More about Frequency Converters
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Frequency converters are designed to modify a current of one frequency to a new frequency. For example, a typical frequency converter might provide a 50 Hz output current from a 60 Hz incoming AC current. The applications for such devices are mainly to provide the proper power standard to a machine, as AC current at the wrong frequency can cause short circuits and system failure in certain devices. Frequency converters are also used in AC motors, where they enable control of speed and torque. By changing the frequency of the current sent to the AC motor, they provide the ability to change the motorís output without the need for worm gears or other gear speed reducers.
A basic frequency converter will not change the voltage or number of phases, although certain devices may be designed to perform these functions. However, such operations fall outside the scope of frequency conversion, which deals solely with the incoming and outgoing frequency. Standard frequency converters are made to convert AC currents at 50 Hz to 60 Hz, 60 Hz to 50 Hz, or from 50 or 60 Hz to 400 Hz, and designs are either one phase or three phases.
The two main types of frequency converters are rotary and solid state, with solid state converters operating electronically and rotary converters functioning electromechanically. These devices are rated by input and output power, as well as frequency, and can be designed to handle minute amounts of power to extremely high wattage current. They are often coupled with transformers to provide different output voltage as well as a frequency change. Typical frequency converters use a collection of semiconductors and diodes to achieve proper frequency change. Regular applications for these devices are in equipment requiring variable speed AC motors, and systems that require different frequency AC current than provided by the available source.