Compressor Room Updates Improve Performance

I’d like to start out by saying a common theme I have observed over the past six months is a huge spike in DIY projects around the home. While everyone has been sent home to work and kids have been sent home to learn remotely, the home has become more than just a resting place. It is an office, school, recreation center, even movie theater. This led to an amazing year for home improvement big box stores and lots of people are tackling projects that they may have thought were beyond their level. At this point in the year we are also seeing a lot of manufacturing that either hasn’t stopped or is starting back up safely, there are lots of projects around an industrial facility that can be tackled during downturns as well.

Compressor Room – 1

The main focus today will be on a critical room that generally gets shoved back into a deep dark corner, the compressor room. The air compressor is a piece of capital equipment that generates a companies 4th utility, compressed air. This is then sent throughout most of the facility and utilized at critical points within production. Air compressors have changed their look over the years and are still often crammed into a small dimly lit room that no one wants to venture into. Having an outdated compressor room can also be causing undesirable performance and lack luster performance as well. Here’s a few items that can more often than not be addressed pretty simply to improve the overall appearance and most importantly the performance of the compressors.

Clean air intake on a screw compressor – 2

First, clean air intake. Rather than letting the compressor suck air in from the room that may be stagnant or even worse, just sucking in the hot air coming off the heat exchangers on the compressor and causing elevated compressed air temps. This fix can include ducting clean air from outside of the facility to ensure micro-debris from within the facility isn’t being pulled in. While pulling in ambient air from outside the facility will still require a filter that will need to be maintained. If a large single source is used, that is perfectly acceptable. To step this project up multiple smaller inlets that are each controlled by a damper would permit variability to match ambient conditions on temperature.

Industrial exhaust fan – 3

Second, install an exhaust fan that feeds the air not just out of the room, yet out of the facility if at all possible. This helps to promote a through-flow of air with the clean air intake and keep from recirculating dirty already cycled air. This will also help any form of system based air treatment that relies on an exchange of heat, such as a refrigerant dryer. Again, a fan that stays on constantly would be the base level fix, step this up by adding a thermostatically controlled system so the fan doesn’t run continuously.

Third, if you heat your facility throughout the winter, use that hot exhaust air from the compressors to reclaim the heat of the compression cycle and optimize your return on using electricity. This can be done by strategic routing of the exhaust ductwork mentioned above, and can be stepped up to have thermostatically controlled dampers on the ducts to open and flow the air through an adjacent room for cooler months rather than exhaust straight out during the warm Summer months.

If you would like to discuss any of these topics or any of your compressed air point of use applications, feel free to contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

 1 – Air Compressor in Engine Room – retrieved from, Work With Sounds / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Air_compressor_in_engine_room.JPG

2 – Screw Compressor 1 – retrieved from, Endora6398 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Screw_compressor_1.jpg

3 – Industrial Exhaust Fan – retrieved from , Saud / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Industrial_Exhaust_Fan.jpg

Air Knife Shim Adjustment can be Key to Successful Applications

On January 2, 1960 Little Anthony & The Imperials appeared on The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show to sing Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop. While I wasn’t around at that time, I have heard the song quite a few times and get it stuck in my head more than I have heard it. What does that song and EXAIR have to do with each other? Well, we shimmy shimmy Super Air Knives to dramatically increase or decrease their flow and force.

The stock shim that is assembled in every Super Air Knife is a .002″ (0.05mm) thick. This sets a continuous opening the full length of the knife that drives the performance of the knife. The shim sets the gap height between the cap and the body of the Super Air Knife. If we evaluate a 24″ Super Air Knife with the stock shim installed we could calculate the airflow opening of the knife as the surface area of a rectangle.  To obtain the surface area we take the length of the air knife times the thickness of the shim.  See the example below.

As you can see with the stock .002″ thick shim installed we are actually operating at a surface area opening of 0.048 square inches.  If we were to install the .004″ thick shim into the knife then we would double the height which in turn doubles the surface area, shown below.

