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28 May, 2022

Blogs & Opinions » Back to Basics

An old technology that’s learned new tricks

01 April, 2022

Synchronous condensers have been around for many years, but have recently enjoyed a new lease of life. Robb Wood, ABB’s UK division manager for large motors and generators, explains how.


The water industry shouldn’t be afraid to upgrade

01 March, 2022

Many UK water industry companies are still relying on legacy equipment that is decades old. James Thomas, ABB’s UK water industry manager, argues that they need to act quickly to take advantage of more efficient motor technologies if they are to hit their ambitious net-zero targets.


Tapping into flowing water to generate power

01 February, 2022

Flowing water represents a huge opportunity for small-scale generation of clean energy with rapid paybacks. According to ABB’s UK water industry manager, Clayton Mead, such applications are easier and cheaper than you might think, and VSDs can play
a key role.


The risks of feeding VSDs from generators

05 January, 2022

ABB’s water framework manager, Martin Richardson, explains some of the challenges associated with supplying variable-speed drives (VSDs) from generators – and how to solve them.


Can VSDs compete with all-in-one EC fans?

30 November, 2021

Oliver Woolley, ABB’s key account manager for the HVAC sector, discusses the merits of variable-speed drives in HVAC applications, and how they stack up against electronically-commuted fans.


Taking the guesswork out of VSD maintenance

15 October, 2021

Cloud computing allows us to track and analyse VSD data accurately, and to schedule maintenance exactly when it is needed. Liam Blackshaw, product manager for LV drives at ABB Motion UK, believes this is “a game-changer”.


How drives and motors fit into circular economy

14 September, 2021

Recycling motors and drives can result in substantial energy and environmental benefits. ABB’s UK managing director, David Hughes, looks at the role these industrial components can play in helping to achieve a circular economy.


How harmonics relate to running costs

01 September, 2021

Low-harmonic drives can tackle high levels of harmonic distortion at a relatively low cost. Liam Blackshaw, ABB’s UK product manager for LV drives, argues that concerns over higher-order harmonics and efficiency are usually misplaced.


Ecodesign regs: What do they mean for VSDs?

15 June, 2021

The first EU regulations covering the efficiency of VSDs come into force next month. Liam Blackshaw, ABB’s product manager for LV drives, examines the implications.


Cabling best practice Part 4: Length

04 May, 2021

Long cables between a motor and a VSD are not generally a good idea, but are sometimes unavoidable. ABB's Martin Richardson explains the factors to consider.


Cabling best practice Part 3: Routing

05 April, 2021

Have you ever experienced instruments giving readings from variable-speed drives that are clearly inaccurate or sporadic? The problem may lie, not with your drives, but with the way their cabling is installed, as ABB's Martin Richardson explains.


Cabling best practice Part 2: Grounding

08 March, 2021

Improving installation techniques for variable speed drives can dramatically reduce the likelihood of equipment failure and increase system reliability. Here, ABB's Martin Richardson considers the importance of earthing.


Choosing the best cables for VSDs

16 February, 2021

VSD-controlled pump installations sometimes experience spurious tripping or erratic process measurements. As ABB’s Martin Richardson reveals, such problems are increasingly being attributed to incorrect choice or installation of cabling. 


Energy regulations for motors and VSDs are set to change in July

06 January, 2021

From July 2021, a new Ecodesign regulation will come into force for low-voltage induction electric motors rated up to 1kV AC and, for the first time, for variable-speed drives. ABB UK sales manager Rich Gee explains the new requirements. 


How will new harmonic guidelines affect VSDs?

26 November, 2020

In his second column on the new G5/5 harmonic recommendation, ABB’s Martin Richardson reports that while there are many changes that may result in different methods of assessment, there are no fundamental changes in the mitigation methods and technologies used to keep harmonics in check. 


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