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Running a Piston Compressor with a VSD

01/27/2010 6:04 AM

Good day engineers.

I have a piston compressor that I want to install and use a VSD for controls. A certain Engineer told me that one can not use a VSD on a piston compressor. Is this true? What are the disadvantages of using a VSD on the piston compressor.

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#1

Re: Running a piston Compressor with a VSD

01/27/2010 7:38 AM

It is not unusual for piston compressors to run variable speed, however it is not a good idea to retrofit a machine designed for constant speed to variable speed without some serious engineering analysis.

Torsionals, pulsation, piston speed, lubrication, foundation design, valve lift and design, forces and moments all need to be considered.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Running a piston Compressor with a VSD

01/27/2010 8:47 PM

Good comprehensive answer.

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#3

Re: Running a Piston Compressor with a VSD

01/28/2010 1:26 AM

At low speeds, whatever oil pump may be driven by the compressor might not be sufficient. This would be the main concern. However, piston machines typically have maximum rated speeds, but for long life are are often run slower, such as by selection of motor sheave. On large machines with few pistons, there might be resonance problems at some lower speeds, but I suspect that would be fairly unlikely. Your car engine typically runs fine from about 1000 to 5000 rpm, does it not?

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#4

Re: Running a Piston Compressor with a VSD

01/28/2010 11:23 PM

MDLULIMD,

If I read your question correctly, the load is a constant torque type of load. You would need to choose a VFD (or VSD) suitable for this size motor and type of load. The manufacturers' literature should include sizing charts for your use.

--JMM

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