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Common Reasons for Variable Speed Drive Failure

Common VSD Failures

If you have a need for Variable speed drives (VSDs), you likely are already aware of their many benefits. They are a variety of applications, from centrifuge pumps to machines for paper manufacturing. Using them, you save energy, improve the system, and have more control over pump outflow and other processes.

Although using VSDs is a good idea, there may also be some issues involved with them as well. Those issues can include lateral vibrations and structural resonance. Plus, a VSD could fail. Failure leads to unexpected and costly repairs along with possible downtime.

A variable speed drive may fail for any number of different reasons. VSDs are a piece of electronic equipment. Despite the maintenance and care you provide them to keep them running, they wear out. There are also some specific problems that lead to the potential for variable speed drive failure. By understanding the potential problems and removing them when possible, you avoid the problems associated with specific VSD failures.

Why VSDs Fail

The following five reasons are some of the most common why variable speed drives fail.


When ultrasonic vibrations take place, they generate heat and damage the components within the VSD. These vibrations are difficult to detect unless you use the proper equipment.


When the voltage exceeds the rated level for the drive, it can damage it in many ways. There may be breakers or fuses in place to deal with this issue. But, when voltage spikes occur, such as a lightning strike, spikes cause excessive heat and damage to the internal components.

Operating Limit

Every variable speed drive has a rating. Knowing that rating is important to operate the equipment within those limits. When running a VSD beyond those limits, it results in damage and the eventual breakdown of the drive. A problem with exceeding the Operating Limit of a variable speed drive is either due to mismatching the equipment or operator error.

Running a VSD beyond its operating limit results in problems from either operator error or an equipment mismatch.


Routine testing and replacing of the capacitors is necessary to increase VSD lifespan. The drive itself may be good for many years. But, the capacitors are likely to wear out and need to be replaced on a much more frequent basis.


Like many pieces of equipment, proper installation is imperative. By doing so, you avoid potential problems such as excessive moisture or heat in the nearby area.

These five common reasons for VSDs is not a comprehensive list. Other causes of failure include improper sizing, harmonic distortions, or discovering that a soft starter is a better industrial fit.

The post Common Reasons for Variable Speed Drive Failure appeared first on L&S Electric.

This post first appeared on Watts NewL&S Electric | The Official Blog For L&S, please read the originial post: here

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Common Reasons for Variable Speed Drive Failure


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