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What's the difference of a Fixed Speed vs. Variable Speed Compressor?

Variable Speed Rotary Screw Compressors

VSD (variable speed) compressors maintain a constant air pressure and will adjust the motor speed to meet your plant’s air demand. VSD units can run on 100% flow or can fluctuate to less flow to conserve energy and align with the current air demand.

Fixed Speed Rotary Screw Compressors

Fixed speed compressors run either full throttle or are off. These are ideal in applications where there is a constant compressed air demand 24/7. The machine will run at a constant RPM unless turned off. The inlet valve will flutter based on when air is needed or not needed instead of ramping the engine up and down.

Let's Make it Simple:

Variable Speed Benefits

  • Reduced energy consumption (in the proper application) 
  • Quieter than a fixed speed when running at a lower RPM 
  • Consistent plant pressure 
  • Increased component lifetime 
  • Low inrush current during motor starts 
  • May qualify for energy incentives 

Fixed Speed Benefits

  • Lower capital cost 
  • Increased parts availability 
  • Lower maintenance and repair costs 
  • Most efficient in applications with a consistent demand

For any questions about which compressor works best for your industry, please contact Chicago Pneumatic tech support or find a local distributor today

Jim Phillis

You ask, we answer. Visit our Expert Corner for every #CPTechThursday to find answers to common industry questions and highlights of CP's high-quality compressors. We love providing our customers with answers to their technical questions.

Jim Phillis , Technical Support Chicago Pneumatic

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Please contact [email protected] for additional information. For tech support for any Chicago Pneumatic product, please call us at (877)861-2722, opt 1. Or email us at [email protected] . We look forward to helping.

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