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Thread: VFD Newbie questions

  1. #11
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    Thanks for the words of wisdom!...

  2. #12
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    So I called the 1-800-# on the VFD's.com website to get some sort of tech support to ask questions about the Mitsubishi VFD.

    The person tells me they don't have any tech support, but I can "schedule" tech support with Mitsubishi for a fee!...

    I asked him about if a customer has an issue with their VFD, or other products, how is it dealt with.... He didn't have an answer.

    Kinda crazy!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sw_ross View Post
    So I called the 1-800-# on the VFD's.com website to get some sort of tech support to ask questions about the Mitsubishi VFD.

    The person tells me they don't have any tech support, but I can "schedule" tech support with Mitsubishi for a fee!...

    I asked him about if a customer has an issue with their VFD, or other products, how is it dealt with.... He didn't have an answer.

    Kinda crazy!
    Sounds like AB just got a sale, or at least closer.
    Tom
    TBLO

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sw_ross View Post
    Have a 3-phase, 208 v, 3 HP motor.

    It is currently setup with typical motor starter/fused disconnect with forward/reverse contacts and thermal OL's.
    A direction selector switch (non-latching) is located on the side of the unit.

    The customer wants to set it up with a VFD to control the speed, minimize the sudden jerk of starting and stopping.

    I don't have first-hand experience. I understand how VFD's work, but have questions about getting it setup to do what the customer wants.

    I plan to leave the existing motor starter box where it's located and mount the VFD in an adjacent box with a nipple between the 2 enclosures.
    Why leave the old box there? No reason for it any more.

    -I'm assuming that I'll by-pass the existing contactors and re-route the conductors (load side of fuses at disconnect). Does a typical VFD perform OL functions, or do I have to continue to use the existing OL's?
    Yes, the VFD will have OL protection for the motor, no need for the old OL heaters. Again, no need for the old starter at all.

    -they want controls mounted to the side of the enclosure that will allow the operator to choose the direction (forward/reverse) of motor and the speed.
    My understanding is that the speed is controlled by some sort of potentiometer, typically does each manufacturer provide a potentiometer for their VFD or are there "universal" potentiometers that I should look at choosing?
    It would be any standard potentiometer, but the resistance value might be different from one brand to another. Most will want a 10kOhm pot, but some are 1kOhm, I've seen others that are looking for a 100kOhm. RTFM (Read The F***** Manual)

    -how does the operator select the motor direction? I.e., what sort of button setup should I be looking for?
    All you need is a selector switch that closes one contact to tell the VFD to run in reverse, the "normal" direction will be Forward. the drive will then swap a phase going to the motor electronically.

    -I'm sure the customer will want a display of some sort that shows which direction is selected before using the potentiometer to operate the button.
    Most VFDs come with a display (or option for a remote one).

    These are all fairly basic functions, I know how to do this with your typical motor starter setup. I just don't have experience with VFD's.

    Thanks for any basic info/answers!
    If you have an AB distributor handy, I would do it with a PowerFlex 523 drive. Simple, robust, has a built-in potentiometer. Local support is the most important factor, especially for newbies.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    Many people are shocked when they discover I am not a good electrician...

  5. #15
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    My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Jraef View Post
    If you have an AB distributor handy, I would do it with a PowerFlex 523 drive. Simple, robust, has a built-in potentiometer. Local support is the most important factor, especially for newbies.
    JR's summary is good.
    Most of my setup experience is with ABB drives. The main thing I have found is the DOCs are horrible are seemingly not written by people who really understand field work. The manuals are like an encyclopedia, cryptic, and very non-intuitive. In working with Tech support, they have been helpful but there are scenarios where things will not work and it takes some persistence. Reading the manual is mind numbing and distasteful.
    There have been at least 2 situations where Tech support either could not answer the problem or I had to figure it out on my own. The guys that have their hands in them every day must have an edge.
    There are bypass stations if you need the redundancy to side step the drive. They are pricey.
    Microwave Radiation Dangers should be openly discussed

  6. #16
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    Problem with tech support whether it be from manufacturer or distributor is that someone that knows the product inside and out, is likely paid too much to be put in a position to answer phones as their primary job, or if they are not paid enough they will be seeking a better paying job. Though in some cases there may have someone better qualified that can be referred to when all the "FAQ's" on a list have been exhausted by someone that can read through those at a lower pay can no longer be of assistance.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sw_ross View Post
    So I called the 1-800-# on the VFD's.com website to get some sort of tech support to ask questions about the Mitsubishi VFD.

    The person tells me they don't have any tech support, but I can "schedule" tech support with Mitsubishi for a fee!...

    I asked him about if a customer has an issue with their VFD, or other products, how is it dealt with.... He didn't have an answer.

    Kinda crazy!
    We didn't often use Mitsubishi VSDs but on one project the customer specified them. They turned out to not as reliable as those we preferred.
    There were about seven drives, the largest of which were 200 kW (268 HP). To comply with supply harmonics limits, these were 12-pulse input units. The two 6-pulse input bridges were connected in series - the only time I've ever it done it that way.

  8. #18
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    AB assistance has always been top notch even at local levels for me, and if you want to pay for company support program, expect and get more.

    We have local SqD & CH non stocking wholesalers with minimal local support. They will get you an answer or give a # to get it yourself.

    OT>
    Personally I do not know how an EC can operate without establishing and maintaining a working relationship with local supply houses. Type of work, done I guess.
    Online is ok if you know what you want and expect minimal support. None at all? Forget it.
    Tom
    TBLO

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptonsparky View Post
    AB assistance has always been top notch even at local levels for me, and if you want to pay for company support program, expect and get more.

    We have local SqD & CH non stocking wholesalers with minimal local support. They will get you an answer or give a # to get it yourself.

    OT>
    Personally I do not know how an EC can operate without establishing and maintaining a working relationship with local supply houses. Type of work, done I guess.
    Online is ok if you know what you want and expect minimal support. None at all? Forget it.
    You are joking .
    This not how we run business. This working relationship is ok if you are a regular customer of Bob's Butcher shop.
    I don't want my better judgment become clouded just because of my relationship with supplier.

  10. #20
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    Our experience indicates a better selection of wire insulation in lieu of THHN/THWN, is XHHW (XLPE). But this experience is limited to 480vac installations.

    Line reactor is a very good suggestion.

    Typical incoming is via a 'line of site' fused safety switch, then the reactor and then the VFD.

    Inverter (VFD) goes in a Nema 4 or 12 cabinet with cooling fan and filter.

    In our area, am seeing the pendulum swing over to AB due to support and supply chain.

    Just did an AB with a couple pots for a big fan, but speed is not adjusted when the machine is operating (on that install). Relay picks up the appropriate pot depending on mode switch.

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