Almost every manufacturing facility will have compressed air or refrigeration systems as a major part of the plant. These systems can use up to 30% of the facility’s energy consumption. Traditional screw compressors can be major consumers of energy. Their starting and stopping cycles typically aren’t very efficient, the mechanical components can wear out and create large fluctuations in pressure.
Increase Production and Improve Energy Efficiency
Over time, these issues can affect product quality and impact the production process with increased downtime. One of the ways many of today’s manufacturing plant operators are saving time and money is by installing variable speed drive (VSD) or variable frequency drive (VFD) compressor systems. They can be applied to various applications such as fans, pumps, refrigeration units and air compressors.
A VSD compressor works by continually adjusting the energy it consumes. The speed of the motor adjusts to meet the demand of the system, which minimizes excess energy being used compared to a fixed-speed system.
The Advantages of Variable Speed Compressors
Variable speed compressors can offer many advantages in your plant:
- Reducing wear on pneumatic tools and equipment
- Reducing wear on the compressor motors
- Reducing scrap from contaminated products
- Optimal energy efficiency
- Longer wear life for parts and systems
- Less downtime for repairs and maintenance
The plants that will benefit most from variable speed compressors will be those which have long running hours and also have a high proportion in the mid- to low-capacity range. Some will see energy savings as much as 30-40% when a VSD or VFD compressor is running at lower speeds on a constant basis. The variable motor allows the operator to make up supply as needed or reduce the volume as demand drops. This gives you the production you need with ideal control. Meanwhile, the compressor isn’t wasting energy when shifting from one speed to another.
Preset ramp rates also allow VSD compressors to use less energy when it comes to stopping and starting the motor. This is especially valuable in compressed air and gas systems when aiming to provide a constant supply, reliable performance, and better control over factors like temperature, humidity, pressure and additional capacity upon demand.
To learn more about variable speed compressors and VSD/VFD systems that can make a major difference in your manufacturing plant, contact Cortech Engineering today. We can connect you with the leading manufacturers and configure a variable speed system that will reduce energy and maximize your production capabilities.