When receiving a new variable frequency drive there are some basic steps that must be taken after the main wiring installation. Here are the most basic steps in the programming process of AC drives.
Read all manuals included with the box and download any ‘Instruction Manual’ and/or ‘Operating Manual’. The traditional ‘Quick Start’ guides will be able to get the motor shaft turning but will be short on any external signal controls to be wired and programmed if needed for the particular application.
Get comfortable with keypad navigation with a good understanding of how the navigation, LED indicators, parameter numbers are found, opened, altered, saved and how to exit. Without this basic knowledge base, it will be difficult to make the installation and operation of the device successful. Always refer to the manufacturers manuals for any and all specific programming details and warnings.
Write down or photograph the MOTOR NAMEPLATE INFORMATION
Key Information to Look For:
- Motor Rated Voltage
- Motor Rated current (Amps/FLA/FLC) at given voltage to be wired
- Motor rated RPM ( Number of Poles)
- Cycles (HZ) a.k.a. Frequency; 60HZ or 50HZ dependent upon design.
- Motor rated Cosine Phi (cos phi) not all drives will require this entry. If needed, it can be calculated by (Motor Watts/Efficiency x Voltage x Current x 1.732)
What are we going to do with this information? Load it into the VFD Parameters.
How do we do that? Read the manual and locate the parameters for each of items listed above so that the information can be confirmed to be the same as the factory default parameter or modified for the specific motor as required by the factory manual.
Keep in mind that some variable frequency drive manufacturers have parameters that might have to be unprotected to have access to these higher level numbers. Please see both the Instruction Manual and/or Operating Manual.
Some VFD’s may have an AUTO TUNING PARAMETER FUNCTION that will aid in conforming the motor and the variable frequency drive being tuned. This may have to be done if certain DRIVE MODE parameters are being utilized (manufacturer dependent).
By completing these basic steps the typical VFD will be able to run/stop the motor from the keypad of the VFD.
The Frequency (Speed) can be altered with the up and down arrow keys on the included key pad. If the VFD is equipped with a knob style potentiometer then a ‘Frequency Control Source’ parameter will need to be changed to activate that device for use of altering the
Congratulations! This completes the most basic tips for setting up most VFD’S. Please consult the designated manufacturers manual for any other information regarding wiring and parameter settings for external signal controls, switches, input voltages or currents.
Be safe and remember to follow all warnings by the manufacturer’s instruction guides.