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VFD Theory
Craig Hartman, P.E.

Specializing in Motors, Drives, Generators, and Electrical Asset Management

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When was the microprocessor


invented?
a) 1969
b) 1942
c) 1921
d) 1977
Intel 4004, the first general-purpose,
commercial microprocessor

Specializing in Motors, Drives, Generators, and Electrical Asset Management

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Answer: a - 1969
The microprocessor was invented by Ted Hoff, at Intel, for Busicom, a
Japanese calculator manufacturer. It was first advertised in November of
1971 and cost thousands of dollars. It is fascinating to note that the first
manned landing on the moon was also in 1969. Apollo 11 launched from
Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969. Neil Armstrong became the
first man to walk on the moon, stepping on its surface on July 20th.
Twelve people have landed on the moon.

Specializing in Motors, Drives, Generators, and Electrical Asset Management

ENIAC
Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer

The first Turing-complete


general-purpose electronic
computer built to calculate
artillery firing tables for the
US Armys Ballistic Research
Lab. It was a classified
military project known as
Project PX. Completed on
Feb 14, 1946, it utilized
17,468 vacuum tubes, 7,200
crystal diodes, 1,500 relays,
70,000 resistors, 10,000
capacitors, and 5 million
hand soldered joints. It
weighed 30 tons, occupied
1800 square feet of floor
space, and used 160kW of
electricity. It was also used
in the development of the
hydrogen bomb.

VFD Theory: 4

The First Super-Computer Hard Drive

In September, 1956, IBM launched the 305


RAMAC, the first Super-Computer with a hard
disk drive (HDD). The HDD weighed over a ton
and stored a whopping 5MB of data. This
photo shows the portable version.
By comparison, a 16GB flash drive holds about
3200 times as much data.

VFD Theory: 5

How to identify a meth lab

VFD Theory: 6

6-pulse Converter
AC to DC
Converter

480 V

A
B
C

VFD Theory: 7

Add DC bus
AC to DC
Converter

DC
Bus

+650Vdc

480 V

A
B
C

+
0Vdc

VFD Theory: 8

Pre-Charge Circuit

A
B
C

+
-

On power-up, the capacitor charges through the pre-charge


resistor. Once the dc bus reaches rated voltage, the
contactor (or transistor) bypasses the resistor.

VFD Theory: 9

Add Inverter
AC to DC
Converter

DC
Bus

+650Vdc

DC to AC
Inverter

480 V

A
B
C

+
-

0Vdc

VFD Theory: 10

PWM Output to Motor


650V
480 V
60 Hz

VFD Theory: 11

PWM Output to Motor


650V
480 V
60 Hz

650V
240 V
30 Hz

VFD Theory: 12

PWM Output to Motor


650V
480 V
60 Hz

650V
240 V
30 Hz

650V
80 V
10 Hz

VFD Theory: 13

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PWM
Waveforms

Specializing in Motors, Drives, Generators, and Electrical Asset Management

Pulse Width Modulation


(Pseudo Sine Wave)

Carrier Frequency = 1kHz


Light Load

VFD Theory: 15

Pulse Width Modulation

Carrier Frequency = 1kHz


Light Load

Carrier Frequency = 1kHz


Full Load

VFD Theory: 16

Pulse Width Modulation

Carrier Frequency = 5kHz


Light Load

Carrier Frequency = 5kHz


Full Load

VFD Theory: 17

Pulse Width Modulation

Carrier Frequency = 10kHz


Light Load

Carrier Frequency = 10kHz


Full Load

VFD Theory: 18

PWM frequency

Advantages of high carrier


frequency

Lower acoustic noise level

VFD Theory: 19

PWM frequency

Disadvantages of high carrier frequency

Advantages of high carrier


frequency

Lower acoustic noise level

Lower VFD efficiency


Increased VFD heating
Shortens VFD life
Increased motor heating
Higher overshoot peak voltages
Harder on motor insulation
Exacerbates peak voltage concerns
Increased radiated electro-magnetic noise
Increased ground leakage currents in motor
cable and motor capacitances

