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Energy Efficiency And Your Next Air Compressor Purchasing Decision

As Australia moves towards a new era of environmental sustainability, we are all doing our part to contribute. The “environmental revolution” is here, presenting a massive opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste, save operational costs and improve the bottom line. Champion suggests the following considerations should be part of your next air compressor purchasing decision.
Variable Speed Drive
Variable Speed Drive isn’t always the most energy-efficient option. It is often - and incorrectly - assumed that a VSD will always provide a more energy-efficient means of controlling the output of an air compressor than that of an on/off motor. VSD air compressors are frequently misused throughout industry often employed for ‘base load’ compressed air applications - this is foolish to say the least. VSD air compressors are not efficient at 100% load. Any potential for energy savings are soon lost under this arrangement. In our opinion, there are only a small percentage of applications where a VSD compressor presents as the optimum compressed air solution. This is when the compressed air demand regularly fluctuates between 40 and 80% of the compressor capacity.
Having said this, a standard air compressor with a larger air receiver and reticulation system still might do a better job. If you are running at around 50%, our experience is that two half-sized conventional on/off load compressors are a more economical and efficient solution. VSD air compressors are not always the most efficient compressor option in all applications. Conventional on/off load air compressors are sometimes still a more cost-effective solution.
The New MEPS Standard And Compressor Efficiency
The new MEPS2 standard puts Australia at the forefront of efficient use of electric motors. While there is an increase in the initial cost of the high-efficiency motors, the payback period is fairly short, due to the reduced power consumption. It can be difficult to check the motors of some imported compressors as the motor arrives ‘out of sight’ as part of the compressor package.

The best way to check if the motor in your compressor is MEPS2-rated is to simply ask the vendor and request the appropriate MEPS documentation. Alternatively, a full list of motors regulated and registered for MEPS can be found on the Government website: www.energyrating.gov.au.


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