The importance of air compressor after coolers
One of the industrial air compressor parts that can be found in every type of compressor is the after cooler with the condensate trap. The objective of the after cooler is to remove moisture in the air and to reduce temperature in a water-cooled heat exchanger. The after coolers remove heat from compression on both the lubricant and discharged air. The proper operation of the after cooler is critical because the moisture content of air directly relates to the discharge temperature. In order to maximize the heat transfer capabilities for energy efficiency, the after coolers must be cleaned periodically. Temperatures that are in excess of 38oC (100oF) are likely to overload the air dryers and result into moisture problems. The after coolers will reduce the temperature of saturated discharge air and condense water vapor that can be drained from the system.
It is also generally believed that air entering the compression system must be as cool as possible to maximize energy efficiency. This is because cold air is denser than warm air and the cooler the incoming air, there will be less need for inter-cooling and after-cooling. When the incoming air is colder, there are more air molecules so that more air is compressed for every revolution of the air compressor.
The importance of receivers and air storage
Industrial air compressor parts that help maintain the quality of air are air receivers. The primary air receiver is located close to the main air compressor and acts as general storage system. The primary air receivers have an important role in the system that includes:
- Damping pulsations in a reciprocating compressor
- Providing a location for free water and lubricant to settle from the compressed air system
- Supplies stored air during peak demands so that an extra air compressor will not be required
- Reducing load/unload or start/stop cycle frequencies on rotary screw air compressors so that it can run more efficiently and reduce motor starts.
- Allows better compressor control and more stable system pressures because it slows down system pressure changes.
The location of the primary receiver will have a significant effect on the air dryer because if it is located downstream of the air dryer, it can store larger quantities of dry air for peak demands. Once there is a sudden demand, stored air can flow directly from the receiver to help maintain adequate pressure.
There are other industrial air compressor parts that can increase capacity and energy efficiency. It is important to keep an eye an eye on these parts since they can affect the operation of your compressed air system.