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Variable Frequency Drive key features

While there are many features associated with variable frequency drives (VFD), the following are the most important.
  • Continuous run current rating. This is the maximum rms current the variable frequency drive can safely handle under all operating conditions at a fixed ambient temperature (usually 40 [degrees] C). Motor ball load sine wave currents must be equal to or less than this rating.
  • Overload current rating. This is an inverse time/current rating that is the maximum current the variable frequency drive can produce for a given time frame. Typical ratings are 110% to 150% overcurrent for 1 min, depending on the manufacturer. Higher current ratings can be obtained by oversizing the variable frequency drive. This rating is very important when sizing the variable frequency drive for the currents needed by the motor for break-away torque.
  • Line voltage. As with any motor controller, an operating voltage must be specified. Variable frequency drives are designed to operate at some nominal voltage such as 240VAC or 480VAC, with an allowable voltage variation of plus or minus 10%. Most motor starters will operate beyond this 10% variation, but variable frequency drives will not and will go into a protective trip. A recorded voltage reading of line power deviations is highly recommended for each application.

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