How Do Compressors Work?
An air compressor consists of an electrical motor that compresses the air into a tank. When required, the compressed air can be released at the selected pressure. How does an air compressor work? What are the requirements for picking a suitable air compressor? Well there are a variety of different compressor types.
Let’s continue with an overview. Usually compressors utilized in automation and workshops are the so-called positive displacement compressors. When air is drawn into a space and the volume of that space is reduced, here pressure is created. For this article we wish to limit ourselves to this kind of compressor. Let’s take a more detailed look at the reciprocating compressor.
The crankshaft turns which moves the piston inside the round housing. An inlet valve also called an intake valve enables fresh air to get in the cylinder. This is done during a suction blow from the cylinder. The vacuum valve deflates or opens at high pressure during the pressure paddle.
The air is heated when it is compressed. This is an issue for each compressor. The result is not just a less efficient compression cycle, however also the threat of a real explosion if any combustible substances, such as oil or lubricants, touch with the piston and air. For that reason, the pressure of a single phase compressor is limited to an output pressure of about 10 bar or 145 lbs To attain higher pressures, you can utilize a multi-step compressor.
In a two phase compressor, the large piston builds the first stage. The air that exits the first stage can now be cooled prior to going into the second phase. With a two-stage compressor, you can attain pressure in excess of 20 bar or 290 psi. Multistage compressors can also be utilized with high-power water-cooled jackets to prevent overheating. Based on its working concept, the reciprocating compressor offers only pulse compressed air.
This type of compressor is utilized in combination with a tank. However, the use of a tank offers the advantage that the compressor can be operated with a two-point controller, resulting in less power intake and wear.
The diaphragm compressor comes from the piston compressor family. Here the suction chamber of the piston is closed by a diaphragm. The advantage of a diaphragm compressor is the compressed air in the compression chamber does not come in contact with the piston and is lubed. Therefore it can be kept without oil. These are a few examples:
The weak point of a diaphragm compressor is typically its diaphragm itself because flexibility is limited. Diaphragm compressors are utilized for instance in the food industry or for filling scuba divers bottles.
The working concept is completely different from the so-called rotary compressor, which is also called a vane compressor. A normal rotary compressor has a cylindrical housing. Adjustable rotors with their center point on the drive shaft are linked to the housing.
So when the pivot rotates, these rotors create a chamber of various sizes. Air is compressed into the biggest chamber, then compressed and left in the smallest chamber. A benefit here is in pulsed free circulation in contrast to piston compressors. An air tank may be optional. Additionally, these compressors are low noise and reasonably insensitive to dirt.