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VFD for Residential Elevators

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The KEB F5B VFD

The commercial F5 series drive and accessories are offered for winding-drum or traction applications in which an open-loop geared induction motor is typically used.

As the U.S. population ages, mobility within the home can become a challenge. Relatively simple tasks, such as using the stairs, become increasingly difficult as we age. For some, the only option is to move to assisted-care facilities that can cater to specific mobility challenges. However, this can be very costly and put undue hardship on those forced to move out of their homes. As long-term care costs continue to increase, home elevators have become a cost-competitive solution that can allow seniors and others with mobility restrictions to stay in the comfort of their homes.

KEB America’s F5 series variable-frequency drive (VFD) can be used for residential home elevator applications. It can be applied for winding-drum or traction applications in which an open-loop geared induction motor is typically used. It can also be used with more advanced permanent-magnet machines that feature encoder feedback. The F5 supports TTL, Endat, Sin/Cos, UVW and other encoder feedback options. Sizes are 0.5-3 hp and are capable of either single- or three-phase AC input, and higher-power ranges are available upon request. Sourcing (PNP) and sinking (NPN) style inputs are available on all drives. A standard heatsink or optional flatback heatsink can be used for space-saving applications.

KEB’s inverter software Combivis can be used to program and set up the drive. Customized parameter lists can be created and saved. Relay outputs can be programmed to control the brake and motor, and indicate drive status. In addition, Combivis can be used to take scope traces when advanced troubleshooting and adjustment are necessary.

KEB America also offers a variety of accessory pieces, such as braking resistors and encoder cables, that can be used for residential elevator applications. The braking resistors feature a thermosensor that can be used to detect overheating. Encoder cables feature twisted-pair wires with heavy-duty outer shielding to reduce noise and disturbance.


Sher XiongSher Xiong works in application engineer support in the elevator group at KEB America. He has been with KEB since 2018 and has a diploma in Automation Robotics Engineering Technology from Hennepin Technical College in Minnesota.

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Elevator World | November 2020 Issue Cover