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Energy-saving VSDs will make their debut at Drives Show

10 March, 2022

The Brazilian drives and automation manufacturer WEG is launching a new generation of simple, space-saving, high-performance VSDs with advanced energy-saving, overload and safety functions. The CFW900 drives, which can be used with either induction or PM (permanent magnet) motors, will make their first large-scale public debut at the Drives & Controls Show in Birmingham, UK, in April.

A new energy-saving function for induction motors controls the motor stator flux so that it operates at the optimum point of efficiency, thus cutting losses and improving system performance. This function works with both constant- and variable-torque loads.

WEG says that when used with PM motors, the drives offer the highest energy efficiency on the market. A sensorless control strategy called “maximum torque per ampere” combines alignment torque with reluctance torque to achieve the high efficiencies.

In normal duty, the drives can handle 110% overloads for 60s or 150% for 3s. In heavy-duty applications, they can handle 150% for 60s or 200% for 3s.

A smart management system adjusts the behaviour of the drives to suit their loads, supply voltages and ambient temperatures, thus optimising their performance for the current conditions. A “unique” thermal management function allows the VSDs to measure the ambient temperature and configure themselves by varying their switching frequencies. This reduces the need to size the CFW900 to suit applications that could involve operation at high temperatures. It keeps the VSD and the motor operating in high temperatures, avoiding fault conditions that could cause stoppages.

The high-power-density drives are said to be easy to install in control panels. They support Safe Torque Off (STO) and Safe Stop 1 (SS1) functions to prevent unintended starting of machinery as well as uncontrolled stops.

The drives have two switchable Ethernet ports that support EtherNet/IP, Modbus-TCP and MQTT, as well as an RS-485 serial port for Modbus-RTU. Plug-in modules can support other protocols such as Profibus-DP2, CANopen and DeviceNet. Built-in Bluetooth allows parameterisation, monitoring, backup and other functions to be performed from tablets or smartphones.

“Following the introduction of the new regulations set out by European lawmakers last year, WEG is continuing to design VSDs that look one step beyond regulatory laws and keep greater energy efficiency in mind,” says WEG’s European and Middle East marketing manager, Marek Lukaszczyk. “With the addition of the CFW900 to the CFW family, we wanted to offer a VSD with optimum connectivity so that users can experience increased productivity, ease-of-use and practicality in any application.”

Part of WEG’s new family of VSDs which will eventually offer ratings up to 630kW

The CFW900 works with a range of digital tools launched recently by WEG, including the Motion Fleet Management (MFM) control and monitoring tool which manages industrial assets using cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT). The drives’ Ethernet ports can publish data to MFM, which provides online monitoring and maintenance management of fleets of industrial drives, and generates real-time insights on motors, drives and other industrial assets.

MFM can also be used with WEG’s Motor Scan and WEG Drive Scan sensors to monitor vibration, temperature and running hours. The sensors collect and transmit operational data and communicate with MFM.

The CFW900 is also compatible with WEG’s new EcoDrive app which allows users to monitor, set parameters, program and simulate the efficiency of their systems via smartphones.

“Digital technologies are becoming increasingly present in all manufacturing operations,” says Lukaszczyk. “The new digital portfolio from WEG has been developed to fulfil increased customer demand. Our goal is to help plant managers improve their plant efficiency and better manage maintenance through digital solutions.”

The CFW900 drives will go on sale later this year in ratings up to 132kW, and will be expanded up to 400kW during 2023. Eventually, the VSDs will span ratings up to 630kW.

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