbs the ripple and delivers a smooth dc voltage and consequently the voltage on the dc bus becomes regulated and viable for use. The diode bridge convertor converts AC to DC and vice versa and at times it can be called a converter. But the converter that converts dc to ac is originally known as a converter and so to distinguish the initial from the former, the ac-dc converter is referred to as an 'inverter' .
Efficiency of VFDs worldwide
After recent modifications to the device, VFDs have been made exquisitely efficient in many different ways including:
Reduce energy costs and consumption
A good number of industrial appliances need not be run at full speed and in such a case, you can reduce energy cost by controlling the motor with an adjustable speed drive. VFDs can also help you level the motor-speed and the load requirement speed. Being the only technique of regulating electrical motor control, it is a very advantageous device. Electrical motor systems take up more than 65% of power consumption in industries to day and the statistics are bound to rise in a future date. Adjusting or rather incorporating VFDs in your system can reduce energy consumption in your facility by an amazing 70%. It also reduces production cost.
Increasing production rate and yield
While working with an efficient motor system, fewer errors are made and in the long run increases production. Bottom line is your facility will discover a rise in cumulative revenue in no time at all. Efficiency of conveyor belts and related machines prevent jerks on starting up allowing for high output.
Extend equipment life and maintenance
Your equipment will have fewer breakdowns due to:
1. Lower energy use that may be the cause of certain problems such as friction and
2. There will be controlled motor frequency and voltage which will greatly influence your machine and make it long lasting.
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