How Variable Speed Drives Build More Efficient Machines

Learn how variable speed drives build more efficient machines.

Learn how variable speed drives build more efficient machines.

Machine design and performance efficiency improvements are crucial success factors for maintaining competitiveness for many OEMs, or Original Equipment Manufacturers. These OEM-built machines must incorporate motor control automation technologies that are optimized for efficiency to provide end customers with high machine productivity levels. The control devices, such as variable speed drives (VSDs), are optimized for rapid time-to-market, operational efficiency and simplification, and increased machine uptime. Learn more about VSDs and how they are a great example of how OEMs can drive up overall design, implementation, and performance efficiencies.

What Are VSDs?

Variable speed drives control the speed of motors, fans, and pumps. By using a VSD to slow a fan or pump motor, it will save a significant amount of energy. For example, using a VSD to slow a pump motor from 100% to 80% can save up to 50% of the energy used. Essentially, every fan, pump, or HVAC unit should have a VSD to match the real need for energy, rather than running at full speed and wasting electricity.

Energy Efficiency

The use of modern VSD technologies, built by companies such as Schneider Electric, can boost design, installation, and operational efficiency by 30%. With traditional oversizing, machines now consume more energy than necessary. However, through proper design, this can be corrected without increasing the risk of compromised performance. For example, an oversized pumping system with permanent flow reduction via throttle is not the most energy efficient option in pump motor control applications. A VSD can provide a practical, active solution if flow is highly variable or requires precision accuracy, as it will adapt to the speed of the motor to the desired flow.

Integration and Commissioning

Our customers have tested both our products and our competitors’ products, and on average, they’ve found that Schneider Electric Altivar ATV320 VSDs save about 10 percent more energy than a typical VSD. Our unique ATV320 form factors and IP ratings allow machine builders to optimize physical machine design and to reduce their machine footprint. The new IP66 design also allows for localized mounting possibilities when it isn’t possible to place the drive within a cabinet or a machine.

Operation and Service Efficiency

VSDs can collect data on key parameters affecting the driveline lifetime, including the operating time, temperature, main voltage, motor overload, and more. With this monitoring, the VSD will assist to compute future outcomes for chain elements that are predictable. If threshold parameters are surpassed, the VSD will administer a warning or alarm, or cease operation to avoid situations of unexpected downtime. VSDs are one example of the various ways OEMs can drive design, installation, commissioning, and operation efficiencies of motor starter solutions.


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Serving the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Baltimore regions, SEBCSI provides innovative solutions for your commercial building or facility. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+ today! If you’re looking for more information or interested in working with us on your next project, please contact us!

This entry was posted on Monday, October 29th, 2018 at 10:30 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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