Pumps, motors, compressors and mixers all require a different means of starting up and finally getting them up and running. Essential to our daily living, the above mentioned devices need to run in top shape in order to be of good use and be able to start right when we need them and where we need them. However, it is often a good point of discussion just how we need the said devices to be used. With an ongoing economic crisis, how can we be practical in using our machinery and at the same time get the best out of them as well?
Energy is one of the most essential components of work and daily living. Surviving without it can be quite difficult for a lot of people and some work that is entirely reliant on heavy machinery and electric devices, like motorized pumps, air compressors and concrete mixers become almost impossible to use. Also, when using such devices, it is not surprising to use up a lot of energy in the process. But considering the resources available to the average individual, using such pieces of technology can prove to be taxing. In starting them even, one consumes considerable amounts of energy just to get them up and running. However, there are solutions for energy problems.
The solutions to energy problems include soft starters and variable frequency drives or VFDs which, using energy-saving features can help reduce the energy consumed by machinery thus lightening the expenses on using the said devices. Thanks to these devices energy consumption can be easily lowered from 30% to 70%. But it also comes down to which device is best used for which tasks. What are the differences of soft starters and variable frequency drives and just what makes one better than the other or, at least, what makes one more practical than the other. Both soft starters and variable frequency drives have a lot of similarity but, in terms of how they work, are actually quite different.
VFDs or variable frequency drives are best suited for operating small machinery like smaller pumps and the like. They consume little energy thanks to some energy using features and are a practical choice for devices like mini-water pumps, small mixers and other devices that do not possess or require large engines to keep running. In this sense, VFDs are best used in starting projects wherein machinery being used need not be very big. It is also quite cheap, cheaper than soft starters at least, making them ideal for initial investments and getting started on whatever project is at hand. Variable Frequency Drives use torque making it excellent for modulating the energy used by fans and pumps but, due mainly to its internal functions; it has quite a number of disadvantages as well. This includes the fact that variable frequency drives consume considerable amounts of energy when it begins to operate with larger machinery.
The best thing about Soft starters is that they consume less energy and, thanks to its ability to be dialed up on the output voltage, soft starters can lighten the load on the motor’s magnetizing current, meaning that the machine doesn’t have to consume 100% energy when it’s on full load. This also renders the motor more efficient because of the less energy but does not interfere with the machine’s speed. Also, soft starters are ideal for large pumps, fans and mixers that have 200 to 500 horse power ranges because they require no stops or integrations of any kind. Also of note is the fact that while variable frequency drives are best for starting projects, soft starters are more beneficial in the long run.
Applications such as pumps and motors often require multiple start-ups, leading them to consume large amounts of energy just to get started. But with devices like soft starters and variable frequency drives, saving energy become a lot easier and using large equipment becomes more practical. In gauging their differences though, as already mentioned, variable frequency drives are best used for starting projects but it is also advisable to switch to the more efficient soft starters once the project progresses on and slightly heavier equipment with even greater output becomes necessary to finish the project.