Everything you want to know about frequency converters

Published on 22 May 2022 Reading time : 7 Minutes

A frequency converter (frequency converter) or also called drive in the field, is a type of motor controller that an electric motor drives by changing the frequency of a supplied power supply while the voltage varies with it so that the torque is maintained. In addition, the frequency converter can also control the motor starting and stopping continuously during starting and stopping.

Usually AC drives are used to control the speed of a motor by changing the frequency of the rotating field. The term speed control is often used here because it ultimately ensures an adjustment of the engine speed.

There are many application possibilities of frequency inverters. There are drives for small drives such as a conveyor belt of several hundred watts. But also large drives of, for example, underwater motors of 6 megawatts. It doesn’t stop there, because agitators, water transport at water boards, extruders, cranes, fans and electric vehicles also use drives for the food industry. Small frequency inverters are used for light drives and mounted in the wall. With heavy drives, the drives are built in control cabinets.


Why a frequency converter?

A frequency converter has many reasons why you should apply it. For starters, it lowers the inrush current. When using the drive, the motor inrush current will not exceed 1.5 times the rated motor current.

In addition, it reduces maintenance costs for an installation. Example: To eliminate pressure surges in a water drainage installation, use a frequency converter to ensure that the pressure gradually enters the pipe network. This reduces repair costs due to cracked pipes. (Example of pressure surges: if you fully open and close a tap in 1 go, you sometimes hear the pipes “clap”, those are the pressure surges.)

Furthermore, a drive can also increase production by increasing the speed of an engine. This allows the speed of, for example, a fan or conveyor belt to be increased without mechanical adjustments. Production therefore does not have to be stopped with a controller, without a drive this has to be done to adjust the gear ratio.

A drive can also save energy. When an electric motor runs faster than is actually necessary, it also consumes more energy. Particularly in pump and ventilation systems, a lot of energy is saved if the motor speed is adapted to the needs of the systems. Throttle valves are therefore no longer necessary because the flow is regulated by the frequency controller, which ultimately leads to energy savings. A frequency converter regularly saves as much as 40% on electricity or fuel.

Finally, material is also saved, in particular the saving of raw materials. A dosing installation can set the speed of the dosing screw to fine adjustment just before the correct amount has been reached. This accuracy of dosing leads to a saving of raw materials, for example.

The 10 reasons to use a frequency converter

  1. System efficiency is improved and energy is saved
  2. The power is converted into hybrid applications
  3. The motor speed is adapted to the process conditions
  4. The power or torque of an electric motor is adapted to the process conditions
  5. The organizational climate is improved
  6. Sound levels of, for example, pumps and fans are reduced
  7. The load on machines is reduced so that the service life is extended
  8. How various applications work with electric motors to be improved
  9. Energy is generated efficiently and energy consumption is limited
  10. Large taxes are equalized to avoid peak rates




What are the advantages of the Siemens Sinamics series?

The 6 advantages of the Siemens SINAMICS series:
1. Versatility
2. Digitalization
3. Engineering
4. Safety Integrated
5. System solutions
6. Services

The user-friendly and scalable Siemens Sinamics series frequency inverter brings many advantages. Firstly, it gives performance and functionality to the need and thus is really versatile. From low voltage and medium voltage regulators to direct voltage regulators. This drive offers future-proof and turnkey solutions for all applications.

Second, it has higher productivity and is forward-looking. An important step towards digitized data analysis is digital extended drive components. Digitization offers new dimensions to realize in availability, productivity and efficiency. Valuable insights are provided by analyzing the control data.

A third advantage is that the frequency converter is easy to use for engineers. The tasks are easy to select, parameterize and integrate. It couldn’t be simpler than this.

The fourth advantage is that the drive has maximum safety for operating and maintenance personnel. These are already integrated in the frequency converters. This also gives benefits such as short response times, less wiring and profitability.

Fifth, the SINAMICS controllers fit seamlessly on SIMOTIC motors and SIMOGEAR gear units and thus interact perfectly with each other. This saves you time, money and gives you a sustainable lead in the market. In addition, it has reliable and fast communication via PROFINET.

What are the advantages of the Schneider Electric Altivar series?

The 4 advantages of the Schneider Electric Altivar series:
1. Machine Safety
2. Versatile products
3. Efficient performance
4. Long life

Firstly, the low voltage AC drives provide machine safety. This is due to proper motor control and accurate speed control in any situation. Secondly, the range consists of many different products for electrically controlling small and easy machines, but also for large advanced machines. Third, the Schneider Electric Altivar is made to perform as efficiently as possible at the highest level of quality. Finally, fans, pumps and conveyors can be started gradually without causing overload. This is very important and protects the machines which ensures a longer life.

Click here to watch the video See where the Schneider Electric Altivar series is used in an industrial drive.



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