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Inverter Drive Systems Ltd

IDS are ABB Inverter specialists. We specify, install, commission, repair, service and hire variable speed drives.

Inverter - A Rose By Any Other Name

Inverter – A Rose By Any Other Name

Rarely are there so many names and terms used to describe the same thing. Whilst compiling a new blog for our website, we decided it was about time we attempted clarification, by devising a glossary of terms for inverters. But first we need to understand the nature of the beast, so to speak! What is an inverter? We have our own simple guide here and Wikipedia has the following definition:

“A variable-frequency drive controls the operating speed of an AC motor by controlling the frequency and voltage of the power supplied to the motor. An inverter provides the controlled power. In most cases, the variable-frequency drive includes a rectifier so that DC power for the inverter can be provided from main AC power. Since an inverter is the key component, variable-frequency drives are sometimes called inverter drives or just inverters.” (Source: Wikipedia)

The most commonly used of these terms are inverters or inverter drive, VSD – variable speed drives, VFD – variable frequency drives. Here is the full list of terms used to describe inverters or their uses:

Inverter – A Rose By Any Other Name

Frequency Converter Inverter
Inverter Drive Inverter Drive Systems
VSD Drive
Drives Soft Starter*
Soft Start* VFD
Variable Speed Drives Variable Frequency Drives
Power Control (ler((s)) AC DC Inverter
AC Drives AC Inverters
AC Motor Speed Control AC Motor Controller (s)
Adjustable Speed Drive Constant Speed Drive
Fan Speed Control Frequency Inverter
Motor Inverter Motor Speed Control (ler((s))
Soft Start Inverter Speed Controller (s)
Speed Control of dc motor* Variable Frequency Inverter
Variable Motor Speed Control Variable Speed Control
Variable Speed Fan Controller (s)


Of course perception is key, although the actual definition behind some of these terms vary, if you were to take the literal meaning of some of the terms above, you will bring up quite differing definitions. As colloquialisms they have come to mean the same thing – A device to control the speed and therefore the efficiency of another device – an inverter.

A rose by any other name, smells just as sweet!

In the interest of accuracy the terms that are in the same field but are not actually inverters are highlighted with an *

Did you know the correct term is Frequency Converter?

Regardless of what you call them the results are the same, to discuss a retrofit, free energy survey or place your next order call us on 0115 9441036 or email [email protected]

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