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HVAC Pros Ask...
Question: Do I need an Inverter Duty Motor when my pump and motor assembly are controlled by a Variable Speed Drive?

Not necessarily. A centrifugal pump (such as Taco Horizontal Split Case Pumps or the Taco SCX 1700 Close-Coupled Pump) is a variable torque device where the torque reduces with the cube of the ratio of the speed. Baldor has designed their Super E motor with special insulated wire that allows the windings to pass the Corona Inception Voltage test. These windings pass the requirements of NEMA MG 1 Part 31 for peak voltage (1600 volt peaks) when used on inverters. These motors are labeled Inverter Ready. NEMA Part 31, Definit—Purpose Inverter Motors, lists many requirements other than just peak voltage.

A true Inverter Duty Motor meets all the requirements of Part 31 and is expected to perform satisfactorily for torque, temperature, noise and vibration over the entire speed range. This applies to constant torque applications. A pump is a variable torque application and only concerns us with the 1600 volt peaks produced by the VSD. The temperature, noise and vibration reduce as the motor slows and unloads. These will not be factors for pump applications.

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Thanks for your interest.

Tim Smith