Technology Tuesdays

When was the last time you discussed variable frequency drives (VFDs)?

VFDs can save tremendous amounts of energy and they are useful in many different applications.  First, VFDs have many different names.  While there may be some slight functional differences between them, for the most part, they do the same thing.  Below are some common names for VFDs:

 ·         Variable-frequency drive (VFD)

·         Adjustable-frequency drive (AFD)

·         Variable-voltage/variable-frequency (VVVF) drive

·         Variable speed drive

 These devices have many applications from small appliances to large HVAC systems.  They work by directly reducing voltage to the motor which adjusts the motor speed to match the amount of demand needed by the motor at a given time.

For example, the motor in your pool would not need to work at full speed 100% of the time it is powered on.  With a VFD, that pool motor would only run at full speed when necessary.  Other times, the motor would run at a lesser speed.

VFDs reduce the amount of time the motor runs at full speed.  This reduces the amount of energy used by that motor and also increases the life of the motor by reducing wear and tear.  The size of the motor application for the VFD determines the amount of potential savings.  Therefore, a very large application, such as a well pump, would translate into a large amount of potential savings


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