Invertek Drives: Innovating energy saving HVAC VFD technology for a sustainable future

Invertek Drives is at the forefront of the innovation and manufacturing of such VFD technology. Established in 1988, the company has created more than two million drives used globally in most industries, including HVAC applications.

Invertek Drives USA North American headquarters are near Chicago Il. For more information about Invertek’s Optidrive VFDs and technical inquiries, please contact HVAC specialist:

Sam Pradhan, Automation Design Exchange

t: 224-253-3494

sam@autodesignx.com

www.autodesignx.com

With electric motors accounting for more than 40 per cent of the world’s energy consumption, there is increasing demand and governmental regulations to increase their efficiency, resulting in reduced energy use, costs, associated CO2 emissions.

Globally, industry and commercial buildings, account for more than half of the world’s energy consumption. 

Variable frequency drives (VFD) can reduce energy use by up to 50 per cent in some HVAC and motor control applications. This is a win in terms of significant cost savings for the end user, as well as reducing the impact on the environment.

Invertek Drives is at the forefront of the innovation and manufacturing of such VFD technology. Established in 1988, the company has created more than two million drives used globally in most industries, including HVAC applications.

The company has grown year-on-year and now employs more than 240 people at its global headquarters in the UK. This totals more than 260 people globally.

Year-on-year growth in the US 

In 2018, Invertek Drives USA established a new North American headquarters near Chicago Il. from where it distributes its Optidrive range of VFDs through a national network of Sales Reps including HVAC specialist Sam Pradhan of Automation Design Exchange (ADE). In early 2021, it expanded into a larger HQ due to continued growth in the US market.

Invertek expanded its global manufacturing and research and development facilities in the UK in 2019. A new 5,500sq metre manufacturing site was built capable of producing 400,000 drives a year.

At the same time, significant investment was made in new laboratories and test facilities for its Innovation and R&D teams. This included a dedicated motor test room, anechoic chamber, and the latest test and validation equipment.

Invertek invests more than 14 per cent of its annual turnover into innovation each year. With such a large innovation team it is constantly developing existing and new VFD hardware and software through to final validation.

Dedicated HVAC VFD

HVAC applications account for a large percentage of Invertek’s Optidrive Eco VFDs. The drive is designed specifically for efficient fan and pump control in a wide range of scenarios.

These can include air conditioning and ventilation systems, stairwell pressurisation, fume extraction, fire override, chiller pump control, and multi-pump management.

In many cases, energy savings of more than 30 per cent can be achieved and payback can be achieved in under 18 months and often less.

In most cases VFDs can be easily retrofitted into existing HVAC systems to significantly improve energy and efficiency.

When the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates in Dubai undertook an energy audit it found its energy consumption and bills were significantly higher than anticipated.

VFD retrofitted into hotel’s existing air conditioning system

The central air conditioning system was built without VFDs. The climate within the hotel was controlled through a Building Management System with all air handling units operating at fixed speed only. Any air flow control was achieved using adjustable dampers only. This caused high energy use as well as placing a strain on the motors operating at a constant speed.

With temperatures exceeding 40°C in Dubai during the summer, the air conditioning system plays a vital role in the whole experience offered by the hotel, and the running costs of the system represent a significant proportion of the overall operating costs. It was vital for management to find a way to improve the system control and efficiency.

The Optidrive Eco was identified as the preferred VFD. It is specifically designed for use in HVAC building services applications and provides energy savings by varying the fan speed to control the output of air conditioning systems to meet changing demands during operation.

The VFD provides precise motor control for fan and pump applications using IE2, IE3 and IE4 motors and can control all types of motor including AC Induction (IM) Motors, AC Permanent Magnet (PM) Motors, Brushless DC (BLDC) Motors & Synchronous Reluctance (SynRM) Motors.

Eighty-three drives, varying from 3 Hp (2.2kW) to 30 Hp (22kW), were installed in 43 AHU panels in various sections of the system.

An Invertek sales partner managing the project said: “The energy savings are so substantial that the hotel should see payback for the outlay of the VFDs, including all installation costs, within 14 months of the installation. The whole project was completed very smoothly considering the challenges we faced, thanks to excellent support from the hotel management.”

Additional Information about Invertek Drives

Invertek Drives Ltd is dedicated to the design and manufacturing of electronic variable frequency drives for controlling electric motors. Established in 1998 it has grown year-on-year and is now one of the world’s leading innovators in VFD technology.

In November 2019 it was acquired by Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd (SHI), a leading global manufacturer and distributor of power transmission and control equipment. Invertek’s UK headquarters, located at Welshpool, Powys, UK, houses specialist facilities for research and development, manufacturing and global marketing.

All operations, including research and development, are accredited to the exacting customer focused ISO 9001 quality standard whilst its Environmental Management System is accredited to the ISO 14001 quality standard.

In 2019 a new 5,500 sq metre global manufacturing and distribution facility was opened at the headquarters, allowing production of up to 400,000 VFDs a year. Invertek’s products are sold globally by a network of specialist distributors in over 80 different countries.

Invertek Drives unique and innovative Optidrive range is designed for ease of use and meets with recognised international design standards for CE (Europe), UL (USA) and CTick (Australia). More details can be found by visiting www.invertekdrives.com.

 

For more media information, contact:

Owain Betts, PR, Media and Communications

t:          +44 (0)1938 558 253

m:        +44 (0)7787 437 052         Owain.Betts@invertek.co.uk      www.invertekdrives.com

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