Portable air compressors are the main force in construction and construction sites. They provide compressed air, many of which are used to drive various heavy tools.
There are many other types of portable air compressors, but they are all covered by 12 volt, home or small air compressors. The portable compressor is driven by a large diesel engine. The size of the engine and compressor depends on the required air flow and air pressure. Portable air compressors usually provide a pressure of 7 to 12 bar. The amount of air they can generate per minute (air flow rate) varies by type.
What size compressor you need depends on the pneumatic tool you use.
Do they need a lot of air? Need high pressure?
In construction and general use, most pneumatic tools require a pressure of about 7 bar, but the air flow rate varies greatly.
Who uses portable compressors?
Portable air compressors are used to provide compressed air at construction sites, road works, or whenever people who are not suitable for stationary compressors need compressed air.
They are also used as factory (emergency) backup compressors, for example when their stationary compressors require maintenance or stop working. They are powered by diesel engines and therefore do not require electricity.
Rugged and reliable
Portable air compressors need to be sturdy, sturdy and reliable. They are usually used in dusty environments, so they must have high-quality air filters.
They need to work in various conditions, such as very cold weather or high altitude (for example, compressed air is used for skiing and snow making), but they must also work in dusty, hot or humid environments.
The above requirements are applicable to compressor components and diesel engines. The diesel engine must be strong and reliable.
The worst possible situation is that your compressor will not work properly anywhere and it will get stuck without compressed air.
In almost all cases, the compressor is a rotary screw type. It can be oil-filled or oil-free, although oil-free compressors are very expensive and are only used for special applications (for example, large Atlas Copco oil-free portable compressors can only be rented and cannot be purchased (in Europe , The smallest).
Therefore, 99% of portable compressors are oil-injected single-stage rotary screw compressors. They work almost the same as stationary electric screw compressors. Although there are some subtle differences, especially in the control system.
Diesel engines are used to drive portable air compressors. They are rugged and reliable, and can run for hours or weeks at a time.
The engine is either directly coupled to the compressor element or connected to the pulley and belt. Just like your car, the engine uses a starter motor to start, so the portable compressor also has a battery.
Operation and control system
The engine has (minimum requirements) safety measures against low oil pressure and/or oil level and excessive temperatures. The speed of the engine is controlled by the compressor control system.
In most cases, this is a fairly simple control system (fully pneumatic, with minimal electronic equipment). Especially compared to stationary compressors, today's stationary compressors have a control panel with a precision microcontroller and many settings and options.
Not a portable compressor...it basically has a start/stop button, sometimes a load/unload button, no indicator light and hour counter.
There are many different options and additional functions for portable air compressors. Basic options for portable air compressors include:
– After cooling (cooling compressed air)
– Moisture collector, filter for dust, oil, water or smoke (depending on the required compressed air quality)
– Reheat (heat the cooled air to prevent moisture problems)
– Different drawbar designs (depending on your car/truck)
– Heavy-duty compressor intake filter (for dusty environments).
– Cold start (for operation in cold areas)
– Spark discharger
– Intake shut-off valve
If a portable air compressor is used in an explosive or flammable environment, install a spark plug on the exhaust pipe to prevent any sparks from flying out and catching fire. The law may require their use in certain places on earth (for example, especially in forests or chemical/refineries).
When the portable air compressor is used in an environment where chemicals or flammable gases may be present in the air (for example, in an oil refinery or chemical refinery), an intake shut-off valve is required.
Diesel engines may inhale flammable gases. The gas will ignite in the diesel engine and cannot be stopped. Otherwise it may "go crazy" and start to run faster and faster. Therefore, a shut-off valve was installed in the air source (behind the air filter). In this case, it will turn off the air supply.
Portable air compressor parts and maintenance
Since you are using portable compressors in remote areas, you first need to be able to rely on portable compressors.
Good maintenance is very important to keep the compressor running smoothly.
It may be a good idea to keep some necessary spare parts, so that when the compressor crashes unexpectedly, you can start and run immediately.
Learn more about this on our portable air compressor parts and maintenance page.
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