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Location, Location, Location: How Performance is impacted by the Placement of Compressed Air Equipment

The mantra: ‘location, location, location’ rings true not just for real estate but also when installing an air compressor system. You may not think that the position of your air compressor is critical but actually positioning your air compressor equipment well can save energy and money, and influence the performance of your machine.

Efficient compressed air production

In order to ensure the most reliable and efficient compressed air production and performance it is advisable to take the following into consideration – compressor location, ventilation, equipment clearance and the overall compressor room environment.
After completing many hours of research, numerous performance comparisons and established a life cycle cost analysis, you may now think you are more than ready to get the purchase requisition signed off. But many get blindsided by the number crunching and overlook the significance of the compressor room location?

Sufficient Ventilation

Air compressor and compressed air equipment requires a constant supply of cool inlet air to function well. Cool air ensures the equipment stays below its maximum operating temperature to avoid any damage to the equipment.
Poor ventilation can cause a lot of damage:
• Lubrication degradation
• Drive motor damage
• Equipment shutdown
• Excess moisture in the compressed air

Excessive moisture can overrun air treatment components. This can carry over into the plant air, contaminate end processes and lead to higher scrap rates and waste.
The process of compressing air generates a lot of heat. Another way to divert hot air from the compressor is to recover the heat generated. This can reduce room temperature and also save a lot of money.

Clearance around compressed air equipment

When laying out a compressor room, it is crucial to leave ample space around the equipment. That means keeping machinery away from walls, doors and other pieces of equipment. Manufacturers will state the minimum clearance required in their service manuals and space requirements can be requested during the specification process.
Additionally, it is important to ensure that sufficient space is left for a service technician to be able to service the compressor. An air compressor technician will need enough space not only to open the service doors fully but also safely manoeuvre equipment such as cranes and forklifts to be able to exchange large parts such as an airend of a drive motor.
It is also important to consider where the compressor room is to be located. It is not advisable to locate the compressor room next to the boiler room as of course this will increase the overall air compressor temperature.
Another factor that must be assessed is the air quality you have in and around your compressor room. You do not want your compressor to ingest fumes or other contaminants.
In summary, location, location, location in the context of air compressors should consider ventilation, maintenance access and proximity to unwanted contaminants.

North West based air compressor supplier, Glaston, designs, installs and maintains air compressors and nitrogen generators around the UK and beyond. If you are interested in an air compressor system, design or layout, or would like expert advice, call 01695 51010 to speak to one of Glaston’s experienced engineers today, or visit our contact page.

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