This is a common question and, full disclosure, this is a very basic blog on the differences.
A VFD (variable frequency drive) can increase/decrease the speed of a motor. If you need motor speed control a variable frequency drive is what you need.
A soft starter is only involved in the starting and, sometimes, stopping of a motor. A soft starter will allow you to start the motor at a reduced voltage, gradually increasing during startup until you reach full speed. This gives you a controlled ramping up to full speed.
Let’s use one last real world example to clear things up, someone once explained this to me using a car:
- If you didn’t use anything it would be similar to just slamming all the way down on the gas pedal.
- Which options do you think are better for your car and all the parts involved?
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