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Calculating the Working Pressure

Dimensioning Compressor Installations Compressed Air Wiki Compressors

The compressed air equipment in an installation determines the requisite working pressure. The correct working pressure does not just depend on the compressor, but also on the design of the compressed air system and its piping, valves, compressed air dryers, filters, etc. Different types of equipment can demand different pressures within the same system.

How do we calculate the working pressure for compressed air equipment?

Calculating the working pressure for compressed air equipment (diagram)

Normally, the highest pressure determines the requisite installation pressure and other equipment will be fitted with pressure reducing valves at the point of consumption. In more extreme cases, the method can be uneconomical and a separate compressor for special needs can be a solution. It should also be kept in mind that the pressure drop quickly increases as flow increases. If a change in consumption can be expected, it makes economic sense to adapt the installation to these conditions.

Filters and special dust filters, have a low initial pressure drop, but become clogged over time and are replaced at the recommended pressure drop. This factor will enter into the calculation. The compressor's flow regulation also causes pressure variations and therefore must also be included in the assessment.

It may be appropriate to perform calculations using the following example: It is the primarily the end consumer application along with the pressure drop between the compressor and the consumer that determines the pressure the compressor will need to produce. The working pressure can be determined by adding the pressure drop to the system, as shown in the example above.

Read more on the different aspects of dimensioning compressor installations below.

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Installing a Compressor

Installing a compressor system is easier than it used to be. There are still a few things to keep in mind though, most importantly where to place the compressor and how to organise the room around the compressor. Learn more here.