Starting up a variable frequency drive can be as much an art as it is a science, and because a variable frequency drive can save so much money, you are going to see them on just about any project you bid. When you are estimating a job, how much do you add for the variable frequency drive? The price of a drive is easy to figure (the price is the price), so conventional wisdom would say go with the low price drive. But is that really the smart move?
Most of the pros I know say no. Here is why: they tend to think in terms of cost to install and maintain instead of just price. Back to estimating that job… you have the price of the variable frequency drive, but how do you estimate the cost to install the drive and to commission your variable frequency drive?
Like most things in life you don’t get something for nothing, and the lower priced variable frequency drives are lower priced for a reason. It is not that they don’t do what a variable frequency drive is supposed to do. The lower priced drives take out features that a mid priced variable frequency drive like the Honeywell Variable Frequency Drives Guide Specification include: things like start up wizards and English language prompts on the keypads that are intuitive and make set up easy. How easy? Check out Brian doing a basic commissioning of the new Honeywell variable frequency drive in 36 seconds. How cool is that ?
A lower priced drive can look attractive but can take a lot longer to set up and commission. Forget about a keypad or at least forget about one that does not require you to look up code in a manual to see what each of the prompts mean. Forget about the wiring terminals being bigger and easier to wire; plan on sending your best techs out to the job and be sure to put in extra hours for the complications that can arise from being “penny wise and pound foolish.” Also, plan on spending extra time with your customers explaining how the drive works. Remember, the product you leave on the job site in many ways is a reflection of your company. I am not saying “all low price drives are a bad decision,” I am saying that you must think in terms of overall cost and not just price when it comes to which variable frequency drive you purchase.
With the new Honeywell Variable Frequency Drive your estimating is easier. Because of the easy setup wizards and the removable keypad display and the intuitive prompts, you don’t have to send your best variable frequency drive person to do start up. Also, because of the removable keypad that stores the set up parameters, you can program once take the keypad and download the setup into other drives.
Although the Honeywell Variable Frequency Drive might not be the lowest priced drive, the smart money says it is the lowest cost drive to install and own. It is a quality product that will make your customers appreciate you for installing Honeywell.
One final thought as you are estimating your variable frequency drive job and looking for a way to lower your cost — a question you might ask is “do you really need the bypass?” For an enlightening perspective on variable frequency drive bypasses, check this out.
Stromquist & Company is the authorized Honeywell Variable Frequency Drive distributor for Georgia and Florida and look forward to helping you with all your HVAC control and Variable Frequency Driveneeds. If you are not a Stromquist customer or are not located in Georgia or Florida one of our affiliates at Controls Group North America or a local authorized Honeywell distributor can assist you with your Honeywell Variable Frequency Drive needs.