This doubling effect will increase the force out of the Super Air Knife when applications require more power.  Thinning out the shim will have the exact opposite effect, if the shim thickness is reduced to .001″ thick then the air consumption and force will be reduced.

Changing the shims out of the Super Air Knives is a fairly simple task as shown in the video below.  Installing a different thickness of shim is a coarse adjustment to the volumetric flow needed for your application.  Then a pressure regulator can be used to fine tune the needed force and flow for the ideal setting to meet your needs, and operate at maximum efficiency for the application.

If you would like to discuss this further or even see what kind of custom thicknesses we can offer on the shims to truly make a tailor fit Super Air Knife for your application, please contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

Little Anthony & The Imperials “Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop” – [Merlin] XelonEntertainment, WMG (on behalf of Turntable Recordings LTD); ARESA, LatinAutor, União Brasileira de Compositores, Spirit Music Publishing, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, Abramus Digital, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., and 4 Music Rights Societies – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mLjZRAXRRA

Video Blog: How To Rebuild Pressure Regulators

Today’s video blog is a how-to on rebuilding EXAIR pressure regulators.   Regulators can wear out over time and extensive adjustment as well as if they are not used on a clean compressed air supply.  If you have any questions on an EXAIR product, please contact an Application Engineer.

Thanks for watching!

 

 

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

New Products, New Q & A, and New Projects

LSR 1900

On April 2, 2013, I wrote about my big Springtime Project. It is now a month and a half later and I have successfully completed my first “boot job” as they call it. I put the boat in the water last weekend and was so proud………….it didn’t sink!  Admittedly, I did keep it on the trailer while in the water at the ramp for about 15 minutes though and checked all round in the engine compartment to make sure nothing was coming through.   As many of you know, it is always a good feeling of achievement when you dig into something you know little about, research it and are able to make a successful repair. I did check with the repair department at a local marina and found out that it would have cost $1,400.00 to have them do it. Since I was able to do it for less than half of that in parts cost, that just reinforces benefit of doing it myself. I asked a lot of questions before and during the process and received a lot of good advice.

At EXAIR, I have recently fielded some questions about some of our newer products to help dispel any misnomers and bring to light some of the differences between the various models so customers can make an informed decision when they begin to look at our products and aren’t quite sure what to think…….much like me and the boat project.

One customer had asked me, “I have a lot of pneumatic actuators, a couple of Air Knives and some E-vacs on a compressed air line. I would like to mount a Digital Flow Meter to the line to know how much air we are consuming. Is it OK to permanently install the Digital Flow Meter or should I only use it on a temporary basis?”
The answer is that the Digital Flow Meters are intended to be installed permanently on a pipe for continued monitoring of compressed air flow for as long as the line is in service. In fact we have other accessory items such as the Summing Remote Display and the Data Logger which aid in monitoring flow over longer time frames.

Another customer asked, “You have quite a few different Industrial Vacuums for solid material pick-up, how do I know which one will work best for my material?  Is there a specific particle size range that each should be used for?”
The answer is that all of our solid pick –up, Industrial Housekeeping products: Chip Vac, Heavy Duty Dry Vac and Heavy Duty HEPA Vac can pick up most any solid materials as long as they will fit into the hose without clogging it. Think of the Chip Vac as our standard duty unit, the Heavy Duty Dry vac as the Heavy Duty pick-up unit and the Heavy Duty HEPA Vac the one that gives the best all round performance and can also work to filter very fine dust particles down to 0.3 micron at 99.97% efficiency.

In effect, all of our Industrial Vacuums are well suited for shop and industrial type uses. However, if you are the type of person who wants a bit more power, then HD Dry Vac and HD HEPA Vac are for you. If you have a large quantity of a very fine dust you are working with and don’t want to be clogging your filter bag immediately, then the HD HEPA Vac is our newest and best offering.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We make every effort to allow people to contact us in a variety of ways, so keep them coming. We can walk you through and help you get to a good point in your project.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com