A compressor control system consists of a compressor, motor, compressor sensors for compressor protection and control, and a Compressor Control Panel to coordinate their operation.
- Some are small and simple, like Single Phase Air compressors that can be purchased from many retailers. Find these here Shop Google for Compressors
- Others are designed to meet specified process requirements and packaged to meet customer requirements.
Compressor protection and motor protection are a compressor control system priority because a compressor failure can have serious consequences.
Compressor Control System Basics
A Compressor Control system 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 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 that the compressor is moving air
- Pressure Sensors – Used for compressor control
A Compressor Control Panel can 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 Motor control
- Fixed Speed – Use a Motor Starter to control the Compressor
- Variable Speed – Use a Variable Speed Drive (VFD) to control the Compressor
A Compressor Control Panel has 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
- Speed Adjustment, if used
- Level or Pressure Setpoint
- Running Status light, and
- Alarm Status lights, and
- Level or Pressure