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Schneider Electric was the first Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) manufacturer to receive AHRI certification on their buildings drives. The S-Flex and Altivar ATV212 drive products are certified to AHRI Standard 1210 on three key drive performance metrics which are agreed on by key drive manufacturers in the industry. Those metrics are: efficiency, total harmonic distortion, and dv/dt motor output waveform. Like other AHRI certification programs, this third-party verification ensures that certified products have been tested to a defined method of test and their performance has been verified by an AHRI certified laboratory. Since then several other manufactures have also obtained certification. Now a true side by side comparison can be made between manufacturers’ products. Look at how the Altivar ATV212 compares with the competition.


What does this mean for an application?
•Higher efficiencies would require less power to operate translating to lower operational costs.
•Lower Harmonic Distortion (THDi) means the input power is cleaner and may not require additional devices for mitigation.
•Lower dv/dt means the motor windings are stressed less and can improve motor life.

Put this information in front of your OEMs, end customers, and consulting engineers. Ask them to require AHRI certified products and help them to specify the performance levels that best meet their application needs.

Who is AHRI and how do I get the performance data?
AHRI or Air-conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute is a 315-member organization of companies that manufacture quality, efficient, and innovative residential and commercial air conditioning, space heating, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment and components for sale in North America and around the world, and account for more than 90

percent of HVACR and water heating residential and commercial equipment manufactured and sold in North America.

AHRI advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government, working to ensure that members’ interests are included in final drafts of legislation. They also have a certification program that is relied heavily upon by regulators for accurate and unbiased evaluation of heating, water heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and commercial refrigeration equipment. Lastly, AHRI develops industry-recognized performance standards for industry equipment. They develop standards within the industry via technical committees where leading manufacturers are brought together to author standards for testing performance criteria and then conducting certification testing to verify data. These three tiers are at AHRI’s core. Aside from these three tiers, AHRI is viewed as a resource for industry shipment data, education and workforce information, and research. AHRI is an industry powerhouse, providing our members with one industry voice, both domestically and abroad.Standard 1210 for VFDs was developed by; Schneider Electric, ABB, Danfoss, Trane, Emerson, Carrier, and JCI. This Standard also is recognized by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) which approved it as a nationally recognized method of test for VFDs.So why is AHRI certification important to the owner or OEM of the equipment?

•Industry collaboration on writing the standard test procedure
•1 set of tests for all manufacturers allows users to compare the data on level playing field
•Only Certification Program currently available for VFDs so even though AHRI is from the buildings segment, the data is useful for process and plant customers as well.

Look for the Certification Label on products and literature to verify program participation. All testing is required so once manufacturer submits on a model number, all data must be supplied. A manufacturer cannot pick and choose which parts to certify to within the required tests. A manufacturer can qualify testing with external devices if defined within the submission. Each external device must be listed using specific manufacture’s model number.AHRI certifies performance around 3 criteria:
•Drive Efficiency (%) at 40, 50, 75 and 100% speed – drive and motor
•Drive Input Harmonic Current (%THDi) at 100% speed
•Drive Output Peak Voltage (V) and Rise Time (μsec) at 100% speed

The test circuit clearly defines the test conditions and measurement points. For efficiency, % is calculated by measuring the output mechanical power at the motor shaft and dividing this by input power to the VFD. Load (Fan or Pump) efficiency could be added to the published drive/motor % efficiency to obtain the overall “System” efficiency. In pumping applications this is sometimes referred to as “Wire to Water” efficiency.

Voltage categories classify the VFDs as shown in the table 1 below.

Anyone can go to AHRI’s Website and view certified data to confirm program participation and compare ratings between listed products.

It is easy to get there from Click on certifications tab and then select AHRI compliance test data. Each model number has a certificate available.