The placement of your air compressor within your facility is one of the top considerations when designing your air system, and therefore there are several elements your must keep in mind:
1) Accessibility – When deciding where your air compressor(s) will be, you must take into consideration the initial installation, as well as the maintenance and service that will need to be performed on it. Is the area accessible by forklift or crane for the installation? Will the compressor be on the main floor, or will the service technicians need to haul their tools and parts up a ladder? Will there be ample space between the compressor and surrounding objects to perform the routine maintenance or an motor swap?
2) Air Usage – There is a correlation between pipe length and pressure drop. Therefore placing your air compressor(s) close to the point of use will allow your air system to function more efficiently. Make sure you do not place your air compressor further away than you need to.
3) Ambient Room Temperature – The temperature surrounding your air compressor plays a big part in its performance. Having your air compressor in too cold of conditions can cause the oil to thicken, reducing it’s lubrication capabilities, as well as many other issues. Running your air compressor in too hot of conditions will cause it to overheat, and catastrophic failure will ensue. Additionally, the warmer it is, the more moisture the air can hold, resulting in your air treatment equipment being overwhelmed, and therefore resulting in excess moisture in your air system.
4) Expansion – What if you need to double your air supply? Can the location accommodate a larger air compressor, or a second one all together? What if you need to bring in air treatment equipment, or additional air receiver tanks?
5) Contamination – This goes both ways. You need to make sure you facility does not expose your air compressor to needless contamination … but often more importantly, you need to make sure your compressor does not expose your facility. This is extremely true if you are a food manufacturer or packager. Oil leaks and breakdowns are inevitable, and minimizing exposure is key.
6) Power Source – Is there a power source near your air compressor? The distance between your power source and your air compressor matters since, per the national electric code guidelines, for every 100 feet between your air compressor and the power distribution source, you will need to increase your wire by one size. This translate into significant costs.
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Take care, be safe, and remember, when it comes to compressed air, We’ve Got You Covered!