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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 02:23 pm
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David Kilnapp
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Hi everyone. I thought I would update you on my attempts to find a variable frequency drive so that I could run my 133 Hz 1899 pancake. I was introduced to a guy who used to own an electrical supply shop. He has been looking for an inexpensive unit for me that he could adapt or modify for my use. So far no luck! I watched a video on YouTube called “How to build a simple VFD” (mr Carlton’s Lab) which demonstrates that a person with some electrical engineering background could easily build what I need. Unfortunately, finding such a person with the skills and knowledge has thus far eluded me. So I’ll ask all of you to reach out to just such a person that you might know who might be willing to make a VFD for this club. I would bet that several of you have fans that run at higher frequencies who could use a simple VFD.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 02:42 pm
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David Allen
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Did you look at the KB Genesis drives like Mel Lagarde uses for his fans?

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 02:50 pm
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David Kilnapp
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I don’t know if my guy looked at them. Is Mel’s contact info in the members directory?

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 02:58 pm
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David Allen
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Mel's info should be there. I'm on a work site with no time to dig now, but maybe later I can help more. 

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 03:18 pm
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David Kilnapp
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I spoke to Mike at Galco Electronics about the KB Electronics KBMA-24D ($170) who said that unit might be adaptable to alter 60Hz house current to 132Hz which is pretty close to the 133 Hz that my fan is designed for. They have plenty of these in stock too. I just sent an email to my guy asking him if he could look at this unit to see if it could be adapted to plug into a wall socket (input) and have an output socket for my fan. Seems like it could be done.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 03:29 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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Hi David,
Used VFDs are commonly available on eBay.  I bought a PowerFlex 4M, 1/4 horse I think, works like a champ, only cost around $100 or something like that, but here's the catch: they're designed for industrial control purposes and they have a lot of functions that are inter-related that I don't understand and don't need to run a dang fan.  But it's necessary to work thru all the functions and shut them off or put them in a state that doesn't interfere with what the fan demands.  Like, I can run 25 cycle no problem, but on 133 cycle I can only get the fan running at maybe half or 3/4 speed.  When I up the voltage towards 80 volts, the fan starts banging and complaining.  When I get some time, I'll play with the VFD some more and see if I can't get it working to my satisfaction because it's actually fun to play around with the thing.

Here's a pic of my Emerson 16946 133cy lever oscillator attached to the VFD.

Jim





t

Attached Image (viewed 353 times):

IMG_7878.JPG

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 05:42 pm
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David Kilnapp
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Jim: I’d be interested to see what you can come up with. I’ll check the membership directory later for Mel LaGarde’s number.

Last edited on Wed Jul 29th, 2020 05:42 pm by David Kilnapp

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 05:49 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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Yep, no problem David, I'm in the middle of some other fan and old car related projects, both of which are kicking my a*s and making me feel stupid, but I'll keep you posted when I work with the VFD again.  David Allen is 'da man when it comes to VFDs, he's kind of my hero, but he has to work for a living, unlike me.  I'd starve if I went back to having to do actual work.

Jim

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 06:25 pm
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David Kilnapp
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Funny!! I got a guy at Galco.com who told me he has a unit that can be programmed to give frequencies up to 400Hz at any voltage. Costs about $200. It’s called an Invertek AC Drive #ODE-3-110023-1012. This is the only unit he knows that will take a single phase input and produce a single phase output. His only concern was how the fan would handle a high voltage pulse (??). I was going to have my electronics guy give him a call to discuss how one might wire this so you could plug it into a wall socket and have some way of plugging a fan into the output. So we shall see. The price isn’t too high IMHO

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 11:49 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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Hey David, that sounds like an ideal setup that would avoid a lot of the complication of using an industrial VFD.  I'd really appreciate you keeping me posted on how this works out, and I agree on the price, that's really reasonable for a product that would let a borderline moron like me run some weird frequency fans without having to wonder if the banging from the fan really means something.  Thanks!