VFD Theory: 20

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VFD
Construction

Specializing in Motors, Drives, Generators, and Electrical Asset Management

VFD Internals
Cooling Fan
AC to DC Inverter
(2 transistors per module)

Heat Sink

DC Bus
Capacitors
DC Bus

AC to DC Converter
(2 diodes per module)

AC Power Input

Variable Frequency Drive


circa 1980s

Power Output
to Motor

VFD Theory: 22

VFD Internals
Transistor
Snubber

Control
Board

Capacitor
discharge
resistors

Variable Frequency Drive


circa 1980s

Capacitor
pre-charge
circuit

VFD Theory: 23

VFD
No Harmonic Mitigation

AC to DC
Converter

Filter

DC Filter
Capacitor

TH

DC to AC
Inverter

Free-wheeling
diodes

VFD Theory: 24

Internals

USB programming port


Serial Comms
RS485
Modbus RTU
Option Slots (3))

Variable Frequency Drive


circa 2010s

VFD Theory: 25

VFD
(with line reactor)

6-Pulse
VFD

Line
Reactor

3-Contactor
Bypass

VFD Theory: 26

VFD
(2-reactor harmonic filter)
6-Pulse
VFD
Harmonic Filter
Capacitor
Harmonic Filter
Reactors

3-Contactor
Bypass

VFD Theory: 27

VFD

VFD Device Island

VFD Theory: 28

Why isnt this VFD working?

VFD Theory: 29

Why isnt this VFD working?

VFD Theory: 30

VFD

VFD Theory: 31

Dual VFDs
(harmonic filter with dc-link and ac rectors)

6-Pulse
VFD

Dc-link
reactor

Harmonic filter
capacitors

dV/dt
filter

Harmonic filter
reactors

VFD Theory: 32

VFD
(3-reactor harmonic filter with dc link reactor)

6-Pulse
VFD

Harmonic filter
capacitors

Dc-link
reactor

dV/dt
filter

Harmonic filter
reactors

VFD Theory: 33

VFDs in custom assembly

VFD Theory: 34

VFDs in custom assembly

VFD Theory: 35

VFDs in Motor Control Center

VFD Theory: 36

VFDs in Motor Control Center

VFD Theory: 37

NEMA 3R Custom Enclosure (front)

VFD Theory: 38

NEMA 3R Custom Enclosure (internal)

VFD Theory: 39

NEMA 3R Custom Enclosure (rear)

VFD heat sink extends out


the rear of the enclosure

VFD Theory: 40

NEMA 3R Custom Enclosure (rear)

VFD heat sink extends out


the rear of the enclosure

VFD Theory: 41

NEMA 3R Custom Enclosure (installed)

VFD Theory: 42

Constant Torque vs Variable Torque

Variable Torque (VT) refers to centrifugal pump and fan


applications. Their load torque varies in proportion to the
square of motor speed.
Constant Torque (CT) refers to most other applications. Their
load torque is based on friction losses which are relatively
constant at all speeds
These terms can be confusing and misleading. With a fixed
speed setting, over time, fan and pump loads fluctuate less than
many other applications

The fundamental difference between VT and CT is the


VFD overload rating
VT ratings typically range from 0% to 20% overload
for one minute
CT ratings are typically 50% overload for one
minute
VFD Theory: 43

Speed Range

VFD Theory: 44

Control Methods

F700
A500
A700
A700/
V500
Speed Control

Torque Control
Position Control

VFD Theory: 45

Regenerative Braking Resistor

Braking
Resistor
Chopping
Transistor

DC Link

Inverter
Control Logic

Converter

L1
L2
L3

Regenerative Power Flow

Regenerative Power Flow

VFD Theory: 46

Power-Down Braking
Keeps the motor under control even if supply power is lost.

Improved safety for critical applications


e.g. centrifuge, machine tool

VFD Theory: 47

Optimum Excitation Control


 Greater energy savings at constant speed or during acceleration/deceleration
 Internal calculations are used to sense the motor current and apply the ideal output
voltage for the load condition.

