Cover Story Part 1: Compressed Air: Exploring the Need For Temporary Systems
By Mark Shedd, Aggreko LLC |
Compressed air is often referred to as the fourth utility, and yet for an upstart business or process there is no commercial infrastructure that provides a core supply as exists with gas, electricity and water. When a need for compressed air is identified in planning and feasibility studies, it is necessary for the owners of the process or business to develop and maintain their own systems. Often the compressed air system is developed as a centralized source housed in a physical plant with boilers, chilled water systems, vacuum pumps and so on. The operation and maintenance of these systems is usually the responsibility of operations or maintenance departments that have internal customers dependant on them to provide an uninterrupted supply of this core utility.
System Design and Air Quality
In many businesses, the compressed air system is split into two separate and distinct offerings, utility grade and instrument quality. Utility-grade compressed air is typically used as a source to power air tools, air motors, hoists and for other tasks within a facility that require the air to simply be of sufficient pressure to do the work intended. The quality of this air stream is not normally monitored for the presence of water, oil aerosols…