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5 everyday places you'll find variable-speed drives

Variable-speed drives (VSDs) are best known for their use in industrial applications, helping increase business owners’ energy efficiency whilst significantly cutting their costs. However, you may not know that VSDs can be found in all kinds of everyday places, making our lives easier and safer. Here are five familiar situations where VSDs are used.

Swimming pools

While you’re enjoying that early-morning swim, pumps are working hard to keep the water circulated, heated, treated, filtered, replenished and replaced. In a large hotel, the swimming pool can account for up to 10% of total energy costs, so it’s crucial to control power usage. Variable-speed drives help manage the output of swimming pool pumps to match the demand, which varies depending on the time of day and season.


So that you can enjoy the latest blockbuster in comfort, VSDs are used in cinemas to control air handling units (AHUs). Rather than letting the AHUs run at full capacity year-round, VSDs adjust electric motors speed depending on the outside temperature. Sadly VSDs can’t do anything about that annoying person behind you talking throughout the film!


During the lunchtime and evening rush, a restaurant kitchen’s extractor fans will be operating at full speed as orders are prepared thick and fast. VSDs allow the extractors to be controlled so that during quieter periods, power demand decreases and the units are subjected to less wear and tear.

Theme parks

Next time you’re on a white-knuckle rollercoaster ride, you should thank the humble variable-speed drive that you walk away in one piece! As ride designers push the limits ever further to satisfy thrill seekers, variable-speed drives become increasingly important. VSDs allow ride speeds to be precision controlled at every stage, guaranteeing safety as well as excitement.

Automatic car washes

Apart from remembering to keep your windows closed, there isn’t much to think about as you take your vehicle through an automatic car wash. However, car wash designers and operators have plenty to consider as they offer a range of cycles depending on your budget. So for their cheapest option, a VSD will allow them to reduce pump and fan speed for washing and drying respectively and vice versa for a premium wash.

If you’d like to save money and cut your energy consumption with ABB drives, give us a call on 01621 868138 or email and one of our friendly team of experts will be happy to help. 

Variable-Speed Drives

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