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Variable Frequency drives-Application,

Limitations & Advancements

www.danfoss.com/drives

Introduction to VFDs
 Variable frequency drives (VFDs) are energy efficient devices which are extensively
used for process productivity improvement and energy saving applications.
 The process of speed variation requires the use of an input rectifier for AC-DC
conversion and an output inverter for converting DC to variable frequency AC.
 This output is applied to a standard Squirrel Cage (SQC) motor for variable speed
operation.
 The input rectifier normally consists of a diode or diode/thyristor bridge and the
output stage of Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) bridge circuit .
 The generation of variable speed requires the standard motor to operate at variable
frequency whilst maintaining the flux in the machine constant.
 Hence the motor voltage varies linearly with the frequency in order to maintain the
V/F ratio constant.
 The voltage applied to the motor stator is a pulse width modulated (PWM) signal
which has a high frequency carrier modulated by the motor frequency signal.

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Power Circuit of a VFD

Input 3
Phase, 50Hz
supply
(415V
normally)

Drive Motor (usually SQC


Input rectifier (diode or
diode/ thyristor

type)
DC Link

Output Inverter (IGBT

capacitor

based)
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Pulse Width Modulation

 Control principle uses a sinusoidal

reference voltage (Us) for each inverter


output.

 The three reference voltages are

superimposed by a delta voltage equal to


the maximum switching frequency
(Carrier signal) of the inverter.

 The period length of the sinusoidal

voltage corresponds to the required basic


frequency of the output voltage and
therefore represents the motor
frequency.

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Sinusoidal PWM

 The output voltage is changed by the


ratio between the on and off time and
this ratio can be changed to generate the
required voltage.

 Since the reference voltage is a sine wave


at the motor frequency, the technique is
called Sine Wave PWM.

 The amplitude of the negative and


positive voltage pulses thus always
corresponds to half the intermediate
circuit voltage (DC Bus Voltage).

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Carrier frequency- 3KHz.

Benefits of PWM
Switching
 Since the output voltage waveform
consists of the high frequency carrier, the
motor inductance can easily filter this
signal.
 The motor current waveform therefore
closely resembles a sine wave.

Carrier frequency12KHz.

 The use IGBTs as output devices which


are capable of switching at high
frequencies, ensures a vastly reduced
drive overall dimensions.
 IGBTs are high efficiency devices which
result in the drive having an overall
efficiency of 96-98.5% depending upon
the capacity.

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Benefits of using VFDs


 Since the motor frequency increases with
a programmed linear ramp rate, the
inrush currents are limited to a maximum
of typically <150% for a load which
requires high torque at start.
 In this respect, the VFD offers a superior
starting performance when compared
with DOL,Y/ and Soft starter starting
methods.
 This soft start feature ensures that the
drive mechanical system is subjected to
significantly reduced stress during
starting.
 By ensuring a constant V/F ratio, the
motor torque is maintained at all speeds.
 The input PF with a 6 Pulse VFD is
significantly improved, typically to >0.95
at full motor load.
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LOAD TYPES
 Drive motor loads are generally classified
as constant torque (CT) and variable
torque (VT) type.
 The CT load offers the same resistance
torque at the motor shaft at all speeds.
 The VT load offers variable resistance
torque at the motor shaft at all speeds.
CT Load profile- Torque vs speed
Dotted line represents power
variation with speed.

 CT loads normally require a high starting


torque, with the running torque being
much less than at start.
 VT loads typically require 110% torque at
start, with the running torque being
decided by the load characteristic.
 Typical applications for CT loads include
conveyers, mixers, hoist cranes among
others.

VT Load profile-Torque vs speed.

 VT loads are typically centrifugal fans and


pumps.
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Energy Saving & VFDs


 A typical VT load has a torque
requirement which varies with speed.
 The flow rate Q in a typical centrifugal
pump application varies linearly with
speed & Q=KN, K being constant.
 The pump head and power consumed are
given by affinity laws shown alongside.
Pump Performance Curve

 This means that if the pump motor is


operated at <100% speed, the power
consumed decreases in cubic fashion.
 Hence there is a potential for energy
saving inherent in a VFD based drive
system operating at variable speed.
 A 10% speed reduction will translate into
27% energy saving.

