If you need a deeper understanding about how EXAIR’s products can be applied and help your process or product, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to give you a clear understanding of the benefits when using our engineered compressed air products. We can also explain proper implementation of accessory items such as compressed air filters and regulators.
Why should you consider a Pressure Regulator when designing your compressed air system? As many know, our products and those of other product manufacturers have a certain set of specifications regarding performance at stated input pressures. But what if your application doesn’t require that “full, rated performance”? Maybe instead of needing two pounds of force, you only need one pound? Sometimes more force does not produce the desired result for an application. By that, I mean you cause damage to the target or other surrounding items in the application. Or, perhaps blowing too hard (or vacuuming too hard in the case of a Line Vac or E-vac) might cause the vessel or the material you are picking up to collapse or deform (due to too much power).
There is also the concern about using more energy than one really needs to in order to achieve the desired effect in an application. In other words, if you can achieve your goals with only 40 PSIG, then why would you ever use 80 PSIG to accomplish the goal? By reducing your compressed air from 80 down to 40 PSIG, you can easily reduce the air consumption of the “engineered” solution by another 40% or more. Once you have installed engineered air nozzles to reduce compressed air on blow off applications, a pressure regulator can fine tune the pressure to save even more energy.
Then there is the issue of taking advantage of the pressure differential (from 80 down to 40 PSIG) that creates a little bit more air volume capacity. At 80 PSIG, your compressed air to free air volume ratio is 6.4:1. At 40 PSIG, it is only 3.7:1. The net effect is you effectively have an overall larger volume of air you can use for other applications in your facility. By reducing compressed air pressure of your demand applications, you may be able to reduce over all compressor discharge pressure. Reducing compressor discharge pressure by 2 PSIG also reduces required input power by 1 percent – so keep your pressure as low as possible!
Regulating pressure is definitely warranted given the benefits that compliment the operation of the core EXAIR products.
If you need a deeper understanding about how EXAIR’s products can help your application, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to give you a clear understanding of all the benefits that can be had by our products’ use as well as proper implementation of accessory items such as compressed air filters and regulators.
When evaluating processes that utilize compressed air and adhering to the Six Steps to Compressed Air Optimization, intermediate storage proves to be a critical role coming in at step number five. Intermediate storage tanks may already be in place within your facility and often times can be implemented as modifications to aid existing lines that are struggling to maintain proper availability of compressed air to keep the line at peak performance.
When determining whether or not a production line or point of use compressed air operation would benefit from a receiver tank/intermediate storage we would want to evaluate whether the demand for compressed air is intermittent. Think of a receiver tank as a capacitor in an electrical circuit or a surge tank in a water piping system. These both store up energy or water respectively to deliver to during a short high demand period then slowly charge back up from the main system and prepare for the next high demand. If you look from the supply point it will see a very flattened demand curve, if you look from the application side it still shows a wave of peak use to no use.
One of the key factors in intermediate storage of compressed air is to appropriately size the tank for the supply side of the system as well as the demand of the application. The good news is there are equations for this. To determine the capacity, use the equation shown below which is slightly different from sizing your main compressed air storage tank. The formulate shown below is an example.
V – Volume of receiver tank (ft3 / cubic feet)
T – Time interval (minutes)
C – Air demand for system (cubic feet per minute)
Cap – Supply value of inlet pipe (cubic feet per minute)
Pa – Absolute atmospheric pressure (PSIA)
P1 – Header Pressure (PSIG)
P2 – Regulated Pressure (PSIG)
One of the main factors when sizing point of use intermediate storage is, they are being supplied air by smaller branch lines which cannot carry large capacities of air. That limits your Cap value. The only way to decrease the V solution is to increase your Cap. The other key point is to ensure that all restrictions feeding into the tank and from the tank to your point of use are minimized in order to maintain peak performance.
Well, the obvious answer is, of course, an engineered air nozzle…you’re likely aware of this, or you wouldn’t be reading posts on the EXAIR Corporation blog. We have no issue with narrowing that down a bit, and saying that the answer is an EXAIR air nozzle. I bet you knew that was coming as well. So let’s assume that, because of the cost of compressed air, the potential hazards of its unregulated discharge, and the flat-out racket it can make (unless you do something about it,) you’re looking for something efficient, safe, and quiet.
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s unpack that question. The nature of the application will let us know the airflow pattern & characteristics (mainly flow & force) that we need.
For example, if you need just a pinpoint of airflow, our Atto Super Air Nozzle blows a 1/2″ diameter pattern at a distance of 3″. Get a little closer than that, and it’s as tight as you want it to be. Now, it’s only generating a force of 2oz (at 12″ away) but keep in mind that’s all concentrated in a small fraction of an inch diameter. Which is plenty for most applications that need that precise of an airflow.
If you DO need a little more flow & force, our Pico and Nano Super Air Nozzles offer incremental increases in performance. The pattern starts to widen out, but that’s a function of the increased flow expanding in to atmospheric pressure…it has to go somewhere, you know. But, again, the closer you get, the more focused the flow is to the centerline of the nozzle.
On the other end of the spectrum are EXAIR’s High Force Air Nozzles. These are particularly useful for stubborn blowoff applications – a foundry blowing slag off hot strip as it cools, for example. Our largest of these, a 1-1/4 NPT model, generates 23 lbs of force…that’s over 25 times the power of our standard Super Air Nozzle.
Speaking of the standard Super Air Nozzle, it’s the most popular answer to the Big Question. It’s suitable for a wide range of blowoff, drying, and cooling applications, like the kinds of jobs an awful lot of folks use open end blowoff devices on. Open ended tubes blow out a great amount of air, but they’re wasteful and noisy, and OSHA says you can’t use them unless you regulate the pressure to 30psig…where they’re not even going to be all that effective.
If you’ve got a 1/4″ copper tube, for example, it’ll use 33 SCFM when supplied with compressed air at 80psig. It’ll for sure get the job done (albeit expensively, when you think of all that compressed air consumption,) but it’ll be loud (likely well over 100 dBA) and again, OSHA says you can’t use it at that pressure. So, you can dial it down to 30psig, where it’ll be marginally effective, but it’s still going to use more air than the Model 1100 1/4 NPT Super Air Nozzle does at 80psig supply pressure. The hard hitting force of the Model 1100, under those conditions, will make all the difference in the world. As will its sound level of only 74 dBA. Not to mention, it’s fully compliant with OSHA 1910.242(b). Oh…and you can even install it directly on the end of your existing tube with a simple compression fitting.
We’ve also got engineered Air Nozzles smaller than the 1100 (all the way down to the aforementioned Atto Super Air Nozzle) and a good selection of larger ones, including Cluster Air Nozzles that hold tighter airflow patterns than similar performing single Super Air Nozzles. They’re available in materials ranging from Zinc-Aluminum alloy, bare aluminum, brass, 303SS, 316SS, or PEEK thermoplastic polymer to meet the requirements of most any area of installation, no matter how typical or aggressive.
If you have an loud, wasteful, and likely unsafe blowoff, you owe it to yourself and everyone else who has to put up with it to consider a better solution. Call me; let’s talk.
Russ Bowman Application Engineer EXAIR Corporation Visit us on the Web Follow me on Twitter Like us on Facebook