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Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Frequently Asked Questions

Mike Jeffries | January 2, 2019

Variable Frequency Drive(VFD).pngThere are several types of variable speed drives (VSDs) in use, but variable frequency drives (VFDs) are the most popular. Because they increase efficiency and reduce system wear, VFDs should be considered for any application which requires consistent torque at different load levels.

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What is a Variable Frequency Drive?

A VFD is designed to modulate power to a motorized system. VFDs operate automatically, sensing the current load requirements and increasing or decreasing the motor speed accordingly. This reduces operating temperature and stress on mechanical components. VFDs work best in systems that do not decrease torque with speed increases.

How Do VFDs Work?

Motors are designed to run at a consistent speed. In use, the motors are typically operating in different load statuses. To accommodate for this variable demand, a VFD is able to analyze the load constraints and increase or decrease the motor speed automatically. The result is a motor that lasts longer and performs more appropriately for the desired application.

What are VFDs Used For?

A VFD is used in a wide range of applications. The general rule is that an application where the motor requires full motor torque at low speeds may be a candidate for VFD. To give you an idea of the versatility of a VFD, take a look at some common applications:

  • Irrigation
  • Dairy
  • Pumps
  • Lift Hoists
  • Conveyor Assemblies

Do VFDs Use Less Energy?

Because a VFD matches the motor speed to the load demand, it is able to reduce energy costs by reducing motor speed. Your savings will vary based on the specific use of the VFD, the size of the system, and other variables.

Are VFDs Useful for Irrigation?

Irrigation systems tend to be automated. Using a VFD allows the motor to be operated in manual or automatic mode. Manual mode is used for testing, and automatic is used for the actual work process. A VFD means less piping, better conservation, and greater control over the system operation. In the event of a pump losing its prime, the VFD can sense the malfunction and shut down, preserving the motor and controls.

Mader Electric is the premiere pump and controls company in Southwest Florida. We specialize in heavy duty pumps and motor assemblies, including VFDs and other variable speed controls. To learn more about our services, please contact us today.

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