Air Compressor Guide
Type of Compressors
Evaluating a Compressed Air System
Maintenance
Troubleshooting
Glossary and Reference Data
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Getting the Most for Your Money
How to Select and Protect Your Air Compressor Investment
Selecting an Air Compressor
 
     The heart of any compressed air system is the air compressor itself. When selecting an air compressor, the most important factors to consider are quality and reliability. Reflected in quality and reliability are overall cost, efficiency, and ease of maintenance. The most cost-effective unit may not be the lowest priced. Components to evaluate in a compressor include: 
Airend:
     Look at the package efficiency and check with the manufacturer for engineering data. Evaluate proven performance and reliability.
Cooling Systems:
     Must be adequate to handle maximum ambient operating temperature. Air-cooled compressors have either integrally mounted or separate oil and air coolers.
Drive:
     Efficiency is critical. Belt drives are easier to maintain and provide the most flexibility in pressure selection. Automatic belt-tensioning devices ensure transmission efficiency and protect bearings from excess stress.
Controls:
     System must be reliable, readable, and run the compressor efficiently.
Interconnecting Piping:
     Look for rigid piping with flexible connections to eliminate leaks.
Filtration:
     Performance filters protect the compressor from contamination.
Motor:
     Compare brake horsepower to nameplate rating. Motors which go into the service factor are less reliable. Also, TEFC motors are protected better against contaminants than ODP motors.
     Energy savings at reduced flow requirements depend solely on the ability of the compressor control to translate reduced air flow into lower electrical power consumption. The chart below shows the relationship between the full load power required for a compressor at various air demands and common control types. It becomes apparent that the on line-off line control (dual control) is superior to other controls in translating savings in air consumption into real power savings.
Types of Compressors / Evaluating a Compressed Air System / Maintenance / Troubleshooting / Glossary and Reference Data
 
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