• Types of Condensate Drains

    A condensate drain is a necessary component of a compressed air system because it disposes of potentially harmful condensates in a safe way. Condensates form from the cooling of moisture in the air system, and must be drained properly and regularly. If the condensate is not drained, water vapor and other contaminants would not be properly removed via refrigerated air dryers or mist eliminators. These drains are categorized into zero air loss drains and timed electric drain traps.

    Zero air loss drains operate automatically via pneumatic power and waste no compressed air when they discharge condensate. These condensates are continuously measured by ultrasonic sensing technology systems, allowing for constant monitoring of the process. The discharge from these drains can be executed at a rate of up to 60 gallons of condensate per hour. The state of the condensate is irrelevant and, as such, it can be dirty, emulsified, or clean. Regardless of the state it is in, all condensate is discharged through this process. Zero air loss drains expel no compressed air, hence the term “zero air loss”. Once a predetermined amount of condensate has accumulated in a reservoir, the drain discharges the condensate safely and efficiently.

    The second type of condensate drains are timed electric drains. These drains are programmed to drain condensates at specific time intervals, and are designed to discharge condensates at pressure ratings as high as 720psi. External knobs adjust the open time and duration between cycles, while valve-open lights display operating conditions. A motorized ball valve is also used for the timing of these electric drains.

    The third type of condensate drains are automatic drain traps, also known as float drains. These drains operate without electricity and are used to discharge both clean and heavy emulsion condensates. These automatic drain traps are relatively compact in size and operate automatically, saving both space and energy costs.

    After the drains have discharged the condensate, oil and water separators are used to reduce hazardous waste in these condensates. Oil and water separators work by siphoning out materials such as mineral oils, semi-synthetic lubricants, synthetic lubricants, 24KT fluids, and polyglycols from the compressed air. Because oil and water mixtures are not safe to release back into the environment, the lubricants are trapped in these systems, allowing water to pass through.

    All these drains are used in compressed air systems to keep the air free of water vapor and other contaminants. Draining condensates is one of the most important aspects when dealing with industrial air compressor maintenance. Not only will a well drained system function more smoothly, but it will also save you valuable time and money.

  • Buyer's Guide to Industrial Air Compressors

    An air compressor is a tool that works to convert power that is normally derived from either an electric motor or an engine that is run by gasoline or diesel, into energy. The energy that an air compressor produces is pressurized into compressed air that is then release into burst a of air as a form of energy. Compressed air in this system is normally stored inside of a chamber until it is needed and then it is released when needed for applications. If you have found the need for an air compressor and need one bigger then what the everyday handyman would need, then you may want to consider purchasing an industrial size air compressor.

    If you make the choice to go the route of purchasing an industrial air compressor, then there are a few factors that you may want to consider when making the purchase. First, what kind of power source will you be able to supply for your compressor? Will it be electricity, gas, or diesel powering the compressor? Next, how readily available are replacement parts for the compressor you are considering. The last thing that you want to have to do is wait weeks for parts to repair the compressor, so make sure replacement part are easily available. A third question you need to ponder is whether or not this industrial air compressor will be stationary or if you will need a little more maneuverability from it to get to any job that you have. Another thing to consider is the price. What is your price point for an industrial air compressor? How much can you afford?

    The current trends and technology concerning industrial air compressors show that more people are interested in energy efficient models that may be more expensive initially, but will be a long investment. Energy efficient models will produce energy savings. Once you have decided what size you need, whether you need it to move, and what you can afford, ask yourself if you are ready to invest in an energy efficient model to save yourself some money over a period of time.

    Once you have made a decision about what you are looking for, then comes time to find a reputable dealer. Ask other business owners, who have needs similar to yours, who they would recommend. You can also browse the internet for answers, or call the Better Business Bureau to check into what companies dealing with industrial air compressors have good ratings.

  • Air Demand Analysis on Your Industrial Air Compressor

    When having your brand new compressed air system designed, be certain to hire a professional engineer to conduct an Air Demand Analysis. An Air Demand Analysis can guide you in customizing your system according to your business’ needs and usage. This Air Demand Analysis is a key step in obtaining the highest performance and efficiency from your machine. The engineer will perform a series of test and use that information to create a detailed analysis that will help develop a compressed air system that benefits your finances, energy costs, and even the environment.

    During the process, data that is both accurate and valuable will be utilized to optimize your system. Air consumption profiles help determine which system is best suited for your operation. Everything from the type of compressor to its layout is designed and tailored on a case by case basis. This step is highly encouraged since it can save on energy, translating to a huge savings on costs over time.

