An AC drive controls the speed generated by an electrical motor by altering the power supply’s frequency. By using an AC drive with motors operating at a constant speed, it is possible for operators to meet speed and process control, along with other benefits. The following are among the important benefits of an AC drive to your motors, productivity level, and profits.
Benefits of an AC Drive
Reduced Starting Current
Most designs geared towards a lower starting current tend to compromise the size, power factor, cost, and energy efficiency. These designs are why AC induction motors are likely to draw over six times their maximum load amps upon starting. Unfortunately, this wreaks havoc to various pieces of equipment within the appropriate electrical system once the voltage drops due to a massive amount of current present on the transformers. To avoid this from occurring, AC drives ensure a reduced inrush motor starting current without sacrificing the efficiency of the equipment.
AC drives use frequency to limit both the current and power that a motor receives. With a low frequency used upon starting the motor, there is no need for a high level of current. Over time, the AC drive increases the speed and frequency until it reaches the target speed. Aside from maintaining a minimal starting current, optimizing motor designs for better efficiency is possible.
Improve Process Control
Motors come in different sizes and shapes, and these are responsible for promoting an efficient process control in a wide range of manufacturing operations, production, and transportation. Through the use of an AC drive in electrical motors, this facilitates a smoother process control from the minimum to the maximum capacities. With such a broad range of full control, it promotes a smoother process ramp ups to a more constant level. It is also possible to increase the specific level, depending on what results to greater productivity.
Lower Energy Consumption
It only makes sense that the slower the motor runs, this also reduces the amount of energy consumed. But, the concept is to reduce the speed in operating the motor without impacting its effectiveness in performing its job. With a reduced energy consumption, several other benefits arise including lower costs and fewer CO2 emissions.
AC drives also make it possible to feed the braking energy back towards the network to save more energy. Just like in the case of a conveyor that requires constant braking to prevent it from accelerating. AC drives feed the braking energy to the grid, which means the conveyor produces electricity. It is also possible to connect field devices such as sensors to an AC drive. These sensors are beneficial for process control.
Limit Electrical and Mechanical Stress
A constant amount of speed on equipment results of a higher risk of premature wear and tear. This wear also leads to unnecessary expenses from repairs and replacement of parts. With this in mind, implementing speed control that helps smoother stops and starts make a positive impact on the equipment’s life. You no longer need to worry about frequent and unplanned repairs and maintenance that add to your expenses.
AC drives cut the chances of mechanical shock to pumps and fans as the startup process becomes smoother. There is also less stress on process equipment such as water pipes. Stress is detrimental to the system if the fluid reaches a closed valve with significant force once the pipe is full. Pumps with AC drives are not predisposed to mechanical shock since there is flow control as fluids run through the pipe network in a gradual manner.
In the same way, AC drives prevent electrical stress as the piece of equipment with gradual stops when reaching the necessary speed level. With a controlled stop for a pump, for instance, this eliminates the potential issue on water hammering into the pipes.
Control of Torque on the Load
Using an AC drive, it becomes much easier to control the amount of torque on the load and the motor with more accuracy. This control helps protect the motor from damage while improving the operating process. Without an AC drive, a jammed machine keeps making attempts to rotate until reaching the overload mechanism. Problems of this type are why it is important to prevent this from occurring through the use of an AC drive that limits the torque applied to the load.
AC drives play a major role in improving productivity. They control motor speed and promoting the longer lifespan of your equipment. Most important, AC drives boost energy consumption and help in making the world more sustainable for future generations.