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VFD Benefits: How a Variable Frequency Drive Can Help Your Company

October 15, 2019

A Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) is a versatile piece of machinery that can be used in a wide variety of applications. They can be used in pumps, motors, conveyors, air handlers, fans, and more. Anything that needs a varying speed or acceleration can be handled by a VFD.

These can be stand-alone drives or built into a control panel.

Besides this versatility, what else can your business benefit from a variable frequency drive? Keep reading to learn more about the top VFD benefits.

Efficient Adjustable Speed, Starting, and Stopping

As the name suggests, the main function of VFD panels and systems is frequency/speed conversions.

Think of it like this: a VFD is similar to your foot on the gas pedal of your car. Your foot controls the acceleration and deceleration of your vehicle, which, in turn, varies the speed of the vehicle based on your needs. A VFD does that as well with whatever application it’s connected to. It will slow, stop, start, accelerate, and decelerate a system based on the needs of that system, function, or application.

While there are other ways to do this, a VFD is one of the most efficient ways to adjust speed and torque limit of a system. A VFD is able to better control the starting current of a system, which puts less wear on the motor. This can extend your motor’s life and reduce necessary maintenance (more on this later). The lower power demand that a VFD requires can also reduce your overall power usage.

VFD panels allow for overall increased control of acceleration and speed including easier/lower start speeds, programmable controllers, remote adjustment options, and improved stopping. Smoother VFD stopping mechanisms can reduce wear on mechanical components of the system and make processes safer for industrial and manufacturing applications.

Fewer Components, Smaller Panel

Oftentimes businesses find that replacing or installing a VFD system as opposed to other systems can reduce the space the panel/drive takes up because they use fewer components. VFD drives don’t require a reverse starter, and many can eliminate the need for other equipment like hydraulic pumps and gearboxes.

Fewer components leads to a more compact system that takes up less space so you can maximize the space you have for useful applications instead of filling it with larger and bulkier control systems. Fewer components also means lower maintenance costs and fewer parts that need replacement.

Many also comment that a VFD is significantly quieter than other equipment options, which is another VFD benefit.

VFD vs Hydraulic Pump: VFD Wins Out

We briefly mentioned that VFD drives can replace certain hydraulic pump systems. But why is this one of the VFD benefits? Why make that switch?

For starters, VFD drives are much more energy efficient compared to hydraulic pump motors, which can reduce your power use and save some money.

Control valves in hydraulic pumps can also become sticky and/or suffer from control valve hysteresis. These downsides are eliminated with the use of a VFD panel. VFD drives are faster and more responsive than hydraulic pumps as well.

The reduced load that a VFD offers compared to a hydraulic pump system can also elongate the lifespan of your overall system as a result of less wear.

VFD and Energy Efficiency

VFD panels can greatly increase your energy efficiency. They lower the necessary power demand on start, reduce overall power usage, and generally improve energy efficiency of your system.

However, it is worth noting that the scale of the energy efficiency a VFD panel or system will provide depends on your particular application, industry, uses, and more. You can ask us any question about how you can expect your energy efficiency to change with the use/installation of a VFD panel or system.

VFDs reduce energy waste by smoothly controlling speed and only using the energy it requires instead of energy/power overuse that can occur with other speed control systems.

Save Some Money

Some of the benefits we’ve gone over here can lead to some potential savings.

Perhaps the most obvious would be connected to the energy efficiency of a VFD panel. Reduced power use and/or energy consumption can reduce your energy spending.

The lowered maintenance requirements and fewer components of a VFD system can also reduce expenses related to upkeep of the system. Longer motor life and less wear on components can also reduce costs associated with this system.

Various states also offer potential financial rebates for VFD installation, which can reduce your overall costs and give you the long term benefits of VFD panels.

Benfield Control Systems Can Provide You with These VFD Benefits

VFD benefits range from energy efficiency to prolonged life to noise reduction. They’re also excellent for their versatility and their ability to be customized for each business and each application.

Here at Benfield Control Systems, our experts have years of experience installing and designing variable drive systems for a number of applications and projects. Check out our past work and don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

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