One main component of an air compressor is its power source. Electric, gas, and diesel are the three main sources of fuel, and they each have different pros and cons. Electric air compressors are generally better for indoor applications where noise is an issue and there is an outlet nearby. Electric compressors are also usually smaller. After you have decided on the fuel source for your compressor, you must determine what size will work for you. To do this, you simply use the highest cfm rating of your tools, and then increase it by approximately 20% - 25%.
Now you must choose between reciprocating or rotary screw air compressors for typical applications. Although centrifugal air compressors are also an option, these heavy-duty models are only needed and economical for exceptionally large uses such as power plants. While reciprocating air compressors are older technology, they are also more affordable and are usually used in portable applications. However, the prices on rotary screw air compressors are becoming lower as time goes on.
More Features to consider when purchasing an Air Compressor
- ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) tank
- Belt-driven Air Compressor — Belt-driven compressors generally have a longer life, with less vibration and heat transferring from the motor/engine to the pump.
- Cast iron cylinder or cast iron pump sleeves — Cast iron is typically the standard material for cylinders
- Fully packaged unit with premounted and prewired magnetic motor start, dual control, belt guard mounted air cooled after cooler and electric condensate drain
- Low-oil shutdown prevents downtime and costly repairs resulting from low oil levels
- Oil-Free (or Oil-less) compressors are virtually maintenance-free performers for light- to general-duty applications. No need for periodic oil changes.
- V-design cylinders — V-design cylinders typically run cooler that in-line cylinders. Heat is a compressors worst enemy.
- Vertical vs. horizontal air compressors — Vertical compressors usually take up less floor space than horizontal compressors. Typically, vertical compressors are stationary, whereas smaller horizontal compressors are better for portable applications (such as a truck-mounted compressor).
- 100% Continuous Speed operation vs. Auto Start/Stop operation — Auto start/stop operation has preset cut in/cut out pressures. The compressor actually stops and turns back on as air is needed. With constant speed operation, the compressor runs 100% of the time and simply adjusts the air output. Dual control compressors offer both auto start/stop and continous speed operation
If you have further questions, call Three Rivers Compressed Air Systems today.
Share or Bookmark this page...