PR and Marketing

Daria Getsman

Daria Getsman

Head of External Relations


Choosing Energy-efficient Equipment: VFD or Hydraulic Coupling


The issue of implementing energy-efficient systems at power plants needs to stand alone today. Unfortunately, often such objects are not given due attention, though they consume a lot of electricity.

Fans and pumps in the system of auxiliaries have a great potential for energy consumption due to direct connection to the network. For pumps, in order to reduce electricity consumption, hydraulic choking is used, and special slide gate valves are used with fans. Nowadays, hydraulic couplings and frequency-controlled drives are actively used to regulate rotating mechanisms. Why? Let’s figure it out.

Frequency drives and hydraulic coupling regulate the rotor speed, providing significant energy savings. However, VFD has significant advantages over the hydraulic coupling.

For example, frequency drives can manage several motors, they have increased the reliability of operation, also higher efficiency and lower price. Let’s discuss all the peculiarities one by one.

Firstly, the hydraulic couplings cannot control several electric motors, therefore each unit has to purchase a separate device, hence the capital costs are significantly increased.

Secondly, the hydraulic couplings do not have the ability to connect the drive in the “electric bypass” scheme, so if the engine fails, the engine stops. The situation is different with VFD: due to bypass, the motor automatically switches to work with the network. Thus, it can be concluded that variable frequency drives provide high reliability of equipment operation.

Thirdly, the hydraulic couplings are more limited in regulation. VFD, in its turn, excludes mechanical breakdowns, therefore, it practically does not require maintenance. Maintenance of the radiator in operation in a polluted environment does not count.

Fourthly, the reaction time for changing the rotational speed of hydraulic couplings having a single-stage design is on the order of 2-4 minutes and is determined by the time it takes to inject the oil into the working area of the coupling and pump it out. The drive advantageously differs in its speed.

The most powerful advantage of VFD over a hydraulic coupling is a high efficiency. At hydraulic couplings, the efficiency decreases with a reduction in the rotational speed below 80%. As a result, its energy efficiency is reduced. VFD has the highest efficiency, regardless of the range of the speed of the electric drive, good rigidity of mechanical characteristics and the ability to work in the engine and generator modes.

Also the cost of the hydraulic coupling and ensuring its operation in the composition with the actuators is higher than the price of frequency drive.

We propose to proceed to specific examples.

Let us consider Triol AT27 VFD designed as an alternative to a hydraulic coupling.

Such frequency drives are introduced into the system for maintaining reservoir pressure in the SPS and MCPS in order to optimize the technological processes by increasing the efficiency of operation. With the help of Triol AT27 VFD, it is possible to save on energy costs well by ensuring the operation of electric motors in the mode of the most optimal efficiency. Note that for this inverter, the efficiency of the inverter is about 98%.

Triol AT27 VFD can work in any enterprise but is most actively used in O&G industry to improve technological processes and the use of innovative systems.

Let’s summarize. As we can see VFD surpasses the hydraulic coupling in many ways. And this is a fact. Choosing an energy-efficient equipment, you must focus on your needs, and behind the implementation of technological solutions contact only proven companies that have successfully proven themselves in the market.

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