Variable Frequency Drives on Air Handling Units
For commercial buildings
Download Project Information Form
A Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) matches motor energy to the work requirements. When installed on an AHU fan, the VFD varies fan speed. When it slows down, the fan draws less power than at constant speed, which saves energy.
While some AHU systems are engineered for 100 percent flow, many could operate with less. For example, turning a fan down just 10 percent can save up to 25 percent in energy costs. In most systems, reducing the speed by 50 percent can result in a 75 percent drop in energy consumption.
Payback & Incentives
To get started, contact your Trade Ally Network NW field specialist for help with forms and program incentives. Utility participation and incentives vary.
Amount received for qualifying energy-efficient VFD on AHU systems in commercial buildings.
A typical project payback, including incentives.
Find local incentives
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Reduced energy costs
Reduced fan usage
Long life span
Precise temperature control
The existing building must:
- Be heated by electricity or gas.
- Operate for equal to or greater than 2,000 hours per year.
- Have an AHU with a variable-flow-based HVAC system (constant volume systems are not eligible).
- Have a constant-speed fan on its AHU (variable-speed fans are not eligible).
The installed VFD application must:
- Include a controller for variable-speed fan operation.
- Be set to trend historical kWh usage, fan runtime and average fan speed.
- Include removal or permanent disabling of AHU throttling or bypass devices.