Types of Air Compressors to Consider

Air compressors are potent machines that convert power into energy stored in pressurized air. There are several air compressors in the market today. This article will look into some of them.

Air compressors vs. Pumps

Many people find it difficult to distinguish between a pump and an air compressor. The critical distinction between an air compressor and a pump is that an air compressor is gas/air-powered, whereas the latter works with liquids. Air compressors are designed to use multiple power sources, including gasoline/diesel engines, electric motors, power take-offs, or automotive engines.

Types of Air Compressors

As stated earlier in the article, there are different air compressors. Here is list of a few of them.

  • Rotary-Screw Compressor

As the name suggests, rotary screw compressors use two helix screws that rotate force, forcing air into the chamber. As the screw rotates, the air is trapped, increasing the pressure inside the chamber. As the air moves through the rotor, the space between the chamber and the rotor decreases, resulting in compression.

Compressed air is exhausted through the exhaust port. Rotary-screw compressors are the most accessible types of the compressor to maintain as they have an internal cooling system that helps reduce excess heat. Also, although screw compressors are pre-lubricated for smooth operation, some are oil-free. However, the bearings still need to be lubricated.

  • Reciprocating Air Compressor

This is a positive displacement compressor. It uses a piston to replace and compress the air in the compression chamber. These compressors are equipped with cylinders, crankshafts, and valve heads and are powered by either gas or an electric motor, making them easy to carry and use remotely.

A reciprocating air compressor also has more moving parts than other compressors and requires frequent lubrication. Compressed air is then discharged through a valve into the storage tank and held until needed. Air compressor price in Kenya varies depending on the type of compressor.

  • Scroll Compressor

The scroll compressor has two interlocking helical vanes for compressing air or liquid. Generally, one vane is fixed, and the other vanes are eccentric orbiting. This causes the vanes to trap air between them, compress them, and expel them to the exhaust port. In addition, these compressors tend to be more volumetric.

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This is because of the reduced volume clearance between the fixed and rotating vanes and the lack of a suction valve, which leads to pressure loss. Engineering experts and manufacturers find these compressors useful for a variety of reasons. First, these compressors have few moving parts, requiring less maintenance.

  • Axial Compressor

Axial compressors use a series of fan-like blades to compress the air gradually. The blades are usually paired, one stationary and the other rotated in a row. A rotating foil, also known as a blade or rotor, accelerates the air. On the other hand, the stationary blade slows down the air and redirects it towards the rotor blades for the next compression step.

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While picking out an air compressor, it is essential to consider price and, most importantly, energy output levels. As an interested customer, you should buy a compressor that suits your needs.

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