PG&E Deemed Downstream Program
Agricultural Irrigation Pump Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Enhanced Specifications
An outline of the VFD purchasing, installation and rebate application processes from the perspective of the pump owner.
Be sure to read this document if you are looking to install a new VFD system:
- on an existing motor
- in an environment that experiences winter freezes or foggy conditions
- that is expected to automatically control other equipment such as fertigation equipment, filters, etc.
- that is expected to automatically adjust the pump speed to maintain a relatively constant pressure or flow rate
These VFD specifications are designed to provide VFD owners with a minimum quality level, without adding extras that are not absolutely necessary, and without the customer needing to be an expert on the topic. Specification-compliant VFD systems should be relatively safe, reliable, energy efficient, and have a reasonable cost.
This specification shall be followed by a UL-listed panel shop for the design and fabrication of a specification-compliant VFD system.
This specification shall be followed by the VFD system installer.
- What are the motor grounding conductor requirements (Section 3.c.2b)?
The specifications only require that grounding conductors be included in the motor cable. Type, sizing, and other design details are covered by the NEC.
- Can the harmonic mitigation device be external to the VFD system enclosure?
Yes. The location of the harmonic mitigation device is not part of the specifications, as long as it is cooled/shaded and protected from the environment as recommended by the manufacturer or other applicable specifications.
- Does the VFD system enclosure have to be painted white and shaded?
No. One or the other, not both.
- Is an across-the-line bypass required?
No. Across-the-line motor bypass starting components shall be included only when requested by the client for applications where across-the-line starting is approved by PG&E.
- Can filtered outside air be used for direct cooling of VFD electronics if the VFD system enclosure is painted white, or shaded?
- The PG&E catalog says that the specifications dated 7/31/2017 should be used, but these are newer. Which ones should I follow?
The PG&E catalog shows the incorrect date. The specifications on this web page are the most current and should be used.
- How does a panel Integrator become UL-listed?
a pump company does not need to be UL-listed, but a panel Integrator does. To get UL certification, the prospective vendor needs to do the following:
- Go to www.ul.com/
- Scroll to the bottom of the screen.
- Click on “Request for Quote” under “Resources”.
- The “Request for Quote” screen should appear as seen to the right.
- Select “Power & Controls” in the Industry drop-down menu.
- Fill out Contact Information section.
- Indicate in the Product Description text field that they want to be “Industrial Control Panel” UL-certified and any other pertinent information about their company.
- Attach any applicable files.
- Hit the Submit Request button.
- UL Labs will respond within several days.
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The following items must be included in the application package submittal to PG&E:
- A completed PG&E rebate application form
- A parcel map showing the location of the pump/VFD to help field personnel locate the installation
- An invoice from the VFD system installer with the following required information:
- Pump owner and job description
- The date the system was installed
- The total cost of the installed system
- The statement: “The work invoiced conforms to the ITRC Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) System Installation Specifications for agricultural Pumping posted at (www.itrc.org/VFD). Although an invoice is the preferred location for this statement, the VFD system installer may provide the statement in a separate document as long as the same information is provided.
- An invoice from a UL-listed panel shop with the following required information:
- Pump owner and job description
- The date the system was purchased
- The statement: “The work invoiced conforms to the ITRC Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) System Design Specifications for agricultural Pumping posted at (www.itrc.org/VFD)." Although an invoice is the preferred location for this statement, the UL-listed panel shop may provide the statement in a separate document as long as the same information is provided.
- A completed VFD Programming Record or alternative document listing the equivalent information
This PDF is a sample rebate application package that shows key components of the application package. Because this sample is intended as illustration only, some components such as the VFD application form are incomplete. Each submitted package will contain details unique to the submittor's application.