Air Compressor Room Design: Optimal Working Conditions
The compressor room is where the largest part of the compressed air system is located. It can be a dedicated room designed specifically for the compressor or a multi-purpose space. In both cases, certain conditions must be met to get the most out of your compressor installation.
Follow this guide on how to create optimal working conditions that will maximise the efficiency of your compressor.
Explore topics ⤸
Here are some key guidelines to follow for optimal working conditions:
Centralization is key: It is generally advisable to arrange a separate compressor central plant. This centralized approach offers numerous benefits across various industries. Not only does it enhance the operating economy, but it also leads to a better-designed compressed air system.
- improves service and user-friendliness,
- safeguards against unauthorized access,
- ensures proper noise control, and
- simplifies controlled ventilation.
Alternative area: If a separate area is not available, you can utilize existing space in a building for a compressor installation.
Consider factors such as:
- air compressor ventilation requirements,
- noise disturbance,
- physical risks,
- overheating risks,
- condensation drainage,
- surrounding hazards (e.g., dust, flammable substances),
- aggressive substances in the air,
- space requirements for future expansion,
- and accessibility for maintenance.
On the bright side, installing the compressor in a workshop or warehouse can facilitate energy recovery efforts.
Outdoor installation: In situations where an indoor installation is not feasible, you may opt to install the compressor outdoors, under a roof. Specific considerations must be taken into account. These include the risk of freezing in condensation pockets, protection against rain and snow for air intake openings, suction inlets, and ventilation mechanisms, the requirement for a solid, flat foundation (e.g., asphalt, concrete slab, or a flattened bed of shingle), potential exposure to dust, inflammable or corrosive substances, and security measures to prevent unauthorized access.
The compressed air plant should be installed to facilitate distribution system routing in large installations with long piping. Installing the compressed air plant near auxiliary equipment such as pumps and fans, or even in close proximity to the boiler room. This arrangement streamlines service and maintenance activities.
The chosen building should feature lifting equipment capable of handling the heaviest components of the compressor installation, typically the electric motor. Alternatively, access to a forklift truck can serve the purpose. It should also have sufficient floor space for the installation of an extra compressor for future expansion. In addition, clearance height must be sufficient to allow an electric motor or similar to be hoisted, should the need arise.
A floor drain or similar provisions must be in place to manage condensation from the compressor, aftercooler, air receiver, dryers, and other components. The floor drain must be implemented in compliance with municipal legislation.
Generally, only a flat floor with sufficient weight capacity is needed for setting up the compressor plant. Anti-vibration features are often integrated into the plant. For new installations, using a plinth for each compressor package allows for easier floor cleaning.
However, large piston and centrifugal compressors might necessitate a concrete slab foundation anchored to bedrock or a solid soil base. The impact of externally-produced vibration has been reduced to a minimum for advanced, complete compressor plants. In systems with centrifugal compressors, it may be necessary to vibration-dampen the compressor room's foundation.
The compressor's intake air must be clean and free of solid and gaseous contamination. Particles of dirt that cause wear and corrosive gases can be particularly damaging. The compressor air inlet is usually located at an opening in the sound-reducing enclosure, but can also be placed remotely, in a place in which the air is as clean as possible. Gas contamination from vehicle exhaust fumes can be fatal if mixed with air that is meant to be inhaled. A pre-filter (cyclone, panel or rotary band filter) should be used on installations where the surrounding air has a high dust concentration. In such cases, the pressure drop caused by the pre-filter must be accounted for during design.
Managing Intake Air Temperature:
It is also beneficial for the intake air to be cold. It may therefore be appropriate to route this air through a separate pipe from the outside of the building into the compressor. It is important to use corrosion-resistant pipes, fitted with mesh over the inlet and designed so that there is no risk of drawing snow or rain into the compressor, for this purpose. It is also important to use pipes of a sufficiently large diameter to have as low a pressure drop as possible.
