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When thinking about a compressed air system the first thing that comes to mind is a compressor, but what else goes into your system?
December 10, 2018
When thinking about a compressed air system the first thing that comes to mind is a compressor, but what else goes into your system? The typical clean dry air system includes a compressor, wet air receiver, coalescing pre-filter, regenerative air dryer, particulate after-filter, dry air receiver and sometimes even a final filter before the piping takes the compressed air to the final application.
Compressed air receivers are used to store compressed air and limit demand on the compressor. When a receiver isn’t properly sized it can lead to the compressor running more often than is necessary. This can lead to a decrease in the system’s overall efficiency. On top of the efficiency gains that come with properly sizing your air receiver, when the compressor is run less it will help with system reliability and longevity.
Air Dryers and Filters
Dryers and filters are used to reduce moisture content and contaminants in the air system. When compressed air is not properly dried and filtered it can lead to contamination of the end process. In most applications this kind of contamination is unacceptable. Another side effect of not using proper filtration and drying is degradation of the compressed air system.
Compressor Backup and Communication
If your system requires backup or additional capacity you will have more than one compressor connected to your system. These can be set up to communicate direct through auto lead/lag or through a sequencer when connecting three or more compressors. This communication allows compressors to be turned on only as needed, which can increase system efficiency.
Compressed Air System Design and Piping
Compressors produce a large amount of heat waste, so keep that in mind when designing your compressor room. You will need a source of clean inlet air, discharge air ducting or consider a water cooled machine. If you are interested in saving on energy costs you can implement a heat recovery system. Another way to design your compressor system to be more efficient is by increasing the size of your pipe, to limit friction, and shorten the distance the air has to travel.
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