    An Air Demand Analysis can significantly reduce energy costs. Electricity is the highest cost incurred of operating an industrial air compressor. This Air Demand Analysis serves to meet all of your requirements while keeping the pressure used to a minimum. This is achieved by matching you with the most appropriate device and customizing the layout and features of the unit.

    The Air Demand Analysis consists of several steps. The air demand and other data is collected and then used to appoint the best systems. Then, each system undergoes vigorous testing to determine the power consumption and overall efficiency within the variables of your working operation. Lastly, the best system is selected and tailored to fit, with a detailed 3D image of your system available to be viewed pre-installation.

    The engineer will be capable of providing a realistic prediction of energy savings. This allows you to have the opportunity to compare the extremes of having an Air Analysis versus not having one. The best systems are durable and perform optimally, and the professional will do everything in his or her power to ensure you have the best system.

    An Air Demand Analysis is extremely important when designing a compressed air system. A professional engineer or vendor can perform tests to determine the system that best performs in your environment while saving the greatest amount of energy. Maximum performance, reliability and efficiency are three key traits that your system will be designed and tailored on.

  • How to Choose a Filter for Your Industrial Air Compressor

    Filters are a very important part of your industrial air compressor system. Filters serve to remove contaminants and purify the air within your system. Choosing the right type of filter depends on the amount of maintenance you wish to engage in and the requirements of your system.

    Oil flooded screw compressors are a highly regarded, cost-effective, reliable system. However, oil flooded screw compressors need the proper filter to remove the oil and contaminants introduced to the compressed air. Appropriate filters include coalescing filters, which remove oil mist, as well as automatic drain valves that eliminate liquid condensate. Both filters need to be replaced when filled with dust.

    Air compressor systems need aerosol filtration at each point of use, from upstream, after the air dryer and downstream. Desiccant and refrigerated dryers need to utilize both a prefilter and afterfilter to remove liquid and particulate aerosols. Filtration units also prevent adsorbent fouling in desiccant dryers as well as the fouling of heat exchangers within the refrigerated dryer. The downstream filter is responsible for removing the adsorbent lines from the desiccant dryer and water mist from the refrigerated dryer.

    Choosing the right compressed air filter depends on your system’s needs. A high particulate filter operates under high temperatures and offers a high level of protection against fire in a heated desiccant dryer. Vapor or charcoal filters are suggested for removing organics from chemical vapors and hydrocarbons. Particulate filters are used in desiccant dryers to remove scale, metal oxides and desiccant particles.

    Compressed air filters are necessary to maintain clean air as they remove hazardous materials from the unit. Particulates to watch out for include metal oxides, dirt and scale since they can damage finished products, erode system components and generally decrease efficiency. Chemical gases such as sulfur, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and chlorine need to be filtered since they can threaten the health and safety of workers. Fungus, microbes and mold can grow within a moist air system and produce a corrosive acidic waste. This causes pipes and valves to clog with sludge.

    Finding the right filter for your industrial air compressor can increase your unit’s efficiency and lower energy costs.

  • Industrial Air Compressor Accessories

    If you are using an existing industrial air compressor or plan on purchasing one in the near future, you may also want to consider what industrial air compressor accessories you will need. Accessories that you may want to consider for your industrial air compressor include air mufflers, vibration isolation pads, drains, and filters.

    The first accessory that you may want to consider purchasing is an air muffler. Air mufflers work much like the muffler on a vehicle in that it works to reduce the sound of the air that the air compressor forces out. Another accessory previously mentioned are vibration isolation pads. These pads aid in absorbing the force of the air compressor when in use by sitting beneath the air compressor and absorbing vibrations, thus promoting more stability.

    The last two mentioned accessories are perhaps the most useful for your industrial air compressor. Having a drain on your compressor gives you the opportunity to drain condensate from you system. This condensate, if not removed, can cause harm to your system and in the end have long lasting, damaging effects on your industrial air compressor. These drains also allow you to release this condensate without losing valuable time with your system by having to shut it down. The other accessory that is vital for the smooth operation of your compressor is a filter. An air compressor filter works to keep debris in the air that you may not even be able to see from entering in the compressor. This is vital so that the inner workings of your compressor stay clean and thus work better.

    The current trend in industrial air compressor accessories is that they increase productivity and are energy efficient. All of the accessories mentioned may help your air compressor increase productivity, save energy, and last longer by protecting important components of your air compressor.

    There are many different brands and sizes of air compressor parts. When choosing the right one for your industrial air compressor, you need to check your air compressor to see what is compatible with you brand, size, engine, etc. Keep in mind that you may want to check multiple dealers to be sure that you get the best deal and the best service. Always have your compressor model number and other information with you when making a purchase, to make sure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.