Why we must care Harmonics and VFDs

Posted on 1st Dec 2023

Darwin Motion Drive Matrix 680

According to Darwin Motion - VFD & Servo Drive Manufacturer, Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) can introduce harmonic distortions into electrical systems, and it's important to understand and address these harmonics for several reasons:

Power Quality:

Harmonics can affect the overall power quality of an electrical system. Excessive harmonics can lead to voltage distortion and create problems for other equipment connected to the same power supply.

Efficiency and Energy Consumption:

Harmonics can result in increased energy losses within the electrical system. This can reduce the overall efficiency of the system and lead to higher energy costs.

Equipment Damage and Overheating:

Harmonics can cause overheating in both the VFD and other connected equipment. Transformers, capacitors, and other power distribution components may be particularly sensitive to harmonics, leading to premature failure.

Motor Issues:

Harmonics generated by VFDs can have adverse effects on the connected motors. These effects include increased motor heating, additional losses, and potential insulation breakdown. These issues can reduce the lifespan of the motor and increase maintenance costs.

Compliance with Standards:

Many countries and regions have standards and regulations related to harmonics. Ensuring compliance is essential to avoid penalties and to maintain a safe and reliable electrical system.

Mitigation Strategies:

Understanding harmonics allows for the implementation of mitigation strategies. Common methods include the use of harmonic filters, reactors, and other passive or active devices that can reduce harmonic content and maintain power quality.

Interference with Sensitive Equipment:

Harmonics can interfere with the operation of sensitive electronic equipment and communication systems connected to the same power system. This interference can lead to malfunctions and data corruption.

System Reliability:

Unaddressed harmonics can lead to increased downtime and maintenance costs, reducing the overall reliability of the electrical system.

To address harmonics associated with VFDs, consider the following:

Harmonic Filters: Install harmonic filters to reduce harmonic content and improve power quality.

Proper Sizing of VFDs: Select VFDs that are appropriately sized for the application to minimize the potential for harmonic issues.

Isolation Transformers: Use isolation transformers to protect sensitive equipment from harmonics.

Compliance with Standards: Ensure that the VFD installation complies with relevant standards and regulations regarding harmonics.

In summary, caring about harmonics when using Darwin Motion VFD such as 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 which is crucial for maintaining a reliable and efficient electrical system. It involves understanding the potential issues associated with harmonics, implementing mitigation strategies, and complying with relevant standards to ensure the long-term performance of the equipment and the overall power distribution system.