The purpose of commissioning VSDs
The main purpose of commissioning VSDs is to ensure that:
- The AC converter and motor have been correctly installed and meet the wiring and safety standards such as IEC 60364 or Australian standard AS 3000.
- The power and motor cables are correctly sized, installed and terminated.
- All power cable shields have been correctly earthed at both ends, to the PE terminal at the converter, at the motor and at the DB or MCC.
- The control cables have been installed according to the control system design.
- All control cable shields have been correctly earthed at one end only, preferably at the process control system end (‘cleaner’ earth).
- There are no faults on the cables prior to energization for the first time.
Selecting the correct application settings
Once all the basic checks have been completed and the commissioning test sheet completed, the VSD is ready for energization.
This will avoid problems with starting the motor in the wrong direction, starting with an acceleration time which is too fast, etc. There is no danger in running a PWM converter with the output side completely open circuit.
Once all the initial settings and on-load checks have been completed, the motor cable can be insulation tested and connected for the final on-load commissioning tests.
Selecting the correct parameter settings
A variable speed drive will only perform correctly if the basic parameters have been correctly set to suit the particular application.
The following are the basic parameters that must be checked before the VSD is connected to a mechanical load:
- The correct base voltage must be selected for the supply voltage and to suit the electric motor connected to the output. In Australia, this standard voltage is usually 415 V, 3-phase. This will ensure that the correct output volts/Hz ratio is presented to the motor.
- The correct base frequency must be selected for the supply voltage and to suit the electric motor connected to the output. In Australia, this standard frequency is usually 50 Hz. This will ensure that the correct output volts/Hz ratio is presented to the motor.
- The connections to the cooling fan should be checked to ensure that the correct tap on the transformer has been selected.
Thereafter, the remaining parameters settings can be selected as follows:
1. Maximum speed
Maximum speed, usually set to 50 Hz, but often set to a higher speed to suit the application. Ensure that the maximum speed does not take the drive beyond the loadability limit.
2. Minimum speed
Minimum speed, usually 0 Hz for a pump or fan drive, but often set at a higher speed to suit constant torque applications. Ensure that the minimum speed does not take the drive below the loadability limit.
3. Rated current of the motor
Rated current of the motor, this depends on the size of the motor relative to the rating of the converter. The current rating of the converter should always be equal to or higher than the motor rating. For adequate protection of the motor, the correct current rating should be chosen.
4. Current limit
Current limit, determines the starting torque of the motor. If a high breakaway torque is expected, a setting of up to 150% will provide the highest starting torque.
5. Acceleration time
Acceleration time, determines the ramp-up time from zero to maximum speed. This should be chosen in relation to the inertia of the mechanical load and the type of application. For example, in a pumping application, the acceleration time should be slow enough to prevent water hammer in the pipes.
6. Deceleration time
Deceleration time, determines the ramp-down time from maximum speed to zero. This setting is only applicable if the ‘ramp to stop’ option is selected. Other alternatives are usually ‘coast to stop’ and ‘DC braking’.
The deceleration time can only be shorter than the natural rundown time if a dynamic braking resistor has been fitted.
7. Starting torque boost
Starting torque boost, can be selected if the load exhibits a high breakaway torque. This feature should be used cautiously to prevent over-fluxing of the motor at low speeds. Too high a setting can result in motor over-heating.
Only sufficient torque boost should be selected to ensure that the VSD exceeds the breakaway torque of the load during starting.
Final words //
There are also many other settings commonly required on modern digital VSDs.
The above are the most important and must be checked before starting. The remaining parameters usually have a ‘default’ setting which will probably be adequate for most applications. However, these should be checked and adjusted for optimum operation.
Reference // Practical Variable Speed Drives and Power Electronics – Malcolm Barnes (Get hardcopy from Amazon)
Thank you, your information is helpful
Hai can any one share the testing format for VFD/VSD
Variable frequency drives need to be considered with many factors and electrical stuff is one of them. Thank you for such an informational post, i m hooked up to your blog from now on. Please suggest me some more tips about electrical stuff.
I’ve never heard of grounding both ends of the shield.
I think it should only be done at the end where the cable originates, unless there is a special reason for it?
Do any of you have a VFD Commissioning Checklist ?
We installed VSDs on motors set-ups that required lube oil. Be sure your minimum RPMs ensures adequate oil protection.
Question. The VSDs we installed used feedback from the power cables for diagnosis and controls. The electrician grounded both sides of the power cables for the motor. We experienced a lot of noise that was confusing the controls system. We took the cable grounds off at the motor side. The diagnosing engineer said we turned the shield into an antenna to pick up electrical noises from the rest of the power plant. Why do you recommend grounding the motor power cable at both ends?
hi Edvard Csanyi
is there a standard for commissioning, is it mandatory to measure the THD?
Great help in explaining, keep up the good work. Appreciate it.
What happens to the motor / VFD if acceleration time set to the maximum. (too high)
its deponent on your load type, you can conect the motor with out the load for max natural speed and it takes 1.5-1.7 nominal to start for 1-3 second .
if u set acceleration time is max means….. u giving long time delay to motor for reaching the max speed… so 5.0sec accl/deccl time is good.
Thanks Edward, For this article. It’s a big help.
Thanks for the information. The simplicity of it goes a long way in the Cx process.
Thanks Edward, For this article. It’s a big help.
I am regular visitor of eep site there are many good articles published. I am also an electrical engineer. Good job done.thanks