In an age of increased conservation awareness and greater demand for resource management, people recognize the need to use only what they need, when they need it. That’s the concept behind the Variable Speed Drive (VSD) air compressor (or Variable Frequency Drive compressor). When a VSD compressor automatically adjusts the speed or frequency of energy output to meet demands, the customer saves money by paying only for the energy their application demands. But there are other peripheral advantages as well. Take a look:
- All the power you need, only when you need it. If a compressor application doesn’t need to run at full speed, why should it? Anything more than necessary is just a waste of money. Electric motor systems are responsible for more than 65 percent of the power consumption in the industry; optimizing motor control systems by installing or upgrading to VSDs can reduce energy consumption in a typical facility by as much as 70 percent. The majority of VSDs are used to control pumps or fans and save energy by running at the proper speed to match demand.
- Increase production through tighter process control. Using VSDs improves product quality and reduces production costs. By operating motors at the most efficient speed for the application, fewer mistakes will occur, resulting in higher production levels with less waste (and higher revenues). VSDs allow you to better match the speed of the motor-driven equipment to the load requirement. Lurching and swaying on conveyor and belt start-up are also eliminated, allowing high throughput.
- Extend equipment life. Simple math: things generally last longer when you use them less often. The same holds true for equipment. Because of the optimal control of the VSD motor’s frequency and voltage, the VSD will offer better protection from issues such as electro-thermal overloads, phase protection, under voltage, over voltage, etc. VSDs also allow the motor and driven load to start smoothly, which eliminates the “instant shock” of across-the-line starting as well as belt, gear and bearing wear.
- Less Downtime. Piggy-backing on No. 3, equipment lasts longer and has less downtime due to maintenance when it’s controlled by a VSD. Maintenance can also be scheduled around off-peak use, meaning production can be optimized and more profitable. If VSDs allow you to use more power when you need it, they also conversely (and conveniently) let you not use them when needed.
- Better alignment with local rebates and off-peak incentives available from utility companies. Believe it or not, your utility company doesn’t want you running up high bills. It costs them a great deal of money (and energy) to generate power, even more so when demands are high. That’s why many power providers offer rebates for customers who run high-demand applications during off-peak hours. When combining energy efficiency tax incentives and utility rebates, a typical return on investment for a VSD installation can be realized in as little as six months.
Borrowing the concept that hybrid vehicles also use, VSD air compressors provide power that matches the demand, as needed. Learn more about VSD compressors and Atlas Copco’s Neos drive by filling out our Request a Quote form, and an Atlas Copco representative will be in touch with you soon.
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