10 benefits of adjustable speed AC drive

A review on few benefits of adjustable speed AC drive and the companies that manufactures and provides it
  An AC drive is a device used to control the speed of an electrical motor in order to enhance process control, reduce energy usage and generate energy efficiently, decrease mechanical stress on motor control applications, optimise the operation of various applications relying on electric motors.
“AC drives are also known by various other names such as adjustable speed drives, adjustable frequency drives, variable frequency drives, variable speed drives, frequency converters, inverters and power converters,” said a spokesperson from Danfoss Drives India Ltd.
Drives can also be utilised to convert energy from natural and renewable resources like the sun, wind or tides, and transmit it to the electrical network or use it for local consumption. In hybrid technologies, AC drives are used to combine conventional energy sources and energy storages to create total energy management solutions.
Murali Srinivasan, Managing Director, Techno Drives and Controls says, “AC variable frequency drive is an electronic device varies the output AC voltage and frequency when fed with the standard voltage/ frequency and by which varies the speed of the motor.”
Using an adjustable speed AC drive, the amount of torque being applied by the motor to the load can be controlled accurately. This can protect machinery from damage, and protect the process or product. An adjustable speed AC drive, can be set to limit the amount of torque so the AC motor never exceeds the limit.
Benefits of AC variable frequency drive1. For AC Variable Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technology is employed. It uses power electronics devices like thyristors, IGBTs to accomplish this task.2. Drive reduces the starting current drastically. Current can be limited as low as the full load current of motor.3. Main use of the drive is to save power by reducing the speed of the motor. It is by taking advantage of the additional capacity available in the applications.4. Drives are also used for process stabilisation. Like if there is a requirement of constant flow/ pressure, it can be achieved by using the drive.5. By saving power, drives plays a major role in reducing the CO2.6. Drives are made with specific application software, which serves the needs of specific functionality of the application like HVAC, crane, etc.7. Drives are integral part of automation where high end accuracy is required. Drive responds to PLC and controls the application. 8. Controlling the process output to match the need; synchronising different parts of the main process to secure smooth flow between sub-processes; easily changing the setup when the process requirements change.9. Saving electrical energy compared to traditional methods of process control. 10. Using an adjustable speed AC drive eliminates the need for a reversing starter, since the output phases to the motor can be electronically changed without any mechanical devices. The elimination of a reversing starter eliminates its maintenance cost and reduces panel space.
An adjustable speed drive can control benefits as acceleration control, different operating speed for each process, allow slow operation for setup purposes, smoother operation, adjust the rate of production.
Emerging economies are driving the increase in energy consumption, therefore 20 per cent of the world’s energy consumption is electrical energy, 40 per cent of electrical energy is used by electrical motors, 75 per cent of AC drives are used on pumps and fans, global electrical energy consumption could be reduced by 10 per cent if AC drives were used in every suitable application.
The need for energy conservation in order to save the environment is a key driver in the development of speed control devices, and AC drives provide the optimum method of controlling the speed of electrical motors to match load demand. Even small changes in motor speed can cause significant changes in energy consumption.
AC drives are well hidden, but nevertheless they play a major and very necessary role in modern, everyday life by making the world and our way of living more sustainable. Few major playersVacon India: Vacon manufactures and sells some of the best AC drives and inverters in the world and provide customers with efficient product lifecycle services. Vacon’s AC drives offer optimum process control and energy efficiency for electric motors. Vacon inverters play one of the key roles when energy is produced from renewable sources.
Danfoss Drives: With such a wide range of AC drives to choose from, it can be difficult to know which the right drive for your application is. Danfoss AC drives are independent of motor manufacturers and can adapt to any motor technology.
ABB India: ABB provide flexibility to help optimise the processes and control, and reliable for less downtime.
Delta: Delta’s AC motor drives are able to efficiently control motor speed, improve machine automation and save energy. Taking advantage of the strong position in power electronics technology, Delta’s VFD Series of AC motor drives has evolved rapidly.
Bharat Bijlee: With expertise of over 70 years in the design, manufacture and application of motors, Bharat Bijlee has expanded its portfolio to offer variable speed drives and engineered drives and automation solutions.
—————————–Main use of the drive is to save power by reducing the speed of the motor.
Murali Srinivasan, Managing Director, Techno Drives and Controls

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