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The Internal Workings of an AC Drive

June 18, 2020

Electric drives are systems that are usually made of both an electric motor and a speed control unit to control the processes of various mechanisms. The AC drive, in particular, has been used in a wide array of applications such as in fans, conveyors, pumps, escalators, heavy equipment, vehicles, and more. It works by converting a fixed frequency and voltage into an adjustable frequency through an AC voltage source. Another function of this drive system is to control the torque, speed, power, and direction of the AC motor.

An AC drive can also be referred to as a variable frequency drive (VFD) or adjustable speed drive (ASD). It has gained popularity across industrial applications because of the energy savings it provides and its simplicity compared to its DC counterpart. In addition, technological advancements have made the reliability and performance of the drive even higher and made its size and cost more appealing for variable speed applications. It operates simply through its three major components:


The Motor

This part of the AC drive is often designed with a squirrel cage induction rotor. It's what drives the device being operated by converting the electrical power to mechanical power.


The Inverter Section

This is also called the motor control section that controls the motor's speed by changing utility power into adjustable frequency power.


Operator Interface

This is where the operator of the machine or device uses motor control inputs and outputs to start or stop the motor as well as adjust the operating speed. 


Through the different components of the drive, it has the ability to control almost every aspect of the application. The most advanced versions of this drive are equipped with a wide variety of parameters that are numerically controlled through a programmable controller or similar control system.


Bauer GMC has been a trusted supplier of gear motors to clients worldwide since 1927. If you are looking for electric drives, give us a call today!