MagnaDrive ASD-SSD in Gas Compression Air Cooler

As mentioned in our previous post, MagnaDrive recently introduced the ASD-SSD (adjustable speed drive – sheave speed drive) for belt-driven applications. The product was first introduced as a retrofit solution to accommodate federal regulations and market conditions found in complex industrial applications like the air cooler business.

In the past, the air cooler business had its fair share of complacency due to minimal product development over the last 40+ years as well as a perception that the technology was antiquated or “dead” technology.  Many in the industry felt that air coolers were a basic commodity that could not be enhanced.

The greatest challenge in air cooling applications is overcooling. Air coolers, in general, operate in an overdesigned condition 95 – 99 percent of the year. Excessive fluid cooling causes unnecessary liquid fallout, field shutdowns and noise.

With MagnaDrive’s ASD-SSD technology, the company offered a plug and play drive with no modifications to the fan shaft or system design required. The ASD-SSD also provided a single magnet rotor and conductor rotor that saved on design costs. The product provided accurate and repeatable speed control and the actuator supplied was suitable for explosion proof requirements.

Has the ASD-SSD technology provided a more flexible option for the changing operating conditions found in most industrial applications today?

A company in West Texas had a problem with gas compression coolers that were constantly overcooling the gas, causing the gas to condense at a rate that overwhelmed the separators and controls. This ultimately led to a shutdown resulting in lost production and the need for an operator to physically go to the site to restart the equipment.


The installation of a MagnaDrive ASD-SSD reduced the excess cooling by slowing the fans (airflow) down to only the amount needed. To date, fan speed is controlled more efficiently by increasing only when the process conditions require—when EJW, TAW, and AC temperatures exceed their set points, for example.

In addition, vibration and liquid fallout has been significantly reduced since installation of the new equipment. The reduction in parasitic horsepower has reduced the engine’s gas consumption. This technology has adapted to the constantly changing engine, compressor and environmental conditions found in the application. Moreover, magnetic variable speed technology has fully been adopted within the Gas Machinery’s Research Council (GMRC).

In the past, every air cooled exchanger manufacturer approached their business differently. They were cautious about adding costs, updating equipment, and spending more money to be more self-sufficient at the plant level. They realized, however, that the end market is changing and is demanding much more flexible solutions today.

The ASD-SSD minimizes the power needed to operate the drive. This provides extensive energy efficiency gains in order to meet stringent DOE and EPA regulations. Shaft power can be redirected in order to increase power into the compressor to increase capacity. By lowering the fan speed and isolating the fan assembly, the ASD-SSD can reduce the wear and maintenance of the equipment’s rotating components including shafts, bearings, and belts. This helps to eliminate scheduled downtimes and reoccurring maintenance shutdowns at the plant.

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