03 Nov The best place for your air compressor installation. In or out?
Most of us get used to doing this a certain way; we wake up at a certain time, or we go to lunch at a certain place. But when it comes to our air compressor installation this is not always the best idea. Sometimes we can get fixated on the idea of having an air compressor room. And even when usually this works, there are times when keeping you air compressor installation inside is not the best option, for example, If your compressed air system will be exposed to extreme temperatures, excessive dirt/dust or corrosive chemicals, or is in a Classified Area, it may be best to hit the road and move the installation outdoors.
Usually keeping our air air compressor installation inside will save it from the danger of extreme temperatures. Nevertheless, sometimes that’s not entirely true, for example, if the only place for the compressor is next to the boiler room or next to an area that’s is a giant refrigerator, then its probably a good idea to consider to move your air compressor outdoors.
Excessive heat can result in high approach temperatures which reduce the cooling efficiency of the aftercooler and creates excess condensate for any downstream air treatment components. It can also reduce lubricant life, causing equipment to overheat and shutdown.
Low temperatures can impede lubricant flow, causing cold starts. Cold starts can result in unnecessary wear and tear on the motor and airend and in extreme cases, lead to catastrophic failure. Low temperatures can also promote excess moisture in control lines and other components. If the temperatures fall too low, this condensate can even freeze.
The air compressor room has contaminants on it by nature such as dust, oil such as lubricant aerosols vented from equipment, and moisture. All of these get into the air compressor and get passed on to the rest of the system, and without proper filtration, to the end process. If your plant process creates additional contaminants, such as dust in a cement plant, then you may want to look at an alternative solution.
In locations like chemical plants, refineries, or drilling platforms is common to have areas where there are flammable gases or liquids, combustible dust, or easily ignited fibers. The presence of these substances in sufficient concentrations can cause a fire or explosion if there is a source of ignition.
While it is possible to customize equipment, so it is explosion proof, quite often the cost to do so is incredibly high. It’s considerably less to install the equipment outside in an enclosed system and add the extra hundred feet of piping needed to reach the process.
If you have any or all of these conditions in your plant, then consider moving your compressed air system outdoors. You’ll have the potential to increase uptime, reduce maintenance costs, and keep energy efficiency high.