VFD Theory: 48

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Motor Peak Voltages & dV/dt

Specializing in Motors, Drives, Generators, and Electrical Asset Management

dV/dt
Reflective Wave Phenomenon
Voltage wave reflection is a function of
the voltage rise time (dV/dt) and the
length of the motor cables. Impedance
mismatches cause voltage pulses to be
reflected back in the direction from which
they arrive. As these reflected waves
encounter incoming waves, their values
add, causing higher peak voltage. As
wire length or carrier frequency
increases, the overshoot peak voltage
also increases. This causes motor
insulation degradation and failure.

Resonant Circuit Phenomenon


Electrical systems of every nature have
a natural frequency. When system
components have a resonant frequency
that matches the natural resonant
frequency of the system, peak voltages
can quickly exceed standard reflective
wave overshoots.

VFD Theory: 50

Voltage Stress
ALL MOTORS

VFD MOTORS

(NEMA MG1 Part 30)

(NEMA MG1 Part 31)

Vpeak

1kV

3.1 * Vrated

Rise time

2s

0.1s

2.04 * Vrated

2.04 * Vrated

1s

1s

Vrated 600 Volts

Vrated > 600 Volts


Vpeak
Rise time

Vrated is the line-to-line voltage


Vpeak is a single amplitude zero-to-peak line-to-line voltage.
For 480V: Recommend voltage spikes be limited to 1000V and dV/dt to 1000V/s

VFD Theory: 51

Typical Voltage Response at Motor Terminals


NEMA MG-1

Vpeak

Voltage

Steady-state voltage

100%
90%

dV

dt

V
t

10%

t
Rise time

Time

VFD Theory: 52

Common mode voltage


Common mode voltage occurs when the voltages on the three output lines of a drive do
not sum instantaneously to zero. dV/dt filters slow down the rate of change of PWM
switching as seen by the load. This reduction in the rate of change results in increased
capacitive coupling impedance between bearings and bearing races. This increase in
impedance, in turn, reduces the damaging Common Mode currents.

Courtesy TCI

VFD Theory: 53

dV/dt

Courtesy TCI

VFD Theory: 54

dV/dt

Courtesy TCI

VFD Theory: 55

dV/dt

Is there another way?

VFD Theory: 56

dV/dt
(proprietary solution)

Mitsubishi Soft PWM


Changes acoustic motor noise from a metallic tone into
an unoffending complex tone.
Protects motors from dV/dt for longer lead lengths.

PWM
Frequency

1 hp
and below

2hp

3 hp
and above

2 kHz

300 meters

500 meters

500 meters

3-15 kHz

200 meters

300 meters

500 meters

Note: Assumes NEMA MG1-Part 31VFD-rated motor insulation

VFD Theory: 57

Soft PWM Noise Reduction

VFD Theory: 58

dV/dt filter
dV/dt filter

Reduces voltage spikes to below 1000 Volts


Slows down PWM dV/dt by a factor of 3
Reduces common mode currents by approximately 30%
Protects both the motor and the cable insulation

Recommendations

Consider when VFD-to-motor cable length exceeds 100 ft


Option: Leave room in VFD cabinet and install only if required
Stay within filter manufacturers recommendations for carrier frequency
Use proprietary solution
Hint
If motor runs fine on sine wave power, but trips on VFD, then
have the motor surge tested by a qualified motor rewind shop.

Note: Keep the VFD to motor voltage drop to 2% or less

VFD Theory: 59

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VFDs & Motor Bearings

Specializing in Motors, Drives, Generators, and Electrical Asset Management

Electric Motor Design

460 VAC
60Hz

Most electric induction motors were designed for operation


on 3 phase sign wave power either 50 or 60 Hz.
The input power was balanced in frequency, phase (120
degrees apart) and in amplitude.
Common mode voltage the sum of the 3 phases would
always equal zero volts.
61
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

Electric Motor Operation by VFD

When operated by VFD, the power to the motor is a


series of pulses instead of a smooth sign wave.
The input power is never balanced because the voltage
is either 0 volts, positive, or negative with rapid
switching between pulses.
The Three phases of voltage pulses ensures that the common
mode voltage is never equal to zero and instead is a square
wave or 6 step voltage.
62
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

What effect does this have on the bearings?


