bay power ac drivesAre you looking for ways to expand your product and service offerings and help your customers achieve higher productivity and lower costs for electric motor control? If you are an electrical contractor or maintenance professional, you are probably familiar with variable frequency drives (VFDs) - also known as variable speed drives, VSDs, or inverters.

VFDs improve electrical efficiency by managing the speed and torque needed for a given process. What you may not know is why the VFD market is currently dominated by AC drives, and why that matters for your customers.

The AC drive controls the speed and torque of a motor by altering the frequency to the motor, resulting in a regulated power supply that reduces waste. A common use is for phase conversion, for instance, from single phase to 3-phase, even for many larger integral horsepower motors. The market for these drives is currently estimated at $20.73 billion, and is expected to reach upwards of $27.5 billion by 2023. If you aren’t offering AC drives as part of your product and/or service offerings, you could be missing out on profitable opportunities in this thriving market.

Why AC Drives Matter for You and Your Customers

At its current rate of growth, the AC drive market will account for over 80% of VFD market share by 2020. That’s not surprising considering the diversity of applications and potential for both cost savings and enhanced performance. But why should you consider them for your clients and their electrical projects?

Let’s take a look at the benefits of AC drives for you and your customers.

Performance Benefits

An AC drive uses an electrical frequency inverter to change the frequency of the motor voltage, enabling it to regulate the speed of the motor. This method is more efficient than using a mechanical inverter, and improves performance in several ways:

  • Productivity--AC drives can efficiently handle speed increases of 5-20%. Rather than investing in upgrades to constant-speed equipment, companies can achieve higher production volumes at little to no additional cost with an AC drive.
  • Energy Savings--Using electrical rather than mechanical regulators creates more efficient processes and reduces wasted energy. Changing production volume is straightforward and maintains a power supply that is proportional to the process.
  • Reduce Materials Waste and Noise Emissions--When the motor’s speed matches what is required by the process, you reduce raw materials waste and produce less scrap. AC drives can also reduce ambient noise emissions and vibrations as compared with mechanical inverters.

Cost Benefits

Improved productivity and efficiency also contribute to significant cost savings, including:

  • Maintenance costs -- AC drives enable smooth starting and minimize mechanical vibrations, which reduces the need for maintenance over time.
  • Operations costs -- Energy savings and higher productivity also contribute to lower operations costs, while at the same time enabling more efficient processes and profit increases.
  • Reduced downtime -- As equipment and processes run more efficiently, you will experience reduced downtime to keep motors running at optimal torque and speed for every process.

What Are the Primary Applications?

Electrical technology leader ABB offers a wide range of AC drives designed to work with a variety of electrical motor applications. The drives can be configured to your specifications across multiple applications including pump, fan, and constant torque use for many industries, including:

  • Chemical
  • Food/Beverage
  • Power plants
  • Machine shops
  • Plastics
  • Textiles
  • HVAC
  • Water treatment

Call us today for questions on VFDs and AC Drives!

At Bay Power, we offer top quality AC drives from ABB that include standard features such as swinging choke, EMC filter and control panel. We are an authorized ABB drive distributor and we work directly with ABB to find the right product for your clients and their projects. We also test all of our drives with full load at the factory to make sure you always receive the highest quality product.

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About ABB

With over 130 years of history, it’s safe to say ABB knows a thing or two about electrical hardware. By creating innovative, practical and efficient electrical solutions across all sectors, ABB has become a global leader in the industry. ABB has always been at the forefront of technological advancements thanks to their corporate research center and their commitment to sustainability and efficiency. They are experts in the fields of power generation, distribution, transmission, automation, and much more.

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