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Air compressor user guide
industrial manufacturing engineering

Air compressor user guide


What readers will learn from this air compressor user guide article.

  • Basic theory of reciprocating air compressor operation.

  • Introduction into work and power calculations for a air compressor.

  • Explanation of Free Air Deliver (FAD).

  • Issues with using rotary screw air compressors.

  • Issues with using reciprocating air compressors

Compressed air is one of the most used service fluids in industry.This article introduces the basic design concepts of an air compressor and discusses some of the common problems and solutions found in both reciprocating (piston goes up and down) and rotary screw (twin, meshed, rotating, helix) air compressors.


An air compressor takes air from the atmosphere, squeezes it into a smaller space and then ejects it into the air distribution network.
The only input to the process of compressing the air is the work done by the motor to squash the air into the smaller space. Since
work was done to compress the air it means that energy was used to power the work. Some of this energy is transferred into the
compressed air, which being at a higher pressure than it was before compression, now has stored-up energy to be released. The rest of
the energy is lost as heat into the atmosphere and into the compressed air itself. A working compressor radiates heat and the
compressed air is hot at the compressor discharge.
A graph of the compression process for a reciprocating compressor can be plotted on pressure-volume (P-V) graph. Figure No. 1
shows such a plot. Point ‘d’ is the starting point of the induction stroke where the inlet valve opens and air is just being drawn into
the cylinder. At point ‘a’ the piston is at the bottom of its stroke and the air has been drawn into the chamber at near atmospheric
pressure and temperature and the inlet valve shuts. The volume at the bottom of the stroke is the maximum possible volume. The air
is then squeezed to point ‘b’, which is near the top of the stroke and is the maximum pressure reached. At ‘b’ the outlet valve opens and
the compressed air starts to flow to the receiver. Point ‘c’ is the end of the delivery stroke and all the compressed air has been ejected
and the outlet valve closes. The cycle then repeats.
The area inside the envelope ‘abcd’ represents the work needing to be done on the air to raise it to the discharge pressure. The energy
input to perform the work produces a temperature rise and the discharge air temperature is raised. The discharge temperature of
the air depends on the compression ratio (it can easily be 150oC). Once the cylinder size and stroke are known formulas are available
to calculate the work, the temperature rise and the amount of compressed air delivered into the receiver.
Air compressors are sized on the amount of air delivered calculated at free-air-delivery (FAD) capacity and the motor kilowatts needed
to do the work. FAD is the volume of compressed air calculated back to an equivalent volume at standard atmospheric conditions of
one bar (101 kPa) and 20oC. This allows comparisons between compressors as all are now measured the same way. You want the
most efficient machine with maximum FAD at least power.


Rotary screw compressors produce large volumes of air (FAD’s of 100’s of cubic feet per minute, CFM) at low pressures, typically 4
bar to 13 bar. In the compressor air end two long helical screws mesh together at high speed. The space between the housing and
the edge of the screws is sealed with oil pumped into the air end. As the screws come around to the inlet port air is drawn into the
cavity between the meshing screws. The screws continue to rotate but the gap between the meshed helical threads gets smaller and the air is compressed. As the screws complete their rotation the compressed air and oil mist is ejected into an oil separator. The oil
is collected and the air continues into the receiver or accumulator.
Right away you can see that one of the problems with screw compressors is going to be oil carry-over and it is necessary to
provide additional filtration at the outlet of the compressor discharge to minimise this problem. The air end is a very fine
tolerance machine, typically the clearance between rotor and housing is 0.03 mm (0.0015”). Anything solid that falls into the air
end will destroy it. The seal oil and air cleaning systems must be kept meticulously clean.
Because the air comes out hot and the delivered air volumes are so large it is common to install a water-cooled after-cooler or
refrigerated air dryer. The secondary benefit of a refrigerated air dryer is that it condenses the water vapour present in the hot air
(from the initial atmospheric intake) back to liquid and discharges it and makes the air dryer. Other forms of dryers, like the desiccant
(activated carbon) type, are also available. If instrument quality air is needed then a dryer capable of removing the water vapour to the
required amount of dryness must be used.
Other operational issues with rotary screw compressors have been rotor shaft end seal leaks from poor manufacturing tolerances; on
vee-belt driven machines the belts can slip either from stretch or from dust settling onto the pulleys and reducing the coefficient of
friction. In a dusty location the entire machine cabinet internals must be sealed from the dust and additional filtration added to the
air intake grill. When things go wrong with these machines they are costly to fix. Regularly service them, provide quality air and oil
filtration and condition monitor to get the longest, trouble free life.


A reciprocating compressor uses a piston and cylinder to squeeze a small volume of air into a tight space in the cylinder head before
releasing it. Multiple pistons can be used. These machines produce low volumes of air, measured in 10’s of CFM, and up to very high
pressure in the 100’s of bar. The pressures are adjustable by a pressure switch that signals when the outlet valve opens.
Operating issues with these machines include the need to control the vibration induced by the reciprocating piston. Insuring the unit
is solidly bolted down onto a thick concrete surface is usually sufficient but on light floors it may be necessary to put it on
vibration dampening mounts. Most units are vee-belt driven and these require periodic replacement or tightening as they stretch.
Usually a 3-month preventative maintenance (PM) routine covers this problem. The smaller models come as a ‘packaged unit’ with
their own air receiver. In that case the air receiver requires an automatic drain installed on the bottom drain point to prevent water
building up in the receiver. Receivers can filled up with water following the failure of the auto-drain. Again a 3-monthly PM to
test the auto drain operation will pick up this problem.