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Typical Example of
Centrifugal Pump
 The graph shown alongside represents
the variation of pump head m with flow
rate (m3/hr).
 The variation in speed from 1480RPM to
1180RPM produces significant variation in
the power consumption (from 150KW to
60KW approximately).
 Practically, the efficiency remains
constant over the speed range.
 The affinity laws as described in the
previous slide give an idea of the pump
performance at various speeds.
 Actual performance needs to take into
account the system curve where it
becomes necessary to take into account
friction losses in the pipe.
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Examples of Constant Torque Loads


 A reciprocating compressor would be an example of a CT load.
 The piston number of strokes/ minute will decide the air flow rate if the medium to
be compressed is air, for example.
 In many applications where the load to unload ratio is small (unloading time when
the compressor runs at reduced load> the loading time), there is a potential for
energy saving.
 This requires a trial on the actual unit in order to quantify the energy savings with a
VFD. The header pressure is normally the feedback signal for closed loop operation
with speed control. Energy savings of up to 25% can be realized in a real life
situation.
 Belt conveyers are CT loads where the benefit of improved process productivity,
coupled with reduced mechanical stress on the equipment during starting and
stopping can result in a high efficiency of operation.

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VFDs & Harmonics-The flip


side
 Though the benefits of VFDs are many,
there is an issue arising out of their
operation which can adversely affect the
supply network to which they are
connected.

Line current profile in a 6 Pulse VFD


operating at part load (690V Motor).

 The switching devices (input diodes and


thyristor) in the front end bridge rectifier
cause the input line current to deviate
from its ideal sine wave profile.
 This deviation gives rise to currents which
are non-sinusoidal in nature and
therefore contain harmonics.
 Typical input line current & line voltage
profiles with 690V motors running on VFD
supply are shown alongside.

Line voltage profile in a 6 Pulse VFD

 This phenomenon is referred to as


distortion caused by harmonics.

working on 690V supply.


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Harmonics
 The simplest definition of harmonics
would be-they are unwanted signals in
the power system.
Ideal current plot (minimum distortion)

 They are defined as voltage and current


signals which are multiples of the power
frequency.
 The VFD for example is a nonlinear device
which introduces harmonics in the supply.

Harmonics in the current waveform

 These harmonics occur at odd multiples


of the power frequency (50Hz in our
case).
 Hence the harmonics occur at 250Hz,
350Hz, 550Hz, 650Hz and so on.
 These correspond to harmonic numbers
5,7,11 & 13 respectively.

Resultant distorted current waveform


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Definition of Current &


Voltage Distortion
 Harmonic distortion is quantified by the
use of VTHD & ITHD for voltage and
current respectively.
Mathematical definition of ITHD as
above.
This is expressed as a % of the
fundamental frequency current.
In represents the harmonic current
value corresponding to the nth
harmonic.
I1 represents the fundamental
frequency (50Hz in our case) current
value.
Since the VFD produces only odd
harmonics which are not multiples of 3,
n will take the values 5,7,11,13,17 & so
on.

 The RMS current value is the vector sum


of the fundamental frequency current
(50Hz in our case) and the harmonic
currents.
 Harmonic current RMS value is again the
vector sum of the various harmonic
frequency currents (5th, 7th, 11th, 13th, 17th
and so on in the case of the VFD).
 Similar definitions apply to the voltage
signal as far as quantification of distortion
is concerned.

A similar definition can be applied to


VTHD.

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Ill effects of harmonics in the supply

Voltage Harmonics
 Malfunctioning of sensitive electronic
equipment.
 Premature ageing of such equipment.
 Increased EMI generation in the power
system.
 Increase in core losses in motors which
are directly operated from the utility
supply having a high percentage voltage
distortion.
 Increased torque ripple in drive motors
directly operated from the utility supply
having a high percentage voltage
distortion.

