How to Get the Most out of Drives

With a complete portfolio of HVAC solutions, Danfoss has acquired a know-how to help customers maximize their energy efficiency strategies. The recent MCE (Mostra Convegno Expocomfort) represented an important showcase to present the group’s solutions. We focus on the solutions of the Drives Division, which accounts for 25% to the Group’s total sales.

by Silvia Crespi

With a Press Conference at MCE Expocomfort at Rho Fiera Milan Danfoss presented the Groups’ solutions in the field of energy efficiency. Noel Ryan, President of Danfoss Commercial Compressors introduced Danfoss as a cutomer-oriented company capable of supporting customers at 360°, independently from their location in the world. Ryan underlined the Group’s growing attention to emerging markets with its four main segments: Power Solutions, Cooling, Drives and Heating. Four are the areas of global growth of the global markets Danfoss will address with a business model capable of driving sustainable, long-term value creation: infrastructure, food, energy and climate. In 1968, Danfoss was the first company in the world to mass-produce frequency converters. Today the Danfoss Drives Division represents 25% of Group’s total sales and Danfoss is among the world leaders when talking about variable speed control of electrical motors.

What’s new in the field of drives
Electrical energy accounts for 20% of the world’s energy consumption, and a large part of this is used to power electrical motors. Therefore, drives technology holds a major potential for reducing the consumption of electrical energy, benefiting the environment and the economy.
At MCE Danfoss showcased its latest achievements in this field. Among these is the new VLT® drive enclosure size E from Danfoss. E-frame delivers the highest possible power output for the physical dimensions of the drive – with up to 73% size reduction compared to the previous generation product. The compact size and innovative cooling technology, combined with the capacity for side-by-side mounting, have huge implications on the size of the cabinet and control room. Thanks to this new design, it is much easier to install, commission and service the drives. Whilst the layout is more compact, the new enclosures actually offer more space for cabling, easier access to terminals and fewer parts. And there is a choice between standalone or cabinet-mounted variants of the single integrated drive. That’s up to 800kW output power in a single drive, and this means you can significantly reduce the size of the room. The reduced heat load and reduced room size dramatically reduce external conditioning systems, with all the associated savings that it brings, both with respect to initial investment and running costs. In other words, you can leverage Danfoss expertise to save up to 50% energy consumption.
At Danfoss Drives, developers have transferred and adapted the technology to variable speed drives, where it has proven to deliver extremely effective heat management over many years. Now in its third generation, the technology is extremely robust and effective. For customers, this means a robust and reliable drive, with a cooling system that requires very little maintenance because the solution remains an air-cooled drive, and the heat pipes work in a closed circuit. A unique ducted back-channel passes cooling air over the heat sink with minimal air passing through the electron ics area. This allows 90% of the heat losses to be exhausted directly outside of the enclosure and the room, improving reliability and prolonging life by dramatically reducing temperature rise and contamination of the electronic components. Even in harsh environments, the sensitive inner components are well protected by an IP54/UL Type 12 seal, which separates the back-channel cooling duct and the electronics area of the VLT® drive. The new VLT® drive enclosure size E is designed for 100% load at 45° C. The effective heat management allows the maximum utilization of the IGBTs, approaching results of liquid-cooled drives in terms of silicon utilization, but using air-cooling. High efficiency saves operating costs as well as the back-channel cooling is accompanied by a series of other design features, which result in net 98% energy efficiency of the drive at full load, throughout the whole power range. These design features include variable-speed cooling fans, low loss PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) patterns, and low loss DC link reactors – as well as reduced busbar lengths.
Enclosure size E is available for VLT® AutomationDrive FC 302, VLT® AQUA Drive FC 202, VLT® HVAC Drive FC 102 and VLT® Refrigeration Drive FC 103.

A wireless communication panel for drives
VLT® Wireless Communication Panel (LCP) 103 enables easy drive commissioning and maintenance. It helps also to optimize operation and remote energy consumption management.
The Panel communicates with MyDrive® Connect – an app that can be downloaded to iOS- and Android-based smart devices. MyDrive® Connect offers full access to the drive making it easier to perform commissioning, operation, monitoring and maintenance tasks. This enables smarter troubleshooting, resulting in enhanced user experience and, ultimately, energy savings. The VLT® Wireless Communication Panel LCP 103 displays the current drive status (On, Warning, Alarm, Wi-Fi Connectivity) through built-in LEDs. Detailed information is then accessible from your smart devices utilizing MyDrive® Connect. There, status messages, start-up menus and alarm/warning events can be accessed. Additionally, data can be visualized using graphs documenting the behaviour of a drive over time. Utilizing the active point-to-point wireless connection, maintenance personnel can receive real-time error messages via the app to ensure a quick response to potential issues and reduce downtime. Copies of the drive parameters can be stored, either to the internal memory of the VLT® Wireless Communication Panel LCP 103 or to your smart device using the advanced LCP copy function. Log details can be shared from MyDrive® Connect, so that the service team can provide relevant support for troubleshooting. The safe control parameter allows the user to decide the drive behaviour in case of crash/connection-loss from app to drive.