You know how sometimes you can hear a phrase for a while and not really know what it means? You nod along as everyone talks, but in the back of your mind, you hope nobody asks a direct question. That can happen to even the most seasoned crane operators when it comes to discussing a variable frequency drive.
Sometimes called a VFD for short, the market for these drives is expected to continue to climb to over 24 billion by 2021. These drives are often found in cranes and hoists, so a quick refresher on what they are and why they work well is time well spent.
The Nuts and Bolts of a Variable Frequency Drive
A simple analogy for what a VFD motor does is to picture a harness or bridle on a horse. The horse is your electric motor, and the harness is your VFD. Sometimes, it’s okay for your horse to run at full speed. Other times, you want to hold him back a little.
There is, of course, a place where every analogy breaks down, but hopefully, you get the idea. A VFD gives you the option to control the current of electricity going to your motor. If the motor can run without a full allotment, then a variable frequency controller may help.
5 Benefits of a VFD
Now that you have a basic picture of how it works let’s look at some of the benefits that come from one of these VFD drives.
It allows for a slow or measured ignition. Not all electric motors need a full jolt to get started. A VFD measures the actual output needed at ignition and provides only the amount needed to start.
Energy savings = cost savings. The overall reduction in energy doesn’t stop after the initial startup. A VFD drive saves energy while controlling all of the functions and output of the motor.
Smooth take-off. Instead of a jolt as the full force of electricity is sent to your motor, a VFD allows for a smooth release of power. This allows the motor to “ramp up” as needed and saves wear and tear that occurs when a motor gets repeatedly battered with the full force.
Smooth landing. Equally important to an engine being able to ramp up is the reverse. A smooth deceleration saves on wear and tear in the same way as a smooth acceleration.
Longer life. One of the main benefits of a VFD is, it grants your motor longer life. Less wear and tear on a motor is always something to strive for so the use of a VFD drive makes sense for your crane or hoist as well.
Know Your Equipment
Now that you’ve had a brief refresher on what a variable frequency drive is and some of the benefits, you will be ready for the next time it comes up in conversation.
If you are a crane operator, the benefits of knowing more about your equipment and how it works far outweighs being able to talk about it with your coworkers. If you still have questions, contact us today for more information.