Current Harmonics
 Increase in resistive and hysteresis losses
and attendant temperature rise in the
winding and core of the supply
transformer, is the first symptom of
excess current harmonics.
 Nuisance tripping of electronic protection
relays and circuit breakers.
 Failure of power factor correction
capacitors (PFCC) due to series or parallel
resonance in the supply system.
 Increased temperature rise in connecting
power cables.
 Failure of the neutral current carrying
conductor in the supply transformer due to
unbalanced single phase non-linear loads.

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Measurement of Harmonics in the Power Supply


Measurement of the voltage and current distortion figures in any network requires
a good Power Analyzer which, in addition to measuring the circuit performance
parameters-Input Power, Input Voltage, Current, Power Factor & KVA consumed, is
also able to measure the harmonics present in the supply voltage and current as well
as their magnitudes at various harmonic frequencies. A good power analyzer is able
to give the user harmonic frequency readouts up to n=50.
Additionally, the analyzer makes it possible to trend the circuit performance
parameters over an extended period of time for the user to analyze the load and
distortion variations with time. This information can then be used to determine the
predominant harmonics and devise an appropriate solution for harmonic mitigation.
Sophisticated computing tools, which give reasonably good estimates of the
distortion parameters, can also be used for the same purpose.
The measuring point for VTHD & ITHD needs to be defined properly in order to
determine the permissible limit for these parameters as per international standards.
The drive supply point (the point at which the drive gets connected to the power
supply or Point of Common Coupling) is designated as PCC3; whilst the point at
which all equipments get connected to the power supply is designated as PCC2.

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Typical Industrial Power System


HT BUS

Measuring
point PCC1

INTERMEDIATE
HT BUS

Measuring
point PCC2
LT BUS

NOTE
Blue arrows represent
the flow of harmonic
currents in the supply

Measuring

network.

point PCC3

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Typical data for VTHD &


ITHD
 The data shown alongside represent the
performance of a VT load (ID Fan)
running with a 6 Pulse drive.
 The measurement point is PCC3 for both
VTHD & ITHD.
 The VTHD figure measured on all 3
phases is <5%.
 The ITHD figure shows a high value in all
3 phases due to part load operation of
the drive motor.
 The tables also show the individual
harmonic voltage and current values as a
% of the respective fundamental (50Hz)
parameter.

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Limits for VTHD & ITHD




The IEEE-519 1992 Standard is most commonly used as a reference


document for defining the limits of harmonics in an industrial supply
network.

 It defines the limits for VTHD based on the type of installation. These are
classified as general industrial , dedicated & critical systems, with the
limits being different in each case.
 The Total Demand Distortion (TDD) refers to the current harmonics in a
supply network having a mix of harmonic (non-linear) & non-harmonic
(linear) loads.
 The TDD figure will be < the ITHD figure measured at the device (VFD, for
example) terminals if linear loads are also connected to the supply
transformer.
 The standard also defines the limits for the harmonic current magnitudes
along with the TDD figure.
 TDD will vary as a function of Isc/Il where Isc is the Tx SC current and Il
the connected load demand.
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Limits defined by the IEEE-519 Standard


Critical
IEEE 519-1992

Dedicated
General system

application
VTHD

system

3%

5%

10 %

Limits for VTHD at the measurement point PCC2

Isc/IL

h < 11 %

11h<17

17h<23

23 h<35

35 h

TDD

<20

1.5

0.6

0.3

20<50

3.5

2.5

1.0

0.5

50<100

10

4.5

1.5

0.7

12

100<1000

12

5.5

15

>1000

15

2.5

1.4

20

Limits for TDD as a function of Isc/Il ratio at the measurement point PCC2

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Typical Harmonic Mitigation Devices


Passive Devices
 These are magnetic devices which are
cost effective & give moderate to good
performance.
AC Reactor

DC Reactor

 Typical values of ITHD range from 10%40%, depending upon the type of
mitigation device selected.

