Top 6 Reasons for VFD Failure and How to Prevent Them

Are you getting over voltage faults from your VFD? Erratic operation? Hearing strange noises? VFD failure? Chances are you may need to change your use and maintenance routines for your VFD and probably other equipment too.  As a rule, VFDs are reliable as hell. But like most things, they have their critical needs, and sadly, their breaking points.

variable frequency drive (VFD) controls the speed, torque, and direction of an AC motor. It is also referred to as an AC drive or inverter. This sounds pretty basic, but the electronic guts of the operation are actually complicated and need consistent maintenance by qualified operators.

We’ve produced a helpful bullet list of common causes of VFD failures, along with maintenance and repair tips. If there’s ONE takeaway, it’s this – avoid what we call the “Electronic Axis of Evil” like the very costly plague it could become: dirt, heat, and moisture. 

Top Reasons for VFD Failure and Tips to Identify and Prevent Costly Problems:

1) Buildup

Mainly this means “gunk” made up of dust combined with typical plant air which usually contains oil, moisture, and metallic particles. This buildup is probably the number one cause of VFD failure! And it’s not the actual dirt itself. It’s that the dirt/dust buildup attracts moisture and prevents good airflow. This results in excess heat, and the metallic particles can create stray current paths on your circuit boards. A triple play by the bad guys! The result? At a minimum, you will get diminished performance from your drive and at worst, catastrophic failure – bang!