New Product Flash: Variable Frequency Drives For Hazardous Environments From Cooper Crouse-Hinds

Cooper Crouse-Hinds’ ACE Series Explosionproof Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) are a NEMA 7 VFD solution that can be installed in Class I, Division 1 or 2 hazardous areas. VFDs are already widely used to optimize the speed of motors controlling process equipment, but until now they have not been used inside classified enclosures because heat generated by the VFD inside the enclosure causes it to fail. Instead, VFDs are installed in control rooms outside of the hazardous area, resulting in expensive and impractical installations. The explosionproof VFD from Cooper Crouse-Hinds provides a solution to the challenge of using a VFD in a hazardous environment.

Currently available up to 60HP, the ACE Series Explosionproof VFD features a NEMA 7 enclosure with patent pending active cooling technology that allows a VFD to be housed inside the classified enclosure without the risk of overheating and failing. Expensive and complicated installations are eliminated, as there is no need to run long lines of conduit and motor cable, navigate around obstacles, or build off site control rooms in non-hazardous areas to house VFD clusters.

In addition to installation savings, ACE Explosionproof VFDs can lower energy consumption, decrease maintenance costs, and reduce downtime. These VFDs allow a motor’s power level to be adjusted exactly to performance needs, lowering energy use

. Built in diagnostics constantly monitor equipment information and operating conditions, bringing real time visibility to potential problems, which can prevent plant downtime. The ability to lower system speed and loads, plus soft start capabilities, helps reduce stress on the overall electrical system so there is less risk of damage or dangerous plant brownouts.

“We are excited to bring the ACE Explosionproof VFD to our customers,” said Grant Gawronski, president, Cooper Crouse-Hinds. “This product is the result of over two years of innovative research and development, and it is gratifying to introduce a product that will be revolutionary for plants in tough industries. The challenge of realizing the benefits of VFDs in hazardous installations has always been a big one for the industry.”

The product is built using the EJB Explosionproof enclosure with an epoxy paint finish for corrosion resistance and includes an explosion proof keypad and window that allows for operation of the VFD without opening the enclosure door. The ACE Explosionproof VFD features a heavy duty blower inside the enclosure that creates airflow, allowing it to operate in ambient temperatures up to 50ºC.

Designed to meet the requirements of the oil and gas industry, the ACE Explosionproof VFD is suitable for a wide range of applications, including petrochemical, water and waste water, and OEM skid builders.


  1. Sounds like good news for businesses looking to integrate variable frequency drives into their infrastructure. Any idea on the approximate price differences for buying the Cooper Crouse-Hinds design?

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