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When should I buy a piston and when should I buy a screw compressor? Is there any general rule?

There is no real general rule applicable for all circumstances and in all conditions. Best is to determine first how much air you need. After that you need to know how often you will use your compressor. As a guideline, we can say that a professional piston compressor is designed to work with a maximum operating duty between 25% for the smallest models, to 75% for the bigger ones. Industrial compressors can run more intensively and in more severe and heavy duty condition. The more often you use your compressor, the more likely a screw compressor will be more efficient and a more suitable solution.

What are the differences between the terms professional and industrial pistons?

The professional range of pistons use both direct or belt driven technology, and these units are designed for applications with occasional and intermittent air requirement, like in many DIY, service and construction applications. These units are often smaller and more easy to move around. The industrial range has a focus on industrial applications where the compressors are used intensively and for longer periods of time.

What is the difference between piston air displacement and real air flow delivered?

When you read a piston sales catalogue of most brands you will find piston displacement flow. This is the amount of air that gets sucked in to the compressor before it is compressed. The free air delivery is the compressed air delivered by the compressor element, and this flow is always mentioned at a certain pressure.

Is a vessel necessary for piston compressors?

For most applications you need a vessel. A vessel provides a more consistent and fluent airflow to the applications. It will avoid constant start and stop of your compressor. It also means that your compressor will not have to run all the time, as it will stop when your vessel is filled. All this contributes to less wear and improved service life.

Is it possible to mount an automatic drain under a vessel? And is that an option on pistons compressors?

This is something we even recommend. Moist is one of the results of compressing air, so in order to keep the receiver rust free, and to keep your compressed air system efficient, you need to drain the receiver after every use. This can always be done manually, but also with an automatic drain which has to be ordered separately.

How big difference in running cost is it between a belt driven screw compressor and a direct driven?

There is a difference in running cost between the 2 technologies. The belt driven unit is a less expensive investment but consumes in average 3% extra energy. Also a little bit more time is needed for maintenance, by adjusting for example the belt. The most suitable technology depends therefore on the use.

Why is an inverter compressor saving energy?

Because an inverter/ frequency driven compressor is not producing more air than needed. A conventional compressor works within a pressure band. When reaching the higher pressure the machine goes into unload mode (the motor is running but no air is produced). When reaching the lower pressure value the compressor starts to build up pressure again until it reaches its unload pressure again. An inverter/frequency driven compressor has less unload time and works towards a set pressure value, this makes the inverter compressors in general 30% more energy efficient than a conventional load/unload compressor.

What is normally the pay back for an inverter compressor?

The normal pay back is between 1-2 years during normal conditions and 4000 running’s hours per year. Not seldom we see pay backs within a year.

Is there any recommendations regarding ventilation of compressor room?

All compressor rooms require ventilation. Minimum room ventilation can be calculated from the formula:

Qv = 1.06 N / T for Pack unit

Qv = (1.06 N + 1.3) / T for Full-Feature unit

Qv = required cooling air flow (m³/s);

N = shaft input of compressor (kW); 

T = temperature increase in compressor room. (usually 7 °C)

If the compressor is conducted, the required ventilation is the same as the fan capacity of the compressor. This is mentioned in the instruction manual.

Why do I need quality air solution products?

During the compression process, humidity and contamination from the intake air combine with the oil used in the compressor which creates impurities. The different quality air solution products are thus needed to purify the compressed air to prevent it from damaging the downstream equipment. Consequently, air quality is ensured, efficiency and productivity will be increased and the life span of your equipment and tools will be lengthened. In sum, quality air solution products are indispensable whenever you are using a compressed air system.

How do I benefit from having a dryer?

Humidity is a component of atmospheric air which will be transformed into condensate and/or vapor state after the compression process. A dryer will remove this condensate and/or vapor so that dry compressed air is achieved. This will result in a longer life span of your equipment, lower maintenance costs due to less breakdowns, a continuous preservation of efficient production and a higher final product quality.

What is the difference between refrigerant and adsorption dryers?

The refrigerant dryers use a refrigerant gas in order to cool the compressed air. As a result the water from the air condenses and can be removed. With this technique we can reach max. 3°C. PDP. An adsorption dryer uses an adsorption material called “desiccant” in order to absorb and remove (by regeneration phase) the humidity from the compressed air. With this method we can reach a PDP < 3°C. ( -40°C. or -70°C.). An adsorption dryer should also be used when the ambient temperature goes below freezing point, to avoid ice building in pipes and applications.

Where should I place the dryer?

The optimal solution to have a calm and stable flow over the dryer is to place the receiver before the dryer. Also the filter should be place before the dryer but after the receiver. To get clean air into the dryer extend the life time of the dryer and will increase your air quality. Ask the customer what the area of use is, for example instrument air its classified under ISO certification. Talk to your sales responsible if you are unsure how the ISO classing is build up, or read the filter leaflet for advice.

What advantages follow from installing filters?

Atmospheric air contains in its origin many impurities which once compressed (and combined with the oil, in the case of oil-injected compressors) may generate abrasive and corrosive emulsions which can damage the distribution lines, the pneumatic devices and the product itself. A wide range of filters is available to purify the compressed air. As a result, productivity, quality and reliability are increased, the wear of the distribution network is limited and breakdowns are prevented instead of cured.

Is it useful to install a vertical air receiver?

Yes, it is useful because this quality air solution product serves several different purposes. First of all, as it is usually placed immediately after your compressor, a vertical air receiver will already separate and remove condensate. Moreover, it will also stabilize pressure peaks and cause a stable air flow which is beneficent for the final tools. Finally, it also fulfills a storage function in order to handle high air consumption.


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