Voltage builds up until it
exceeds the insulation level of
the bearings oil film layer
the break-down voltage of
the bearing.
The voltage then arcs through
the bearing creating an
electrical discharge
machining (EDM) pit.
Thousands of pits per second
may be created and over time
the ball rolling over the
disturbed surface can cause
fluting damage.
63
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

Shaft Voltage Readings

A number of
different wave
forms may be
present
64
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

Bearing Discharge Voltage Pattern

Bearing Discharge
~50 nano sec.
Creates EDM pitting

Voltage Increase & drop


Signifying Current flow
through Bearings

65
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

Prevent Bearing Fluting Damage with


AEGIS Bearing Protection Ring

66
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

Motor Bearing Damage from Electrical Currents


Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)
Bearing Pitting Damage

Electron Microscope
(SEM) Image

1000x Magnified

Bearing Fluting Damage

EDM Pit
EDM Pitting

67
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

Mitigation Techniques
VFD Waveform
Mitigation
Bearing
Insulation
Alternate
Discharge Paths

Sine Wave Filter

Expense, produces heat

Bearing Insulating
Sleeve

Expense, does not protect driven equipment, capacitive


coupling may allow currents to pass through insulation,
contamination

Ceramic Bearings
Conductive Grease

Expense, does not protect driven equipment

(Not in current use)

Grounding Brush
Shaft Grounding Ring

Sine-wave filter

Conductive particles would increase mechanical wear,


rendering lubricants ineffective.
Expense, wear, contaminants, oxidation, maintenance
Expense (lower than others above), contamination

Ceramic Bearing

Ceramic Insulated Bearing

VFD Theory: 68

New Conductive Microfiber Shaft


Grounding Technology
Uses several methods to transfer
electrical currents*
Direct Contact Conduction

Electrical Contact without


mechanical contact by field
emission

*IEEE paper, September 2007: Design Aspects of Conductive Microfiber Rings for
Shaft Grounding Purposes, by Dr. Annette Muetze et. Al.
69
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

Micro Fiber Shaft Grounding Ring

Discharges shaft voltages to ground

Easy to install
Maintenance free
Improves VFD motor bearing reliability
Best ROI - Small investment

Addresses the root cause of the problem (shaft currents)


Diverts the shaft current away from the motor bearings
Protects motor with highly reliable solution

Longest lasting protection


Wear rate less than 1 mill per 10,000 hours operation
Lasts for over 200,000 hours operation
2 million direction reversals - Zero fiber fatigue or broken
fibers
70

Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

AEGIS SGR
Bracket Mounted Shaft Grounding Ring
Fits most motor end brackets
Drill and tap for mounting brackets
and small screws
Ring slides over shaft
Easy Installation

Applications

OEM installations
All VFD driven Motors
HVAC
Industrial Process
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

Standard Mounting Brackets


Shaft diameters: 0.311 to 6.02 (8mm to 153mm)
Ships with mounting brackets, screws and washers
Quick and easy installation to most surfaces

Split Ring
Shaft diameters: 0.311 to 6.02 (8mm to 153mm)
4 to 6 mounting brackets, screws and washers
Installs without decoupling motor

Bolt Through Mounting


Shaft diameters: 0.311 to 6.02 (8mm to 153mm)
M3 x 14 socket head cap screws and lock washers
2 mounting holes up to shaft size 99mm
4 mounting holes for larger sizes

Press Fit Mounting


Shaft diameters: 0.311 to 6.02 (8mm to 153mm)
Clean dry 0.102mm press fit
Custom sizes available

NEMA-IEC Mounting Kits


Shaft diameters: see chart for standard kits
Custom kits available for other shaft diameters
Clears any slinger, shaft shoulder or protrusion

Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

AEGIS SGR
Conductive Epoxy Mounting
Split ring or solid ring
Installs with Conductive Epoxy to
clean metal surface
No drilling holes or tapping for screws
Best solution for field installation

Applications

Pump motors
Fan Motors
Mechanical Rooms
Coupled Equipment
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

