Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) can extend the life of your motors, but how can you extend the life of your VFD? The most expertly specified VFD is only as useful as its operational reliability. This guide reviews variable frequency drives basics of care to ensure long-term productivity and cost-effectiveness.
Spring Cleaning Your VFD
It’s an obvious and straightforward way to maintain your VFD, but also the easiest to ignore. Even if you specified the correct enclosure ratings to protect the equipment, vents can invite dust and other airborne particles. Not only can dust clog fans and heat sinks, it can also combine with moisture to trap dampness in the enclosure and create corrosive grime.
To get rid of dust and dirt before it eats into the controls, use a vacuum – NOT compressed air! Using compressed air can grind particles deeper into the crevices of your VFD, exacerbating the risk of degradation. At this stage, check for signs of condensation or moisture that may indicate a malfunctioning panel or complications with the VFD’s location.
Check Components and Take Measurements
While inspecting your VFD, check the connections for looseness or signs of distress. Overtightened screws or a high vibration environment can compromise or loosen wires.
Fans can also be obstructed by foreign objects, dust, or grime – which can cause serious issues like overheating. Regularly replacing or washing enclosure filters can help prevent build-up and component failure.
Finally, measure your VFD’s operating voltage once the enclosure and components are clean and the connections are secure. DC bus capacitors may cause erratic DC bus measurements if the capacitor has been damaged or degraded. Fluctuating AC voltage on the DC bus may also indicate capacitor failure.
As with any components of a VFD, routine preventative maintenance can prevent corrosion, degradation, or part failures.
Choosing an Electrical Control Partner
VFDs are an excellent tool for controlling the speed and torque of drives for many drive applications. If you’re seeking an electrical control partner for drive solutions, Premier Automation can modernize your equipment and system for cutting edge efficiency. With a broad portfolio of automation solutions, our team can find innovative answers for your toughest automation questions.