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Compressed Air Budget - Part One

Estimated Reading Time: 3 - 4 minutes

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We understand an important part of completing your compressed air system is working out your compressed air budget. Which is why we have put together articles dedicated to the compressed air budget. Spread over two parts, we hope that this gives you some insight when planning your compressed air budget.


Correct pressure is important

Compressed air-powered tools within the industry are generally constructed for an operating pressure of 600 kPa. The compressor's operating pressure should be slightly higher to compensate for pressure losses along the way to the tool.

Falling pressure has a major impact on tool performance. If the pressure, which supplies, for example a drill, is reduced from 600 to 500 kPa, output is reduced by about 25%, which of course makes working with the drilling machine slower.

Feeding tools with pressure which is too high is not good either. An increase in pressure from 600 to 900 kPa makes a power wrench 50 percent stronger, but also 50 percent overloaded. Overloading leads to damage and shorten the life of the tool.

Increasing the operational pressure also increases compressed air consumption and thus energy costs. 

Compressed Air Consumption

The compressed air consumption of a compressed air machine increases with pressure in accordance with the following:

Operational pressure kPa Correction factor
500 0.8
600 1
700 1.2
800 1.4
900 1.6
1000 1.8

Dry compressed air is economical compressed air!

A compressor plant without a compressed air dryer supplies the pipeline with compressed air with a relative humidity of 100% and consequently a dew point which is the same as the compressed air's temperature. 

For each degree of temperature drop in the piping system, the condensation water will precipitate and cause corrosion in pipes and associated tools and machinery. 

Water in the piping system also requires continuous maintenance of the water separator and filters. In addition, the wear on pneumatic tools will increase.

A compressor's air dryer in the system eliminates these problems and the additional costs they incur.

For larger facilities, a centrally located compressor system is preferable to having compressors at each work unit. The benefits are many:
- It is easier to optimize a compressor system's capacity, which affords lower energy and investment costs.
- Interconnection of several compressors provides better operating budgets.
- Easier monitoring results in lower maintenance costs.
- Ventilation and heat recovery can be made more efficient by reducing energy costs as a result.

The compressor's location

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Generally, the compressor is placed as close to the workplace as possible.


Stay Tuned for Part Two!!!


For more articles on compressed air, continue through our compressed air guide:

< Classification of compressed air quality