AEGIS CS015
Colloidal Silver Shaft Coating
Enhances shaft surface conductivity
lowers residual shaft voltage
Can be used in all AEGIS Bearing
Protection Ring installations
Required for vertical motors and roller
bearings
Helps prevent oxidation

Applications
For shaft grounding ring
installations in harsh areas
Included in all iPROs
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

Shaft Grounding Ring Bearing Current


Mitigation motors to 100 HP

Stator

Shaft

Rotor

V
F
D

Ground

75
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

Large Low and Medium Voltage Motors


over 100 HP
AEGIS Shaft
Grounding
Ring on DE

Insulated
bearing on
ODE

Stator

Rotor

Shaft

V
F
D

Ground

76
Copyright 2010 Electro Static Technology-ITW Patented Technology All Rights Reserved

MV ASD & Systems School


TM GE Automations Systems

ASD Fundamentals & MV Drive Evolution

IEGT Voltage Controlled Gate Driver Equipment


IEGT Gate Drive Board

IEGT
4.5kV-4kA

IEGT = Injection
Enhanced Gate
Transistor

Copyright TM GE Automation Systems March 2011

Slide #77

We drive industry

MV ASD & Systems School


TM GE Automations Systems

ASD Fundamentals & MV Drive Evolution

Building Block for MV PWM Drives


Q1

Q1
E

Q2

Q1
E

Q2

+E

Q3
Q4

Q2

0V
E

Q3
Q4

-E

Q3
Q4

NPC: Neutral Point Clamped Configuration


Multiple supply voltage levels allows good
waveforms
Compatible with IGBT, GCT, IEGT Devices
Copyright TM GE Automation Systems March 2011

Slide #78

We drive industry

MV ASD & Systems School


TM GE Automations Systems

ASD Fundamentals & MV Drive Evolution

Complete 3 Level Circuit, Neutral Point Clamped


3 Level inverter is
 2 times higher output voltage
 2 times larger capacity

 Twice as clean waveform


+E

3 Level

0V
3 Level Inverter

Q1

Q1

Q1

Q2

Q3
Q4

-E
E

Q2

+E
E

Q2

0V

Q3
Q4

-E

Q3
Q4

Output voltage of 3 Level Inverter

3 Level phase output voltage


Copyright TM GE Automation Systems March 2011

Line to Line
3 / 5 levels
Including zero

Slide #79

We drive industry

MV ASD & Systems School


TM GE Automations Systems

ASD Fundamentals & MV Drive Evolution

Progress of Inverter
Circuits to High Capacity

5 Level Inverter

3 Level Inverter

2 Level Inverter
3

Large capacity

3kV - 15MVA
Low voltage application
460V, 690V
Copyright TM GE Automation Systems March 2011

Slide #80

6kV
7kV, 8MVA
120MVA
High voltage, large capacity,
clean waveform

We drive industry

MV ASD & Systems School


TM GE Automations Systems

ASD Fundamentals & MV Drive Evolution

MV IGBT Drive with Integral Transformer

INCOMING
POWER

INVERTER
SECTION

BYPASS
CONTACTOR
[option]

TRANSFORMER &
DC CONVERTER

Copyright TM GE Automation Systems March 2011

Slide #81

DRIVE
CONTROL

We drive industry

MV ASD & Systems School


TM GE Automations Systems

ASD Fundamentals & MV Drive Evolution

Line up of Large Capacity Inverters


6.0 7 kV, 5 level output

5 Level IGBT Inverter


Capacity: 6kV - 8MVA
5 Level IEGT Inverter
Capacity: 7kV - 30MVA
up to 30MVA x 4 = 120 MVA
5 Level IEGT Inverter
Capacity: 6kV - 20MVA, up to 20MVA x 4 = 80 MVA
Copyright TM GE Automation Systems March 2011

Slide #82

We drive industry

VFD Custom Assembly Shop

VFD Theory: 83

VFD Repair Area

VFD Theory: 84

VFD Inventory

VFD Theory: 85

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Thank You!
Questions?

Specializing in Motors, Drives, Generators, and Electrical Asset Management