Variable frequency drive (VFD) or also called variable speed drive (VSD) is a type of motor controller that runs on the electric motor by changing frequency and voltage supplied to the electric motor. VFD converts basic fixed frequency to variable frequency. Variable frequency drive has been classified into two types, namely electronic drive (DC) and electronic drive (AC). Electronic drive AC is a simple power converter that uses a silicon control rectifier (SCR) to convert AC power to DC power. AC drives function on AC power input and transforms it into DC.
The global variable frequency drive (VFD) market is expected to surpass US$ 33,158.1 Mn in terms of value by the end of 2028.
Compatibility with existing motors is expected to accelerate growth of the global variable frequency driver (VFD) market during the forecast period. Motors, when they are connected to variable frequency drives, receive power, which changes variable carrier frequency, fundamental frequency, and very rapid voltage build-up. This, in turn, results in negative impacts, typically when existing motors are replaced with such drives. Major VFD manufacturers in the market are focused on launching general purpose variable frequency drives with added advantage of deployment supporting existing motors. This, in turn, is expected to drive growth of the global variable frequency driver (VFD) market in the near future. For instance, Toshiba Corporation’s medium voltage adjustable speed drive T300MVi is compatible with all power systems and can be installed on existing motors to replace single- and two-speed starters.
Higher productivity efficiency can provide major growth opportunities. Operating VFD controlled motors at effective speed, which results in less maintenance and downtime of motors. Furthermore, lifespan of process equipment such as conveyors, fans, and compressors is increased since VFD-enabled motors prevent this equipment from issues such as electro-thermal overloads, under-voltage, and overvoltage. This, in turn, results in higher production levels thereby increasing uptake of variable frequency drives in North America.
Global Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Market: Recent Developments
Stagnant growth of oil & gas industry is expected to restrain growth of the global variable frequency drive (VFD) market during the forecast period. Consumers are increasingly preferring substitutes for oil & natural gas-operated vehicles and equipment. These consumers are opting for electric, battery-operated, and hybrid alternatives, which in turn, has decreased the demand for oil and gas products. Moreover, rising awareness regarding green technology has led to decrease in demand for petrochemical products. As a result of this, the demand for VFD is expected to reduce and thereby restrain growth of the global variable frequency drive (VFD) market over the forecast period.
Global Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Market - Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic
The variable frequency drive (VFD) market has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the outbreak of novel coronavirus in December 2019, many countries adopted nationwide lockdown policies. This, in turn, impacted manufacturing activities worldwide, affecting the sales of VFDs. With stringent regulations on physical distancing and temporary suspension of international trade, the global variable frequency drive (VFD) market witnessed a sharp decline in growth in the recent past. However, with rollout of vaccines and many countries undertaking mass vaccination initiatives, the market is expected to regain its lost traction.
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Prominent players operating in the VFD market are aimed at adding advanced industrial VFDs to their existing portfolio in order to expand application scope for VFDs. For instance, in January 2015, Hitachi America Ltd. (Industrial Components and Equipment Division) added new series of industrial AC variable frequency drives (VFD) in its portfolio through the launch of SJ700 D Series of AC VFD. Furthermore, key players in the market are focused on developing and launching medium voltage VFDs for deployment in applications such as centrifugal compressors and fans.
Major players the market are inclined towards entering into long-term agreements with regional community solar farms. Furthermore, these players are focused on deploying enhanced electrical distribution equipment and providing engineering services to these farms to ensure reliable, safe, and cost-effective solar power generation. For instance, in April 2015, Eaton, a U.S.-based power management company, agreement with an 8.2 MW community solar power installation in Colorado to provide engineering services and electrical distribution equipment such as panel-boards, load-centers with dry-type transformers, circuit protection solutions and switchboards.
Major companies involved in the global variable frequency drive (VFD) market are Fuji Electric Co., Ltd, Schneider Electric, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Toshiba International Corporation, Siemens AG, Emerson Industrial Automation, ABB Ltd., Johnson Controls Inc., American Electric Technologies Inc. (AETI), Rockwell Automation Inc., Danfoss India, General Electric Company, Honeywell International Inc., and Hitachi Limited.