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Energy conservation circuit and method for use with multi-phase motors used to power a variable load

Image Number 6 for United States Patent #6091218.

An energy conserving apparatus and method are disclosed. The apparatus is used for conserving power supplied to a multi-phase motor used to power a compressor having a high pressure output line. The motor has a plurality of voltage input lines for connection to receive a multi-phase input voltage. The apparatus includes a monitor for connection to monitor a parameter of the high pressure output line. A plurality of voltage limiting circuits in respective ones of the voltage input lines limit a voltage on the input lines to below selectable voltage levels in response to a control signal. A control circuit is connected to the monitor. The control circuit has a plurality of discrete programmed output levels to provide the control signal to the voltage limiting circuits. Each output level corresponds to a range of the parameter values of the high pressure output line, whereby the voltage limiting circuits limit the input voltage in discrete increments in relation to the parameter values in said high pressure output line. The monitored parameter in the case of a gas/fluid compressor may be a pressure or a temperature in the high pressure output line. The control circuit controls the timing for transitions between discrete voltage levels.

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