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Controlling a Multiple Compressor Installation Using Integrated Compressor Control

Controlling a Multiple Compressor Installation Using Integrated Compressor Control

What is Integrated Compressor Control?

Integrated Compressor Control (ICC) is a feature that allows for sequencing multiple compressors to maintain a constant system pressure while ensuring maximum energy efficiency and minimal blow-off. 

When using the ICC feature, compressors are connected through an integrated Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network. The P2P network, coupled with the ICC sequencing software included in each of the local control panels, allows users to select any of the networked compressors as the master controller, thus creating redundancy and reducing cost by eliminating the need for a separate master controller. 

How Does it Work & What Benefits Does it Provide?

Control Panel

With the master controller assigned within the ICC network, the starting, stopping, loading, and unloading of all compressors are managed by a single control panel, helping to ensure that the compressors maintain the overall plant demand. 

To maintain the overall plant demand, ICC will modulate the inlet and unloading valves of all operating compressors, helping to ensure that each compressor in conjunction with the entire group is performing at peak efficiency.

There are several benefits to utilizing ICC within a group of compressors, but one of the main benefits is that ICC can eliminate unnecessary blow-off by throttling (closing) the inlet valves of all operating compressors until maximum system turndown is achieved. Once all operating compressors have reached maximum turndown, the ICC master can assign a single compressor to blow off and shut down. This method of control will eliminate unnecessary and uncontrolled blow-off while ensuring that each compressor is operating at peak efficiency.

How the Optional Features & Functions of ICC Meets Everyone's Needs

Understanding that every system has its own requirements and compressor sequencing does not allow a one size fits all solution, FS-Elliott has developed the following features and functions within our ICC offering:

  • Compressor (P2P) Networking - Up to six compressors can be connected. Critical data from all compressors can be viewed on each compressor's HMIs.
  • ICC Master Control Architecture - Master control logic resides in every compressor; therefore any networked compressor in the system can be assigned as the dedicated master. Should the master controller fail, the next priority controller will take over.
  • Time Leveling Control - This feature automatically switches the start-stop order of the various compressors so that equal run time can be achieved among the various compressors on ICC control. The unit with the least amount of run-time hours will receive the highest start priority.   
  • Lead/Lag Control - When multiple air compressors (two or more) are in operation, lead/lag control is used to ensure certain compressor(s) are in the lead (baseload), whereas other compressors act in a trim function (throttled).  
  • Load Sharing - During load sharing control, the master controller steps in and ensures that the inlet valves of all compressors are throttled to the same percentage, and any required blow-off is achieved through a single trim compressor.  Each air compressor unit proportionately shares the load of the plant air system to further increase efficiency.

Determining if ICC Is the Correct Solution for You

Do you operate two or more compressors?  Does your plant have varying system demands? Are you required to meet specific system demands while maintaining maximum efficiency? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then ICC could be right for your application.  To learn more about the ICC offerings and/or additional control panel solutions offered by FS-Elliott, please reach out to your authorized FS-Elliott Channel Partner.


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