Navigating through the complexities of industrial automation requiresa solid understanding of the tools at your disposal, especially when it comes to motor controllers. Often, two specific terms surface in these discussions – Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and Variable Speed Drive (VSD). While many use these terms interchangeably, it’s crucial to understand that each denotes a distinct type of motor controller. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the defining characteristics and critical differences between VFDs and VSDs.

What Is A Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)?

A Variable Frequency Drive, often recognised by its acronym VFD, is a type of controller designed to vary the frequency and voltage supplied to an electric motor. The primary function of a VFD is to modify the power supply frequency, facilitating precise control over the speed, torque, and overall performance of the motor. In a VFD, the frequency correlates directly with the motor’s speed – increase the frequency and the motor spins faster, decrease it and the motor slows down.

What Is A Variable Speed Drive (VSD)?

On the other hand, a Variable Speed Drive (VSD) is an umbrella term for any type of drive that can change the speed of a motor. This includes VFDs (AC drives) but also encompasses other technologies that can vary the speed of a motor (AC drives or DC drives). 

VFDs and VSDs share the goal of controlling an electric motor’s speed. Vacon drives, such as its Vacon NX drive, Vacon 100 drive or Vacon flow product can serve both of these objectives by regulating an electric motor’s speed. They offer powerful VFD and VSD solutions as they reduce energy usage, minimise mechanical stress on motor systems, and provide precise process control capabilities.

Looking for a dedicated Vacon installer, stockist and maintainest contact Digicon today!