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Sponsored by 15 By Steve Taranovich, EDN Y ou can divide the world of electronic motor drives, which control the speed, torque, direction, and resulting horse- power of a motor, into two categories: ac and dc. An ac drive controls ac induction motors and, like its dc counterparts, controls speed, torque, and horsepower. A dc drive typically controls a shunt-wound dc motor, which has separate armature and field circuits. This tear- down of the Schneider Electric Altivar 12 vari- able-frequency drive details the key features that define these drives. Rotating equipment, including fans, blow- ers, compressors, and pumps, consumes more than one-third the total electrical energy gener- ated in the United States. This equipment may use variable-speed-drive technology, in which motor speed adjusts to meet the load require- Teardown: The nuances of variable-frequency drives

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