Compressed air is necessary for many applications. The pressure behind the air is an important part of producing the desired effect from the compressed air. Reducing pressure drops and keeping the end use pressure to a minimum both conserve energy and keep your system operating efficiently.
Pressure drops are the loss of pressure from your compressor outlet to the end use application. You can lose pressure through the compressed air piping, fittings, filters and regulators if they are not properly sized. A goal of less than 10 PSI pressure loss from you compressor to the end use is valiant, but a 5 psi loss would be much better.
Properly sized air distribution pipe, hose, fittings and components will decrease pressure loss. Many time we see customers use fittings with inside diameters half the size of the pipe or hose, this will create a pressure loss. We recommend a simple hose barb to NPT fitting because they generally have the largest inside diameters and reduce losses.
Proper maintenance of the filters, dryers, coolers and other system components will also keep the pressure up to its maximum because they will reduce moisture which can cause pipe corrosion that creates more friction and pressure loss.
Keeping the air supply lines as short as possible will also minimize pressure loss. You may choose to place receiver tanks closer to the end use application or drop your supply line from the main header closer to the point of use. Pay attention to these simple things and you will keep your supply pressure efficient.
You will also want to install a pressure regulator at the point of use. Just because you are keeping your pressure efficient and high, does not mean you have to use full pressure at every end use. A pressure regulator will allow you to reduce the end use pressure to the lowest pressure possible while still getting the desired result.
You may even find that you lower the pressure at enough points of use that your overall system pressure can be reduced, which equals straight energy and dollar savings.
If you need any assistance in proper pipe sizes or fittings, and experienced technical help who recognize the best pressures for applications – let us know.