Technical Trainer across the Pennine Pneumatic Services Ltd group, Andy Kershaw has almost 30 years’ experience in the compressed air industry. Having worked directly with brands including Atlas Copco and Worthington – there isn’t much Andy hasn’t seen or doesn’t know about compressors and compressor servicing.
Here, Andy talks about how you can make sure your air compressor is summer ready.
Like most people, I enjoy the hot weather and get BBQ planning as soon as my weather app shows weekend sunshine. But, the promise of hot weather also brings to mind stifling plant rooms. As much as we relish the warmer weather, and the summer months, our air compressors do not…
Air compressors are designed to operate in temperatures ranging from 5°C to 40°C, and while it’s not reaching that temperature outside in the UK, it’s not unheard of for a plant room to exceed that figure.
Up to 80% of the energy used by an air compressor can be released as heat. If the compressor is in a badly ventilated room, that contains other machines also producing heat, your air compressor may soon find itself in a very damaging environment.
What does it feel like in your plant room? Let’s delve into why heat isn’t good for your compressor and what you can do.
At best – high temperatures affect your efficiency. It takes more energy to compress warm air. If you want a stat to back this up, BCAS state that a 4° reduction in air compressor inlet air temperature leads to drier air at a higher density, which improves compressor efficiency by about 1%. (BCAS Whitepaper – Reducing Energy Consumption from Compressed Air Usage)
Worst case – the heat will lead to multiple problems, including:
These issues not only reduce the efficiency of your system and increase costs, but could lead to a compressor shut down and land a costly repair bill on your lap!
Checking the ventilation in the plant room is important, and it’s generally always an option to increase the ventilation. You can do this by installing a fan and checking that none of your air vents are blocked by dirt, dust or outside vegetation.
This is particularly important when more heat-generating equipment is added, as the ventilation should be increased accordingly. The hot air could also be released outside through a duct.
Alongside this you should consider an summer air compressor service to make sure that your system is working at maximum capacity and is ready for the warmer temperatures. This will dramatically reduce the likelihood of failure and downtime. I would advise you to speak to your compressed air engineer to book one in.
Have a look at our air compressor maintenance checklist, and download and print our handy pdf to put up by your air compressor.
Avoid costly breakdowns and ensure your compressed air and other systems work at peak levels with our ongoing maintenance and service packages.