We are going to delve into a small world of ideas and points about the use of air dryers in conjunction with air compressor systems. Consider this a FAQ section for those interested in that particular shop setup.
Are there any advantages to owning air compressors?
Ridiculous yet simple as questions go, but even this one needs an answer. You are essentially storing compressed air for use where required. This is called ‘free air’ and it means any air that is usable above a certain pressure. Work that demands the use of pneumatic tools, for example, need 90-100 psi. This means in a 120-gallon receiver, you can store 193 cubic feet of compressed air at 175 psi.
What do I do if my air compressor’s temperature gets higher than that recommended by the manufacturer? How do I correct this operating temperature over-heat issue?
Most often, if your oil levels are low the air compressor will tend towards over-heating. Add the right oils and keep the quantity ideal. If over-heating still occurs, your ambient temperature could be to blame. If even that is in order, check the water and air flow system, or even the ventilation setup around the compressor area.
When I use my pneumatic tools, air pressure drops. This keeps happening. How do I solve the problem?
Look again to see if the following factors are present… Is there any leakage at the lines, valves, and connections? Are the filter elements worn or clogged? Does the distribution piping contain any holes? As for the increase in pressure drop… For the required flow, is the quick-disconnect bore too small? Also, for the required flow, is the diameter of the hose too small? Once you clear these issues, your pneumatic tools will no longer cause sudden compressor pressure drops.
What do I need to buy to control contaminants and dewpoints in my air compressor system?
In the full micron dimension range, you will find air filters for compressor use sold at varied prices. If you are looking for custom air filter solutions, there are consultants to help with that too; based on your application, of course. For 35 degrees (common dewpoint), you can take a refrigerated air dryer to most applications. In case you wish to use waterborne paints, a lower dewpoint is needed to attain the 5-10% relative humidity required for things to work. Outdoors mean seasons where freezing temperatures can interfere. A dessicant dryer will be useful inf this regard, namely for dewpoints going as low as -40 degrees F. You need to buy the right items based on how you plan to apply them.
How I can calculate an air compressor’s total annual expense?
There will be an operating cost pertaining to repair, maintenance, and follow-up inspections; this will be 20% of your total. The demand to run the system and consequent energy costs will take up 65% of the total. The other 15% is miscellaneous, to be honest, no specifics per se. Suppose the estimated cost of compressed air for $0.06 per kWhr (kilo watts per hour) comes around to $0.02 per 100 cfm (i.e., $0.0002 per cubic foot). With an air compressor capable of handling 35 cfm, here is your calculation: $0.007 per minute, $0.42 per hour, $10.08 per day, $302.40 per month, or $3,628.80 per year.
There is too much excess water entering my compressed air line even with the dryer hooked to my air compressor system. Correction advice?
The automatic drain tap functionality helps with this, and most modern air compressor systems have them. Ensure this is doing alright. You may need to drain the air receiver manually. The air line could also do with a moisture separator component; not for elimination of moisture but reduction. If draining does not keep the problem at bay, you will need to service the dryer; replace it, if it comes to that.
What can you share about air compressors for high volume auto repair shop applications? Is an air dryer imperative at the start or may I install one later?
While you can do without them at first, air dryers are still highly recommended if you want your air compressor to run optimally with little to no maintenance. If automobile body paint is your thing, paint spotting issues will be frequent without air dryer involvement. Water can get into the air compressor system, leading to hidden cost scenarios. If parts start to rust, your air compressor and by extension your pneumatic tools will be slow. Compared to dried air settings, they will also not last as long. Even your air lines may fail to work at maximum air output levels.
Is it absolutely important for me to use an air dryer with my air compressor system?
Also called after coolers, air dryers make sure that the amount of water suspended in a given pocket of air is reduced. You will find more water content in hot air, for instance, and a refrigerated air dryer makes sure that this water is removed as much as possible. If air is allowed to access a 10hp air compressor at 75 degrees, the relative humidity is set at 75%. This means 6.3 gallons of water a day. Using a refrigerated air dryer, 6 gallons of water can be taken out of the picture, leaving a necessary 0.3 gallons inside the system. In tandem with a separator, an air dryer can thus remove 4.3 gallons a day, which is highly practical.