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Voith launches new variable speed drive

Published by
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Voith has launched its VECO-Drive - the first member of a new product family in the field of speed control for compressors and pumps.

It is an electric superimposing gear that combines a mechanical planetary gear with frequency-controlled servo motors. The electrical superimposing gear is the most efficient way to make speed variable. Servo motors are used to drive a planetary gear. Since they only need a small part of rated power, an overall component efficiency of more than 97% is reached. This saves valuable energy and reduces operating expenditures every day.

The VECO-Drive is installed between a constant speed motor and a variable speed compressor or pump. Since additional power is supplied to the drive train, a smaller main motor can be used. This saves CAPEX. Moreover, the servo motor can be used as a starter to protect the electric grid from high inrush currents.

A prototype system was built and tested in Crailsheim, Germany, in 2016. Voith engineers designed the system for compressor and pump applications with a maximum output speed of 15 000 RPM, maximum output power of 15 MW and a speed adjustment range from 50 to 100%. Compared to a typical full-scale medium voltage VFD train with a step-up gearbox, the measured system efficiency of a VECO-Drive is about 2% higher over the whole speed range. Thus, the system reduces annual energy consumption by more than 2000 MWh compared to a comparable VFD system.

The VECO-Drive is designed as a modular system and thus offers individual specifications for different application types, classes of explosion protection and speed levels. Advanced functions like the integrated PLC-based output controller, user interfaces, condition monitoring and simplified maintenance are part of the scope of supply, whereas remote access and remote diagnosis are available on demand.

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