The design of the inlet pipes on piston compressors is particularly critical. Pipe resonance from acoustic standing waves caused by the compressor's cyclic pulsating frequency can damage the piping as well as the compressor, cause vibration and affect the surroundings through irritating low-frequency noise.
Compressors naturally produce and emit heat during operation. The dispersion of heat causes the compressor room temperature to rise beyond the optimal level. This is why it is important to carefully plan the compressor room's design and implement proper room ventilation strategies.
Proper ventilation of the compressor room is essential for heat dissipation. The amount of ventilation air required depends on the compressor's size and whether it is air-cooled or water-cooled. Air-cooled compressors release nearly 100% of the electric motor's consumed energy as heat in the ventilation air, while water-cooled compressors release approximately 10%.
The heat must be removed to maintain the temperature in the compressor room at an acceptable level. The compressor manufacturer should provide detailed information regarding the required ventilation flow, but this figure can also be calculated according to this formula.
A better way to deal with the heat build-up problem is to recover the waste heat energy and use it on the premises.
What is the best room temperature for compressor?
The optimal temperature for a compressor room varies depending on the specific compressor and its operating requirements. However, it is generally recommended to maintain a temperature range of approximately 50-85°F (10-29°C) for the ideal functioning of your compressor. By adhering to this temperature range, you can mitigate the risks associated with extreme temperatures, ensuring that the compressor components neither freeze nor overheat.
When it comes to ventilation air, it should be drawn directly from outdoors, preferably without using long ducting. Additionally, the intake should be positioned as low as possible but high enough to avoid the risk of snow covering it during winter. Take precautions to prevent dust, explosive substances, and corrosive substances from entering the compressor room.
The ventilation fan(s) should be placed high up on one of the compressor room's end walls, with the air intake on the opposite wall. Ensure that the air velocity at the ventilation inlet opening does not exceed 4 m/s. Thermostat-controlled fans are the most appropriate in this case. These fans must be dimensioned to handle the pressure drop in the ducting, outer wall louver, etc.
The quantity of ventilation air must be sufficient to limit the temperature increase in the room to 7–10°C. The possibility of using water-cooled compressors should be considered if getting sufficient ventilation in the room is an issue.
By following these guidelines and considering the specific requirements of your compressor installation, you can ensure optimal placement and working conditions for your compressed air system and further maximise the efficiency of operation.
Learn more about the process of installing a compressor system below.
Zusammen mit Strom, Wasser und Gas hält Druckluft unsere Welt am Laufen. Wir sehen sie vielleicht nicht immer, aber Druckluft ist überall vorhanden. Da es so viele verschiedene Verwendungszwecke für (und Anforderungen an) Druckluft gibt, gibt es heute Kompressoren in allen möglichen Typen und Größen. In diesem Leitfaden erfahren Sie, was Kompressoren leisten, wozu Sie sie einsetzen können und welche Optionen Ihnen zur Verfügung stehen.
Benötigen Sie zusätzliche Unterstützung? Klicken Sie auf die Schaltfläche unten, und einer unserer Experten wird sich in Kürze mit Ihnen in Verbindung setzen.
25 April, 2022
Bei der Auslegung einer Druckluftanlage für verschiedene Anforderungen müssen eine Reihe von Entscheidungen getroffen werden, um maximale Wirtschaftlichkeit zu bieten und für künftige Erweiterungen vorbereitet zu sein. Erfahren Sie mehr.
31 Mai, 2022
Die Installation eines Kompressorsystems ist heute einfacher als je zuvor. Es gibt jedoch ein paar Dinge zu beachten, vor allem, wo der Kompressor aufgestellt wird und wie der Raum um den Kompressor herum organisiert werden kann. Hier erfahren Sie mehr darüber.
20 Dezember, 2022
There are a lot of things you have to consider when choosing an air compressor for your business. We will take a look at some of the compressor types available and which one is best for you.