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Guidelines for Designing a Compressed Air System

By Deepak Vetal, Atlas Copco Compressors LLC |

With the proper knowledge, engineers can work alongside compressor manufacturers to ensure that an optimal air compression system is installed There are various factors to consider when designing a compressed air system that help to improve the reliability and efficiency of compressors and ancillary equipment, reduce leakage and pressure drops, and minimize the compressor system’s lifecycle cost (Figure 1). This article provides guidance on several considerations that impact a compressed air system.   FIGURE 1. A typical compressed air system comprises many ancillary equipment elements, and careful consideration should be taken to ensure that the system’s design promotes efficiency and reliability[/caption] Ambient conditions Compressor performance can vary based on ambient conditions. It is important to know the site elevation, ambient temperatures, relative humidity (RH) and airborne dust load prior to choosing a compressor system. Ambient air can also contain aggressive gases, such as hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S) or ammonia (NH 3), which require a suitable filtration system to protect compressed air equipment. Having this information on hand can help compressed air experts make a more informed decision when…
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