Variable Frequency Drive Installation

Importance of Right Variable Frequency Drive Installation

As electronic equipment, frequency converters are easily damaged by the ingress of dust and moisture or insufficient cooling. They should be located in a well-ventilated enclosure near the motor or away from a properly protected area. Larger VFDs generate a lot of heat and must be removed or the device will eventually overheat and fail.

The following are suggested actions to take when considering the installation of a variable frequency drive:

Steps of Variable Frequency Drive Installation

1. Understand the relevant processes and how the motor system operates to meet its requirements, determine how variable demand is and if demand can be reduced, record the load profile and determine how much it can be reduced.

2. Determine the load type, whether it is variable torque, constant torque, or constant power. Determine if variable frequency drive control can be implemented on the system, or if other solutions are more suitable.

3. Look for opportunities to maximize the efficiency of existing systems through low-cost measures. There is little benefit to installing a variable frequency drive into an inefficient system, which can be improved in other low-cost ways. Before installing a variable frequency drive, assess the condition and operation of the system and identify low-cost energy savings opportunities that can be achieved. These measures may include maintaining equipment, reducing demand, and cutting power. Some of these improvements can be achieved through measures taken in-house, while others may require professional support from manufacturers or agents.

4. Monitor existing energy consumption and estimate energy-saving potential. If possible, monitor power consumption over the course of a week to get a baseline against which to measure improvements in energy efficiency. Get expert help when necessary, get quotes from manufacturers, and ensure savings and a satisfactory return on investment.

5. Install the variable frequency drive and related variable frequency drive controller after considering the points described in "Practical Considerations". Make sure the installer is fully briefed before starting work, and that the system is properly commissioned and demonstrated cost savings before signing off.

6. Continue to manage your system to improve energy efficiency. Develop policies, systems, and procedures to ensure that systems are properly serviced and run efficiently, and to maintain savings in the future.

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