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Innovative Thinking

The Key Differences between AC and DC Drives

Key Differences AC and DC Drives

While AC and DC drives each have specific uses, which is best for your project? In order to make this decision, one must first understand the benefits of each type of drive. Today AC drives are used much more frequent because of the precision that can be obtained from driving motors with them. Should you be looking for raw power, DC is the best choice. Let's review the advantages and most common uses for each drive to understand how to identify drive solutions for your application.

Some common uses for DC drives are:

  •         Cranes/hoists
  •         Cooling Blowers
  •         Mining
  •         Extruders
  •         Wire drawing

When a DC drive needs replaced, it can be replaced, or it could be up updated and converted to an AC drive if it is more efficient. When switching to an AC drive, additional components are necessary in making the conversion. Even though more work is required to convert an existing DC system to AC, this transition can be completed smoothly by our team at Premier Automation.

This conversion would require a new motor, and all new wiring that connects the drive to the motor. Should you stick with a DC drive, it can be inserted right into the existing system with ease. Additionally, DC drives alone are less expensive than AC drive systems of similar sizes. When updating the drives in a system, your energy savings can increase because modern drives are much more efficient than older drives.

DC drives may be better for powering general machinery, but when it comes to precision and or maintenance, AC drives are better suited for your project. Because AC drives do not require much maintenance, they can be placed in smaller locations where they will not need to be accessible. In locations where there is a wet, explosive, or corrosive environment, additional shielding for the drives will be needed, but will be fairly inexpensive.

Additional Bonuses of AC Drives:

  •         Process Control
  •         Reducing stress on the system
  •         Energy Savings

Unlike a DC drive, AC drives can easily control its output to match its need. This means that it can smoothly transition through changes in its operation. AC drives require less start-up current which means its protective systems such as fuses and supply connections don’t need to be as large. Using AC drives can result in energy savings that are from 20-50% of DC drives.

Premier offers a wide variety of simple and effective solutions to most automation projects; our System Integrators can help you appraise your plant’s productivity and find automation solutions for your unique applications. Premier Automation was ranked #25 nationally as a System Integrator Giant on a list of the most innovative system integrators in the United States.

Our team of 30 engineers works relentlessly to create a fully integrated automation environment for our customers to ensure better reliability, higher quality, and total production visibility. If you’re seeking a partner for your next automation or controls project, contact one of our experienced engineers to schedule a free on-site visit:

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