To learn more about air compressors, download the Air Compressor Certificate Course.

Protection Relay Basics
industrial manufacturing engineering

See more details and learn more at https://bin95.com/Protection-Relay-Basics.htm
A preview of an online training module Protection Relays Basics course.  It is a 1.5 hour online training session covering common application of overcurrent protection, types of relay ( interposing relay circuit, differential, potential , overvoltage) including solid state relays and microprocessor based.  It also covers power system, transformer protection and zone of protection.

This online Protective Relay Essentials certificate course is based on the book "Applied Protective Relaying"  by J.L. Blackburn (Westinghouse Electric Copyright 1979) consider even today to be the bible for Protective Relay application by engineers and maintenance today. (Other companies like ABB have produce similar publications.)

Term: IEEE standard C37.100 - 1981
Standard that defines a protective relay as "a relay whose function is to detect defective lines or apparatus or other power system conditions of an abnormal or dangerous nature and to initiate appropriate control circuit action."

HVAC 3 Question
industrial manufacturing engineering

HVAC System 3 Question

How air conditioners work...

If you click through to our YouTube channel in video, you can use the comments section below video to submit your guess on what type of air conditioning system is show in the video. After we get some guesses submitted in the comments section, we will post another HVAC Video to our Youtube channel giving the answer and describing how HVAC system works in more details. So be sure to subscribe while there.

Can't wait for the answer? Then see https://bin95.com/hvac-training.htm

Rockwell RSLogix 5000 Training Workshop « Industrial Training
industrial manufacturing engineering
Tap >> Rockwell RSLogix 5000 Training Seminar « Industrial Training
Hurry, this RSLogix 5000 training seminar fills quickly!

VFD Drive Training | VFD Basics online course intro.
industrial manufacturing engineering
This VFD drive training video is a preview of the VDF basics, from the essentials online course at http://bin95.com/vfd-basics-training-online.htm

In the full online certificate course on Variable Frequency Drives, your find the electric drive tutorial, you'll learn how does a variable speed drive work and other essentials. One of the best VSD motor online courses you can get as it never expires, 24/7 access worldwide. That training module is designed to familiarize students from beginner or expert with the essential VFD types, features, functions and benefits of them. Be it a VFD pump, motor inverter or other AC motor speed control.

To take the full Online VFD Essentials Certificate Course, see http://bin95.com/vfd-basics-training-online.htm

The True Cost of Downtime in Manufacturing and Big Data
industrial manufacturing engineering

No doubt you've explored TPM, Lean Manufacturing 🏭, OEE, maybe even ROCE. But does your EAM and CMMS incorporate TDC (True Downtime Cost)??  Does your big data analytics incorporate the true cost of downtime?
If not, you've missed the low hanging fruit in this alphabet soup. (yuk.. fruit and soup) Download "The True Cost of Downtime" ebook today and learn about the missing link in  Lean Manufacturing. Yea, there will be a section on OEE, even TEEP. But that is just to give you some context in this Activity Based Costing (ABC) methodology known as TDC (copywrite 1995-2017 by Bin95.com). Learn how you can make better informed decisions using TDC and pick the greater savings quicker. Also, as you read, you may realize TDC is also the missing link in 🔗 big data analytics. This book should be a part of all lean manufacturing training, especially while comparing activity based costing vs traditional costing.
Related: ROIC, Gemba, theory of constraints

OPC Training Course enables industrial convergence of SCADA systems to IIoT
industrial manufacturing engineering
February 122017
 OPC Training Course supports industrial convergence of SCADA systems to IIoT

This course software gives practical application to PLC, PAC, DCS and SCADA systems knowledge plus it directs hands-on experience with free OPC server software, PiBridge and OPC DA (Data Acquisition) client software is also included in the training course bundle. This OPC certificate course software takes the approach to give the professional just what they need to know when working with PAC & PLC networks, DCS, SCADA and IIoT.

The course covers how to pull/push data to and from PLC SCADA system to host computers in the most safe and reliable way. It starts with comprehensive theory chapters, followed by over 150 review tests and then ends with hands-on lab and practical application using real industrial grade software consisting of OPC server and OPC client. Students install the software on their own computer, configure the free OPC server and OPC client as if they were in a real plant and then witness actual real-time data communications in front of their eyes on their own computer.

Continued at ... http://bin95.com/opc-scada-training.htm

Fluid Mechanics: Industrial hydraulics training 1
industrial manufacturing engineering

First in a series we are going to create. So be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel so you do not miss any. (next one should be in a couple weeks.)

Electrical circuit design software, circuit simulator - The Constructor 13
industrial manufacturing engineering

For details of The Constructor 13 (electrical circuit diagram design software and circuit simulator software in one), see http://bin95.com/circuit-simulator-constructor.htm
 Want to try this Electrical CAD software for free, see http://industrial-ebooks.com/CBT_software/The-Constructor-13-circuit-simulator2675.php

The latest features are electrical simulation scripting for hands free simulations. Which makes it even greater for universities and various IBEW/JATC/UA/IEC training centers around the world that use it.


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