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Variable Frequency Drives can save you money!


           What’s a VFD and why should I care?

Like a lighting dimmer switch, a variable frequency drive or VFD is a device that lets you control the speed of an electric motor.  Rather than always running a fan or pump at its top speed, a VFD (with automation) allows the motor to slow down in proper response to a building’s need. This saves energy!

How do I know if VFDs make sense for my application?

An engineering review should be done to evaluate specific applications.  In general, fans

with inlet vane controls or piping systems with by-pass valves are often candidates for VFDs. 

In such cases, the existing building system is already trying to control flow – VFDs will do a

better job.


How much money are we talking about?


For example, a typical 25-hp compartment unit fan can waste $3,500 (or more) annually by

running faster than needed.  (To say nothing about premature wear and tear). Using a VFD

would avoid this waste.  Assuming an engineered and installed budget of $10,000, such a

job would provide a 2.9 year payback!   (please note: specific costs will fluctuate with site conditions)


Sounds simple.  Is that all?

 No.  Introducing VFDs shouldn’t be done without due diligence.  This would include an assessment of a building’s existing electrical condition, including harmonics, phase balance and general power quality.

Well, I’m interested in saving money.  What should I do?

As a first step, contact PLATEK SERVICES INCORPORATED, your energy management partner.  We’ll sit down with you and discuss your particular needs.  If VFDs make sense for your site, we can evaluate your savings potential and develop a budget with a payback projection.  Contact us today!

For additional information on VFDs, follow these links:

  1. http://hvacity.danfoss.com/

  2. http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/Publications/infosource/Pub/ici/eii/M92-242-2002-11E.cfm



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