Air compressors - definition, functioning process and types
What is an air compressor? How does it work? How many types are there?
The questions above will have the answers in the following rows.
Let’s begin with the general definition of an air compressor. It is a device that gives compressed air or power to a specific space/object.
Answering the question of „How it works?” is a simple task due to the fact that the mechanism is quite simple. The compressor has two primary components: a compressing system and a power source. It works on the following principle: it compresses atmospheric air, reducing the volume and increasing its pressure.
The compressing system consists in a piston, vane or a rotating impeller and its role is to compress the air using energy generated by the power source. The source of power is an electric motor or other devices.
The process is controlled; meaning that when pressure in the receiver reaches a maximum there will be no intake of air. When the device is used (pressure in the compressor is at a low level), a pressure switch is on and allows air to enter into the system. Therefore, the process of producing compressed air is continuous.
Now, let’s see what the market has to offer. The most common types are:
1. The reciprocating air compressor: a piston compresses the air that is stored in a tank. The models with one piston have a single-stage system and the ones with two are called double-stage configurations.
2. The rotary air compressor means that the compression of the air is being done by two helical screws or rotors that spin.
3. A dynamic compressor (it is also known as centrifugal air compressor) has an impeller that works at a high speed, in rotation and raises the velocity of the air. This will be directed in a diffuser that changes it into pressure. This model requires energy to work and is suitable for high demands of compressed air.
The factors you have to take in consideration when establishing the de vice you will buy are related to performance, price, configuration, how they operate and how much that costs, safety of operation and the above mentioned characteristics.