7 Critical Air Compressor Factors- Explained
Air Compressors are complicated machines with so many factors to consider; horsepower, cubic feet per minute, PSI, tank mounted, base mounted, direct drive, belt drive.
The list of specifications for air compressors seems endless.
We have the listed and explained the 7 factors you should be taking into account when the time comes to buying Air Compressors.
- Motor Power (Hp/kW)
- Electrical Requirements
- Free Air Delivery (cfm/ L/min)
- Fixed Speed vs Variable Speed
- Duty Cycle
- Air Quality
- Moisture and Condensation
01. Motor Power
Motor power is measured in Horsepower (Hp) or Kilowatt (kW). Therefore power is a good indicator to which size air compressor your business needs.
Most Industrial Air Compressors start at 7.5hp (5.5 kW) and can exceed 300hp (250kW).
With this in mind any compressor under 7.5hp will likely not have sufficient power to provide your business with reliable compressed air.
02. Electrical Requirements
Tank Mounted Air Compressor require 16 amp minimum power
Base Mounted Air Compressor require 45 amp minimum power
03. Free air delivery
Knowing the exact air requirements you need is the single hardest part of buying an air compressor.
Air Delivery is the volume of air the produced and is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm) or liters per minute (L/min).
Therefore understanding your total air consumption at peak demand will help you choose the right air compressor for you.
Secondly it is also important to leave enough tolerance to allow for expansion in the future.
Our Product Experts are trained to evaluate your current and future air flow requirements.
04. Fixed Speed vs Variable Speed DRIVE air compressors
Fixed speed compressors either run at full speed or don’t run at all, making them ideal for situations where you need compressed air 100% of the time.
While Variable speed drives also run at full speed all the time, they have the advantage of being able to fluctuate speeds to match the current demand reducing overall energy usage.
In case you’re still unsure we have listed the benefits of both Fixed and Variable Speed Compressors:
Fixed Speed Compressors:
- Lower purchasing cost
- Increased parts availability
- Cheaper maintenance costs
- Designed for constant demand applications
Variable Speed Compressors:
- Lower ambient noise levels
- Reduce energy consumption
- Increased running life
- Consistent and reliable pressure
Cost saving benefits of a VSD Drive Air Compressor
05. Air Compressors Duty Cycle
The duty cycle is how long a compressor can run in a 10 minute period before overheating or causing damage.
To clarify duty cycle is expressed as a percentage. For example industrial air compressors to have duty cycles between 75-100% letting you work for extended time periods or even continuously. Whereas small personal compressors could have duty cycles as low as 60%.
Therefore the larger the percentage the longer the compressor can work before having to take a break increasing efficiency and minimising downtime.
06. Air quality
07. managing your air compressors Moisture and Condensation
Dedicated Refrigerated Air Dryer
It is important to realise that buying a new air compressor is hard, there are so many factors to consider however overlooking something could end up costing you in the long run.
But fear not! Now you definitely have a better understanding of what your business needs are. Ultimately you are ready to make the best choice for your business.
Even if you are unsure the team at Focus Industrial are standing by to help you maximise your businesses potential.