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Summer is here and the last thing you want is your compressor running hot. A compressor with an elevated temperature presents all sorts of problems that can damage both the compressor and end products.
Here are a few quick ways to determine if your compressor is in trouble and some advice on how to avoid and fix any issues.
What is the ambient temperature?
Most lubricated, air cooled, rotary screw compressors run 37.88 to 43.3 degrees C above the ambient temperature. If your compressor room is over 37.8 degrees C, you are already in trouble. Cross flow ventilation is advisable in non ducted compressors. If your compressor oil sump or airend discharge is more than 48.9 degrees C over ambient temperature in the room, you need to find out why.
Is the compressor full of coolant/lubricant?
The compressor oil serves as coolant in oil flooded rotary compressors. In most modern rotary screws, the compressor oil is circulated 7 or more times per minute through the machine. You can see why the oil level becomes more critical in the summer.
Is hot air blowing from the entire cooler?
A blocked radiator type cooler will drive oil and compressed air temperatures up and it is, by far, the single most common cause of overheating in air cooled rotary screw compressors. Blowing out the external fins of the oil cooler and aftercooler with compressed air will help remedy this.
Is your inlet air filter blocked?
The heat released by air compression is related to the compression ratios achieved. In order to discharge air at 100 psig, it must be compressed 10 times, rather than 7 at the normal atmospheric, sea level inlet air pressure of 14.7 psi. Easy answer—clean the filter.
Part 1: SUMMER IS HERE – IS YOUR AIR COMPRESSOR READY?
Part 2: HEAT AND YOUR COMPRESSOR – WHAT TO EXPECT THIS SUMMER
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