Navionics Research Inc. is pleased to introduce the PowerFlex 753-Series VFD to our Water and Wastewater Utility Clients. This Architecture-Class, Made in the USA drive from Allen Bradley offers a modular design and can be flexibly configured for most any potable water or wastewater pumping application.
We recently had the privilege of commissioning a 150 HP PowerFlex 753 at Gateway Regional Water District as part of an emergency repair project at their critical raw water intake. During the course of this project, NRI’s VFD & Energy Analytics Firmware Module was expanded to accommodate the nuances of the PowerFlex 753’s 32-bit Modbus control and monitoring data structures.
Additionally, in order to enhance electrical protection for both the VFD and the Pump Motor, a Line Reactor and dV/dT Load Filter (MTE Corporation) were provided to condition the incoming and outgoing power, respectively.
The project was a successful joint-venture between Navionics Research Inc. and JF Electric (Edwardsville, IL), with excellent support by NRI’s vendors French Gerleman (St. Louis, MO | Quincy, IL | Columbia, MO), Rockwell Automation/Allen Bradley (Milwaukee, WI) and Fabrication Specialists (Alton IL).
NRI VFD & Energy Analytics: Enhanced Monitoring and Control of Variable Frequency Drives
In order to fully take advantage of the new PowerFlex 753 VFD, NRI installed its new VFD & Energy Analytics Firmware module. This new module allowed for enhanced monitoring and control of the drive using the industry-standard Modbus/RTU Protocol. The following historical trending charts illustrate a sampling of the new capability:
NRI’s VFD & Energy Analytics Firmware provides a groundbreaking, unique ability to monitor overall pumping system efficiency in the form of Gallons-per-KilowattHr (GPK), which is analogous to MPG for a vehicle. GPK was formulated by NRI as the ratio of Pump Flow-Rate (Gallons per Hour) divided by VFD Output Power (KW). This unique efficiency measurement represents an advance in the state-of-the-art of rural water SCADA monitoring.
Bus Voltage — an important VFD and Electric Utility health measurement — is monitored, trended, and alarmed in the system. VFD Temperature is another valuable data tag, which helps the Water Utility to avert temperature-related failures that can occur due to fan failures. Note that there are cooling fans in the VFD, as well as in the overall Motor Control Center.
About Modbus: One of the key industrial protocols utilized within Navionics Research SCADA Systems to communicate with VFD’s and other smart devices, MODBUS has become a de facto standard of industrial communication protocols. It is an especially important protocol when connecting control equipment from an in-homogeneous set of manufacturers. Gathering momentum and support since 1979 when it was first introduced by Modicon (now a division of Schneider Electric), it is the most common means of connecting industrial electronic devices. It is openly published, royalty-free, and forms a relatively easy-to-deploy industrial network.
NRI’s first pump application using Allen Bradley’s Architecture-Class PowerFlex 753 was interesting, exciting, and — most importantly — successful! Furthermore, the expertise that was gained during this project is ready to be applied to Water Plants and Pumping Stations throughout the Region. Are you interested in upgrading to a PowerFlex 753 VFD? If yes, then let me know, and we’ll get started.
And as always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or email.
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