On Feb. 17, our virtual networking session will cover new employee onboarding and retention best practices
Staffing, supply chain issues and workplace changes are the challenges facing FMs
While managers most often cite energy management as the reason for installing a VFD, the technology offers other significant benefits, including reduced motor and drive maintenance and longer motor life. When a motor connected to a load starts, the current it draws typically is much greater than the current it draws at full load. During repeated start-stop cycles over the motor’s operating life, this in-rush current causes heating and stress in the motor’s windings, and it can damage them and lead to motor failure.
VFDs control motor start-up by initially applying a very low frequency and voltage to the motor. The voltage and frequency ramp up at a controlled rate, greatly reducing the in-rush current, as well as heat and stress on motor windings, thereby extending motor life.
Finally, VFDs reduce maintenance costs. Heat is a natural enemy of electrical components, and high in-rush currents cause heating and stress in motor starters, cables, contacts, and connectors, which can lead to pitting, corrosion, and insulation breakdown. VFDs limit the in-rush current by using soft-start technology, preventing stress on these components and keeping motors operating longer.
James Piper, P.E., is a national consultant based in Bowie, Md. He has more the 25 years of experience in facilities management and maintenance issues.
Variable-Frequency Drives Reduce Maintenance, Extend Motor Life