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Compressed air or gas boosters take the air from a regular compressor, which is already above ambient pressure, and boost that pressure further, up to 350 bar (5000 psi). Booster packages come in all shapes and sizes, so this checklist will help you select the right one for your application and help you to get the most out of your investment.
A reliable and efficient booster should be an ingenious machine, but operating it shouldn’t be complex. Make sure it’s easy to monitor your booster’s performance at any time. Check if the booster is equipped with all necessary safety features and alarms, both visual and auditory. Some controllers have the option for a mirror screen that allows you to operate the booster from a distance, a nice feature in drilling applications.
In any case, these should be pointing away from the control panel. Also check the valves and levers for ease of operation and safety.
This is an important subject for any type of equipment. Fast and easy service can save you a lot of money and limits your production’s downtime. Fast service has to do with the quality of components, the tools needed and the accessibility of maintenance-prone components, such as the pumper block or the drain points. Ideally, your booster can be maintained by just one person only and service should be completed in less than 5 hours.
Of course the size and weight of the booster package is important: if possible, choose a booster that fits on a regular truck. But it’s also worth checking how the booster should be lifted or transported with a fork lift. If the booster should be lifted, a single lifting point is far easier and avoids imbalance.
Some boosters have multiple stages and the possibility to use only one if less pressure (and/or more flow) is required. Simple levers and electronic controls make switching between stages easy. This kind of multi-stage boosters can tackle various applications, which is particularly interesting if you rent your booster out. Also well and pipeline servicing companies can benefit from this extra flexibility.
The most complete booster packages have a pre-cooler, interstage cooler and after-cooler, so it can work with whatever feed air comes into the system. If your booster does not have a pre-cooler, for example, you should make sure your feed air compressor is equipped with an aftercooler.
If not, you have to install a stand-alone fuel tank and matching accessories for a safe installation. An integrated fuel tank mean less hassle and more safety, but also the added benefit of having them monitored by the booster’s controller.
Atlas Copco brings decades of experience to the drawing table when designing its high-pressure boosters. With a broad range of standard booster packages, most applications in drilling or oil and gas are catered for. If you have a specific need, we can also provide custom-designed solutions or OEM-support. Contact one of our experts to discuss your particular project.