Mastering Variable Frequency Drives

Thursday, December 13, 2018 · 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CST
Embassy Suites, Lombard, IL
Cost: $49

Mastering Variable Frequency Drives

Variable frequency drives (VFDs) can be a cost-effective solution to reduce energy use and achieve process control in motor-driven equipment. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of VFDs and where they make operational, energy-efficient and economic sense. We’ll discuss the theory of VFD operation and look at practical applications and installations of VFDs. You will understand where variable frequency drives are used and how they compare to other historical methods used to vary motor speed.

Participants will review the NEMA Drives Application and Installation Guide to understand how to ensure a successful drive installation for clients. Finally, we’ll review economic evaluations, including breakeven and payback calculations, for drives in pumping and non-pumping applications. This review will provide participants an understanding of the potential energy savings when using a drive to control the speed of operation and pump flow versus historical use of valves and other control methods.


Please note that in order to receive continuing education credits, you must be present for the entire training; partial credit cannot be given.

AFE This program supports a topic within the body of knowledge outlined by the Association for Facilities Engineering CPE/CPMM/CPS Certification Programs, and should count as 0.65 CEUs (6.5 hours) toward re-certification.

AIA Members of the American Institute of Architects will receive 6.5 LUs for this instructor-led face-to-face course.

BOC This course offers up to 6.5 points for BOC certified operators.

BOMI This course is approved for 6.5 continuing professional development points toward renewal of the professional designations offered by BOMI International.

This course will not be pre-approved for GBCI credits; however, if you believe the content is applicable to your credential, you can self-report credits.

After this event, you will be able to:

  • Describe the basic operational principles of variable frequency drives.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using variable frequency drives.
  • Compare the operational differences of variable frequency drive types.
  • Calculate the potential energy savings of using a variable frequency drive in different types of applications including fixed torque applications.

Who should attend?
ComEd Energy Efficiency Service Providers, engineers, energy managers, facility managers, power service planners, contractors, manufacturers, building owners, and anyone interested in achieving process control in motor-driven equipment.

8:00 a.m.: Registration and continental breakfast
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.: Program (lunch, breaks included)

The registration fee for attending this training is $49, which includes continental breakfast and lunch.

General information
Site information will be sent with your enrollment confirmation. If you have any special needs (e.g., dietary, physical), please let us know at the time of registration. All requests will be kept confidential.

Photo and video rights
We reserve the right to use photographs taken during the event for promotional purposes. Also, this program may be videotaped for future publication.

Introduction and course overview

  • Why variable frequency drives (VFDs) are a key issue; common applications
  • Other types of variable speed drives (belts, gears, eddy current clutches, etc.)

Advantages of VFDs

  • Energy savings and efficiency of motor operations
  • Reduced voltage starting and lower inrush current
  • Improved process control
  • Lower system maintenance and multi-motor operation
  • Provide phase conversion when 3 phase power is not available

Disadvantages of VFDs

  • Initial cost
  • Complexity of VFD for motor operation and troubleshooting
  • Motor bearing and winding considerations
  • Power quality; input and output harmonic distortion

VFD fan and pump applications (variable torque loads)

  • How fan and pump applications differ
  • Fan and pump curves: importance for drives
  • System efficiency vs. component efficiency
  • Comparing other fan and pump energy savings technologies/strategies to VFDs

Calculating example energy savings

  • Where fan and pump energy savings come from
  • VFD fan and pump energy savings resources, data and calculations (e.g.: energy savings, payback, ROI, life expectancy)

Types of VFD technologies

  • Variable voltage variable frequency (VVVF)
  • Newer VFDs; flux vector drives
  • Cost vs. energy efficiency vs. process control needs
  • DC drives

VFD application, sizing and purchase considerations

  • NEMA VFD application standard
  • Sizing criteria: operational performance vs. efficiency vs. cost
  • VFD motor issues: general and special purpose, bearings and insulation types
  • Frequent tripping sources and common solutions
  • Power quality considerations: importance of chokes, reactors or filters
  • Drive pulse number and impact on power quality, performance and cost
Embassy Suites
707 East Butterfield Rd.
Lombard , IL