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Compact VSD cuts CO2 refrigeration costs by up to 25%

29 July, 2020

The Welsh drives-maker Invertek Drives has announced a high-performance variable-speed drive (VSD) which, it claims, can cut the energy used by CO2 refrigerant condensing systems by up to 25%. The Optidrive Coolvert drive allows OEMs to optimise the performance and lower the energy costs of brushless DC compressors used in heat pumps and condensers.

Invertek claims the drive is one of the smallest in its class, allowing machine-builders to save panel space and cut machine costs. As well as boosting energy efficiency, it will help OEMs to comply with the EU’s F-Gas (Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas) regulations.

The drive is compatible with all types of motor including induction, permanent magnet, brushless DC, synchronous reluctance and line-start machines, with ratings from 1.5–11kW (2–15hp). It has single- and three-phase 200–480V inputs.

“Coolvert’s wide voltage and power range and open RS-485 Modbus serial port allows the OEM to seamlessly connect any manufacturer’s application controller to the drive,” says Invertek’s head of sales, Mike Carman. “Its compact design – one of the smallest in the market – makes it an ideal solution for machine-builders who have limited panel space and want complete system design flexibility.

“The retail refrigeration and freezer market is an example of where significant savings in energy costs can be made using Coolvert – in addition to ensuring refrigeration manufacturers are able to meet the EU F-Gas regulations,” Carman adds.

Invertek claims that the new drive has the widest ambient operating temperature range in its class (–20°C to +60°C), making it ideal for use in a wide range of environments, including retailer chill and freeze refrigeration systems.

The open Modbus RS-485 communications allow connection to any external controller, giving OEMs freedom to choose which components they use. They can also set up optional Bluetooth connections using Invertek’s Optistick Smart device.

Invertek says that its new Optidrive Coolvert drive will allow OEMs to optimise the performance and lower the energy costs of brushless DC compressors used in heat pumps and condensers.

Through-panel mounting allows chilled air from the condenser to cool the drive’s power electronics. OEMs can use small panels while removing heat generated by the drive and maintaining IP20 front and IP55 rear protection ratings.

A three-step start-up sequencing profile lowers the risk of oil migration, while compressor-specific protections include minimum on and off times, and restart delays. An STO (safe torque-off) input provides extra protection.

The drives comply with the EN 61000-3-12 / EN 61000-3-2 harmonics standards without needing external equipment

Invertek Drives, established in 1998, was acquired by Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd (SHI) in November 2019. Also last year, the company opened a new 5,500m2 global manufacturing and distribution facility at its UK headquarters in Welshpool, with the capacity to produce up to 400,000 VSDs a year.

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