Electric Motor Drive Compressors: What Should Be Considered When Choosing A Variable Frequency Drive And Motor Supplier?
In the past decade, electric motor driven compressors have become more common in the natural gas industry. There are many different technologies to choose from; constant speed motors, variable speed motors with VFDs, variable speed hydraulic drives, each with their own unique characteristics. In particular, when examining the VFD technologies, there are multiple different drive topologies from multiple OEMS each with their own options resulting in a multitude of possible design considerations. While all of these designs are currently operating successfully, there are certain considerations that should be taken into account depending on the installations to avoid problems and optimize operating flexibility and availability. This paper focuses on the mainstream VFD driven electric motor technology currently employed for gas compressor applications. It will provide practical guidance on what should be considered when selecting a VFD and Motor, to ensure the successful operation of a VFD Driven Compressor Set.