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Variable Speed Drives

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It’d be dangerous if your car engine only had two options: off or full speed. Even if you could drive like this, such an over-simplistic on/off control would waste a lot of gas. The same issue affects motorized equipment, especially fans and pumps. Rather than simply turning a motor from off to full speed, variable speed drives (VSDs) modulate or throttle a motor up or down to meet the true load of what’s needed, just like you do with your car’s gas pedal. By installing a VSD on your motors, you’ll save energy and money, reduce stress on parts and potentially increase the lifespan of your equipment.

Benefits

Here are just a few common VSD applications you can use to improve the energy efficiency of your facility:

HVAC systems

HVAC systems are sometimes oversized and often don’t run at their recommended load. Adding VSDs to the motors that run compressors, fans and pumps can significantly reduce energy use by matching supply with demand.

Demand control ventilation

Reduce exhaust fan energy consumption by adding VSDs. Install them on demand control ventilation systems in offices, indoor parking garages and commercial kitchens.

Air compressors

Reduce maintenance costs due to jarring loading and unloading of your air compressor by lowering line pressure fluctuations and system line pressure. You can also install a VSD on your current air compressor if it’s not due for a replacement.

Project Examples

See how much these customers saved after installing a VSD onto their HVAC, chillers and air compressors:

HVAC VSD

Project Photo
Estimated project cost: $39,021
Incentive Received: $28,200
Estimated Annual Energy Savings: 513,902 kWh
Estimated Annual Cost Savings: $45,942**
Estimated Payback Period: 0.2 years

Custom VSD

Project Photo
Estimated project cost: $20,446
Incentive Received: $8,604
Estimated Annual Energy Savings: 71,702 kWh
Estimated Annual Cost Savings: $4,753*
Estimated Payback Period: 2.5 years

Air Compressor VSD

Project Photo
Estimated project cost: Air Compressor VSD
Incentive Received: $8,500
Estimated Annual Energy Savings: 79,030 kWh
Estimated Annual Cost Savings: $5,239*
Estimated Payback Period: 1.1 years

VSD on HVAC Chiller

Project Photo
Estimated project cost: $16,000
Incentive Received: $8,760
Estimated Annual Energy Savings: 23,921 kWh
Estimated Annual Cost Savings: $2,138**
Estimated Payback Period: 3.4 years

* Estimated savings based on average retail price of $0.0663 per kWh for commercial customers based on 2018 Energy Information Administration data for the State of Illinois

** Estimated savings based on average retail price of $0.0894 per kWh for commercial customers based on 2018 Energy Information Administration data for the State of Illinois

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