An air compressor is a tool that makes it possible to generate power by compressing air. It does this by exchanging energy between the machine and the fluid. The work exerted by the compressor is transmitted to the substance circulating inside it, thus converting it into flow energy, increasing its pressure and kinetic energy, and making it flow.
One of the aspects differentiating them from pumps is that they are thermal machinery in which the working fluid is compressible. As a result, they undergo an appreciable modification of density and temperature. In less technical words, we can say that air compressors are devices that use mechanical energy to transform it into pneumatic power, compressing the air through an increase in pressure and then transferring it to another tool through a tube or hose. The atmosphere is then cooled to occupy less volume before being stored in the boiler or tank. This increases the supply capacity of the pneumatic network and increases its efficiency.
According to Gardner Denver dealer experts, according to the way they treat the aspirated air, they are classified as follows:
- Positive displacement compressor. This air compressor compresses the air inside it so that, at its outlet, the tendency of the air to return to its initial state of atmospheric pressure is used as a source of energy. This is the principle of operation of the most commonly used air compressors.
- Dynamic compressor. The air is sucked in so that, once inside the compressor, it is accelerated at high speed; the kinetic energy obtained is transformed into static output pressure, which is used as a source of energy.
In both types, there are different types of compressors with a particular internal structure responsible for carrying out the air intake, processing and compression, and its release.
The variety of compressed air compressors on the market is wide, as you can confirm in the Gardner Denver dealer nearest you. The reason is that their operation and characteristics are particular, with many different uses. The most common positive displacement compressors are:
- Piston compressors, with or without lubrication.
- The screw, with or without lubrication.
- Other positive displacement compressors are vane compressors, variable speed or medium or high pressure, among others. The most commonly used dynamic compressors are divided into radial centrifugal technology and axial centrifugal.
To choose which air compressor should be assessed, mainly, the type of work and use given. First of all, it is necessary to determine if the user will show domestic (occasional) or industrial (frequent). Once this aspect is clear, we must assess the technical characteristics of the compressor. For example, the performance may be lower in domestic use, while the industrial environment should be increased and commensurate with the activity performed. Then, in your Gardner Denver dealer, you can find a suitable compressor.
Among the technical characteristics to be assessed, the following should be considered:
- The airflow rate it is capable of supplying. It is usually measured in liters/min but also cubic feet/min or m3/min.
- The air pressure it can supply is measured in a bar or Psi (pounds per square inch).
- The power it possesses is represented in horsepower (horsepower, steam, or kilowatts).
- The storage capacity of the boiler or tank, calculated in liters that it can store.
- The type of starter it has, being able to be of direct starter or star-delta type. The latter is the most recommendable because it reduces the intensity peaks of the motors at the beginning of their operation and, therefore, the high electrical consumption in this phase. For this purpose, this technology enables an initial start with a lower voltage (star) so that, once it has acquired inevitable revolutions, the voltage offered increases until it reaches its nominal operating value (delta).