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Variable Frequency Drive

Variable Frequency Drive

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Published by: NAYEEM on Feb 11, 2010
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04/27/2011

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VARIABLE FREQUENCYDRIVE
OPERATION AND APPLICATION OFVARIABLE FREQUENCYDRIVE (VFD)TECHNOLOGY
Carrier CorporationSyracuse,New YorkOctober 2005
 
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2Common VFD TermsVFD OPERATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3BENEFITS OF VFD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4VFD Capacity Control Saves Energy . . . . . . . . . .4Low Inrush Motor Starting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5Easy Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5High Power Factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5Low Full Load KVA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6HARMONIC DISTORTION ANDINDUSTRYSTANDARDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6Harmonic Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6What Causes Harmonics? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7Rocks and Ponds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7Are Harmonics Harmful? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7Understanding IEEE 519 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7Introduction to Harmonic Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8Mitigating Harmonics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
TABLE OFCONTENTSINTRODUCTION
Variable frequency drive (VFD) usage has increaseddramatically in HVAC applications. The VFDs arenow commonly applied to air handlers, pumps,chillers and tower fans. Abetter understanding of VFDs will lead to improved application and selec-tion of both equipment and HVAC systems. This paper is intended to provide a basic understandingof common VFD terms, VFD operation, and VFD benefits. In addition this paper will discuss some basic application guidelines regarding harmonic dis-tortion with respect to industry standards.
Common VFD Terms
There are several terms used to describe devices thatcontrol speed. While the acronyms are often usedinterchangeably, the terms have different meanings.
Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)
This device uses power electronics to vary the fre-quency of input power to the motor, thereby con-trolling motor speed.
Variable Speed Drive (VSD)
This more generic term applies to devices that con-trol the speed of either the motor or the equipmentdriven by the motor (fan, pump, compressor, etc.).This device can be either electronic or mechanical.
 Adjustable Speed Drive (ASD)
Again, a more generic term applying to bothmechanical and electrical means of controllingspeed.This paper will discuss only VFDs.
2
 
VFD OPERATION
Understanding the basic principles behind VFDoperation requires understanding the three basicsections of the VFD: the rectifier, dc bus, andinverter.The voltage on an alternating current (ac) power supply rises and falls in the pattern of a sine wave(see Figure 1). When the voltage is positive, currentflows in one direction; when the voltage is negative,the current flows in the opposite direction. This typeof power system enables large amounts of energy to be efficiently transmitted over great distances.The
rectifier
in a VFD is used to convert incomingac power into direct current (dc) power. One rectifi-er will allow power to pass through only when thevoltage is positive. Asecond rectifier will allow power to pass through only when the voltage is neg-ative. Two rectifiers are required for each phase of  power. Since most large power supplies are three phase, there will be a minimum of 6 rectifiers used(see Figure 2). Appropriately, the term “
6 pulse
” isused to describe a drive with 6 rectifiers. AVFDmay have multiple rectifier sections, with 6 recti-fiers per section, enabling a VFD to be “
12 pulse,
18 pulse
,” or “
24 pulse.
” The benefit of “
multi- pulse
” VFDs will be described later in the harmon-ics section.Rectifiers may utilize diodes, silicon controlled rec-tifiers (SCR), or transistors to rectify power. Diodesare the simplest device and allow power to flow anytime voltage is of the proper polarity. Silicon con-trolled rectifiers include a gate circuit that enables amicroprocessor to control when the power may begin to flow, making this type of rectifier useful for solid-state starters as well. Transistors include a gatecircuit that enables a microprocessor to open or close at any time, making the transistor the mostuseful device of the three. AVFD using transistorsin the rectifier section is said to have an “
activefront end.
After the power flows through the rectifiers it isstored on a
dc bus
. The dc bus contains capacitorsto accept power from the rectifier, store it, and later deliver that power through the inverter section. Thedc bus may also contain inductors, dc links, chokes,or similar items that add inductance, therebysmoothing the incoming power supply to the dc bus.The final section of the VFD is referred to as an
inverter.
” The inverter contains transistors thatdeliver power to the motor. The “
Insulated GateBipolarTransistor
” (IGBT) is a common choice inmodern VFDs. The IGBTcan switch on and off sev-eral thousand times per second and precisely controlthe power delivered to the motor. The IGBTuses amethod named “
pulse width modulation
” (PWM)to simulate a current sine wave at the desired fre-quency to the motor.Motor speed (rpm) is dependent upon frequency.Varying the frequency output of the VFD controlsmotor speed:Speed (rpm) = frequency (hertz) x 120 / no. of poles
Example:
2-pole motor at different frequencies3600 rpm = 60 hertz x 120 / 2 = 3600 rpm3000 rpm = 50 hertz x 120 / 2 = 3000 rpm2400 rpm = 40 hertz x 120 / 2 = 2400 rpm
3
 Fig. 1. ACsine wave Fig. 2. VFDbasics: Existing technology
AC sine wave
-2-1012
0 90 180 270 360

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