Drives and Control Solutions

Motors, Control Solutions, Power Transmission and Advanced Motion Technology                                                                 

April 13, 2020

By Ryan Doxsey

Energy overload situations can cause braking resistor failure, but is easily prevented with the right equipment and system design. In this article we’ll explain the cause of overload conditions and present three methods that will help you address this common problem. After all, you want to protect your VFD and related equipment in order to prevent unhappy customers and co-workers that experience a system failure.

Brake Resistor – Normal Operation

Under normal operation, the brake resistor is driven by a brake chopper transistor when excess energy is returned to the VFD. The brake chopper continuously turns the brake resistor on and off until the extra energy is dissipated. The resistors are sized to be used with a brake chopper and not for direct, continuous connection to the VFD’s DC bus.


What is Brake Chopper Failure?

If a brake chopper fails, it most likely fails in a “shorted” state. During a short-circuit failure, the brake resistor is subsequently connected, unrestricted, to the DC bus voltage of the VFD. As mentioned earlier, the brake resistor is sized to be used with a chopper circuit. Consequently, a direct connection to the DC bus overloads the brake resistor and can cause external damage and also become a fire hazard.

3 Ways to Safeguard a Brake-Resistor from an Overload

There are several options to prevent a braking resistor failure from an overload situation. KEB suggests at least one of these options:

  1. Brake-Chopper Transistor Monitoring Board
  2. Installation of Brake Resistors with a Thermal Switch
  3. Intrinsically-Safe Brake Resistors




1. Brake-Chopper Transistor Monitoring Board

KEB offers an optional monitoring board for various sizes of F5 VFDs. This board monitors for short-circuit failures within the brake chopper circuit. When a brake chopper malfunction is detected, a drive fault is generated that triggers a dedicated form C relay. The control system should be designed in such a way that power is removed from the drive or resistor when this relay is opened.


2. Brake Resistors with a Thermal Switch

Brake resistors can be equipped with a thermal switch to detect a potential overload condition. When a resistor is overloaded, it attempts to dissipate more heat than it was designed to do. In this case, the thermal switch will open when the temperature of the resistor becomes too hot. KEB recommends interrupting one of the high voltage supplies to either the VFD or the resistor. Refer to the next 2 diagrams on how this can be implemented.


3. Intrinsically-Safe Braking Resistors

KEB also offers braking resistors that are intrinsically safe. These resistors come equipped with an internal overload protection that will open, similar to a fuse, when overloaded. This option does not require any additional hardware or control devices as the protection is built-in to the resistor.


Editor's Pick: Featured Article

Motor Duty CyclesWhat Are Motor Duty Cycles?

When selecting a motor, it is important to consider the required duty cycle to ensure the motor can meet the needs of the application.  This blog post and the accompanying light board video will provide a basic introduction to motor duty cycles and a few of the most common types of duty cycles.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) defines eight classifications for duty cycle which are grouped by continuous, short term, or periodic cycles.  These cycles refer to the sequence and durations in time of all aspects of a typical operation, including starting, running with no load, running with full load, electric braking, and rest. 

Read More



Motor Feature

Servo MotorsThe ability to size servo motors correctly is imperative for motion-controlled applications, and it can be much more involved than sizing AC induction motors. Acceleration, deceleration, and running torque must still be taken into account, but the servo’s ability to dynamically control the load’s speed and position is also important. During acceleration and deceleration, peak and nominal running torque measurements must be calculated to ensure that the servo motor does not overheat during use. In addition, inertia matching between the motor and load is necessary to ensure optimum response and system performance.



Product News

  • Prev
Single Phase Power Solutions introduces a 75 hp single-phase electric motor to power industrial ...
Festo is meeting the need of the North American automotive sector for a powerful yet flexible valve ...
You may view your HMI software as the tool that puts production data in front of workers at ...
AMT series encoders from CUI Devices are advanced capacitive encoders with a variety of uses. AMT ...
The Drives & Motion Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. is proud to release Yaskawa Compass, a ...
Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. recently released the newest addition to its lineup of ...
Parker Hannifin has introduced the Parker Service Master CONNECT, a strong diagnostic measuring ...
Synchronous drive belts and pulleys utilize teeth to prevent slippage and unwanted speed ...
ABB has launched its newest automated data acquisition and lab reporting solution, offering pulp ...
B&R enables machine builders to establish a continuous connection to plants and machinery in ...

FR-E800 Variable Frequency DriveMitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. recently released the newest addition to its lineup of variable frequency drives, the FR-E800 Series. The micro-drive features a built-in PLC, and will include safety functionality meeting IEC 61508 standards and support various networks, including Ethernet/IP, MODBUS/TCP, and the soon-to-be-released CC-Link IE TSN. The FR-E800 Series is designed for engineering, technology, and product managers in industries such as packaging, material handling, food and beverage, and water and pumping, as well as those who are adopting PM motors to improve their energy efficiency.

Read more







Latest News

  • Prev
ABB Motion Canada alongside our HVAC Partners nationwide has introduced a special program for our ...
Brock Solutions is pleased to announce the recent award by the Region of Peel of the Clarkson and ...
This webinar (Friday April 17, 2020 at 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT) will review simple and easily ...
ABB is proud to announce it has been selected as one of Canada’s Best Employers by Forbes Magazine ...
Keeping pace with significant advances in motor speed control technologies, the International ...

Rittal & EPLAN Pump out a Powerful Solution for Metro Vancouver

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2020 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil