Choosing the Right Compressor

Choosing the right Compressor image

Choosing the right compressor is an important decision; you need to have a good understanding of your application and its demand for air. It’s an important decision. Installing the wrong compressor can significantly increase energy costs and reduce productivity. Compressors come in many different types, models and sizes. We’ve compiled this guide to help make the process a bit easier.

Sizing Matters

Picking the right size compressor is one of the most crucial factors when selecting an industrial compressor. By far, the largest cost associated with the lifecycle of an air compressor is tied to power consumption. Therefore, its capability needs to match your compressed air demands. Too large and you’ll waste too much energy; too small and you won’t be able to meet your demand.

Establish Your Pressure and Flow Requirements…

It is essential that you establish the capacity required by your compressor for your business or specific application. You will need to know the maximum pressure and flow you will need. Pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) or bars and determines a compressor’s ability to perform multiple tasks at once. Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and determines a compressor’s ability to perform work continuously. Ensuring you have sufficient compressed air flow at the correct pressure. This helps to reduce energy costs and optimise productivity and maintain long-lasting performance. There are several ways this can be determined if you are unsure of your current needs. Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) can provide data sheets and recommendations, or you can conduct a compressed air audit to establish your exact compressed air demands. You must also factor in demand during peak periods and consider any future expansion.

What Type of Compressor Do You Need?

There are two main types of technology when it comes to industrial compressors: rotary screw compressors and piston compressors. The type of compressor you need is influenced by how often you use your compressor and the capacity required.

Piston Compressors: These are the ‘workhorses’ of industry and are robust, economical, and easy to maintain. However, piston compressors can be noisy to run and release larger amounts of oil into the compressed air when working hard. Designed for intermittent use, the duty cycle of a piston compressor is 60% maximum, meaning they can only run for 35 minutes per hour.

Rotary Screw Compressors: These compressors allow for a much higher flow rate and are more common in the industry. They can run at a 100% duty cycle whilst maintaining the same air quality. Screw compressors are easily integrated with other equipment to optimise the system such as air dryers, receivers and VSDs. If you require a high flow rate with a higher level of air quality, then screw compressors have oil-free models for the medical, food and beverage industries.

Need More Help Choosing a Compressor?

It’s always a good idea to seek technical advice before choosing an air compressor. Our highly experienced team can help guide you through this process and ensure you select the most cost-effective, energy-efficient system for the long term. Call us today!

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