Thursday, February 27, 2020
While your air compressor is a critical piece of equipment and represents a significant capital investment, the choice of location for its installation can often be something of an afterthought.
While your air compressor is a critical piece of equipment and represents a significant capital investment, the choice of location for its installation can often be something of an afterthought. The location of a compressed air system must satisfy a number of considerations for correct trouble-free operation.
In an ideal world, your compressor should be installed in a suitable location that is clean, dry, free from dust, and with good ventilation.
Your air compressor should always be accessible for servicing and maintenance checks. Depending on the size and configuration of the installation, you will need to ensure that there is a specified amount of clearance surrounding it. As a rule of thumb, there should be at least a metre of free space around each piece of equipment. This ensures that the doors and access panels can be opened fully, allowing for components to be changed during servicing and maintenance checks.
If you have to install your air compressor in a less-than-ideal location, you need to take into consideration know that general repairs, replacement of major components and regular preventative maintenance could be more expensive and lead to additional downtime.
A compressor installation must always be designed and installed with the correct ventilation to prevent the ambient temperature from exceeding the maximum or admissible levels.
You need to make sure that the room in which your compressor is installed is kept reasonably cool. Compressors generally operate more efficiently at ambient temperatures of around 20–25°C and will shut down if they get too hot. Measures for proper air circulation and ventilation will need to be put in place to prevent these high-temperature shutdowns from occurring. Heat produced should be ducted away from the compressor or used in an energy recovery application. The room should be free of heat-emitting pipes or assemblies, but if this cannot be avoided, they must be adequately insulated. It is also beneficial for the intake air to be cool, so the inlet should be installed in an appropriate location that is typically away from external heat sources.
As well as being cool, you need to ensure that the intake air for your compressor is clean and free of solid and gaseous contamination. Excessive particles of dust and dirt can cause wear to your compressor and corrosive gases can be particularly damaging. A pre-filter should be used on installations where the surrounding air contains a high concentration of dust, and the pressure drop caused by the filter must be accounted for during the design of the installation.
There is a lot to remember when choosing the right location for your compressor, but BOGE has the expertise and experience necessary for you to get the most from your installation. To find out more, click here.