To paraphrase an old psychiatrist, sometimes a drive is just a drive.
In the not-too-distant past, electronic drives used for HVAC, pump and fan applications—like most space and volume-sensitive industrial machine applications—weren’t always designed with the needs of industrial OEMs and panel builders in mind.
In addition, the push to reduce energy consumption virtually mandated increasing use of variable-frequency drives in these applications.
The trouble was that the drives system designers had to work with typically were larger than necessary, took more valuable panel space, and had functionality beyond the application’s requirements.
Schneider Electric says it’s able to change that situation with the latest addition to its Telemecanique Altivar variable-frequency drive family. Designed for HVAC pump and fan applications, the Altivar 21 drive should allow OEMs and control panel builders to focus on the essentials of the task at hand. The Altivar line of variable-frequency AC drives services a wide range of motor control requirements, from simple machines to complex applications.
|ALTIVAR 21 DRIVE|
“We designed Altivar 21 for OEMs or panel builders who want an economical, easy-to-use drive with wide functionality, in the small footprint that’s needed for space-sensitive pump and fan applications,” says Dave Landry, senior drives product manager for Schneider Electric North America. “We believe the new drive meets a market demand for a quality drive in less-demanding HVAC applications such as heating and cooling supply fans, intake and exhaust ventilation fans, cooling tower fans, chilled and hot water supply pumps, cooling tower pumps, and fountain pumping.”
Touted as an economical drive, Landry adds that Altivar 21 includes the functions inherent in the entire Altivar line, including intuitive installation and operation.
“The drive allows expedited start-up because it comes with macro configurations for pump and fan applications and PC software for downloading factory-configured parameter files, and simplified wiring,” adds Landry. “It also features a local/remote button so users can take control of it for testing and troubleshooting, simplifying the monitoring, diagnostics and control of each unit.”
Altivar 21 has a compact footprint, allowing side-by-side mounting capability to conserve panel space. It services motors up to 40 hp at 240 V and 100 hp at 480 V, sufficient for HVAC pump and fan applications in office buildings, educational campuses, commercial facilities, and data centers. “Additionally, a unique design optimizes the diode bridge and capacitance to provide effective harmonic mitigation without using additional line reactors or DC chokes,” adds Landry. “This contributes to a considerable panel space and cost savings.”
Schneider Electric says the drive integrates more easily into building management systems through its internally mounted option cards, and reduces installation costs by eliminating throttling valves or inlet guide vanes typically used to control flow. The drive can increase the return on its investment capital by modulating motor speed to capture energy savings and extend equipment life.
“Altivar 21 is another opportunity for end users to achieve real energy savings through smart technology,” says Landry. “The entire line of Altivar variable-frequency drives can go a long way in helping a new or existing building achieve greater energy efficiency. Not only will users save money on their HVAC systems through reduced power consumption, they also will increase the comfort level within the building and reduce equipment maintenance costs and downtime.”
Like its Altivar predecessors, Altivar 21 provides thermal guarding of the motor, alarm and external fault management, and protection against overheating and corrosive environments. Further, the drives are environmentally friendly, using materials selected for minimal impact on the environment and conforming to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive.
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