Use of advanced techniques delivers permanent energy savingsA new range of variable-speed air compressors from FPS Compressors is claimed to represent a significant step in maximising energy efficiency. Called the Galileo range and manufactured by Power System Group, the new machines differ from standard variable speed compressors by using direct drive, permanent magnet motors and sophisticated controls to bring significant gains in energy efficiency.
Normal variable speed compressors are fitted with an asynchronous or induction type electric motor that is usually paired with a frequency controller or inverter. This arrangement can be very useful in saving power when compared to the on/off regulated compressors which are still in frequent use. This well-known arrangement however, whilst being a step forward from older technology, is less energy efficient during periods of low demand and very high demand. During low demand the speed of the motor is reduced and at low speed the induction motor becomes less efficient. When demand is at its highest the energy losses in the inverter also penalise efficiency.
The new Galileo compressors are based on the proven PS-DV Series platform of variable-speed compressor with highly efficient compressor air end, direct drive and sophisticated controls. The adoption of a new generation permanent magnet motor however brings further gains in energy efficiency to what are already very efficient machines.
The specially designed synchronous motor, using permanent magnets, provides several benefits over asynchronous motors. These include the avoidance of extra field current normally required to generate the magnetic field in the rotor, very high flux density, high and constant torque, higher power factor and efficiency across a very wide range of operating speeds. These factors make Galileo models highly efficient, delivering further savings of around 9-12% when compared to other variable speed compressors.
Sophisticated controls include the capability of connecting to external control, monitoring or visualisation software or even business management applications via a LAN, serial interface or web-connected modem. This allows remote computer based monitoring and diagnostics functions to be implemented, making this one of the most technically advanced energy saving variable speed air compressors available.
There are over 25 models in the Galileo range, offering a wide range of performance, from 9 kW to 180 kW with operating pressures between 7.5 bar and 13 bar and with capacity from 1570 L/min to 30,000 L/min.