Industrial air compressor systems may be noisy, but they are necessary. While they may look intimidating, most modern industrial air compressor system are composed of similar major sub-systems and many sub-components.
Major industrial air compressor sub-systems include the compressor, prime mover, controls, treatment equipment and accessories, and the distribution system. The compressor is the mechanical device that takes in ambient air and increases its pressure. The prime mover powers the compressor (typically the electric motor). Controls serve to regulate the amount of compressed air being produced. The treatment equipment removes contaminants and water from the compressed air, and accessories keep the system operating properly. A distribution system consists of the piping that is analogous to wiring in the electrical world – they transport compressed air to where it is needed. Compressed air storage can also serve to improve system performance and efficiency.
To ensure all compressor types run efficiently with no leaks, it is imperative to perform routine maintenance, such as monitoring and replacing air compressor fittings. It is suggested that air compressor owners perform daily inspections of their equipment, such as:
-Checking for oil and air leaks
-Checking the differential pressure in the compressed air filter
-Determining whether or not the oil in the compressor should be changed
-Verifying safe operating temperature
-Draining condensation from air receiver tanks
Dynamic displacement air compressors include centrifugal compressors and axial compressors. In these types, a rotating component imparts its kinetic energy to the air which is eventually converted into pressure energy. These use centrifugal force generated by a spinning impeller to accelerate and then decelerate captured air, which pressurizes it. Vane compressors: use a slotted rotor with varied blade placement to guide air into a chamber and compress the volume. This type of compressor delivers a fixed volume of air at high pressures.