The GS20 VFD can be used in a GS2 VFD mode so you can quickly and easily upgrade your existing GS2 system to a less expensive but more capable drive. This video walks you through how to do that and provides a list of caveats and advantages. To learn more, check out our video library for lots of how to videos including PID, Torque Mode, using the FREE software, PLC programming and more!
All GS20(X) Video Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPdypWXY_ROq119AqwSjbSqxq3TgXJJFY
The GS20 family of drives cover the exact same kinds of applications as the time tested GS2 family of drives, except they are smaller, have better specs, better performance, more features and cost less. And by “more features” I mean a lot more features. For example, the GS2 drives have 146 parameters. The GS20 drives have 639 parameters plus a built-in PLC. And yes, the price of the GS20 really is lower than the price of the same sized GS2 drive. That’s incredible. But if you want to upgrade to a GS20 drive, it’s also a double-edged sword, because the parameter numbers in the GS2 drives don’t line up with the parameter numbers in the GS20 drives. Which means normally you would have to learn an entire new parameter set, transpose your current good old reliable GS2 parameters to the new GS20 drive and hope that all of the other almost 500 new parameters don’t cause any issues – right? Well, guess what? The GS20 family of drives have a GS2 mode that gets rid of all the new parameters and re-aligns the remaining parameters, so they have the exact same parameter numbers as the GS2! And even better news – you can use the free drive software to automatically transfer your parameters directly from a GS2 parameter file to the GS20. How about that? Let’s quickly walk through how to switch to GS2 mode, how to automatically transfer the parameters using the free software and go over a list of things you need to be aware of when using a GS20 in GS2 mode. To get a GS20 drive into GS2 mode, make sure parameters are not locked and the GS20 built-in PLC is not active. Then just go to parameter group zero, parameter 2 and set it to a 2. Then set it to a 20. Power cycle the drive to make sure everything is cleared out. Apply power, and the display tells us we are in GS2 mode That’s it. For all practical purposes, you now have a GS2 drive that has a smaller footprint, more features, better specs and is less expensive. In fact, if I go to parameter group zero, parameter zero – which I know on a GS2 drive is the nameplate voltage, yep, that's what I get. Parameter 2 should be the frequency – yep. Parameter 3 should be the RPM – yep. And a GS2 only has 9 parameter groups and if I scroll through those, yep, only 9 parameter groups – perfect. So yeah, looks like we have a GS2 drive now! Cool. Which brings us to the second point. You could enter all of your GS2 parameters into the GS20 by hand, but you also have the option of using the free GSOFT software downloads to do it for you. You just pull the parameters from the GS2 drive using the free GSOFT software, then import them into the free GSOFT2 software so you can transfer them into a GS20 drive that has already been set up for GS2 mode. That guarantees that all the parameters got copied over exactly as they were. Learn how to do that in this video. Great! Given your new GS20 drive in GS2 mode, here are the things you need to be aware of. To get the GS20 back to full GS20 mode, set parameter 9.08 to a 20. Doing a factory reset in GS2 mode just resets the parameters, it doesn’t switch the drive back to GS20 mode. When in GS2 mode, you no longer have access to all the GS20 expanded features like sensorless vector and a built-in PLC. You literally have a better functioning and lower cost GS2 Drive. Likewise – you can’t take advantage of the GS20 option modules – again, you literally have a GS2 drive. The GS20 keypad is smaller than the GS2 keypad so if you have a cutout in your GS2 cabinet for the keypad you may need to make an adapter plate. The GS20 requires that you use the Free GSOFT2 software and a USB cable to configure the GS20, even if it is in GS2 mode. Which is really good news because you no longer need a special USB to 485 converter module. The supply power enters in the bottom of the GS20 drive. It enters the top of the GS2, so make sure your wires are long enough if you plan to drop this in place of an existing GS2 drive. Or just use the optional GS20 adapter that allows you to do top entry wiring! Some GS2 drives could handle single or three- phase power with no derating. The GS20 drives have separate models for single and three phase. So if you have a single phase GS2, and you want to upgrade it to a GS20, make sure you choose a single-phase GS20 – the three-phase version won’t give you adequate output power for the same horsepower. There’s a table in appendix G of the user manual that shows you exactly which GS20 drive to use in place of a GS2 drive. The footprint is similar, but not exactly the same. The GS20 has a slightly smaller footprint, but depending on model, can be a little deeper than a GS2 drive. So be sure to check the mechanical dimensions to make sure the new GS20 will fit where you want it. Fusing is different. You will need new fuses to protect the GS20. GS20 wiring terminals can only accept up to 18-gauge wire and use spring clamps instead of screw terminals. So make sure your control wiring will fit. The GS20 has one relay output while the GS2 has 2 relay outputs. But the GS20 does have two digital outputs. So if you plan to use them instead, make sure they can handle the current you need to switch. The GS2 mode can’t access the additional GS20 I/O’s – again, it is a GS2 drive. GS2 drives don’t have those extra I/Os. The GS20 analog input 2 maps to the GS2 analog input. That’s because it can handle 0-10VDC. The GS20 analog input 1 is strictly a current input and is ignored by the GS2 mode. None of these are real show stoppers if you plan ahead for them, so I just wanted to make sure you were aware, so you weren’t caught off guard. Of course, the good news is you now have a GS2 drive at a lower price and better specs. And you can zero-stack the GS20 drive so you actually, free up more cabinet space. You are future-proofing your system because the newer GS20 drive will be around a lot longer than the old reliable GS2 and it has tons of features you can upgrade to later when you need them! The GS20 drives cover a wider horsepower range. You now have a GS2 compatible drive with Safe Torque Off – something the original GS2 doesn’t have. Cooling fans on the GS20 drives are super easy to swap out. You don’t have to disassemble the whole drive to service the fans. You don’t need a special purpose USB to 485 adapter to configure the drive via the free software – any A to B USB cable like the AutomationDirect USB-CBL-A86 will do! The GS20 keeps that all-important potentiometer on the keypad – I love that guy. The GS20 drives can run off a GS4 keypad even when in GS2 Mode. That means you get more parameter storage, more control and a 4-line display. I love that there is a terminal quick reference right inside the cover so I don’t have to remember which pin does what. And finally, on the front cover of the GS2 drive there is a link and a QR code that you can scan that will take you directly to the GS20 overview page where you can learn more about the GS20 drives and you’ll find a link to a support page that’s a one-stop-shop for manuals, videos, EDS files, free software downloads, firmware updates, sample PLC programs and drive parameter sets. Everything you need to get up and running quickly. When you’re ready to enable the full GS20 feature set, be sure to check out the GS2 migration video where we will cover the things you need to know to make the transition as smooth as possible. Click here to view more GS20 variable frequency drive tutorial videos. 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