What is a VSD Variable Speed Drive Air Compressor?

If you are in the market for a new compressed air solution, you may be wondering whether to pick a variable speed drive compressor or a fixed speed compressor instead.

Well, we have all the information you need in this handy guide – read on to find out everything you need to know about variable speed drive compressors and how to make your compressed air system work hard for you.

What Are Variable Speed Drive Air Compressors?

The current compressed air demand remains constant, with many industries looking for a solution that meets their compressed air needs, including energy-efficient solutions that provide actual air demand as and when needed. The answer to this demand is simple – variable speed drive compressors that produce the compressed air you need when you need it.

Choosing an air compressor with a variable speed drive means getting access to a piece of equipment that works to match the compressor’s motor speeds alongside the required compressed air demand.

This ability to change the output of compressed air is ideal for companies with a variable demand for compressed air, allowing you to meet the needs of your service no matter how much system pressure you need with your compressed air application.

Variable Speed Drive Compressed Air Vs Fixed Speed Compressors

Making a decision about whether to invest in a variable speed air compressor or a fixed speed air compressor requires you to have a clear understanding of each model and what is different about them.

Unlike variable speed compressors, the motor speed of a fixed speed air compressor has to remain at full speed during each operation, no matter what your compressed air needs are which can prove to be a costly decision. More and more businesses need compressed air systems that can meet their variable speed drive needs.

A variable speed compressor offers a wide range of benefits compared to a fixed speed compressor, including:

Keeping Your Business Energy Efficient

The VSD compressor is only ever running in the way that you need. This ability to reduce energy costs can help you to cover the price of the variable speed air compressor, often much quicker than you think.

Stopping the Need to Unload

As VSD air compressors can be started or stopped at the point of full system pressure, you are able to avoid the need to unload which will reduce energy cost and power consumption as well as allow you to save time.

VSD Air Compressors Mean No Idling Time

Unlike a fixed speed compressor, VSD air compressors sell themselves on being able to meet your compressed air demands in the way you need. This means that variable speed drive technology requires no idling time, offering efficient controls when you need them the most.

Zero Blow-Off Loss with Variable Speed Compressors

When you have fixed speed compressors, you will find that your system needs to blow off air to function in the way you need. This type of blow-off will no doubt increase your energy bill. A VSD compressor makes sense in this situation as it can minimise sudden spikes and ensure that your flow demand increases and decreases as you need it with no blow-off needs.

No Need To Worry About Power Company Penalties

Fixed speed air compressors run the risk of peaking at high levels of amperage, resulting in penalties from power companies that increase costs. As VSD air compressors have variable motor speeds, they are able to avoid these peaks and the frustrating penalties that come with them.

Variable Speed Air Compressors Offer Consistent Air Pressure

To be able to save on energy consumption, a VSD compressor works to provide consistent air system pressure with every use. This is because it can fluctuate in response to demand, unlike fixed speed air compressors. The great thing about the VSD compressor compared to the fixed speed compressor is that the consistent pressure can be run much lower and allows you to increase your energy savings while getting the best results.

How a VSD Compressor Can Save You Energy & Money

If variable speed air compressors sound like the best choice for you, then Control Gear have you covered. However, you may be worried about the price.

The good news is that the most money you will spend on your variable speed air compressors will be the initial outlay for the equipment, which is typically more than the cost of fixed speed compressors.

However, once the equipment is in place, the VSD technology will work to provide your business with the most efficient controls and can offer energy savings of up to 50% on the running of your machine compared to an identical fixed speed compressor.

This saving can amount to thousands per year and can be increased with other incentives from the government including rebates, interest free loans and tax credits that are designed to help you reduce your energy consumption, minimising leakage watch and stopping spikes in demand that will eat up any energy savings you have made!

How Your VSD Air Compressor Works

It’s clear that VSD compressors have a lot to offer, but how do they work? In short, VSD compressors saves energy by automatically adjusting to meet your needs.

Both fixed and variable speed drive air compressors share the ability to offer compressed air as you need it, but variable speed drive compressors use an inverter that allows the compressed air equipment to work at the specific voltage you need.

This energy efficient VSD technology has the potential to save you significant sums and utilises a very simple idea to help you enjoy lower VSD compressor costs.

The main components of variable speed drives are the VSD drive train which is designed to work well with rotary screw air compressors due to their adaptability and ability to deliver the best results and the VSD motor. The most up to date VSDs have an interior Permanent Magnet motor (iPM) that offers the most efficient and quiet usage.

Is a VSD Industrial Air Compressor Right for Me?

If you are excited about VSD technology energy savings and enjoying the compressor’s motor speed you may be wondering if it is the right choice for you.

A VSD compressor is potentially right for you if:

  • Your need for compressed air fluctuates
  • You want to use it with rotary screw compressors
  • You need to vary your compressor’s operating speed
  • You don’t need large amounts of air on a consistent basis
  • You need something energy efficient

However, a VSD air compressor may not be the right choice if:

  • You have a consistent air demand on a daily basis
  • If your air demand is constant within 5% – 10% of your air delivery flow rate

If you aren’t sure which type is best for your needs then it is worth completing a professional air audit from a specialist company. The result of this audit will allow you to see if a VSD is the right choice.

Got questions about inlet valves, multiple shifts, reducing costs or anything else related to VSD compressors?

Get in touch with the Control Gear team to find out more.