fredag 17 juni 2016

Air Compressors, how do they work?

An air compressor is a device that converts power (using an electric engine, diesel-powered or gasoline engine, etc.) into potential energy kept in pressurized air (i.e., compressed air). By one of a number of methods, an air compressor pressures more and more air into a storage tank, increasing the pressure. Whenever tank pressure hits its upper limit the air compressor shuts off. The compressed air, then, is held in the tank til called in to use. The power included in the compressed air can be used for a selection of applications, utilizing the kinetic energy of the air as it is released and the tank depressurizes. When tank pressure reaches its lower limitation, the air compressor starts up again and re-pressurizes the tank.

Air compressor types

While there are small models that are comprised of just the pump and motor, most compressors have an air tank to hold a quantity of air within a preset pressure range. The compressed air in the tank drives the air tools, and the motor cycles on and off to automatically maintain pressure in the tank.

Compressors use a pressure switch to stop the motor when tank pressure reaches a preset limit-- about 125 psi for many single-stage versions. A lot of the time, however, you do not need that much pressure. The air line will include a regulator that you set to match the pressure requirements of the tool you're using. A gauge before the regulator keeps track of tank pressure and a gauge right after the regulator monitors air-line pressure. In addition, the tank has a security valve that opens up if the pressure switch malfunctions. The pressure switch might also incorporate an unloader valve that reduces tank pressure when the compressor is turned off.

At the top of the cylinder, you'll find a valve head that keeps the inlet and discharge valves. Both are simply thin steel flaps-- one installed beneath and one mounted on top of the valve plate. As the engine goes down, a vacuum is created above it. This allows outside air at air pressure to push open the inlet valve and fill the area above the piston. As the piston goes up, the air above it compresses, holds the inlet valve closed and pushes the discharge valve open. The air moves from the discharge port to the tank. With each movement, more air enters into the tank and the pressure rises.

And while there are compressors that use rotating impellers to generate air pressure, positive-displacement compressors are more common and include the models used by homeowners, woodworkers, mechanics and contractors. Here, air pressure is increased by reducing the size of the space that contains the air.

To find the best portable air compressors for 2016, go to, read the reviews and decide which one fit you the best.

Typical compressors can be found in 1- or 2-cylinder types to match the requirements of the tools they power. On the homeowner/contractor level, most of the 2-cylinder models operate just like single-cylinder versions, apart from that there are 2 strokes per revolution rather than one. A few commercial 2-cylinder compressors are 2-stage compressors-- one piston pumps air in to a second cylinder that even more enhances pressure.

Here is a good video showing how they work:

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