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The Advantages of a Variable Speed Drive Air Compressor

To understand the advantages of a variable speed drive (VSD) air compressor, it may help to think about the last time you sat stuck in traffic.

When you sit idling at a long traffic light, or waiting for an accident to clear, your car is still expending energy, even though you are not moving. There’s a fluctuating demand from energy when you vary your speed, and stop at street lights every few hundred feet. Now think about what would happen if you needed to drive around the city this way for 60 to 100 hours per week. It takes a toll on your car, which is always expending a fixed amount of energy as it runs.

When you drive, cutting the engine in these times is rarely a good option. You need to be able to move on a moment’s notice. It’s similar when you’re operating an air compressor as well. Because of this, a form of inlet control regulation is the best way to get around this problem, and that’s where a VSD air compressor comes in.

How a VSD Air Compressor Works

The VSD air compressor eliminates the need for running higher levels of air pressure than you’ll need for your applications. This allows you to save money and expend less energy. A VSD air compressor measures the system pressure, while delivering reliable pressure within a narrow band.

Here are a few major advantages of a Variable Speed Drive air compressor:

  • A VSD air compressor can stop and start under full system pressure. This ability saves both time and money.
  • No idling or blow off time needed.
  • System leaks are minimized.

Expend Less Energy

A variable speed drive air compressor automatically adjusts its motor speed to meet demand. The alternative is a fixed speed, or load/unload compressor, that is either in full throttle mode, or it is off.

Most applications for an air compressor have fluctuating demands. This allows the machine to expend less energy in the moments where you just pulled off the tollway, and you’re idling. A VSD compressor runs at the required levels and it can save between 30 and 50 percent on energy consumption – an amount that will clearly add up over time. The amount that you save will depend on your system, and your demands.

A Wide Range of Business Applications

It turns out most air compressor applications can benefit from variable rates. Whether you are in manufacturing, the food and beverage industry, or health care, there are times when you may need varying levels of compressed air. A fixed speed compressor would run at the same standard level of output for all of these services, no matter your needs.

A VSD compressor is the more applicable choice in these cases and can help your organization save energy. It includes a soft startup feature that automatically controls the acceleration and deceleration levels. This allows for less energy used, and protects the components of the compressor in the long term.

In short, the VSD air compressor prevents the type of wear and tear that your car would experience from regularly cruising (and idling on) those city streets – making it a valuable feature for your compressor.

The motor speed is regulated by frequency conversion, allowing for varying air delivery. With today’s controls, some systems keep delivery pressure within a 1.5 psi band – another advantage over fixed systems. They tend to allow a minimum 10-15 psig pressure fluctuation. This allows the user more control over a lower pressure to accomplish the job, allowing for conservation and profitability.

Advancements in Compressed Air Technology

New technology has eliminated some of the initial challenges that came with early VSD air compressors. The motor and drive train are now covered resulting in more protection from dust, debris, and water. This ultimately makes the machine a more trusted choice – even in the most rugged manufacturing conditions.

VSD compressors are becoming more precise and efficient. With the use of advanced monitoring technologies and artificial intelligence, a VSD air compressor can be ideally fit to meet your organization’s needs.

If you have any further questions about how VSD air compressors can benefit your business, contact Compressor Services today!

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