Control Fan with VFD or Damper?


Control Fan with VFD or Damper?
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Why do you want to use a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) versus a Damper to control your fan? Most commonly, it’s for energy savings. Read on to learn why.

If you’re working on your industrial fan application and trying to sort out whether to use a damper or a Fan Variable Frequency Drive (Fan VFD), we have captured a few criteria to help you choose. Spoiler alert: the Fan VFD is more common, mainly because of the energy savings it tends to provide. But there are reasons to choose a damper too. Take a minute or two to listen to Senior Application Engineer Fred Besasie as he explains.

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Read Full Transcript:
A couple ways to control a fan: Dampers (inlet/outlet) or a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD). Why do you want to use a VFD? Most commonly, it’s for energy savings. Rarely does a system operate at a constant volume. It’s being controlled by something – that fan is being controlled by something – and you want to vary your volume. The most cost-effective way to do that is with a VFD because it saves energy. It [does this by varying the speed to match the current need instead of staying steady even if the actual need is more or less. For example, it] slows the fan down, slows the motor down, increases the motor speed so you’re saving energy with a VFD. What’s the break even for a VFD? That’s a tough question… depends on your system, how many hours of operation, depends upon your cost of power in your area… I would say generally we’re seeing most fans 50 horsepower and above frequently are being controlled with VFDs and a lot of fans below that also. Part of it also is determined by how finite of control you need for your system. A VFD offers the best control for your system. There are reasons to use dampers. For pressure regulation as well, but I would say the most common things we see these days are the use of a variable frequency drive.


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