A frequency converter, which is also popularly known as a variable frequency drive is an electric device that is used to change the current from one frequency to another. But what remains the same before and after the conversion is the frequency of the voltage. Frequency converters are in essence used for regulating speeds in motors that are used to drive fans and pumps.
To understand a frequency converter, we take an example of a car that is trying to maintain its speed on the road by slightly stepping on the accelerator. Instead of causing a faster acceleration, then braking suddenly. Frequency converters do exactly that with various kinds of electrical motors.
The following example shows how a frequency converter works. A fan is fed with an electric current of 400 VAC, 50Hz, and the van can rotate at a certain speed. Then there is a need to make the fan go faster, and a frequency converter is used to scale up the frequency of the fan to 70 HZ. Also, if needed, the frequency can be reduced to 40HZ if the fan runs slower.
In scenarios where variable speed controls are required, built-in frequency converters are used. Some brands of fans have external VFD which works with the standard or conventional pumps in a wide range of applications. This makes it easier to have a fan that rotates at various frequencies without a lot of manual input.
Over the years, this technology has been applied in manufacturing, technology, and in any field where motors are used. Remember that by using frequency regulators, you can match the exact speed that you need instead of just using the full speed of the fan, and this helps to ensure that energy wastage is reduced. This also ensures that you have complete control over the system that you are using.
Also, variable frequency drives have been used in lifts, and specifically to control the speed of the hoist. Anytime you are inside a lift, it will start to lift and stop gently. This is purely the work of a frequency converter.
Conveyor systems also use the same technology to function. The benefit is that the speed at which the conveyors rotate can be restricted to whatever is required by the process or the application. This provides engineers with some control. Especially when making different ratio motors to run at the same time. This is beneficial especially when the people in production want to use the conveyor system for a process that requires a slower speed.
With the same gearbox and motor, you can increase or reduce the speed at which a machine operates.
In a conveyor system, you can change the direction in which rotation occurs. You can achieve this by changing some inputs or changing a given parameter.
By using a frequency converter, you can set the torque limits which can stop the machine quickly.