Fine Turgrass Management

Fine Turgrass Management

Steve Cook, CGCS, MG - Director of Agronomy

Monday, March 26, 2012

Variable Frequency Drive - VFD

Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) is a device that controlls the rotation of an AC motor. A motor drive determines the speed, direction and horsepower of a motor. The speed of a motor can be adjusted by changing the frequency applied to the motor.

Each irrigation pumpstation (North and South) has a VFD installed to run the pump motors that supply irrigation water to the golf courses. As water demand in the field is not constant, the motors do not need to run at full capacity on a constant basis. A VFD will change the speed of the motor to match the demand of the pumps supplying water. As irrigation demand increases, the VFD spins the motor faster, supplying more HP and more water. As demand in the field decreases, the VFD spins the motor slower.

This variation in motor speed to match demand, lessens the mechanical wear and tear on the system, reducing maintenance costs and extending the life of components. Reducing the voltage by operating the motor at less than full speed decreases energy use and cost.

In 2010 we replaced the VFD in the North pumpstation and this spring we replaced the South Course VFD. They have a life expectancy of 8 - 10 years and we do not want them to fail during the season.

Actual VFD, North Course 2010

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