Most Common VFD Retrofit Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Posted on 28th Nov 2023

Micro Drive - MATRIX 180 Solar VFD

Retrofitting Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) can be a cost-effective way to improve the efficiency and performance of motor-driven systems. However, there are common mistakes that people may make during the retrofitting process. Darwin Motion - VFD & Servo Drive Manufacturer share some of those mistakes and tips on how to avoid them:

Incorrect Sizing of VFD:

Mistake: Selecting a VFD that is too small for the motor.

Avoidance: Ensure that the VFD is properly sized based on the motor's horsepower and load requirements. Consider factors like starting current and torque requirements.

Inadequate Cooling:

Mistake: Poor ventilation or improper cooling of the VFD.

Avoidance: Follow manufacturer guidelines for installation and cooling. Ensure that the VFD is mounted in a location with adequate ventilation, and consider adding additional cooling if necessary.

Improper Wiring:

Mistake: Incorrect wiring of the VFD.

Avoidance: Follow the manufacturer's wiring diagram and guidelines meticulously. Pay attention to proper grounding and ensure that the wiring is suitable for the application.

Ignoring Harmonics:

Mistake: Neglecting the impact of harmonics on the power system.

Avoidance: Use line reactors or harmonic filters as recommended by the VFD manufacturer to mitigate harmonics. Consider consulting with a power quality expert if needed.

Lack of Motor Protection:

Mistake: Failing to provide adequate motor protection.

Avoidance: Include motor protection devices such as overload relays and temperature sensors. Set up the VFD's parameters to provide optimal motor protection.

Incorrect Programming:

Mistake: Improperly configuring the VFD parameters.

Avoidance: Carefully review the VFD manual and programming guidelines. Input the correct motor data and adjust other parameters according to the specific application.

Neglecting Power Quality:

Mistake: Ignoring power quality issues in the electrical system.
Avoidance: Assess the power quality at the installation site. Address issues such as voltage sags, surges, and transient voltages. Install surge protection devices if necessary.

Overlooking Maintenance:

Mistake: Neglecting regular maintenance of the VFD.

Avoidance: Establish a maintenance schedule as recommended by the manufacturer. Regularly check for loose connections, clean the cooling system, and inspect the overall condition of the VFD.

Ignoring Safety Procedures:

Mistake: Disregarding safety protocols during installation and maintenance.

Avoidance: Adhere to all safety guidelines outlined in the VFD manual and relevant safety standards. Ensure that personnel involved in installation and maintenance are trained and aware of safety procedures.

Failure to Consult Experts:

Mistake: Attempting the retrofit without consulting experts.

Avoidance: If you are not experienced in VFD retrofits, seek advice from manufacturers, engineering consultants, or specialists who have expertise in VFD applications.

By avoiding these common mistakes and following best practices, you can increase the likelihood of a successful VFD retrofit that enhances system performance and efficiency.

You can check out Darwin Motion best Vfds Micro Drive- Matrix 900, DR Matrix 350 / Solar Drive, High Frequency Drive - DR Matrix 500, High Performance Drive - DR Matrix 680, Regenerative Drive - DR Matrix 880