Variable Frequency Drives 101

Utilizing pumps on a regular basis can be a costly operation; they can run for hours at a time and require a tremendous amount of power to run.

We all know (or might not know) that energy efficiency starts with motor speed control. To keep things efficient, there needs to be a technology implemented that provides an effective solution for speed control and a reduction in power consumption.

That’s where Variable Frequency Drives, or VFD, come in.

Pumps that include VFD technology can significantly cut down on energy costs for your business. And with ever-improving technology, VFD are smaller, cheaper, and more efficient than ever before.

So what exactly is a Variable Frequency Drive?

To start, VFD is known by a number of other names, including:

  • Variable speed drive
  • Micro drive
  • AC drive
  • Inverter drive
  • Adjustable frequency drive

Unfortunately, all of those terms can be confusing to someone trying to grasp the concept for the first time -  don’t let them be. Let’s first explore the basics of what VFD means.

The Basics

VFD is a kind of adjustable speed drive; it’s mainly utilized in electro-mechanical drive systems. Through differing motor input frequency and voltage, a VFD can govern torque as well as AC motor speed.

An electrical AC motor is used in a VFD structure. Although on rare occasions a single face motor is used in a VFD structure, that isn’t the norm - a three-phase induction motor is what’s typical and favored. The main reason for this is that the three-phase motor is more affordable.

The drive system of a VFD consists of three main underlying systems, they are:

  • Drive/operator interface
  • AC motor
  • Main drive controller assembly

Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) can be found in electrical devices from large drills to air compressors and small kitchen appliances. The efficiency that results from VFD will have the ability to save significant amounts of money in the future.

Pump Control with VFD’s

Valves in pumps are often used to regulate flow or pressure in liquid pumping systems. However, the valve can be a significant source of energy loss by causing a restriction in the flow path, which in turn increases pressure.

A VFD provides more efficient flow control by varying the pump motor speed. If you compare the energy requirements and costs when a throttling device is used for control on a centrifugal pump with the power used when a VDF is in place, the potential savings are extremely evident.

Using a variable frequency drive in a pumping system provides additional savings since many elements required in a valve-con­trolled system are eliminated or reduced without affecting the function.

Cube of velocity equals the energy that a fan or pump uses, and as a result, when a fan is at 80 percent of its capacity speed (at least in theory), only 51 percent of available power is used.

The Route to Added Efficiency is Not Over

Although VFD technology is not new, it is constantly being improved upon and studied. One such area of study relates to how VFD could be used to increase power when used in conjunction with wind turbines and projects involving hydroelectric production. With that being said, the study for continuous improvement is still on.

If your business is in the market for a pump, it’s well worth your time and effort to consider a pump that includes VFD. Over time, the savings can really add up. Pumps with this component will become increasingly commonplace as their value is more widely known.

If you have any more questions about the value of VFD’s in pumps, our experts at JETT Pump & Valve would love to help. Contact us today!

NEW Motor Genie® App

  We are pleased to announce that the MOTOR GENIE® - Condition Calculator™ App is now available. The new MOTOR GENIE® - Condition Calculator™ App is a companion to the MOTOR GENIE® motor tester. The App allows...

The SITHE is here!!

Crane Pumps & Systems has unveiled their new chopper pump, the SITHE! Check it out in this video.   For more information call JETT Pump & Valve today at 248-673-2530 or email us at:

NEW BLADE Grinder Pump by Barnes

Crane Pumps & Systems has released a new grinder pump! Check out the new BLADE! Call JETT Pump & Valve today at 248-673-2530 for more information or email:

Crane Pumps & Systems Has A New Certification!

Just Announced: NSF61/ANSI 372 Certification for Weinman & Deming Horizontal Split Case pumps Crane Pumps & Systems has just announced the Weinman & Deming Horizontal Split Case pumps, Weinman End Suction pumps (375/575) and Burks...

What is Cavitation and What Causes It

  Cavitation is the formation and collapsing of cavities or bubbles in a liquid mostly developed in the areas which have relatively low pressure around the pump impeller. It occurs in the absence of the net positive suction head the pump....

Learn the Lingo: Glossary of Pump Terminology

Pumps provide an important role in our everyday lives. Where it is bringing us water or taking away waste, keeping pumps functioning is an important part of our daily society. To help you learn the lingo of the pump and repair world, below is a...

Wipes are Clogging Pipes in Macomb County

Macomb County and it's residents are feeling the costly effects that "flushable" wipes are having on maintenance to their wastewater infrastructure. This flyer has been distributed to some of the community's residents to bring...

Costly Clogging Problem Solved by Barnes SH Pumps

Back in 2011 Oak Hill Estates of Holly, MI was experiencing persistent recurring clogging- multiple times a week! The risk of overflowing the station during peak flow times could lead to heavy fines from the EPA. The lift station’s operator,...

New Energy Compliant Products

Crane Pumps & Systems announces its Department of Energy Compliant Products.  The Weinman® 375 / 575 Series End Suction Pumps, Weinman® 310 / 500 (G&K) Series End Suction Pumps, and Burks® GA & GB...

All About Check Valves

Check valves, also known as one-way or non-return valves, are unlike any other type of valve. They are one of the few self-automated valves that do not require any assistance to open or close - they are able to pass fluid in solely one direction on...

All About Check Valves

Check valves, also known as one-way or non-return valves, are unlike any other type of valve. They are one of the few self-automated valves that do not require any assistance to open or close - they are able to pass fluid in solely one direction on...
Page: 123 - All