When It May Be Wise to Install a Large VFD Air compressor

Posted on: 21 June 2017


Are you getting concerned about the cost of operating several air compressors to run the equipment at your plant? Read on and discover some of the conditions that can make it suitable for you to install one large air compressor that has a variable frequency drive (VFD).

Known Demand Levels

You should only consider installing a large compressor with a VFD if you have clear records detailing your needs for compressed air. Those records will then make it possible for you to select the correctly sized air compressor for your compressed air needs. A correctly sized VFD air compressor should operate at efficient levels most of the time. For example, it should not go below 30% capacity for extended durations. Such low-level operation will raise your operating costs because the air compressor may still use as much energy as it does when it is operating at 80% capacity.

Stable Future Demand

You should also consider installing a large VFD air compressor if you project that your compressed air needs will not rise significantly over the coming years, for instance 10 years. This stability in demand will ensure that you get maximum value from your investment in that large air compressor instead of having to replace it with a bigger one after a few years. You can then change to a bigger VFD air compressor once the current one has reached the end of its service life.

Use of a Centralised System

Examine your current compressed air system. Is it centralised? Is it decentralised for the different points of use? The current setup should guide you about the necessity to switch to a large VFD air compressor. For instance, it is okay to switch to that larger unit in case you currently have a centralised system. However, it would be unwise to install a centralised VFD air compressor if you have a decentralised system in order to address the varying demand levels at your facility.

Provision for Backup

It is also wise to install a large VFD air compressor once you are sure that you have the capacity to have a similar compressor to work as a backup. That backup is necessary to ensure that your operations will not be halted once the main air compressor develops a problem. Delay changing to a single air compressor in case you are still unable to raise the resources for a backup air compressor.

Discuss the issues above with various air compressor suppliers. Their suggestions will help you to make an informed decision about how you should proceed in order to have a stable supply of compressed air at your facility.