Voith VECO-Drive is variable-speed drive for compressors, pumps

Voith Turbo has a new product family for the speed control of compressors and pumps: the VECO-Drive. It is an electric superimposing gear and is inspired by the established Voith Vorecon of which there are over 600 installations.

The VECO-Drive combines a mechanical planetary gear with frequencycontrolled servo motors. The company says that the electrical superimposing gear is the most efficient way to make speed variable. Servo motors drive a planetary gear. Since they only need a small part of rated power, an over-all component efficiency of more than 97% is reached, saving energy and operating costs.

The VECO-Drive is installed between a constant speed motor and a variable speed compressor or pump. The drive combines the reliability of mechanical gears with the productivity of low voltage VFDs. Since additional power is supplied to the drive train, a smaller main motor can be used. This saves capital expenditures. Moreover, the servo motor can be used as a starter to protect the electric grid from high inrush currents.

The system is designed 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 stepup gearbox, the measured system efficiency of a VECO-Drive is about 2% higher over the whole speed range. Thus, the VECO-Drive system reduces annual energy consumption by more than 2,000 MWh compared to a comparable VFD system. With a typical energy cost of €50/MWh, these energy savings result in cost reductions of more than €100,000/y.

The VECO-Drive is modular and can meet individual specifications for different application types, classes of explosion protection and speed levels. Other features include the integrated PLC-based output controller, user interfaces, condition monitoring and simplified maintenance. Remote access and diagnosis are also available.

Voith Turbo, www.voith.com

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