How to Select Between a Soft Starter and VFD to Fit Your Application?

VFD

Motors often require a large amount of energy when quickly accelerating to full speed. A VFD (variable Frequency Drive) and soft starter can both be used for tumbling inrush currents and also restraining torque, shielding the valuable equipment, and extending the life of the motor by falling motor heating caused by regular starts and stops.

Choosing between a VFD and soft starter depends on the application, system requirements, and cost of both for initial startup and over the life cycle of the system. It is ideal to find a reliable 3 phase variable frequency drive manufacturer for buying high-quality products for your applications. Below, I’m going to share some important things that you should consider for choosing between a soft starter and a VFD.

Soft Starters

A soft starter helps to protect AC electric motors from damage caused by sudden influxes of power by limiting the large initial inrush of current associated with motors startup. It provides a gentle ramp-up to full speed and is used at startup. They are also known as reduced voltage soft starters.

Applications of Soft Starter

A soft starter is generally used in applications where:

  • Speed and torque control are obligatory when starting.
  • Falling large establish inrush currents connected with a large motor is required.
  • The mechanical system requires a smooth start for relieving torque spikes and tension connected with a normal startup.
  • Pumps are used for eliminating strain surges caused in piping systems when fluid changes its direction hastily.

Variable Frequency Drive

Variable frequency drives are motor control devices that help to protect and control the speed of an AC induction motor. It can control the speed of the motor during the start and stop of the cycle and also with the run cycle. It is also referred to as an AFD (Adjustable Frequency Drive).

Applications of VFDs

A variable frequency drive is generally used in applications where:

  • Full speed control is required.
  • Energy-saving is a goal.
  • And custom control is required.

Selecting the Correct Equipment for Your Needs

Picking a soft starter or a VFD depends on the application. Soft starters are smaller and less expensive than VFDs. A large also takes up more space and are expensive than soft starters. While a variable frequency drive is a more expensive upfront, it can offer energy savings of up to 50% and also produce more cost-saving over the life of the equipment.

Speed control is also an added benefit of using a VFD because it provides consistent acceleration time throughout the complete operating cycle of the motor, not just during startup. It can also provide more healthy functionality than soft starters.

It is essential to ensure that a VFD can initially cost two or three times more than a soft starter. If constant acceleration and torque control are not requiring, and your application needs current limiting during startup, a soft starter may be a great solution.

These are some things that will help in choosing between a soft starter and a variable frequency drive to fit your application. You can find a reliable 3 phase variable frequency drive manufacturer for buying the best-quality product for your application.

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