MRO Magazine

Automated VFD means no worries

Outsourcing one or several functions such as R&D, engineering, machining, assembling or testing to a specialized vendor is not a new idea. Totally transferring to an outside source the design and...


December 1, 2004
By MRO Magazine

Outsourcing one or several functions such as R&D, engineering, machining, assembling or testing to a specialized vendor is not a new idea. Totally transferring to an outside source the design and the development, the manufacturing, and the set-up of refrigeration and heat transfer ‘boxes,’ however, is a new twist on a proven concept.

Kingston, Ont., based Epsilon Industries is a supplier of integrated air- and fluid-side heat transfer systems. Its line of products includes factory-built penthouses incorporating mechanical/electrical systems, complete heat transfer packages and refrigeration systems.

“A number of reasons are contributing to the success of the concept of ‘packaged’ mechanical systems,” says Epsilon sales and marketing vice-president, Brad Hughes. “Customers are realizing they can decrease the total cost and meet their deadlines by utilizing our specialized, highly trained and reliable technical staff.”

To regulate their pumps, chillers and air handlers, Epsilon has been buying MCH Series drives from a Massachusetts-based manufacturer, AC Technology Corp., a division of the Lenze group.

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“These drives offer some advantages that make a lot of sense to us: one is the automatic transfer-to-bypass; others are the disconnect option and the on-site warranty,” says Hughes.

The automatic-transfer-to-bypass option allows the motor to transfer from drive operation, and continue across the line in bypass mode. For example, there could be an external condition that will create a problem with the variable frequency drive (VFD) operation, such as transient voltage harmonics from the utility that causes the drive to trip off on a fault.

The MCH drive can be configured to attempt several restarts, but if the condition will not clear, the automatic-transfer-to-bypass function will transfer from drive operation to line power, without any human intervention.

What would happen if the drive did not have this functionality? A trained operator would have to be on-hand to ascertain that there was a problem, and then would have to manually put the drive into bypass mode.

“Utilizing the right type of VFD is a way for us to make sure we maintain uninterrupted service, no ifs or buts,” says Hughes.

Since dependability under demanding circumstances is a key industry concern, assuring their customers that the systems are going to offer top performance is a crucial aspect of Epsilon’s market success.