Jim

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 Posted: Thu Jul 30th, 2020 11:34 am
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David Kilnapp
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Sure will Jim!

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 Posted: Thu Jul 30th, 2020 11:48 am
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Kim Frank
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If anyone is coming to the Museum meet and has a fan that they haven't been able to run at it's rated volts/cycles, bring it when you come and we'll hook it up to our VFD so you can see it in operation.

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 Posted: Thu Jul 30th, 2020 12:05 pm
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Steven P Dempsey
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bringing my 25 cycle Cutler Desk Fan

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 Posted: Thu Jul 30th, 2020 01:57 pm
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Jim Humphrey
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I'll be bringing my 133 cycle 16946.

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 Posted: Sat Aug 1st, 2020 08:54 pm
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Tony Clayton
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Kim Frank wrote: If anyone is coming to the Museum meet and has a fan that they haven't been able to run at it's rated volts/cycles, bring it when you come and we'll hook it up to our VFD so you can see it in operation.
What brand and model are you using Kim?



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 Posted: Sun Aug 2nd, 2020 01:35 am
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Jim Kovar
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Tony Clayton wrote: What brand and model are you using Kim?
Tony, the model Kim has is not a typical VFD.

Not sure of the brand but it was not designed
to be used a permanent fixture to control an
industrial or commercial process such as a
conveyor, pump, blower etc.

Kim's "VFD" was designed specifically for
testing AC motors during a motor's design
and prototyping or for QA/QC testing in a
production setting.

With a VFD such as Kim's, unlike a typical
"off the shelf" VFD, one can change the
frequency and voltage independently.

Most "off the shelf" VFDs, the ones
designed for industry, the VFDs can only
be programmed to change frequency and
voltage simultaneously and linearly.
(Linearly...  Lets ignore boost. :D)

No independent control.


Below:  what a typical VFD does.

One knob varies both frequency and
voltage at the same time (red line).


Last edited on Sun Aug 2nd, 2020 05:54 am by Jim Kovar

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 Posted: Sun Aug 2nd, 2020 12:22 pm
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David Kilnapp
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The VFD I mentioned above supposedly allows for independently changing voltage and frequency. Still haven’t heard from the guy I’m working with to adapt it for my use. Must be on vacation I guess

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 Posted: Sun Aug 2nd, 2020 02:32 pm
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David Allen
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David Kilnapp wrote: The VFD I mentioned above supposedly allows for independently changing voltage and frequency. Still haven’t heard from the guy I’m working with to adapt it for my use. Must be on vacation I guess
Virtually all VFD's have a way to adjust the volts per hertz ratio. The Allen-Bradley drives can have voltage constraints set, as well as have the voltage changed without changing the frequency; by adjusting the appropriate parameter while the drive is running. 

They also have "boost" which (counter-intuitively) allows reduced voltage below the motor's V/F rating when at low speeds. This allows fan and pump motors to be extremely efficient at lower speeds, when the load becomes exponentially easier to turn at lower speeds.

Changing  the voltage and frequency independently is not a conventional way to use the drive, but it can be done. We do this during drive tuning, with each project to optimize the performance of the motor. I'm sure a prototyping drive with two separate potentiometers for V and F would be quite nice for test work, as long as it also had a normal automatic V/F ratio mode as well. 

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 Posted: Sun Aug 2nd, 2020 06:11 pm
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Jim Kovar
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Hi, David K

I wasn't planning to get into the minutiae of
A-B parameter programming in this thread.

The gist I was trying to convey is that
conventional VFD's do not have two
separate control knobs, one for volts
and another for frequency.

I'm sure you take measures to prevent
"Joe Operator on the production floor"
from  trying to change the programmed

parameters of a VFD.

Joe in control of one knob...  is sometimes
one knob too many!  :shock:


:thumbup


Last edited on Sun Aug 2nd, 2020 07:08 pm by Jim Kovar

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 Posted: Sun Aug 2nd, 2020 07:01 pm
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David Kilnapp
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Understood

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