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Thread: Best NEMA 4 VFD?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Best NEMA 4 VFD?

    We just blew another VFD this AM. We lost one to a power surge a few years back and had one other go--like this one--for no apparent reason. One other was DOA.

    These are--or were--Lenze SMV units. We need something a little more reliable. Our ancient TB Woods seem to last damned near forever--a couple have been here since the brewery opened 22 years ago--but TB Woods no longer makes VFDs.

    We need these for motors from 1-7.5 hp--not all on the same unit, of course.

    Suggestions?
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
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    597

    Abb

    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    We just blew another VFD this AM. We lost one to a power surge a few years back and had one other go--like this one--for no apparent reason. One other was DOA.

    These are--or were--Lenze SMV units. We need something a little more reliable. Our ancient TB Woods seem to last damned near forever--a couple have been here since the brewery opened 22 years ago--but TB Woods no longer makes VFDs.

    We need these for motors from 1-7.5 hp--not all on the same unit, of course.

    Suggestions?
    ABB makes the best unit I have ever seen in the field or run. KB Electronics makes the absolute most worthless.
    Others on the Radar are the TECO Westinghouse and the Yaskawa. The hope is to get smaller form factors for washdown duty drives in the 3 to 5 HP range.
    External Start-Stop with Analog Speed control are generally easy to install.
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  3. #3
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    Aug 2010
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    Enterprise, Oregon
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    Thanks, Warren. I'm looking at the Teco/Westinghouse as a replacement--does "on the radar" mean good or bad? We have one 1 hp Teco/W already and it seems to be a good one--so far.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Stuart, FL
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    497
    Check into the WEG CFW08. I don't know it yet myself.

    I will second the ABB VFD I used is pretty solid.

    I have never had issues with the Lenze SMVectors myself (one of the few reliable ones for me), but usually voltage spikes and prolonged low voltage conditions are the cause of VFD failures that have been in place for a while. You may want to consider some type of voltage protection (?) if you are having repeated issues with VFDs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
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    Thanks.

    I have a monitoring motor-protector on one of the pumps in the shop, and it showed no divergences from nominal voltage for the last few weeks.

    I spoke with someone at CPE about this, and they indicated that there might be problems with the Lenze SMV and delta three-phase service. Our service has two legs that are 120V to ground and one that's 240V to ground, but all are 240V leg-to-leg. Still waiting to hear back about that.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2018
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    Lakewood Ranch
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    The high leg of power could be an issue. Our power company won't make three phase that way any more. You can still find it in older buildings, though.
    It can cause issues with single phase controls and sensitive electronics. If the high leg is running through the control circuit you can get weird 80-120v back feeds even when the control circuit is open(off). Something to check...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
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    597

    RE: Teco

    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    Thanks.

    I have a monitoring motor-protector on one of the pumps in the shop, and it showed no divergences from nominal voltage for the last few weeks.

    I spoke with someone at CPE about this, and they indicated that there might be problems with the Lenze SMV and delta three-phase service. Our service has two legs that are 120V to ground and one that's 240V to ground, but all are 240V leg-to-leg. Still waiting to hear back about that.
    I have not run the TECO, but they look decent. Also I would not give a thin dime for ANYTHING made by WEG. They make some of the lowest quality, shortest lasting gear in the known universe. As an example a brand new WEG IEC starter on a 7.5 HP Rand compressor lasted about 3 weeks before going into failure. It was replaced with a similar Eaton IEC starter which is still running to this day about 4 years later with heavy duty cycle.
    WEG is an example of some of the cheapest quality of construction.
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  8. #8
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    Enterprise, Oregon
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    Thanks, Warren. I think we're going with the TECO units.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
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    597

    Send Updates

    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    Thanks, Warren. I think we're going with the TECO units.
    Timm, I 'd be interested to know how they configure and set up, and if you are using a START-STOP Analog speed control " outboard."
    While the ABB drives are pretty rugged, the DOCs are horrible and over complicated. Getting to certain operational goals will sometime even challenge the Tech Support guys, as the Engineers have not taken some real world scenarios into account, which is predictable. As an example with the last ABB drive I set up. You cannot get the drive to time delay on and also get an AUX contact closed at the start of that interval. It has to be done with outboard relay logic which is disappointing for such an encyclopedia of supposed functionality built in.
    I'm curious as to what you are running a 7.5 HP pump on?
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
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    Warren--We don't have any external inputs to our VFDs. The smaller TECOs--5hp and under--have a handy potentiometer on the front panel which can be configured to control the motor speed. I've set up one TECO before and it was easy enough, as I recall. We don't ask much more than manual control of motor speeds from them.

    The 7.5 is our main pump, both for product and CIP. It's a heritage pump that was at the brewery when I started here.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
    Posts
    597

    Interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    Warren--We don't have any external inputs to our VFDs. The smaller TECOs--5hp and under--have a handy potentiometer on the front panel which can be configured to control the motor speed. I've set up one TECO before and it was easy enough, as I recall. We don't ask much more than manual control of motor speeds from them.

    The 7.5 is our main pump, both for product and CIP. It's a heritage pump that was at the brewery when I started here.
    The reason I ask is because 7.5 HP is pretty large for a good many uses, and there also seems to be this trend with OEMs oversizing pumps across a lot of applications. I have especially noted this with some of the new chillers and the massive pumps they are sporting for loop duty.
    I would agree on the duty and usage. The outboard pendant type station can save wear on panel keypads and so forth with parts that can be easily replaced.
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

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