Save Money with Toshiba Variable-Frequency Drives

What is a variable-frequency drive?

A variable-frequency drive (VFD) is a device that controls the voltage and frequency supplied to a motor and thus controls the speed of the motor and the system it is driving. A VFD is capable of adjusting both the speed and torque of an induction motor, providing continuous range process speed control (as compared to the discrete speed control that gearboxes or multi-speed motors provide).

VFDs are also known by a variety of other names, such as variable-speed drives, adjustable-speed drives, or inverters.

Toshiba low-voltage motors and VFDs

Variable-frequency drive applications

VFDs have a tremendous range of commercial and industrial applications, from small appliances to large compressors, and come in a range of voltages and with a diversity of functions and features. The fields are almost limitless and include manufacturing, processing, agriculture, mining, the wastewater and nuclear energy sectors. VFDs are used anywhere equipment like conveyors, fans and pumps and more need to be turned on.

Building heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are ideally suited to VFDs as they are designed to operate at the peak load, which only occurs over a very short period of time throughout the year.

Variable-frequency drive benefits

In a VFD-equipped system the VFD adjusts the speed of one or more motors based on the system load requirements and operation schedule, resulting in:

  • Reduced maintenance and downtime
  • Reduced ambient noise
  • Extension of useful equipment life, such as of bearings, and lowering of stress and metal fatigue in drivetrain shafts
  • Higher power factors: VFDs can enhance a system’s power factor, which means using more of the energy supplied in a productive way. Variable speeds also protect against excess current draw and allow motors to be brought up to speed gradually, avoiding peaks—and peak-demand charges.

Other savings lie in less direct factors. If a VFD does not have a transformer, size and weight can be reduced, which means less heat and need for air conditioners. What’s more, some VFDs regenerate energy, which can be used in the system or sold to the utility.

Variable-frequency drives in the industrial internet of things (IIoT)

Toshiba VFD:  AS3 IIoT & Industry 4.0

The IIoT is a growing influence in industrial operations. It benefits from the addition of VFDs in several ways, such as:

  • Remote access: Projects and equipment can be monitored from anywhere.
  • Multiple access points: Accessing data and programs from multiple interfaces promotes smooth operation of shift changes, duty sharing, and team operations.
  • Real-time monitoring: Internet-connected devices provide up-to-the-minute data at all times.
  • Predictive maintenance: IIoT, when combined with artificial intelligence, can monitor operational irregularities with motors or VFDs, and can predict when maintenance needs to occur or equipment is going to fail.

The use of IIoT-enhanced VFDs allows operations to reduce energy use and lower emissions. As the price of energy and the cost of emitting carbon increases, as is inevitable in jurisdictions like Ontario, adoption of VFDs will continue to rise—for both economic and environmental reasons. 

Contact us to Learn More about Toshiba VFD and Motors

Toshont Power Products is a Toshiba VFD expert, providing full VFD field service, commissioning and application support. We are also Toshiba motor experts and encourage you to package Toshiba VFDs and motors for extended benefits.

Contact us to learn more about Toshiba variable-frequency drives and motors and receive our professional support throughout the purchase process.

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