A Simple Guide to Choosing a Frequency Converter

If you’re interested in purchasing a frequency converter, choosing the right one is crucial. Use this guide to make the right choice for your application.

Frequency converters are installed on three-phase power motors. If your application does not have a three-phase motor, a frequency converter is not in your future. However, if it does, you can use this simple guide to understand how exactly to choose the right frequency converter for your specific application. Choosing the right frequency converter is crucial for maintaining motor health and achieving your desired outcome. 

Motor Speed Differentiations

If your motor requires being sped at a higher speed, you risk torque as an outcome. If you aren’t sure off the top of your head what your standard motor speed is… multiply sixty (seconds) by how much supply frequency is used (Hz). Divide this number by how many motor poles there are. This number will equate to the standard rpm your motor runs at. Your motor may have to increase its torque if this motor speed isn’t enough, which can lead to one issue: Not enough voltage. By installing a frequency converter, you’ll be able to achieve this voltage, have healthy torque, and achieve the motor speed desired- all of which are benefits to using converters.  

Choosing the Size of the Converter

In order to choose the right-size converter, you need to know the full amount of amperage at which your unit can run. This is not the total amperage is uses on a daily basis but rather the full amount it’s capable of. Next, discover what voltage, frequency, or horsepower your unit needs to run at this amperage. Having the answers to these questions will point you in the right direction.

Rotary vs. Solid-State Frequency Converters

Rotary converters can produce up to four times their full load rating. Keep in mind that these converters are known to be on the noisy side, but for some applications, the noise may not be an issue. On the other hand, solid-state converters take up to six times their amperage while providing only 1.5 more amperages than their original full-load rating without a converter. Their starting method can cause surges, which isn’t ideal, but they run quietly, which is an important aspect for some applications. 

Follow this simple guide to choosing a frequency converter to save yourself time and money. Make sure you’re using the best voltage and frequency for your application purposes, and your machinery will thank you in the long run.