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Storage in a compressed air system performs several functions, and is a critical part of any properly designed air system. When correctly applied, storage can improve energy savings, air quality, and pressure stability; as well as reduce maintenance costs and extend the life of the air compressors.
Unfortunately storage is often seen as a non-functioning part of the air system, as it does not require, nor deliver, electrical or mechanical energy. This could not be further from the truth. Just as a capacitor or coil in a cars ignition system is required for operation and control, storage is required for proper operation and control of a compressed air system.
Storage in an air system is not a tank or receiver; it is the accumulation, retention, and distribution of energy. Energy is stored in an air system with pressure differential and receivers or tanks to create a larger volume of air at the differential. Pressure differential and volume are both critical for storage, and are in an inversely proportional relationship. As one decreases, the other must increase to maintain the same level of storage.
Like the capacitor mentioned above, receiver tanks store energy – in the form of compressed air. Also similar to a capacitor, it is not only the size of the capacitor that matters, but the difference in energy levels – in the form of pressure differential.
Air system storage is required to absorb and release energy as needed, in an instant, to adjust to changes in system demand, thus providing time for compressor controls to react.
For a rapid increase in demand, storage will supply the system with the required volume to maintain the system while additional compressor capacity is brought online. In the event of a rapid decrease in demand, the opposite holds true; storage will absorb the energy of excess online capacity, while compressor capacity is taken offline, keeping the system from exceeding pressure safety levels.
With slow or no changes in demand, storage provides time for the compressor(s) controls to cycle properly, and less frequently, thereby decreasing energy consumption and maintenance costs.
For more information please contact us at www.glaston.com for all your compressed air needs.