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Atlas Copco introduces its first in-house VSD inverter drive
Atlas Copco has announced the development of its first in-house designed inverter drive, called Neos. All of the company's GA 37-90 VSD range compressors will now be equipped with the new Neos inverter units, which will also be available as spare parts for retrofitting existing GA models in the field.
The new Neos inverter, developed and manufactured in Atlas Copco's plant in Antwerp has been tailored precisely to meet the current and predicted requirements of its compressors in terms of size, simplicity, robustness and reliability.
The launch is a response to the fact that only 5% of the off-the-shelf electric motors and inverters available to OEMs are used in compressors. The majority of these inverters are designed for a broad variety of applications, including pumps and fans, with less demanding torque requirements than those of heavy duty compressor operations. Atlas Copco has therefore designed and developed the first dedicated unit for this function, based on 20 years of experience in manufacturing VSD compressors.
During the development of the inverter, an extensive programme of rigorous endurance field testing was conducted in a variety of hot, cold and dusty industrial conditions and involved running units up to 10,000 hours at maximum load. The performance of 16 drive units, installed on a mix of 55, 75 and 90kw standard and full-feature compressors, were compared in application sites as varied as Finland, Bahrain, Spain, Sweden, Germany and Belgium. These tests proved conclusively that the Neos unit is capable of operating in the the harshest working conditions at continuous full load from -20°C up to 50°C ambient temperatures, and is fully protected against dust ingress by its IP 5X rated enclosure.
70kg lighter and less than half the size of the largest generic inverter, the compact Neos design eliminates the need for a control panel. All communication is achieved via CAN connection with the compressor's Elektronikon Mk 5 controller or, in the unlikely event of trouble shooting, via Ethernet connection to a PC. The only other inputs to the unit's control board comprise the motor temperature sensor input, relay output for the cubicle fan control, two digital inputs for the run-enable function and service switch, and the safe torque off function.
Backed with a warranty period that is double that of other proprietary drives, the Neos units are fully interchangeable with existing inverter brands where retrofitting is required. With the Neos, Atlas Copco also has added the advantage of independent, full control over the availability of spare parts, now and in the future.
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