A new preventive maintenance program at a leading New England Ivy League university demonstrates how the push for more sustainable “green” building management has led to a growing awareness of a chronic, widespread problem with HVAC motors — electrical bearing damage and failure. VFDs, also known as inverters, adjustable speed drives, etc., are widely used because they save energy, especially in applications with varying loads. Because many centrifugal fans and pumps run continuously, their motors use less power if the input is modulated by VFDs. For example, a 20% reduction in fan speed can reduce energy consumption by nearly 50%.
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