Hello, and welcome back to our blog! In our previous posts, we laid down a few basics about industrial cooling towers, such as why they are important and which type works best for a specific industry. At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we understand that not everybody is as well-versed in the systems and parts that make an industrial cooling tower work. In today’s post, we are going to cover one common component of cooling towers: Variable frequency drives.

What is a Variable Frequency Drive?

Variable Frequency Drives, or VFDs for short, are computer controlled, electric motors that are connected to fans located in many industrial cooling towers. The VFDs’ job is to correctly identify the motor rotation of the fan and ensure that it is spinning in the correct direction at all times. To do this, the VFD is started, slows the fan down to zero rotations, and restarts the fan in the correct rotation. The VFD is also responsible for ensuring that the fan is rotating at an optimal speed while in use, and it can be used in emergencies to completely shut down a fan.

Why are VFDs Beneficial?

VFDs have many benefits when it comes to ensuring that cooling towers perform at their maximum efficiency. VFDs are beneficial for cooling towers that are located in cold climates, because they can run the fan at a slower speed than normal. By rotating the fan at a slower speed, the cooling tower’s temperature is raised and ice is prevented from forming on the tower. Conversely, during warmer months, a VFD can automatically run the fan at a higher speed (but still within acceptable safety ranges) to increase cooling efficiency. By doing these things, a VFD helps to reduce energy consumption from the fan, reduces maintenance issues, and helps to keep the cooling tower running as smoothly as possible.

VFDs Sound Cool, But Can’t A Person Do The Same Thing?

While the VFDs’ main function may sound simple (simply controlling the speed of a fan), it is a little more complex than that. While fans can be manually regulated by a worker, a VFD provides a level of control and accuracy that just cannot be replicated by a human. The VFD is always watching, always adjusting, and never gets tired. Additionally, variable frequency drives help to eliminate the need for other cooling tower controls such as electrical brakes, time delay relays, and anti-ratcheting devices. Coupling a VFD with a vibration switch, which identifies any mechanical resonance that occurs at high rotation speeds, can effectively eliminate any issues associated with vibrations caused by the fan. The VFD can achieve this because these vibration speeds can be relayed to the VFD, at which point it will adjust the fan speed to compensate for any unwanted mechanical vibrations.
At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we have the experience, resources, and qualified professionals to handle any industrial cooling tower job. Our past projects speak for themselves, and our footprint can be seen on a global scale. Contact us today to discuss your next cooling tower job, and learn why Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. is a trusted name in the cooling tower industry.