Centac simplifies compressor control

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Centac compressors, supplied by Compressed Air and Power Solutions (CAPS) Australia, are produced in a range of sizes and outputs that can deliver the large volumes of compressed air needed for many industrial processes.

The latest controller for Centac’s centrifugal compressors is the Xe-145F which has advanced remote communications and control features.

Many processes may require two or more compressors to meet the varying demand at different stages of a process. It is important that multiple compressors are controlled effectively so that optimum performance is maintained.

The main issue is that there is no wastage of the compressed air. It is important that the operation and output of all the compressors is balanced.

The Xe-145F has multiple connections—such as Ethernet, service port, remote contacts or Modbus—allowing compressors to be remotely accessed and controlled from anywhere on a network, or even over the Internet.

Controllers can also be integrated into a DCS or other standard plant automation system. The intuitive web interface of the Xe controller makes it easy to adjust the configuration of a compressor installation.

Compressor performance data can be captured and analysed quickly and effectively using built-in logging, graphing and performance monitoring capabilities. The Xe controller can send notification of system alarms and warnings via email or SMS.

The control software helps reduce excess energy use by optimising partial load performance. The system automatically adjusts control parameters based on changing ambient conditions thereby preventing premature compressor bypass and maximising turndown capability. By providing precise pressure control, inlet and bypass valves can be operated in harmony thereby making a compressed air system more stable and reliable.

By including an optional Air System Controller (ASC), it is possible to integrate the Xe-145 controllers for individual compressors and automatically manage their operation from a central location. While the interface of the ASC is similar in appearance to the Xe controller, the software inside makes it a completely different device.

The ASC is connected to all the individual compressor controllers which allows them all to communicate with each other through the central ‘brain’ of the plant.

If there are multiple compressors, it is preferable not to have the same one running at maximum capacity all the time. The ASC can be programmed to regularly change the unit that is the master, or lead, compressor so that wear and tear is spread equally over all the units.

Working with CAPS to design the most appropriate high-volume compressor system incorporating advanced networking options and sophisticated remote controls will continue to ensure optimum compressor performance.