Variable frequency drives (VFDs) aren’t new technology. In fact, they’re about 20 years old. However, they’ve become far more advanced in recent years and can now be implemented in 500 horsepower commercial and industrial pumps and motors, making them an effective investment in your building’s energy management strategy. Here are some insights from commercial HVAC contractors in NJ.

How Do VFDs Work in a Commercial HVAC System?

Load variation on commercial HVAC systems is a fact of life for facilities managers. After all, different tenants have different heating and cooling preferences, and load changes throughout the day as people come and go. However, most commercial HVAC systems are configured to operate at a consistent speed regardless of load demands, so there’s a lot of wasted energy. That’s where the VFD can assist.

A VFD enables the motor in a building’s HVAC system to slowly ramp up, which is called a soft start as opposed to a hard start condition. As demand increases so will the speed of the motor during peak load times, and slow down when demand lowers. So, there’s no need to operate at full throttle, 24/7. This might not sound like much of a saving, but it’s important to remember that savings occur during off-peak hours, which greatly outnumber peak load hours.

VFDs can be installed in different parts of commercial HVAC systems:

  • Cooling Tower Fans, Boiler Pumps, and Condenser Water Pumps
    The VDF will regulate the cooling tower fan motor, dropping and increasing its speed in accordance with demand.
  • Chiller Motor Pump
    The VFD will regulate the flow of water through the system to meet cooling demand.

Benefits of Implementing a VFD in Your Commercial HVAC System

Installing a VFD delivers impressive benefits, including:

  • Energy savings of between 35-60%,
  • Increased lifespan of your motor through reduced wear-and-tear,
  • Increased control over a wider range of flow rates and process controls (VDFs can run a motor at a precise speed, apply a specific amount of torque or even stop at a specified position),
  • Decreased demand charges, reducing your energy bill further,
  • More accurate assessment of what the load to the motor should be and what speed it should be running at to optimize efficiency, and
  • Access to diagnostic data on system performance through enhanced system tracking, allowing you to become proactive in energy savings and system maintenance.

Contact Our Commercial HVAC Company for Comprehensive Heating and Cooling Services in New Jersey

Founded in 1988, Tri-Tech Energy has grown to become an industry leader in commercial HVAC systems design, installation, and maintenance. Our mechanics are among the best in the industry, and our team is recognized for their professionalism and qualifications by clients, suppliers, and manufacturers alike. Whatever your commercial HVAC system or ductwork and ventilation needs, we can assist you. 

For more information on our company or to speak to a commercial HVAC and commercial heating systems specialist about state-of-the-art HVAC control systems and upgrades, please contact us today or visit our website at