What is a variable speed air compressor?
Basically, a variable speed air compressors has a controller that tells the compressor how much air to make based on the demand.
These compressors have huge energy savings potential, not only by producing air based on the demand, they also start slowly instead of a hard start, which would cause an amp draw spike. With the slow start, the motor will never exceed nameplate amps.
Variable speed air compressors can benefit applications where there is not a consistent demand for air. For example, a manufacturing facility with multiple shifts, but each shift does not have the same function. Maybe a 25 HP is needed during the day shift, but a 15HP is all that would be needed during 3rd shift. With a fixed speed air compressor, you could end up having issues. Either you are undersized for 1st shift or greatly oversized for 3rd. Oversizing a rotary screw compressor can cause premature failure and undersizing means you cannot get the work done.
With a properly sized variable speed air compressor, it could produce 25HP worth of air during 1st shift, and 15HP worth of air during the lighter usage.
It is clear how this could save on energy expenses. In some areas of the country, there are also potential rebates for purchasing a variable speed.
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