23 May, 2022

Variable Speed Drive: why is it important for compressor users?

11 January, 2022

With the addition of advanced electronic controls, the delivery pressure is kept within a 0.10 bar pressure band, rather than the conventional 0.68 -1.03 bar pressure band used on inlet controls for non-VSD equipment. Therefore, a lower air compressor delivery pressure can be used to maintain the system’s required minimum working pressure, resulting in increased energy savings and lower operating costs.

Additionally, the converter in the VSD system performs a ‘soft’ start/stop operation by automatically controlling both acceleration and deceleration levels. This eliminates the start-up amperage spikes, which can result in hefty peak current cost penalties from utility companies. Eliminating these peaks also protects electrical and mechanical components from the stresses that can shorten the life of an air compressor.

The primary benefits of VSD

Of the three primary benefits that VSD technology brings to compressor users ? energy efficiency, reliability, and connectivity – it is energy efficiency that is the key to affordable air with up to 50% achievable savings, and lower cost of ownership.

It is a fact that most operators who decide to purchase a variable speed drive compressor do so primarily because of the prospect of low total cost of ownership. Even though the compressor’s initial price tag is likely to be higher than that of equivalent, fixed-speed models ? because of its greater sophistication and advanced components ? VSD compressors are actually less expensive to own and operate over their lifetime. That is because they consume far less energy and because the cost of that energy makes up the bulk of a compressor’s total cost of ownership.

An additional benefit of this increased efficiency is that it also lowers emission levels and allows for a more sustainable production. As a result, a VSD compressor does not just improve a company’s bottom line, it also helps to protect the environment.

Stating the obvious, plant operators can only enjoy improved energy efficiency if the compressor keeps on running reliably. That is why Atlas Copco’s VSD compressors are built to function unfailingly even in the toughest conditions. That means being capable of operating at ambient temperatures of up to 46degC and making certain that the electrical cubicle of the inverter, which is a crucial piece of technology for the efficiency of the compressor, can withstand temperatures of up to 55degC. It also includes components such as the IP66-rated drive train which is specifically designed to keep out dust and moisture. The net results of these dependable features are smooth operation, productivity gains, increased uptime, and lower maintenance costs.

New technology

More air, smaller footprint, less energy cost ? Atlas Copco’s latest compact GA VSD+ compressors can reportedly bring major savings to medium and large-scale operations. Atlas Copco states that the new technology can eliminate most challenges associated with the original VSD designs, starting with the performance of the integral, in-house designed Neos compact inverter unit, which contributes to an overall 8% improvement in Specific Energy Requirement (SER) over that of any comparable compressors.




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