12 Pulse Drive

18 Pulse Drive

Series Passive Filter

 The devices can be graded in decreasing


order of performance as Series Passive
Filter, 12 Pulse drive, and AC/DC
reactors.
 Limiting the ITHD value will depend upon
the specification given by the end
user/consultant. The device can then be
selected keeping in mind the cost and
performance.

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Typical Harmonic Mitigation Devices


Active Devices
 These mitigation devices use active
devices (IGBTs) for harmonic mitigation
(HM), as well as Power Factor (PF)
improvement.

Shunt Active Filter connected in


parallel with a non-linear load. The

 The shunt active filter is ideally suited for


mitigation with all types of non-linear
loads (VFDs, DC Drives, Heating
Furnaces, for example).

schematic is identical for the low


harmonic drive (LHD).

 Both devices generate harmonic currents


with the opposite polarity and magnitude
to cancel the harmonic currents
generated by the connected load.
 They can also supply reactive power to
the connected load in order to improve
PF.

PWM Drive with Series Active Filter


(Active Front end Rectifier)

 The shunt filter can be sized for only the


harmonic currents, hence is a cost
effective central solution.
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Active Harmonic Mitigation Devices


Distorted Drive Input Current

Low Harmonic Drive


 The hardware consists of a standard 6
Pulse rectifier with shunt active filter.

Filtered Line

 The filter design is optimized to give the


best performance with respect to
harmonic cancellation.

Current

Input
Rectifier
Generated
harmonic

 It has a high overall efficiency (96%)


and can be used as an energy efficient
device.
 Performance of the drive is unaffected by
background VTHD.

current profile

Optimized Shunt Active Filter

Schematic of Low Harmonic Drive

 Does not suffer from the disadvantage of


having an output filter installed to limit
peak voltage and dv/dt at motor
terminals.
 For Isc/Il >20, the ITHD figure is 5%

(LHD)
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Shunt Active Filter Performance


Performance Details
 The shunt active filter can be used as a
cost effective HM solution by virtue of its
design.
 It can be easily installed at the supply
transformer secondary, since it only
requires a 3 feeder, and 3 Nos CTs
mounted on the load side.
 It can be programmed for overall
compensation (cancelling all harmonics
up to n=25), or selective compensation
(cancelling specific harmonics).
 Since it can supply reactive power, PF
improvement is an added benefit to the
user.
 Typical performance plots are shown
alongside.

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Danfoss Drives & Mitigation Solutions


Details
 Danfoss has a wide range of offerings for
drives and HM solutions.
 Drives can be engineered for 6 Pulse or
12 Pulse operation in both 400V as well
as 690V, with capacities ranging from
<1KW to >1MW.
Series Passive Filter for 5% and 10% ITHD

 They have DC reactor as a standard


feature.
 Low Harmonic Drive (LHD) with inbuilt
shunt active filter is available as standard
from 132KW-710KW in the voltage range
380V-480V AC.
 Other HM solutions include series passive
filter & standalone hunt active filter.
132KW Low Harmonic

190A Standalone

Drive (LHD)

Active Filter

 Active Filters are available as standard in


capacities ranging from 190A-400A in
380V-480V supply voltage range.
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THANK YOU

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About the Speaker


 Ganesh Iyer, the author, is presently
working as General ManagerApplications Specialist with Danfoss
Industries Private Limited for more than
7 years.
 He has over 30 years of design and
application experience in the field of
drives, control systems & harmonic
mitigation solutions.
 He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of
Technology-Mumbai, having completed
his graduation and post graduation with
specialization in Power Electronics and
Control Systems.
 He can be contacted at:
ganesh.iyer@danfoss.com
Telephone # +919920373263 (M).
+912266817300-Ext #316
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Literature References
 Variable Speed Driven Pumps-Best Practice Guide- Brought out by British
Pump Manufacturers (BPMA) association & Gambica.
 IEEE-519 1992 Standard-IEEE Recommended Practices and requirements
for harmonic control in electrical power systems.

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