Compressor Controls are used in process applications. Compressor controls consist of the compressor, electric motor, compressor and motor protection, sensors for control, and a Compressor Control Panel to coordinate their operation.
- Some are small and simple, like Single Phase compressors that can be purchased from many retailers. Find these here Shop Google for Compressors
- Others are designed to meet specified process control requirements and packaged to meet customer specifications.
Compressor protection and motor protection are Compressor controls priorities because a compressor failure can have serious consequences. At a minimum make sure the motor and compressor don’t overheat. The design and cost of a compressor control panel is based on the application and customer specification.
Compressor Control • the Basics
The Compressor Control Panel has to know the status of process variables required to control and protect the compressor. This means it has to connect to devices that are monitoring the process.
- Motor Overloads – Compressor Protection for when the motor current is above its Full Load Amp rating.
- Temperature Sensors – Compressor Protection when it is above its Temperature rating.
- Level Sensors – Compressor control and protection to insure there’s enough oil in larger compressors
- Flow Sensors – Control and protection insurance the compressor is air
- Pressure Sensors – Used for compressor control
Compressor Control Panels have to be able to control a single compressor or multiple compressors (Duty / Standby, Lead / Lag, etc.) as needed and generally operate as follows.
- Start and Stop the compressor based on
- Level Sensors, or
- Pressure Sensors
- Compressor operation at one speed
- Electric Motors – Use a Motor Starter to control the Compressor
- Non-Electric Motors – Use a Power or Signal Relay to control the Compressor
Compressor Control Panels have to give an Operator the ability to turn the power on and off, control the process, and monitor the process and status of all alarms as needed.
- Main Power Disconnect
- System Off-On Selector, and / or
- Manual-Off-Auto Selector, if used
- Level or Pressure Setpoint
- Running Status light, and
- Alarm Status lights, and
- Level or Pressure